Working dogs need to learn how to perform their job. Owners need to teach them.
It’s important to begin training dogs as puppies. As with a human child, the bonding between dog and owner begins early in life. The people who take our dogs must be able to manage a puppy in the home.
Things to understand about your dog’s training:
- Your dog is being taught how to do his or her job.
- Praise and patience is essential.
- Both dog and owner must do their part for this relationship to work.
- You will need to practice what you’ve learned at home.
Training classes are offered weekly. They are free of charge though donations are welcome. Owners must transport their dogs to class and are expected to attend regularly, as per their agreement when receiving their service dog. It is expected that training will continue for 9 months to one year.
Starting out, we follow a standard obediance model, teaching you and your dog how to communicate successfully. We deal the basics, sit, come, stop, down, etc. We practice walking together, how to handle the leash. We use lots of praise and a piece of kibble to reinforce commands and affirm learning.
During this phase, we encourage you to socialize your dog by going out for walks, visiting to dog parks, going to stores that allow any dog on the premise. You want your dog to learn to listen to you in all environments.
“Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”
Now that a relationship is established, we can begin to incorporate training specific the tasks a balance and stability dog will perform. This might typically include helping you up from a sitting position, leaning on your dog while walking, retrieving dropped items, helping you up from the floor or out of a bathtub.
This is also when you will begin to expand your dog’s understanding of what’s expected. Visit malls and restaurants, take your dog friend’s home, doctor’s visits or therapy sessions. Your dog must be able to stay focused in a busy environment with lots of distractions.