Offering Highly Trainable - Dependable - Temperament Qualified
Appleridge breeds and trains our exceptional dogs, of stable sound temperaments through decades of experience. Not all dogs are created equally. Like humans, each of us have a gift. Appleridge has dedicated decades to creating a GSD that are uniquely " Golden Retriever" like socially. These special few, qualified, hand picked pups, will go on to make life better for the people they share it with. Yes they love water, too. They are calm considerate dogs with lower drive than the average German Shepherd Dog. Appleridge dogs are not for everyone, they are not high drive or aggressive like some GSD's. They are however alert and loyal with natural instincts to protect the ones they love if the situation merits it. If you choose to train your dog for Therapy, Assistance, Disability or Emotional Support, and intend to have your dog in close proximity to the population, please remember they may NOT be aggressive in any way in public or community. Together, with their team mate, they will work until their last breath for the one they love.
Commitment Questions & Answers
- Physical Assistance Prepared
- Mental Assistance Prepared
- Emotional Support Prepared
- Canine Good Citizen Certified Titled
- Community Canine Certified Titled
- Urban Canine Good Citizen Certified Titled
- BN or CD Obedience Titled AKC documented Certified Canine or Advance situations requiring the absolute off leash dependable perfected companion in public urban and crowded situations like malls, stores, food and medical establishments where the dog must lay quietly for hours without disturbing anyone or anything. (please remember that it is not legal to have your dog off leash in public areas, responsible ownership is important to respect others rights) These certifications through AKC are important in accrediting your dog's abilities and show when recognized standards have been met.
- Emotional Support Dog (please noted there are different legal rights for Emotional Support dogs)
- Ambulatory - assisting persons to walk by providing balance and counterbalance, providing deep pressure, and many other individual tasks as needed by a person with a disability.
- Therapy dogs - prepared for entry into your local approved Therapy Dog program. Exciting news- AKC has an accredited program for Therapy dogs.
- Appleridge will speak with your program coordinator, doctor or support system organization to assist in preparation for adoption and personal training for you with your new companion. Appleridge cannot be held responsible for allergic reactions an individual may have to a canine. Appleridge will however, help adopters with bathing and care programs that reduce allergy reactions, sometimes all together. Appleridge shall work carefully with the individual to determine which dog best suits their needs, if available or create a plan for a pairing that is likely to produce such an outcome. Appleridge cannot be held responsible for personal lack of interest in a dog as companion as a life partner in every circumstance. Appleridge will work hard to make the transition as smooth as possible by preparing the dog, human partner and family involved to have the very best outcome and lifetime success.
- All Level Obedience/Rally & Agility Instruction (Disabled Individuals Welcome) if you are disabled and wish to experience the World of Dog Sports in the AKC platform, we are delighted to encourage you, to do so, with us. We have the experienced trainers to train both you and your dog to a level that you find enjoyable and rewarding. This AKC venue, can be a delightful life Changing experience for both you and your dog. Wheelchair participants welcome too. all Therapy and Service dogs begin their journey with the successful passing of their CGC title before moving into specific needs task training.
- Life is better with a well trained dog.
- Training will continue on wards and upwards, evaluated by AKC qualified judges and Evaluators for assurance of a well mannered, well trained, legally provable, professionally trained dog for your personal assistance.
- Documentation & ID will be happily provided with all adoptions when the Human team member completes their Leadership preparation portion of the program, which will prepare them for public and private control and task instructions to their new companion.
- ALL dogs that have been trained by Appleridge as an Assistant dog whether the personal application require the owner to spay or neuter (alter) the dog. It is our opinion that hormones and other factors are distracting and interfere with daily task performance. Please discuss this term with your veterinarian and supply Appleridge with documentation within 90 days of the successful placement in your environment.
- Service Dogs Training Standards
These are intended to be minimum standards for all assistance dog programs that Appleridge can help you with.
- The dog must respond to commands (basic obedience and skilled tasks) from the client-new owner, 85% of the time on the first ask in all public environments. As per AKC standardized programs, the team shall complete each task and obtain 85% of great proficiency.
- The dog should demonstrate basic obedience skills by responding to voice and/or hand signals for sitting, staying in place, waiting in place & at door ways, lying down, reliable on leash walking in a controlled position near the client, impeccable reliable behavior around other animals, little children or individuals with physical limitations including walkers, wheelchairs, power chairs, elevators. The dog shall remain calm or recover within 30 seconds to stimuli including erratic uncontrollable movements by humans, seizures, sounds and lights. Coming to the client when called on or off leash, distracted or not, including other animals and food.
- The dog must meet all of the standards as laid out in the minimum standards for Assistance Dogs in Public and should be well behaved in the home. Owners shall provide ample time for their dog to eliminate outdoors before entering public buildings or homes.
- The dog must be trained to perform tasks to mitigate the client’s disability or special needs.
- The client must be provided with enough instruction to pass the AKC Community Canine certification with their dog & minimum standards for Assistance Dogs in Public. The client (or guardian) must be able to demonstrate:
- That their dog can perform personalized tasks or needs
- Knowledge of acceptable training techniques and rudimentary animal psychology
- An understanding of canine care and a veterinarian care plan.
- The ability to maintain task training, problem solve, and continue to train/add new skills (as required) with their dog.
- Knowledge of local access laws and appropriate public behavior, including practice preparation for inquiries to their need for the dog to help the business representative to ascertain access need under the laws in their Community, County and Country.
Halo training with Jeremy - Completed her Urban Dog CGCU testing
FACT: Most People Do Not Know They Qualify For A Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal -
FACT: Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Therapy Dogs can benefit people with disabilities associated with many diagnoses, including: Arthritis Ataxia (poor balance) Autism Blindness or Impaired Vision Deafness or Impaired Hearing Diabetes Cardio/Pulmonary Disease Cerebral Palsy Physical mobility Issues Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) Psychiatric Disabilities Seizure Disorders (Epilepsy) Severe Allergy Alert Spina Bifida Spinal Cord/Head Trauma Stroke, Cancer Anxiety Depression Bipolar disorder Mood disorder Fear/phobias Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Suicidal Thoughts/Tendencies Adjustment Disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Panic disorder Separation anxiety Dissociative Disorders Factitious Disorders Eating Disorders Impulse-Control Disorders Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition Neurocognitive Disorders Mood Disorders Neurodevelopmental Disorders Personality Disorders Psychotic Disorders Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Sleep Disorders Somatoform Disorders Substance Related Disorders
This is just a partial list of disabilities that qualify under ADA.
(Above ) "Colten" - sharing life with a young man who is forever changed because of the gift his parents were able to provide him. Life is better with a service dog. (The "Best Friend" he will never forget!)
It's been 6 months since I have had Sabina and I cannot thank Annette enough for such s wonderful animal. She has truly been a blessing and has helped me through so much. We've been doing some large venturing out on trips. She clearly also loves the ocean:) She caught on pretty quick that she needs to stay "invisible" to keep people from staring at me and causing anxiety. Although her size is near impossible, but she tries! ☺
Service Award so very deserved! Now its Farrah's turn to take care of you, my freind. Thank you for your service to this country.
After getting home from my amazing experience in Chicago. I come to find a letter from the American Kennel Club ( AKC). That Troy was Awarded Caine Excellence Award for recognition of dogs in service to mankind. — with Appleridge German Shepherds,Annette Sackrider-miller and Carole Field.
Adopting a Service Companion can change your life! We proudly watch our Oscar & Juliet son, "Troy" share his skills & life with Nick, his new best friend. (click the link below to watch)
Published on May 19, 2015
Service dogs accompany teens Delaney Johnson of Haslett and Nick Ackerman of Grand Rapids to prom. [Shot and produced by MATTHEW DAE SMITH | for the Lansing State Journal]
Service dogs accompany teens Delaney Johnson of Haslett and Nick Ackerman of Grand Rapids to prom. [Shot and produced by MATTHEW DAE SMITH | for the Lansing State Journal]
-Chris and his new LIFE buddy!! :)
" Tacoma " - Appleridges Legend of Tacoma BN - Service Dog
Dog training is a huge commitment on our part. The 24 hour preparation training day in day out endlessly without the " going home after work" concept. To train these dogs requires detailed, clear, concise, patience and elaborate understanding of canine psychology. Combine that huge task with the human factor of preparing the dog for one on one, assistance for the unique needs of an individual is enormous.
Appleridge is about dog training and we love training dogs. If you choose to pursue a career for your dog as a Therapy, or Assistant dog, you have a long rewarding road ahead of you. Appleridge can refer you to trainers in your area that can train a well picked puppy or work with you to train your pup into a well mannered loving companion assistant. Waiting lists should be expected and training can take up at a year or more.
Preparing a dog is in itself an unbelievable feat. Then preparing the human to instruct the dog, is even harder. On top of all of that, we have to prepare the dog and handler, plus their family (when applicable) to the public, noises in urban environments, urban life, community expected behavior and unfortunately the onslaught of curious, but mostly distracting public. All of these factors are time consuming in their own right, combining them into one package, is nearly impossible for the average dog. The instinctive mind set of our dogs are uniquely created to account for all of these factors. Nearly 4 decades of working professionally with these pedigrees, as well as their owners, has honed our skills into this masterful collection of balancing the nearly impossible.
The cost to perfecting these dogs if put into man hours would not be feasible, unless for the generous nature of the dedicated trainers and families involved. Dogs possessing high level skills require hundreds of hours in preparation for their life to come as a assistant dog. 350 - 1000 hours of training time to prepare a well mannered, well trained dog of high intelligence.
1) Please try to understand that if you wish to invest time and understanding into a younger dog, it is possible to have a fabulous Assistant dog in the end, because of your dedication. We will help choose the dog that best suits your family members unique needs.
( the Affordable alternative) Your skills will determine the outcome and level of training your dog will exhibit. Appleridge cannot guarantee that these pups will perform the tasks required, as the trainer (yourself) does not have the skills of our professional trainers. Appleridge will provide lifetime verbal and class assistance no charge to the families choosing this route if they are in proximity of our facility and can attend in person.
2) Choosing a dog that has perfected their skills over months of intense training are themselves prepared, however, not unique to your specific situation. Therefore effort will need to be made by the individual or family to learn in the exact way the dog was task trained. There may be additional attendance time required with this step. The new handler attends our training center, no charge, depending on the abilities of the handler in transferring task leadership to himself/herself. Appleridge offers personalized full or part programs included in the package price of the adoption. Any personal limitations may require you to come for extended visits of several days, and multiple training secession to feel prepared to go out into the public with your dog.
3) Cost association is as follows:
a) Pup - 1500 - 2500 at 8 weeks of age, add $1000 for each month of care & training. Plan on a minimum of 5 months of training depending on needs and classification of need. Plan on an average of $1000 for equipment & certification documentation, accommodations while training at Appleridge's location, or even flight expenses for you to attend the training. Each dog matures at a different rate, therefore the adopters must be prepared for some youth behaviors unless they are paying for extended periods of training that encompasses most of the youthful months. The average GSD is maturing mentally between 16 - 24 months and physically up to 36 months. If you are not prepared to accept any youth traits, then a retiring Adult is the perfect alternative, since they are already mature and calm with training and home/family life skills.
b) Medical preparation through our local vet - (3 vaccines/rabies/ wormers/ check ups/ detailed health checks/any medical needs being addressed)* included. OFA certifications for DM, HIPS, ELBOWS, EYES, HEART or a other medical requirement based on the tasks that your companion will need to complete for you and must be able to complete physically. Altering your companion may be lower than you think, ask for local spay neuter clinics.
c) Dog Room and Board for each 30 day period which includes potty breaks, grooming, nail clipping, general hygiene, ears cleaning & possibly taping, bug repellents, heart-worm and communicable canine disease medicines to prevent the dog from becoming ill in urban environments where many dogs can be found. Growing pups require many hours of potty training as well as a larger volume of very healthy dog food and structural supplements, which included Nuvet Vitamins, TriActa, and a grain free diet. Training treats and toys are expensive too. Our facility is a state of the art home like clean room style environment, mimicking a family home situation. Values of boarding your dog in a full care room like vet or boarding facility ranging from 15.99 - 37.99 nightly and sometime more in areas of the country. Our facility is a lovely large well maintained beautiful training center, to offer dogs and owners a wonderful experience.
d) One on one training, by qualified individuals, alternating on a daily basis at a rate of pay, plus outings in the community, vehicle for the trainers to go out in. Each dog is handled by multiple individuals, to allow the dog to understand that they are not, any one person's pet. This approach makes it easier to transfer loyalties to the new owner. Our trainers dedicate their time for disability dogs without asking what's in it for me?
A one on one trainer can cost you as much as $1000 a week for their expertise and skills, depending on their credentials & location.
e) Each dog requires unique expensive equipment, vests, harnesses, leader handles, collars and ID for entering into public places for their training experiences.
F) Microchips, lifetime monitoring, AKC paperwork, Vet documentation, Lifetime support for questions and detailed responses takes a large time of our day. We wish all adopters to succeed. The cost to us for this service requires a full time individual of high canine & human skills. An invaluable asset to the adopter for many years to come. All adopters can visit in person for retraining and or advance training. Modified training if circumstances change in your medical condition or living situation.
We hope these details help you understand the commitment we make to you. Please make the same commitment to us, and your new dog. It is a Life commitment that should not be taken lightly. The dog gives you everything,without ever asking, " what do I get back" be loyal back!.
If your finances are such that you will need funding, please consider programs and facilities that can help provided funding or funded dogs for your special needs. Appleridge has great candidates that you can have your trainer mold, closer to home where your access to training and cost traveling will be much less. We make NO MORE exceptions to attendance of the " human" training portion of our program, which spans 2 days to 6 months depending on your needs.
FACT:Your Assistance dog is not only a companion, but also equipment that needs to stay focused on its' tasks, with this in mind, the greatest success as a "working companion" will be in environments that do not have another dog.
FACT: All canines become creatures of environment and habits, please respect the fact that your lifestyle will affect the outcome of the dog's daily activity & behavior.
FACT: Calm, consistent, organized, respectful, loving, repetitive instruction or routines, have the greatest success outcomes.
If you are not in a position to fund your dog, please consider " Go Funding" or a company that offers "free assistance dogs" There are some out there, please plan on a waiting list. Please see, our "links" page for help finding the programs or institution that can help you best. Good Luck!.
Decades of Training Dogs to Better Peoples lives & help them gain their Independence
update on how Nick & Troy are doing.... Follow the new story of their success.(click & watch)
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A Forest Hills teen whose first service dog died suddenly from cancer is gaining his independence with help from a new dog.
Nick Ackerman, 18, is a senior at Forest Hills Central. He and his service dog Troy take the bus to school every day.
Nick was born with TAR syndrome, a condition that affects the long bones in the body. Troy will be carrying Nick's backpack and everything he needs for school. He's also been trained to pick up Nick, should he fall over. Troy has been learning his job well.
Nick has already bonded with Troy. Late last year, we told you about Nick and his first service dog Nico. Nico had been on the job with Nick for about a week when the young Dutch shepherd was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Nico was euthanized the next day.
"We could see he was in pain," Nick said. "I didn't want to see him like that. It sucked."
It's now been about three months since Nick got Troy. So far, it's a good match. Troy has a clean bill of health, and Nick is gaining his independence. Nick will be heading to Eastern Michigan University in the fall. His parents won't be there to help him, but Troy will.
"And besides," says Nick, "girls love dogs."
Nick Ackerman and Troy with Delaney Johnson and Griffen (Photo: Ackerman family)
Nick's mom sent us a photo Tuesday of Nick and Troy asking a girl and her service dog to the prom. The girl, Delaney Johnson, and her service dog Griffen, are from Lansing, and they met during the training process. She said yes, and they will be going to prom at Forest Hills Central next month.
After Decades the training continues.... Sharing knowledge to encourage Disabled People to enable themselves through the use of a Best Canine Friend!
SOLD- Torque - Perfected & Ready for You! Torque went to TEXAS
Calm, gentle, big, healthy(OFA hips/elbows) smart, ready to please, patient
Torque is a wonderful boy with a personality that is very unique for the breed. We are pleased to present him with Service training and wonderful home plus community manners. He will come with detailed instructions both in book form, and digital. Videos detailing each task plus life time support will help make him the "best dog" you've ever had to share your life with.
Appleridge Proudly Assists Owners and/or Trainers with Lifetime Support for All Dogs and Individuals Paired with a Service Dog
Here’s a great photo of Cheryl and her finished Assistance Dog “Troy” with his owner/handler Nick Ackerman. Nick purchased "Troy" from Appleridge Kennels in Tennessee, and Cheryl trained “Troy” to retrieve items, help Nick zip his coat, carry books and a laptop, and most importantly, be a great companion and friend! Nick is off to college this fall, and we atCher Car Kennels wish him and "Troy" the absolute best. — with Nick Ackerman.
- We will assist you in matching the correct dog to your Individual Needs " Wish List"
- We will always be realistic and brutally honest with expectations and achievable goals for your Assistance dog needs and time frame for completion.
- We will require your Doctor to provide documentation of your " Special Needs" requirements and Status for Legal Purposes
- We will always keep your personal information, personal! If you choose to share a success story, you will have that optional choice.
- We will work tirelessly to prepare your dog for its career, it is important for Adopters to be realistic that personal adaptations and bonding time will be required for all " Team " members which is true for you and your dog. One can generally expect a 30 day transitional ( team work training period )
- We realize that each dog has a purpose when considering " Service Dogs" All family members and Community members coming in contact with the Dog will need to respect that the dog is not a " pet " or " only a pet " and therefore treat it accordingly. Further training may be required at a later date for such applications. We will advise you of such. We are in the process of creating a network of trainers to assist future training in your area if you are NOT able to return to our location in Tennessee, USA.
- For certain applications a " younger youth puppy " maybe necessary to create the Lifetime Bond process. In Other applications, a 1-2 year old trained dog will need to be Tweaked to your special needs, before it can go home with you or your loved one.
- Periodically, a Dog with appropriate training and temperament may become available to individuals on the waiting list. These particular dogs are few and far between and will require a immediate adoption commitment before being offered to another waiting individual.
Jen is a survivor. We are so proud of her and her service dog, Legend. Jen proudly stands to show off the Companion Dog Obedience title her Service dog earned. These two ladies made it through the worst of times, from a life threatening auto accident. Love will heal and save, its a promise!. Jen could not walk on her own after the accident. Legend & Jen - Best Friends. Jen's and her parents, will remain in my thoughts for the rest of my life. Their courage, the support they showed for their daughter, despite the odds. It was a proud moment to prop Jen up, she wanted to stand for the picture, so badly. We were all immensely proud of this young lady & her strength through the rough times.
We are currently working on several youth that may qualify for your needs. Please feel free to call or write us to inquire about training one for your specific needs. Wish lists vary, so we are always prepared to train each dog for your special needs. Training can take as little as 3 months but as long as a year. Please plan ahead. Our trainers are fabulous at helping understand your needs and tailoring your new dog for your lifestyle and requirements. Your dog will be personalized and prepared for you based on your needs wish list and schedule provided. Then the hands on, in field training requires the owner to attend and transfer leadership techniques, skills and commands, for lifetime success.
I've been in your shoes. Despite having a neck brace, wheelchair & severe pain, I made the best of it, training smaller dogs for emotional support dogs and Visitation dogs for local hospitals & homes. This boy " OZ" visited terminally ill cancer patients in wards. He later shared life with my mother until she passed of Cancer. I thanked him every day for being her support, her love and her company when I could not be there. He was her reason every day to breath and get out of bed. I miss them both!