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Shore Service Dogs!
Shore Service Dogs, Inc.

Providing custom trained Service Dogs that help return mobility & independence to people's lives.
About Us
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Dog Training Teams

Shore Service Dogs trainers and mentor dogs comprise two separate and complimentary training teams. These partners work together to expose our canine students to as many real-life situations as possible. By combining experienced dogs and human instructors, our Service Dogs in training have both canine role models and human guidance to help them along their path to full fledged Mobility Dogs.

Read on to learn more about our dynamic duo and how they came to be Shore Service Dogs teams.

Mary & Major
Mary & Major

Mary Stadelbacher & Major

For over 33 years, I've been fortunate enough to have trained and worked with a variety of animals including hawks, waterfowl, parrots, cats, cows, horses, and dogs (to name a few). This love of animals was even the driving force to obtain my college degree in Biology to better understand these fascinating inhabitants that we share a world with. Many times over the years, I've marveled at the friendship and love these animals have shown and it has inspired me throughout my life to try to emulate their generosity of spirit.

A number of years ago a very special example of this loving spirit showed up as an abused stray in my back yard and changed my life forever. This poor guy had obviously been kicked and beaten in his previous "home" and yet he still had the sweetest of hearts you could ever imagine. Time, patience, trust, and training proved that he could overcome his traumatic past and Major (a Chocolate Lab) became an inspiration and driving force to help others in need. His amazing love of people, innate talent, and strong determination set us on the path of learning the skills to become a volunteer Search and Rescue team.

Major Finding "Victim"
Major finding volunteer

Major was quite adept at sniffing out items and people and the joy of working was always evident as he bounded off with tail wagging, to achieve his task.

While we worked on honing his skills, I was also working on learning the information I needed to know to be the human component of this SAR partnership. I completed my
SARTech III certification and we were on our way to becoming a certified airscenting SAR K9 team but sadly life doesn't always work out as we plan it to be.

I had been experiencing difficulties with my neck and hands which unfortunately ended up requiring a spinal fusion. Afterwards, it was painfully evident that I would be unable to continue to perform the physically demanding role of a SAR K9 handler. With a heavy heart, I made the difficult decision to retire Major and concentrate on regaining back my mobility and health.

But his talent and intelligence were not wasted. To aid my recovery, I began to teach him to assist me with many everyday tasks that had now become more difficult for me to do, and so began Major’s career as a Service Dog.

Many of the skills that I had trained Major to learn as a Search and Rescue K9 helped immensely with his Service Dog education. He already possessed the advanced training to find objects, calmly deal with all kinds of environments, retrieve help, and alert on command, as well as many other types of specialized obedience. His high intelligence and working drive made it easy for him to pick up on the new tasks he was being schooled to perform.

Major practicing giving an item
Major practicing
giving an item

Even now, he is constantly acquiring new abilities. He continues to both aid me with my mobility disabilities and to also help perfect new training protocols for unusual skills our disabled clients' Service Dogs need to be taught. The assistance he gave me was invaluable and I soon realized that yet again
he was showing me, that even though we could not continue with Search & Rescue, we could still help others who so needed a helping hand or paw.

Having trained dogs professionally for obedience and trained Major as a SAR K9, I knew that my own mobility problems and the expertise that I had with animals would be a perfect combination to provide a service to aid others with their disability issues. Thus, the seed for Shore Service Dogs was planted and started to grow.

With Major's help, I began to teach dogs to become both Therapy Dogs and to assist their owners with some of the tasks Major had learned to help me. Later, I met Amy Goldman and her dog Lindsay and we realized that we had a common dream of developing an organization to train Service Dogs. Out of this a partnership emerged and Shore Service Dogs blossomed into reality. Ultimately, neither Any nor Lindsay were able to deal with the dedication required to bring that dream to fruition, but their assistance in the creation of Shore Service Dogs will be remembered.
Big Thank You!

Shore Service Dogs is both my passion and is also my heart. When I hear how a dog I've trained has made such a wonderful difference to someone's life, it just makes me realize again why I took this challenging path. Teaching these special animals to become partners to people who need them most is emotionally fulfilling but I also know that the love of the lost and abused stray that so changed my life is being spread to others, one dog at a time.

And so I come full circle in my goal to emulate the generosity of spirit these wonderful creatures have shown to me. Please join Major and me in spreading that spirit to those canines and people who so desperately need each other's help.


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