Leash on Hope
Leash on Hope is a therapeutic dog training program housed in the Dr. Bill and Lottie Garcia Family Canine Center. This provides EmberHope’s Youthville residential and community youth an opportunity to train and socialize with dogs who are awaiting adoption through the Ford County Humane Society.
All dog training is done using operant conditioning methods, commonly known as clicker training. These methods require the youth working with the dog to look for and acknowledge positive behaviors and teach the value and effectiveness of positive reinforcement. Training the dogs allows a child to practice relationship skills, while increasing the child’s self-esteem and sense of competency.
The past experiences of dogs in the Humane Society’s care frequently mirror the situation of some of the children participating in EmberHope’s program. This commonality helps the children process their own past in an emotionally safe way. The program ultimately has a double impact by allowing a child who is normally on the receiving end of services to make a genuine contribution in the life of another.
The first dogs in the Leash on Hope program arrived on EmberHope’s Youthville campus in June 2011. As of June 1, 2016, 48 dogs have been successfully adopted into new homes from the program. On average, seven dogs are in training at any time, and dogs are available for adoption to approved homes at any point during their training. Pictures and profiles of dogs currently in the program can be viewed at the Ford County Humane Society page on petfinder.com. To learn more about the dogs in the program and adoption procedures, contact the EmberHope’s Youthville canine specialist or the Ford County Humane Society.
Glenna Walker, canine specialist
11200 Lariat Way, PO Box 1394
Dodge City, KS 67801
Ford County Humane Society
800 112 Road
Dodge City, KS 67801-7046