How to train your own Service Dog
and a few fun activities for you and your dog
Following Humane Hierarchy with positive methods of training
Training your Service Dog
This website is to help my client’s training process so they and those that stumble onto this website have a template to refer to.
Service Dog training sometimes requires the owner to carry on with some of the training when the trainer is not there.
In the training videos you’ll hear me say “yes” and “good” and only sometimes use a clicker. It’s difficult for owner/handlers to coordinate the clicker so verbal markers are easier to use. I am a huge advocate of treats though. I experiment until I can find the perfect treat, as I have some dogs that are very picky.
Most of my training advise is what I’ve picked up from training dogs (what works and what doesn’t work) and from about a million seminars and books I’ve read, enjoyed and learned from.
I searched the internet to find service dog training websites that had more then a list of services. Most websites offer registration with their organization, which is not necessary. It may eventually be necessary but it isn’t now. Read the American Disabilities Act on this website.
Through out this website, I’ll give you information that will help you on the road to a well trained Service Dog. You’ll find information about the law, certification, training and information regarding acquiring a Service Dog that will put you on the right track for training.
I’m also going to throw in some fun information to make your dog a star. Actually it’s not that easy, but it’s really fun to see your dog in print or on the screen. Since some of the skills you use to train your Service Dog can be used for media, I decided to throw it in….just for fun.
To buy a fully trained Service Dog has become astronomically expensive. This is because it is a very laborious task and depending on the responsibilities of the Service Dog, it can take years.
Most Service Dogs purchased are already trained and the training usually continues even on a fully trained dog. It is possible to train a dog yourself, but you must have patience, a bond with the dog, an appropriate breed for your needs, and did I mention patience?
Part of all dog training and especially with Service Dogs is developing a bond. Dogs learn faster if they are not under stress. Punishment puts them under stress. Fun is learning effortlessly.
About the Videos and Photographs on my website
I was lucky to have some amazing photographers to contribute to my website. A lot of the photos are taken by professional photographers Seth Casteel, Mary Arango and Sharon Eide. And, some photos are taken by me. I’m guilty of all the videos. Most are training in progress taken with my iPhone. They are all examples.
And regarding all the puppies….I used a lot of puppy photos and videos because puppies are always entertaining.
Testing for Service Dogs
Yes, there are tests that your dog should be able to pass to assure that he/she is a good candidate for a service dog.
The Public Assess Test is probably the most widely used test.
AKC also has a test as part of their Canine Good Citizen program. First your dog has to pass it’s Canine Good Citizen test, then he/she has to pass the Urban CGC test.
Both tests are included in the links below:
Tricks to help train
Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to get your dog to think and learn.
Service dog work can be stressful and tricks are a great way for your dog to take a break.
A list of equipment you might possibly need will be listed in this section.
This equipment will help in your training process and will also include various types that are service dog related.
Training starts at a young age.
“Go to your place” was taught here. Place is useful in that you can direct your Service Dog to go where you need them to be.