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A Barcoding solution is never just a piece of hardware: This is the heart of Barcoding’s Process, People, Technology (PPT) philosophy.

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Keeping up with SSD Atlas | A Puptacular Update

Feb 10, 2023
TOPIC: Announcements
2 min read
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Do you remember SSD Atlas? Because he’s officially one year old (born December 4, 2021)! If you’re wondering how he celebrated, he got puppy ice cream and lots of pets. But just because he’s a year older doesn’t mean he’s done with learning new tricks! He’s currently working to include loose leash walking while wearing a head halter along with the cue “heel.”

Loose leash walking is all about self-control. SSD Atlas is learning to walk next to his raiser on the left side with the leash in a nice, loose “J” shape, which means he’s not pulling, no matter what’s in the environment. This can be quite challenging and it’s something SSD dogs continue to practice throughout their entire lives. SSD dogs learn to walk on a loose leash with the leash attached to a collar, as well as a head halter. We teach our dogs to wear a head halter because it gives the dogs’ partners additional control and makes it less likely the dog will pull on the leash. Pulling can be especially dangerous if the dog’s partner has mobility issues or if any kind of pressure causes pain.

Heel is also one of those behaviors that every single SSD dog learns. On cue, the dog will pivot on their front paws to swing into place on someone’s left side. This puts them into position to move forward right next to whoever is holding the leash. Heel can also be used to put space between someone and the people around them, and the beauty of this particular use is that the public doesn’t know that the person is using the dog as a psychiatric tool. SSD Atlas is in the middle of learning “heel,” which means he’s using a wooden box to anchor his front paws. He steps onto the box and walks his back legs around next to his raiser. Soon his raiser will give him a lower box (the current one is about six inches high), and then he’ll transition completely off a box or board and swing into place on any surface.

Atlas loves going for car rides and visiting his puppy raiser’s family. And he’s a pro at grocery shopping! In the morning, he wakes up his puppy raiser’s three daughters for school by giving them kisses.

Although he spends time training and working on his assistance dog skills, he also gets plenty of time to play and just be a dog. He loves running at the park, retrieving things, and napping. He usually curls up in his raiser’s pet dog’s tiny dog bed! His favorite treats are apples and cucumbers.

We’re excited to see all the places she’ll go. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and our socials to keep tabs on this adorable pup.

About Susquehanna Service Dogs 

Susquehanna Service Dogs is a program of Keystone Human Services and has been breeding, raising, training, and placing assistance dogs in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states since 1993. SSD is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International. 


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