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Donna Hill's

Service Dog Training Institute

Foundation Concepts - Module 01

1). Principle of Reinforcement

One of the most important principles allows dogs to acquire new skills: 1). Principle of Reinforcement  states that all animals will repeat behavior that is reinforcing. The more often a dog receives reinforcement for a behavior (wanted or not), the more often it will be repeated. Think of a dog that jumps up at the door. Looking

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Ethology Ethology is the study of behaviors that occur in a species of animal when they are in their natural environment. Since researchers believe dogs have evolved around human environments, that is where we can study their normal behavior. It is helpful to know what is normal dog behavior and what is considered dysfunctional. While

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Method vs Principle

Method vs Principle? According to Google, a method is: “a particular form of procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.” Typically this is a step by step approach that must be done in a specific order and in a specific way. Little variation is possible and methods do not cater

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Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching dogs!  Whether you are a keen dog owner, an owner-trainer for a service dog, or a professional trainer of dogs looking to add to your toolbox, or setting up a new dog training program for staff or volunteers at a shelter or rescue, our classes provide you with a thorough

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General Tips

General Computer Tips: When you are having trouble accessing something on the internet, hit the “refresh button” or the navigation bar at the top of the page to reload the page. Sometimes the cache (temporary storage area) must be cleared to display new information. This is especially important if you tend to leave your computer screen

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Teach Behaviors in Order

We recommend attempting to teach the behaviors in the order they are presented. Mostly because they are a combination that has worked well for the dogs we have trained and previous students and their dogs. We encourage you to go back and review the lessons and games as needed if your dog didn’t understand a behavior well

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You Are Not Alone!

Our program offers many resources for you to draw from and provide support for you. You are not alone and our instructors and the other students are here to help you!  Many other people have gone through the learning curve of living with, loving and learning about their dogs. By reaching out and getting help from them, you can

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8 Levels of Training

8 Levels of Training a Dog Training  service dog is a long haul process with 8 levels. Here is a diagram that summarizes the levels in the order of they need to occur. There will some overlap in all of them. For example maintenance for early behaviors starts being done soon after the dog has

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Stay Focussed

Stay Focussed, Don’t Take on Too Much Focus on one module at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. You can teach two different ones at a time if you enjoy variety but no more than that. If you find you need more stimulation, check out the library. There is tons of supporting information these

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Take Breaks

Take Breaks with Exercise and Sleep to Lay Down New Neural Pathways After one training session on each of the 5 days, take your dog out for 30 minutes or if you can’t manage that often, at least twice a week for an hour of heart-raising exercise a brisk walk for you and him.  The exercise

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