The mission of paws4people is to educate and empower people to utilize Assistance Dogs to transform their lives. That mission is upheld across seven programs including the University of North Carolina Wilmington/ paws4people Assistance Dog Training program and its unique certificate initiative.
Throughout the program's four-course progression, students learn about the types, history, training and governance of Assistance Dogs. This is coupled with learnings on training theory and practice, dog psychology and body language. The robust classroom studies are then bolstered by hands-on practice.
Each student that goes through the program is responsible for continuing the tough training regimen already set in motion before the dogs come to UNCW's campus. In the dogs' final two semesters of training, handlers work to tailor and customize the 100+ commands to the needs of each client.
At the program's end participants remark on the rewarding nature of the work and many turn what they have learned into a career.