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student and service dog in UWRF hallway

Mission Accomplished: A tribute to the ADEPT Interns

Assistance Dog Education Program and Training (ADEPT)™

ADEPT (Assistance Dog Education Program and Training) is an innovative PawPADs program offered to University of Wisconsin-River Falls students. It utilizes PawPADs’ positive training methods and philosophy to give college students an opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally, while also preparing assistance dogs to help people with disabilities gain independence.

How Does The Program Work?

  • The ADEPT program, which works with UW-River Falls students, is distinct from traditional assistance dog puppy-raising experiences and is a unique, intensive, life-changing opportunity for students to learn life-skills through the training of an assistance dog for placement with a person with a disability.
  • Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs) provides ADEPT participants with service dogs in-training, professional training instruction and opportunities for application, as well as opportunities for broader collaboration within the industry and the community. In exchange, the internship requires a serious and dedicated commitment of time, patience and teamwork on the part of the student.
  • Designed for students with a serious interest in assistance dog training and placement, or in the application of Animal Assisted Interventions in human services, the ADEPT internship program, previously attached to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science (CAFES), is a multi-semester opportunity offered by PawPADs.
  • ADEPT interns are provided professional training instruction, guidance and support by PawPADs’ staff with opportunities for application. PawPADs strives to provide a well-rounded experience for students beyond training our dogs – weekly meetings feature lessons on topics such as disability education, nonprofit management, service dog laws/ethics and canine enrichment. Upon graduation from the ADEPT program, interns will have gained both professional and personal skills that will be beneficial to them in the future.
  • ADEPT interns are responsible for the training, socialization and welfare of the ADEPT assistance dogs in-training. Students will also participate in public outreach and advocacy activities as well as fundraising in order to support the ADEPT program and the assistance dog industry as a whole.
  • Specific activities and responsibilities include: high level socialization/public access training, obedience skills and task training which is useful to a person with a physical mobility challenge, such as retrieves, turning on lights, opening doors as well as alerting to blood sugar changes. Each student is responsible for the daily care, supervision, training, and sanitation of dogs involved in the program.

Check out the ADEPT Internship Eligibility Criteria and follow the ADEPT program and PawPADs on Facebook for updates and current program and application information!

What They Say About ADEPT

Interested in bringing ADEPT to your institution?

ADEPT offers:

  • An established curriculum and extensive experience training both dogs and people.
  • A mission statement specifically focused on the educational aspect of training dogs.
  • Complete package of skills and knowledge developed by pioneers in the field.
  • Broad, up-to-date, and relevant Continuing Education experience.
  • In-depth experience within the University of Wisconsin and Federal Bureau of Prisons systems.
photo of UWRF and a service dog in-training

ADEPT Class of 2019-2020

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(EIN: 510593176)

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9877 234th Street East
Lakeville, MN 55044-8299

Phone: +001 (612) 643-5671

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Quick Answers
Will you “certify” my pet dog, so I can take it on the plane or into a hotel with me?
No. It’s illegal to falsely misrepresent that your pet or other animal is a service animal. Pets are not service animals and neither are emotional support animals. Learn more here