Team Comet’s Story

CCC has been a part of this service dog's puppy raising program from the very beginning. In addition to all the tasks she's learned to help her become the best working dog she can be, CCC has added the benefit of skills she can use without handler prompting to build her connection and awareness of her handler, for a fluid transition to the person for whom she's eventually chosen.

Teaching a dog skills he can use without depending on a prompt from his handler makes for an easy transition to a new person. This young service dog in training has learned attentive cooperation and how to connect with whomever is on the other end of the leash through the basic principles of CCC. The second handler is a stranger to the dog, but is also fluent in the elements of CCC.

“Nothing exemplifies the relationship between a dog and a person as a team more than that of a service dog and his handler. Nothing develops and strengthens the relationship between a dog and a person more than Connection, Cooperation, & Control (CCC).

CCC benefits our service dogs in training by not only developing a strong relationship with their handler but has the added benefit of the dog easily transferring to a new handler, who also has an understanding of CCC. The dog’s recognition of the new handler’s knowledge is immediate from the Auto Check-In and the powerful phrase ‘You are SO good!’ For the handler, CCC makes it easier to handle a new dog by teaching how to use 2-way communication and work together with the dog as a team.”

Michele Kauffman
Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) Volunteer Puppy Raiser 2002-present
Maryland CCI Puppy Class Instructor 2016-2018

Team Luna’s Story

“I really enjoyed taking the first Level of CCC, and look forward to taking the next level. I saw many changes occur in Luna through the help of CCC. Her focus became much better both on and off lead. I increased the difficulty for her, which she was able to work through most of the time. Sometimes with a little coaching, but she always wound up focusing back on me quicker each time. I see this being very helpful for our partners, so that they remain the main focus of the service dog.

Puppy Politeness Poker was very effective in helping with Luna's obedience. It taught her to give the desired behavior as well as self control when wanting something. Ex: You want to go fetch or play tug? Give me a Down or Stand first. Or, if you want to eat. Go Find your bowl first. Each time I tried to increase the difficulty by upping the anti and, asking for more. I see this helping our partners in that our service dogs do not anticipate a command, but rather be patient, staying focused on the partner and waiting for the command to be given.

Really Real Relaxation has been very helpful in showing Luna that there may times when she needs to tone it down and just relax. Whether it be when standing, sitting or laying next to a Partner. I thought this was a big one because many of our partners may need that solitude time. And our services dogs should be on solitude time with them.

 I really feel that everything we have learned through CCC can in some way or another be beneficial to our partners.”

Robby & Luna
St. Francis Service Dogs

Team Audrey’s Story

“I am a professional dog trainer who trains assistance dogs for Assistance Dogs of the West, a nonprofit organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was introduced to CCC at one of Suzanne Clothier's Train the Trainer Seminars. Cindy was there to give us a taste of CCC. I knew I wanted to try a class, but unfortunately I do not live near any certified CCC trainers, so I decided to take the online course.

I chose canine, Audrey, from my string of trainees, because she is more high drive than most of the dogs we are currently training and could benefit the most from CCC. Audrey loves to work, but is a little wild and bounces around like a pinball sometimes! Transitions from one environment to another can be challenging for her. We both benefited greatly from the Level 1 course. Audrey's transitions have improved nicely. Although she still gets excited, she is mastering the skill of self management and is able to calm herself quicker. She is much more attentive to the person she is with. Audrey has been going home with one of our other trainers and I have been receiving good reports about her connection and cooperation. I got more tools for my tool box!! Always a good thing. I thought the lessons were presented in a clear and easy to understand way. I think videoing my homework made me pay better attention to what I was doing during training. The turn around on the review of submitted homework was very quick and helpful.

I believe CCC is very applicable to assistance dog training in the building of connection, cooperation and control between a dog and their person. I want to create a partnership and bond so our clients and dogs are comfortable and confident moving through their daily lives. Using CCC to help prepare a dog for a person in need is a tool I will continue to use.

Penny & Audrey
Assistance Dogs of the West

Team Ben & Team Dexter’s Stories

“I really enjoyed the CCC training classes we had. It made me go back and think about everything I was doing and how to change it up. PPP really made me realize I do things in a rut and reminded me to change things around. Ben and Dexter now pay closer attention to me and what I am saying as I don't always give the same command at the same time anymore. I also enjoyed the connection work with the puzzles. Ben and Dexter both pay more attention to me with practice with the puzzles (especially outside) since they really want to get to the treat in the puzzle. 

 I am looking forward to starting Level II of CCC.”

Susan, Ben & Dexter
St. Francis Service Dogs