The Service Dog Coaching Certificate Program prepares pet dog trainers to support people with disabilities in training a service dog to assist them.
Introduction to Service Animals
Getting the Terms Straight
Navigating the terminology of the service dog world is confusing but critically important. You will learn what a service dog is and how it is different from an emotional support animal and therapy dog.
Learn about disability etiquette and the ins and outs of best communication practices with clients with disabilities.
Different Types of Service Animals
From mobility dogs to psychiatric service dogs and alert/response dogs. Learn about the different types of service dogs, the tasks they are trained to do and some of their behavioral differences.
Selecting a Service Dog
Temperament and selection of different types of service dogs is challenging. Initial screening strategies for prospective service dog candidates and how to incorporate screening into your pet dog training business. Example temperament observation form. Service dog program considerations for selection and matching dogs to recipients.
Training the Service Dog
Learn about basic training that is essential for service dogs. What skills do most service dog candidates need to know, and what modifications may be needed.
Step by step discussion of service dog tasks is covered including the retrieve, balance/brace, target training and applications of targeting and retrieve components in service work. Hearing alert and response behaviors and combining behaviors for complex chains (push/pull, opening doors, helping with clothing). Assess and mitigate risks in tasks. Equipment suppliers.
Public Access Training
Training dogs to behave calmly and appropriately in places pets are not allowed. Assessing and reducing stress, and evaluating teams. How and why to incorporate ongoing structured observations rather than just one public access test. Public access assessment/observation form template, client handouts. Service dog program considerations for public access preparation and recipient education.
Accommodating Training Techniques
Learn how to accommodate modern, reward-based techniques such as clicker training so people with different types of disabilities can successfully train their own dogs.
Supporting Working Service Dogs
What type of support is needed, options for offering ongoing training and evaluation support throughout a service dog’s working career. Program strategies for providing support to recipients.
The Business of Service Dogs
Collaborating with Healthcare Professionals
Learn why collaborating with a healthcare professional is a critical and often overlooked aspect of service dog training. What you and your client gain when you work as a team with your client’s doctor, therapist or rehabilitation professional. Example templates for letters, medical release and forms to facilitate communication with healthcare providers.
Incorporating Service Dog Training into Your Pet Dog Training Business
Strategies and considerations when incorporating service dog training into your pet dog training business. Focusing your services, screening potential clients and setting realistic expectations. Also see example forms and applications you can adapt for your business. Non-profit program advertising considerations and resources.