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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

NEADS dog primer

Q. Are male or female dogs better to train for assistance dog work?

A. NEADS trains both male and female dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Q. NEADS dogs wear something around their nose. What is that?

A. The strap around the assistance dog is called a gentle leader and is not a muzzle. It is a type of collar that makes it easier to walk a dog, particularly for those who have limited or no strength in their arms or hands. The dog can still chew and bark with the collar on.

Q. How much does it cost to train an assistance dog?

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A. NEADS says it costs more than $25,000 to acquire, raise, train, and match an animal. The group asks clients to help fund-raise a portion of that cost to offset expenses.

Q. What happens to dogs that don’t complete the training?

A. Dogs that don’t complete the training (they may have a minor medical issue, be too shy in public, or chase squirrels, for example) are put up for adoption by NEADS, which screens all applicants.

Q. Is it OK to pet an assistance dog when he or she is working?

A. Ask before petting or otherwise distracting an assistance dog. The animals perform important functions for their handlers, and any kind of distraction could prove dangerous for that person.

FROM NEADS.ORG

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