I did it! I completed the Service Dog Coach program at the beginning of this week. I'm over here throwing myself a party and if you are interested in training your dog to be a service dog you should be excited too.
This program took me about 3 months of extensive training and course work. What sets this course apart from others is that we were required to train a brand new dog from scratch and show our work. I ended up training twice as was expected. This is because two thirds of the way through the course I switched dogs and started all over.
Even though I had to switch dogs I still got the task trained in record time.
I want to thank the pet parents of these three dogs who I used for demonstrating my training skills.
First is Hannah! Who is a fire cracker by the way. This dog will do anything and is a fearless learner. I selected her for these qualities but her health and other training demands interfered with her ability to continue working with me for the purpose of this course. She is still a first pick dog for any training project.
Next, Raven a bird dog was used to demonstrate a response to a handler falling task. I feel like my training of Raven was sloppy but we got there in the end and her tail NEVER stopped wagging. She had so much try and put so much energy into her task training.
Finally, Poppy was a solid stand in when Hannah could no longer proceed. I trained Poppy in 3 weeks to do a nice service dog retrieve and a 7 second hold. That is a very big deal. We impressed not only myself but the instructor as well for completing the most complicated task in the course in a matter of weeks and surpassing the needed hold time!
Again, massive thank you to these pet parents for letting me steal their dogs away from them to work on training.
There are so many directions I want to go with service dog training but I'm starting by offering coaching to owner-trainers. Owner-trainers is the term we use for dog owners who train their own service dogs.
If you have a young dog you have been hoping would be trained to be your personal service dog I am here to help. There will be more information that I will be rolling out over the next couple months.
My plan right now is to formally launch our service dog training programs in 2024.
Keep in mind even if your dog isn't going to be a service dog that doesn't mean they won't benefit from the awesome training techniques used for training service dogs.
Let me know what your training goals are with your dog and if you have ever wanted a service dog, in the comments below.