Episode 5 – The Mission Of Courthouse Dogs Foundation with Celeste Walsen

Executive Director of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation Celeste Walsen shares the impact and ongoing mission of the organization. This episode explores the complexity of raising and selecting facility dogs and why these roles aren’t for just any dog. Celeste also shares the value of this training, and some of the legal aspects of working facility dogs.


Episode Highlights

2:34 – Ellen’s experience with raising service & guide dogs

4:05 – What’s the process like raising these dogs

5:15 – The transformation of placement 

6:50 – Service organizations guidelines

9:00 – How Ellen & Celeste met

11:00 – Advocating for increased use of facility dogs

12:30 – International impact 

14:00 – Helping facilities understand purpose bred dogs

16:00 – Why purpose breeding is important for working dogs

17:55 – The science behind selecting a dog that is biddable 

21:20 – Why some dogs aren’t suitable 

24:15 – Remembering the mission critical role these dogs play

26:00 – Genetics, Socialization, Training – The 3 keys to success

29:00 – Good temperament still may not make a reliable services dogs

31:00 – The value of accredited assistance dogs organizations

34:00 – Continuing the mission of the foundation 

36:30 – Legislative support for facility dogs 

38:25 – What we do & how you can help 

41:50 – Facility dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs…what are the differences

46:30 – Educating people on the work of Facility dogs

48:15 – Jim shares the shifting roles dogs play in our society 

50:05 – Training those working in a facility how to interact with the facility dog 

52:00 – Navigating a facility as a handler



Biddable – A variety of factors that determine if an animal is trainable 

Career Change Dogs – The determination that a purpose bred dog would be better suited to serve in a program different than the one originally intended. 

Therapy Dog / Emotional Support Animal – A pet dog that has some training by its owner and has been registered as a dog & can visit public places. 

Service Dogs – Defined by federal law as a dog that is specifically trained as a dog to perform tasks to help one individual. 

Facility Dogs – Expertly trained dog partnered with a human to facilitate a specific outcome for those that the dog serves.  


Links To References

Canine Companions for Independence

Guide Dogs For The Blind

Assistance Dogs International


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