Service Dog Training

Autism Service Dog Locates Missing Child

Puzzle Autism Service Dog

Autism Service Dog “Puzzle” Offers Comfort to His Family

Over the past weekend, the mother of 7 year-old Kip, noticed that their service dog “Puzzle” was pacing by the door, barking and whining to go out. So, she let him out into the fenced yard to have an opportunity to play and relieve himself.  Instead of going out into the fenced yard and running around as usual, Puzzle stayed by the side door of the house continuing to whine and bark.  At this point, mom knew that something was unusual.  She rushed back into the house to find Kip and couldn’t locate him anywhere.  Her other children looked as well, but there was no sight of Kip.

Mom grabbed a service dog cape and thirty-foot nylon line and rushed back outside for Puzzle.  She quickly strapped on his nylon cape and clipped the long-line to the ring on his back.  She opened the side gate and Puzzle shot out like a bullet.  He proceeded out through a heavily wooded area adjacent to  the house.  Puzzle continued to work with his nose to the ground in search for his partner, Kip.  A short time later, in an old shed, Puzzle found what he had diligently been searching for!  Kip was fine and had simply wandered off, but was glad to see his friend, Puzzle.

autism service dog trailingMom went on to explain that this was the third time that Puzzle had been able to trail Kip after he had wandered off.  The first time that this occurred, Puzzle left the house in search for Kip, checking all the usual spots that Kip usually stops to play.  He continues to work and traveled into the woods for several hundred yards until they came upon the young boy.  After this occasion, the family decided that they really needed to practice with Puzzle to better understand his trailing work and to continue to become more proficient.  So, they practiced and work and everyone in the house helped.  They spent a lot of their time during the Summer practicing with Puzzle to ensure that he was at his best.

Sometime later, Kip was gone again.  Soon, Puzzle was able to find him and this time he was quite a bit more diligent about his work. Autism Service Dogs that do trailing are in no way magical, and their training has to be maintained for duration of their working life.  Clearly, this family came together and did their homework with Puzzle to ensure that he was proficient in finding Kip.

“Puzzle” a Standard Poodle, Autism Service Dog successfully trailed his young companion after he went missing from his Texas home.  The two have only been paired together since April, 2013. The dog was trained by Highland Canine Training, LLC of Harmony, NC.  Their program, Assistance Dogs for Autism provides trained service dogs, including those to assist children and adults affected by autism spectrum disorders.  If you have questions or would like more information on our Autism Service Dogs or service dogs trained for other needs, feel free to contact us at 866.200.2207 or  You can also find out more by visiting our Autism Service Dog Training website.