Pets & Animals

How can I help you? Here are all the skills Charlie's learned so far

Being polite and well-mannered are important traits of a future assistance dog. While these awesome pups don't quite verbally say "yes ma'am" and "yes sir," their enthusiasm certainly does.

Charlie, our puppy with a purpose, is learning to be a gentleman. In the future, he will open doors, carry a purse when necessary and even pay the cashier after a night out.

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

There are a lot of exciting skills left on Charlie's training agenda with America's VetDogs, but he is off to a fabulous start.

His positional behaviors include heel (be on my left), side (be on my right), center (stand in front of me), here (face me and come in close), stand, sit, down, place (lay on his dog bed), under (lay under a table or counter) and settle (lay flat out on your side).

RELATED: TODAY show partners with America's Vetdogs to raise our next puppy with a purpose

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Now that Charlie understands these words, he is able to help when necessary or move out of the way when he is not.

Charlie's movement behaviors include walk, back, wait, come and go through (a doorway).

RELATED: Meet Olivia Poff, the instructor working alongside TODAY's puppy with a purpose

This communication allows for fluid teamwork regardless of pace, gait or what assistive devices his veteran may use.

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

RELATED: How service dogs help veterans with PTSD heal, embrace life again

Most excitingly, Charlie's action behaviors include touch (pressing his nose into the palm of my hand), rest (resting his head into my lap) and push (used for automatic door push plates or closing doors, cabinets, drawers and the fridge).

We can't wait to add more to his resume! But for now, he's right on track to becoming a fantastic service dog for a veteran or first responder in need.

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
TODAY's puppy with a purpose, Charlie, is training to be a guide dog with America's VetDogs. This past November, Olivia Poff took him to Central Park to practice his skills.
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