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Prisoners and puppies might sound like an odd couple, but the two are becoming roommates in jails and prisons across the country. Wardens have implemented programs for inmates to train dogs. The hope is that the dogs will reduce the number of inmates who end up back behind bars.

Florida prison inmates will train hundreds of dogs this year.

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White Cloud resident Jason Curtis developed PTSD after serving twice in Iraq.

He and his wife, Michelle Curtis, thought a service dog would be good to help him calm down. They looked for a service dog for months last year, but couldn't find a suitable one in their area.

Then they found Diesel at the Wexford County Animal Shelter in September 2014. 

"He was a little nervous at first, but shelter dogs all, they all are," Jason said.

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Winky, a blind bull dog is being trained by Edwin Perez, an inmate at the Fort Myers Work Camp Charlotte Correctional Institution. Perez is also training, Abby (not pictured) to help Winky deal with separtation anxiety.(Photo: Andrew West/ The News-Press)

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Jail saved Winkie's life, and a companion dog half the muscular pooch's size is keeping him calm.

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APPLE VALLEY — A dog may be a man’s best friend but Fido can become his worst nightmare without proper training, according to Apple Valley resident Jason Rae, an animal behavior specialist.

Rae, owner of the High Desert-based Inside Out training/" title="View more posts about Dog Training here"Dog Training, said he has dedicated the past 10 years of his life to teaching dog owners how to permanently tame their unruly pooch’s behavior.

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PITTSBORO, N.C. -

A dog-training therapy program is proving to be a win-win in Chatham County.

The UNC Paws program pairs individuals with mental illnesses with shelter dogs to prepare them for adoption.

"We are the last best hope for many of these dogs," said Program Manager Bryan Ragan.

Clients with the Center for Excellence and Community Mental Health learn how to make man's best friend family ready.

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PITTSBORO —

As other trainers worked to teach dogs commands for “sit” and “heel” in a backyard at a therapeutic farm in Pittsboro on Thursday, Heather Nash petted a playful, energetic beagle named Rosie.

Rosie seemed to be resisting obedience training. She stopped to roll in the grass on the way to the yard and had made a play for a bag of treats that Nash was holding.

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BATAVIA — There’s always hope for a naughty, aggressive or scared pooch, Tori Ganino says.

You just have to understand it.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be a trainer,” she said at her newly opened business on Harvester Avenue. “I love psychology and to think about ‘how can we work around this?’ Everything I suggest, every technique or behavior modification I use, I know it works.”

Ganino and her husband Rich used to operate out of their home in Elba.

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(Photo)
Nikki Wolfe, a volunteer for the EPIC Pals program, walks Max, a 10-month-old dog, around the Community Caring Council offices Thursday in Cape Girardeau. Max has been in the program for four weeks.
(GLENN LANDBERG) [Order this photo]

The bond between kids and dogs has been given new meaning through EPIC Pals, a program in which troubled youths train shelter dogs for adoption.

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DALEVILLE — Stephanie Coomer is changing the lives of "bully" dog breeds one owner at a time.

“No matter how long it takes, we are making a difference,” she said. “This year it may be for only 10 dogs, but for those 10 dogs — it changed everything.”

Coomer, president and founder of Project Bully Indiana formed the not-for-profit organization, at 12220 S.

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Early in the month of May, I worked with a committee of wonderful, dedicated people who share the same passion for helping shelter dogs.

Our committee succeeded in bringing one of the brightest most outspoken advocates for the humane care and training of shelter dogs here to the Yampa Valley.

Dog's Eye View

This weekly column about dog training publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.

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