About BASK

BASK is a 501c3 non-profit service dog foundation that provides and supports specially trained assistance dogs to enhance mobility and independence through canine partnerships.

Balance and Service K9s was awarded 501(c)3 status by the IRS on February 13, 2013.

At this time, BASK is providing dogs to clients who live in Massachusetts and the Southern New England area. Based on the custom training that our dogs receive it is required that our clients live within a reasonable driving distance of our training facility in Medway, Massachusetts so that they can attend training on a weekly basis. 

BASK is currently training dogs for balance assist, We are purchasing Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs from reputable breeders because of their size, strength and gentle personality.  A typical BASK client might be a person with one or more prosthetic limbs, someone with MS or organic brain disease, or trauma after an accident.  Our clients have the ability to walk without adaptive devices most of the time.  The service dog will be trained as a counter balance device, and will not serve as a substitute for a cane or a walker.  The client must be able to care for the service dog and its needs, including regular daily exercise.

Our dogs are trained to assist clients in a variety of tasks including walking over uneven terrain, navigating stairs, sit to stand comfortably and vice versa, retrieving dropped items and stand and brace to assist the client should they fall. Our dogs are custom trained to meet our clients’ specific needs.  

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When a dog is fully trained it will be matched by BASK trainers to the most suitable human candidate.  Our criteria is based on the dogs’ strengths matching the client’s needs, as well as the physical size of the dog and client.  Dog must be more than 50% of the client’s weight and of a height that a handle of no more than 6 inches will be required.   

Interested in learning more about Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs? Click Here
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Our typical PTSD client is a veteran or first responder with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a certified mental health professional. BASK is currently providing dogs free of charge to veterans and first responders (police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs) in the Massachusetts area who are able to attend training with us on a weekly basis.

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Like our balance dogs, our PTSD dogs are individually trained to meet our client’s needs. Training for PTSD dogs may include interrupting repetitive or harmful behavior, medication reminders, retrieving objects or preventing people from crowding the client in public places.

Our PTSD program uses rescue dogs whenever possible. These dogs are from shelters all over Massachusetts. Our trainers hand select the dogs that they feel best suit our program. We look for happy, confident, laid back dogs who are food motivated. These dogs come in all shapes and sizes. 

INQUIRE ABOUT A PTSD DOG 

If you know of a shelter or breeder who would like to help us expand our program, please contact christina@BASK9.org

Meet Our Trainer

     My name is Christina Taddei and I have been training dogs professionally in Massachusetts since 1999.  I am a retired police K9 handler, and have loved working with dogs and their owners for many years.   I am a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals, the National Association of Police Working Dogs, and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

     I started Alpha Dog K9 Training in April of 1999, and now have a training facility in Medway, MA where I train not only pet dogs, but also the BASK dogs and handlers.  I was approached by the CEO of a local service dog organization in 2005 to work in a prison, teaching inmates how to train service dogs.  In my time there, I opened two more prison programs and expanded the string of dogs that I was teaching at one time from 4 to 22.  I was responsible for training not only the inmates, but also the respite trainer families. 

     In 2012 a small group of people who had been respite trainers noticed that there was a section of the disabled population not being fully served by the local service dog community.  They also recognized that lots of the disabled were on fixed incomes and not able to raise the money that most service dog organizations required to purchase a well trained dog.  They wanted to help.  The BASK organization that we are today was formed with the help of many dedicated and selfless people~our puppy raisers, the insanely talented and giving board of directors, breeders who have so graciously given of their knowledge and time, non-profit specialists, web designers, and on and on…and it became a reality. 

     I could never have a better, more rewarding job than to work with our service dog candidates and their handlers, and I consider it an honor to do so. 

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