SIU students train ‘Saluki Service Dawgs’ to help those in need

Updated: Apr. 10, 2019 at 8:50 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale along with SIT Service Dogs have been working together to train service dogs for almost six years.

Saluki Service Dawgs have around 40 students that are part of the group that help train anywhere from five to 10 dogs at a time.

The dogs are provided by SIT out of Ava, Illinois and are bred specifically to be service trained animals.

They mostly work with Labrador’s because they are a breed that they say likes to please people and raise them up from puppies. It takes around two years to train a service dog.

Students that are certified are able to take the dogs all over campus, they go to the library, cafeteria, classes, to get them comfortable in social situations.

Students teach them basic things like how to sit and then move them up to client specific tasks as they grow, they eventually learn how to open doors and pick up items.

The service dogs that the students train are able to help those with PTSD, mobility issues, diabetes, seizures, and children with autism.

Lauren Murray, president of the Saluki Service Dawgs, spoke about what the most rewarding thing about helping train the dogs.

“The most rewarding part is seeing them graduate and seeing the change they make in their clients life, seeing the teams work together and how it helps them have the freedom we take for granted a lot of the time,” Murray said.

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