SUNY Cobleskill launches dog training degree program

COBLESKILL, N.Y. (AP) — The State University of New York at Cobleskill is launching a new four-year program in “canine training and management” amid a surge in demand for specially trained dogs to detect threats and assist veterans in the wake of 9/11.

While several institutions hand out training certificates and at least one small private college awards a bachelor’s in dog handling, the program at Cobleskill is more ambitious in its scope.

Professor Stephen Mackenzie says he developed Cobleskill’s Bachelor of Technology degree partly in response to a heightened demand for dogs capable of sniffing out explosives in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

The need for service dogs trained to assist those with post-traumatic stress disorder or reduced mobility has also expanded as veterans started returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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