The Service Dog Project
The Service Dog Project was brought to life in order to demonstrate the process and importance of training service dogs through the lens of the non-profit, The Service Dog Project. The farm that founded The SDP is located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where Great Danes are trained to assist people in need.
Many of these recipients are veterans
who came back from their service disabled.
While this project was completed to educate
a wide audience, we really wanted to reach out to people interested in joining the military, veterans, and others with mobility disabilities and show that this is a very viable option to increasing quality of life. This project aims to provide more information on the unique training process of SDP, and how the dogs help veterans navigate through their lives.
In addition we explore how these Great Danes are different than the other service dogs, and why there is a need for these foundations. Great Danes as service dogs is not a common occurrence because people often think of them as lazy or just prestigious guard dogs. We hope to reach out to those with mobility issues to show that this is an option for them. We also want to inform dog trainers of this super successful process to hope to inspire successful training practices.
People of SDP
Our Leading Ladies
Owner & Manager
Having grown up and having raised a family on a farm, Carlene began training animals for film when money got tight. When a litter of Great Danes was dropped into her lap, she knew just what to do. Carlene had a knack for training animals and for scrapping up money in unlikely places, but now she wanted to give back. Thus, The Service Dog Project was born. Today she runs the farm, reaching out to the community through mail call and doggy daily and helping out with nursing home visits and other errands.
Puppy Nanny & Volunteer Coordinator
“I struggled with drinking before, but I have been sober for 20 years. If you get into a depression, you know, for me, that can be a trigger. And if I’m not working and I’m sitting at home and I’m wallowing in self-pity, then I’m not doing myself any favors. So the first instinct was to get out and do service. That helped some of the problem. But I still had time. I was still missing something. When I got [my three danes] it just changed everything. They keep me busy. They keep me grounded. The statement ‘Be the person your dog thinks you are,’ that’s it right there. I wanna be the person my dogs think I am.”
Judy Connors handles everything scheduling and financial on the farm. Carlene lovingly refers to her as her "bookie". All visits to the farm and recipient interviews go through Judy and she keeps this machine well-oiled! Judy also spearheads the initiative to bring love and comfort to the community with nursing home and daycare visits.