Puppy Love: Pawsitively Amazing Service Dogs in Training

Heather Kelly sent me these photos of adorable Labrador Retriever puppies who are on a mission.  These cuties are on their way to becoming more than a best friend and companion for life; they are part of a training program to become service dogs for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other psychiatric conditions.   

Exceptional Partner -Labrabor puppies, future service dogs

From Heather:  “These puppies are from The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs. They are going to be trained to be psychiatric service dogs. Four of them are siblings and are seven weeks in these photos; one black lab was just over eight weeks.”

Exceptional Partner -7 week yellow Lab puppy sleeping on pink

Looking at these sweet puppies and knowing what a big task ahead of them they have,  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the dogs as well as their trainers.

Exceptional Partner -7 week black Lab puppy yawningPuppies need a lot of training to become service dogs.  Please do not interrupt a training session, no matter how adorable a puppy might be.

Exceptional Partner puppy sleeping in bowl Exceptional Partner puppy-future service dogExceptional Partner tiny Black Lab puppy sleepingEven more important than training is when service dogs are working (anytime you see a dog with a service vest on, it is working!), please respect them and their handlers.   Service dog, Carma Poodale,  offers a small glimpse into some of her least favorite interactions with the general public:  11 Things Not To Say When You See a Service Dog

Exceptional Partner-Black Lab puppy on white Exceptional Partner-Sleeping Labrador Puppies

If you can get to Newtown, Connecticut on May 1, there is a  Kiss the Puppies Event!  (Please send me photos of it!)   If you can’t get there, the next best thing will be to watch the puppies grow up by following them on Facebook.

Visit Heather Kelly’s Instagram for a little behind the scenes video of these cuties.

Just a reminder that all kinds of adult dogs including small breeds and mixed breeds,  can make fantastic service dogs.  If you need a service dog, your companion dog may be suitable to become a service dog as well.

About Heather Kelly Photography:  Based in Newtown, Connecticut, Heather specializes in maternity and newborn photography.

24 Comments

Cole says:

These puppies are so cute! My cousin used to volunteer and help train service dogs. I would get too attached!

    Beth says:

    That is awesome that your cousin did that! I bet it was very rewarding.

Omg! Cutest thing I’ve seen all day! What precious little puppies and how awesome that they are becoming service dogs. That’s incredible and it’s so wonderful that people will benefit from these sweet little souls.

These photos are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the reminder that all kinds of dogs can be service dogs; in many instances, I think a lot of people believe that only large dogs are cut out for this kind of work.

Kelly says:

As difficult as it is and as cute as these dogs and pups are, we need to remember they are working and when that vest is on, they should be left alone to do their jobs. As always, fantastic photos

OMD they are adorable, love the photos

Nichole says:

OMD – they are adorable! That third shot really grabbed at my hear strings too.

What a great program! Lovely pictures and great cause.

Such adorable puppies! We sometimes see guide dogs in training downtown, the school there takes them on socialization outings.

Kevin says:

These dogs are adorable – and it is so cool to think about how big an impact they are going to make in someones life!

Love this post and the puppies!! I’m always in awe of these pups, their intelligence, obedience, and love for their handler is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

Meeeeep! The cuteness level is through the roof with this post! More importantly, it makes my heart sing knowing these pups will be helping folks in need! Thanks for linking to the article about pet peeves connected with interactions folks shouldn’t have with service dogs while they’re “on the clock.”

These puppies have quite a journey ahead of them. I hope they can provide their future handlers with the love and support they need. What cuties! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and important message.

What adorable puppies and it warms our heart to know what they will do in the future to help humans in need.

These pictures are beyond gorgeous!!! 🙂

Simply precious!!! And, they are headed for a great life as service dogs!

These little ones are truly adorable, and to know that they will become an indispensable part of someone’s life is truly amazing.

These puppies are so precious and I know they will help bring joy and comfort to those participating in this program. Dogs are such healers in so many ways.

MattieDog says:

Such absolutely unselfish pups – devoted to learning and service. Bless their little hearts. I can’t help it – they are so cute I gotta smooch em – so I leaned in to the computer and gave em a virtual smooch!

And Now I have puppy fever!

They are adorable. So often when TW sees a seeing eye service dog, she’s tempted to ask the human if she can pet the dog.

    Beth says:

    I understand the temptation!

These puppy photos are my favorite! Now I have puppy fever just from looking threw these!

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