Dog Interaction

The Green Chimneys Dog Interaction Program allows students and residents to be actively involved in the everyday care, socialization and training of shelter dogs to help them become accustomed to human interaction, learn basic commands and become ready for adoption into loving homes. An interdepartmental team of therapists, teachers, dorm and recreation staff, and farm staff supervises children in daily care and recreation activities with the dogs during school hours, as well as interaction in the dorms in the evening.

Training Shelter Dogs Gives Children with Special Needs an Opportunity to Make the Transformation from Service Receivers to Service Providers

  • Training rescue dogs to be adoption-ready gives our children an opportunity to make the transformation from service receivers to service providers.

  • Care-taking and training tasks require patience, good communication and a strong sense of responsibility.

  • Engaging students with social, emotional and behavioral challenges as trainers not only offers a unique approach to helping rescue dogs, it also helps each student.

A dog “dorm” and dog park just steps from Green Chimneys’ student residences and school buildings houses six dogs carefully selected from Animals for Adoption dog shelter in Ulster County, NY. During a six-week socialization and training period, professional dog trainers from All About Dogs, Inc. training center in NYC work with the students and dogs weekly to teach proper care, grooming, handling and basic commands such as Sit and Stay, as well as walking on a leash.

Engaging students with social, emotional and behavioral challenges as trainers not only offers a unique approach to helping rescue dogs, it also helps each student. Care-taking and training tasks require patience, good communication and a strong sense of responsibility. Students understand the objective is to prepare these dogs for adoption; their desire to help the dog learn the skills it needs to be “successful” motivates them to communicate more effectively and behave in positive and appropriate ways. These lessons help not only in training the dog, but also in the student’s interaction with peers, teachers and family.

Green Chimneys Animals

Vanilla the Goat

Goats are the gymnasts of the barnyard and Vanilla is a great climber. Descended from wild mountain goats, all domestic goats love to jump on rocks even at just a few days old. Vanilla is a mixed-breed goat that was donated for the children. It’s not true that goats eat garbage and tin cans – they actually prefer leaves, branches and tree bark, and Vanilla lives on fresh hay and grain.