The Great Dane is one of the top 15 largest dog breeds any person can own. Standing just under three feet tall and weighing anywhere from 100-200 pounds, it is safe to say that owning one Great Dane means you need a large amount of space. Considering that Service Dog Project Inc. (SDP), a service dog training program in Ipswich, MA, is raising and training approximately 25 Great Danes all at once, they needed a space like none-other.
Frequently shopping with our affiliate company FarmTek, Director Carlene White, knew that the only way to contain her almost larger-than-life service dog training operation was by doing it within a ClearSpanTM Fabric Structure. Choosing to go with a 60’W x 80’L Hercules Truss Arch Building, Service Dog Project, now has an appropriately sized shelter for the training and boarding of their Great Dane service dogs.
SDP provides a better quality of life for the mobility impaired through the use of Great Danes as balance support service dogs. One of the reasons for training this large of a breed is because of their kind, compassionate demeanor. But the largest reason is because in order to be recognized as a balance support dog, a dog must be at least 45% of the owner’s height and 65% of the owner’s weight. Considering the average American male is 6’ tall, a Great Dane is an almost universal fit for this category of service dog. A balance support dog makes an excellent companion for those such as injured war veterans, people living with mutiple sclerosis or young children who have balance and mobility limitations.
With the help of 40 plus volunteers, SDP cares for their Great Dane pups from birth to when they are fully trained and ready to work, which is generally one to two years of age. At any time, SDP has 25 plus dogs on the premises that are in various states of training. From the young puppies that are in the training stages of basic commands, such as “sit” and “stay”, to the more mature dogs that are learning concentration and maintaining a steady walking speed, training is nonstop at SDP. With 12 acres of land available, SDP was looking for a formal location where they could house their training program, and a Hercules Truss Arch building provided the year-round, weather-resistant training facility that SDP needed.
Caring for and training these life-changing animals at SDP has been made easier than ever with the large amount of usable floor space that the Hercules Truss Arch building offers. The natural lighting and increased temperature control of the structure have also provided additional and unexpected benefits for SDP. As a non-profit, SDP has benefited from the energy efficiency of the natural lighting that the building provides, which has minimized their need for artificial lighting. Electing to add the optional end walls and an insulated door has also increased the buildings natural cooling effects during the summer and improved heat retention during the cold New England winters, helping to reduce overall operating expenses.
If you are interested in learning more about Service Dog Project Inc., stop by their webpage www.servicedogproject.org. There you can read more about the business and even watch their 24/7 puppy cam live. Interested in what a ClearSpan Fabric Structure can do for you? Be sure to stop by our website www.clearspan.com or give us a call at 1.866.643.1010.