Building Character

Dog training program teaches important life lessons

Building Character

When Marcus arrived in juvenile detention, he had a short fuse. When other teens hassled him, he was quick to get angry. An otherwise bright and poised 16-year-old, anger and impulsiveness put him at risk not only of re-offending, but also of being a danger to his new baby daughter.

That’s where a homeless dog named Callie and Youth With Faces’ PREP Dog Training program came in. Marcus and another teen – initially not a friend – used teamwork to teach Callie basic commands like sit, stay and come. It wasn’t always easy. Marcus learned the importance of being a kind and loving leader to help Callie progress.

Since then, Callie has been adopted into a loving home. Marcus has returned to high school and is on the basketball team. He is focused on getting a college scholarship and, eventually, pursuing a career in the armed forces. He is also working an afterschool job to help support his baby daughter and her mother. The PREP program helped put him in the right mindset, having learned important lessons about patience and partnership.