Service dogs are trained to help people with limited mobility. They have been shown to enhance independence and to reduce the need for assistance. However, training is expensive, and most trainers prefer not to work with children. A collaboration between Shriners Hospital, Northern California, and Loving Paws Assistance Dogs of Santa Rosa, California, was initiated to pair children with limited mobility with service dogs. We studied the outcomes of five child-dog pairs. Three were highly successful, one partially succeeded, and one failed. We conclude that the training and pairing of service dogs and disabled children is a difficult but worthwhile enterprise.
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