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Training to use the lift gate

Spring Training at East Coast Assistance Dogs

East Coast Assistance Dogs (ECAD) are in the midst of spring training! This is the time that the dogs are taught to retrieve items, open doors, activate light switches, pull wheelchairs, balance, brace, and perform many other highly specialized tasks to help people with disabilities gain independence and mobility. Let’s look at some of their techniques!

Watch Me

Watch Me

The “Watch Me” command teaches the dogs to look into our eyes, important in keeping the dogs calm and under control in all kinds of situations. The command may seem very basic, but it’s a stepping stone to all of the other training.

The command allows us to get our dog’s attention and relay the message that we want her to pay attention to us. It is the foundation to all of the other training.



“Go In” commands dogs to crawl into small places, turn around, and lay down. Places for this command are in restaurants, public transportation, the library, doctor offices, or at the mall when you want the dog to be out of the way of the public.

Down Stay Command

Go In Command

Dogs are also trained to follow on the lift gate when entering and exiting vehicles, as featured in the photograph on the top of the page. We’ll be back with more updates and progress from ECAD ‘s Spring Training!