Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) pioneered the concept of training specially-bred dogs to help people with disabilities other than blindness. Founded in 1975, CCI was the first in-depth program of its kind. Not only does CCI teach dogs the skills to bring independence to people with disabilities, they teach people with disabilities the skills needed to master an exceptional dog.
CCI dogs are uniquely prepared for their lives of service by living their first 16 to 18 months with volunteer "puppy raisers." These committed, caring, unselfish people socialize the dogs, taking them everywhere: the grocery store, work, the movies, shopping, to school, out in public, on airplanes, etc. This socialization together with the loving care these special dogs receive enable them to go everywhere their masters go.