dogs for people with motor disabilities or suffering from epilepsy. We use the
age-old bond between dogs and humans for that worthy cause.
Both service dogs for handlers with motor disabilities and seizure dogs for people suffering from epilepsy are specifically trained to enable their handlers to perform tasks that were difficult or virtually impossible before. Moreover, assistance dogs open the door towards a more active participation in every day life.
Whatever its task, the assistance dog stimulates the handler’s independence and self-reliance. And there is more: by its presence, he assistance dog offers comfort and support and enhances the handler’s quality of life. Thus, people do not only enlarge their scope, but also enjoy more social contacts and (re)integrate easier.
The different phases in the education
- At the age of about 7 weeks, the pups (mostly Labradors and Golden
Retrievers) are tested and placed into the care of a foster family that
ensures the dog’s basic education. In the course of the following
16 months, the foster families and their pups regularly attend our
dogs know more than 50 different orders. They’re obedient in all
circumstances and assist their disabled handlers in all sorts of ways, such
as: retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, throwing elevator
and light switches, assisting the handler during transactions at office
windows or counters, alerting other people when help is needed,… And
numerous other small tasks that pose a problem for people with
Seizure response dogs are trained to provide essential help (mostly) immediately
after a seizure, f.i. by activating an alarm, by waking the person, by retrieving
the telephone and/or medication. They can also help to avoid dangerous
circumstances and assist in crossing the street safely or keep a safe distance
from river banks or cliffs.
Some dogs turn out to be seizure alert dogs: they sense an oncoming seizure and warn their master in some way or other.
For what type of handlers?
Service dogs are educated for people with motor disabilities wanting to enlarge
their independence through the assistance of a skilled dog.
Seizure dogs are trained for dog lovers suffering from medically diagnosed epilepsy who, in spite of medication and/or other treatments, still experience at least one severe fit a month.
The extent to which a trained dog can effectively offer assistance as well as the handler’s capability to look after a dog are important selection criteria.
How much does it all cost?
Before a fully educated assistance dog can be officially handed to its future
master, it has cost our non-profit organisation some € 20.100 (purchase and
education of the young puppies, veterinary expenses, follow-up…).
At present, Hachiko still gets most of its resources from donations and sponsoring which, together with the support of a lot of enthusiasts, enables us to attribute the assistance dogs free of charges.
How can you help?
- Buy and/or sell our promotional material.
- Participate in activities organised by or for Hachiko.
- Any donation into our account number: BE96 0681 0525 2505 will be gladly accepted. You can even donate on a monthly basis via a direct debit instruction.
- Tell your family, friends and acquaintances about assistance dogs and convince them to support us.
The Belgian Ministry of Finance officially recognises Hachiko to be an organisation supportive of people with disabilities.
DONATIONS OF € 40 OR MORE ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!
Support us by paying € 20,00 (or more) a year and receive our quarterly “HHH-GAZET” Magazine
Every last Saturday of the month: Hachiko’s Service Dog Café!
Join us for a drink and a friendly chat! We welcome you at the training centre as from 7 p.m.
YOU CAN HELP ASSISTANCE DOGS PERFORM WELL, BEHAVE WELL AND FEEL GOOD!
These dogs love to work for their handlers because they are always rewarded when
behaving well. In spite of what can be severe physical limitations, the handlers
reward their dogs mostly with their voice and with cuddles. It’s important
that assistance dogs are not rewarded “for free” by other people and
that (only) the handler’s cuddles remain appreciated as being the nicest in
the entire world. This is the only way to guarantee the continuing unique bonding
between dog and handler. It’s those bonds that mean a world of difference
to so many people.
Please remember that these dogs have been intensely trained, and that the handlers have gone through a lot to “deserve” their assistance dogs.
We are sure that you can understand and respect all this. So please, do not call, cuddle or feed assistance dogs. You might distract them from their work.