Both obedience training and socialization are vitally important in the upbringing of puppies in training to be service dogs. Retrieving Independence trains prison inmates to provide the obedience training of their puppies. However, the puppies require more socializing than they can receive in a prison environment.
The Weekend Puppy Furlough program fills this void. They take the puppies to activities that are not available in prison: car rides, movie theatres, festivals, the mall, childrens’ ball games, etc. The Puppy Furlough Families have the puppies from Friday afternoon until Sunday night, when they are returned to the prison to resume training with their handlers.