Our Self-Study “Service Dog Training Program” ups the ante from “Train the Dog” and keeps refining the working ability and behaviors needed for a dog to become a service dog in public. It also provides a structured program to follow to teach owner trainers how to teach their service dog in training. The handler spends more time applying the practical skills and practices them with their own dog and less time on theory.
Dogs must be at least 13 months of age to start the program.
Our self-study “Service Dog Training Program” shows you how to train and refine the has modules that focus on experimenting with different ways a dog learns to find out which approach works best for the dog you are working with.
Throughout the modules you continue to observe and interpret dog body language. These will help you to build a strong 2 way communication with your dog that is needed to function as a team.
We use ‘direct instruction’ for the most part the same as for th “Train the Dog” program.
Physical Layout of Program:
Modules are laid out in the same way as “Train the Dog”.
Our “Service Dog Training” Program has 18 modules released 2 per month over 9 months. In each month, the modules may be the same behavior or 2 different ones (varies) so this gives you some flexibility in what you can work on.
Learning takes time and is best done in incremental steps to lay the foundation for what the difficulty that working in public involves. Your dog will also use that time to mature physically, socially and emotionally and learn self-control. All of these are keys to having a successful service dog. This is taught in little steps through the process.
Try a free sample lesson to see if our learning format works for you.
There is a progress bar for each module to keep you on track and motivated to move forward.
Monthly payment allows for no big upfront fee!
After you have completed the program, all class materials can continued to be accessed for one year from end date. After the year is up, to continue to access the “Service Dog Training Program” as well as the “Train the Dog Program” materials, you can purchase a “Library Subscription”. If you want continued access to the Library during year after completion, then you can to purchase a Library Subscription.
Task-specific classes will be available after your dog has reached 13 to 18 months of age and after you have completed at least the loose leash walking and settle/relax part of the program. They can be taken in conjunction with the Service Dog Program once you and your dog meet these basics.
Who is This Program Created For?
- Owners who want to train their own service dog to international public access standards
- Anyone over the age of 18 years can take the classes.
- You can live anywhere in the world as long as you can read and speak English and have access to high speed internet and a functioning webcam.
- If you are a minor, you must have a parent or guardian actively overseeing the training. They sign up on your behalf.
- Your medical condition or disability must be stable or if mobility is involved, declining slowly enough that you have a good chance of finishing the program OR are able to have a training helper take over completing training as needed.
It is also for:
- Current trainers who want to update their skills and knowledge of the dog training industry
- Keen Dog owners who want to keep current on the most up-to-date science-based and ethical approaches
- Retirees looking for an enjoyable program to teach their dog to be a service dog.
- Therapy dog handlers and volunteer coordinators
- Dog walkers, dog daycare staff and dog sitters who want to upgrade their services to train the dogs they work with.
- Trainers who want to start offering dog-centred in-home board and train
- Kennel staff who want to offer training
Who Will Do Well in Our Program?
- Care about the emotional, social and physical well-being of their dog.
- Are dedicated to an intense learning program
- Curious about life
- Have a strong desire to learn and apply a variety of different ethical training approaches
- Have daily access to a dog who is 13 months or older
- Can schedule their own time and maintain a training journal and records
- Are able to spend about 5 hours per week learning and 5 hours per week training a dog
- Have good executive functioning (working memory, flexible thinking, self-control etc), problem solving etc)
- Coming soon.
In order to fully participate in our “Service Dog Training Program”, you will need:
- a high-speed internet connection
- a computer, laptop, tablet or handheld device that has a recent operating system (older systems may have trouble displaying the lessons)
- service dog students-a dog that has suitable temperament and health and has appropriate socialization and exposure.
- dog trainer students- a suitable dog that you have access to every day for 5 days a week (ideally for at least 2 separate training sessions per day) Training session duration will increase once you start training away from home.
- a web cam (for web cam sessions)
- transportation to get to locations where suitable level distractions are found
- a support system of helpers (see blog post on the topic)
All training equipment for our program are materials found around a house and yard, or can be bought second hand or borrowed while you need them. You may also resell them when you are completed using them.
Students can live in an apartment, condo, single family house or live in a Recreation Vehicle. If you are training a service dog candidate, then make sure you are following the residential tenancy laws of your state or province. Some states and provinces allow service dogs in training while others do not.
As researchers get to better know dogs as a species and learn what makes individuals tick, the information they discover leads us to better support our dogs to become the best service dog they can be. Research in the realm of their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs and abilities is paving the way for that to happen.