Denali (left) with her student Haley Christenson and Gideon with Christina De With are part of the first-year cohort in service dog and canine studies management at Medicine Hat College..-NEWS PHOTO SAMANTHA JOHNSONSamantha Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Medicine Hat College held an open house Wednesday for prospective students to explore programs available. Service dog and canine studies management had a booth with two puppies available to meet people, Denali and Gideon, along with their respective students.

On-site program co-ordinator Marissa Jordan explained, “Both of these pups are new this year, they are our first-year cohort, students and dogs.”

Denali is from Summit Service Dogs, and Gideon came from the Lion’s Foundation Dog Guides in Ontario. Both will grow to be between 40 and 50 pounds and were born in July of this year with Gideon, a labrador/golden retriever cross, a few weeks older than Denali, a labrador.

Haley Christenson joined the program because she’s always loved dogs and wanted to do something that helps people while also working with dogs.

Christenson was paired on Oct. 16 with Denali, who is progressing well with basic commands. Christenson said, “House training, too, she’s doing pretty well, but she’s had a couple of accidents in the house, but she’s getting pretty close.”

Christina De With is paired with Gideon who is also doing well. “He’s learning the basic sit and stay and he’s learning how to work with other dogs instead of always going to play with them,” said De With.

She’s always enjoyed caring for and training dogs and she wanted to pursue a career to help people, and felt putting the two together was a perfect fit.

By Samantha Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 08, 2023 at 21:57

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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