Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™ is an online, CEU-approved service dog trainer certificate program. Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC, CPDT-KA, an expert in service dog training, developed the program in consultation with leaders in the dog training industry. The Cooperative Paws SDC® certificate is for experienced professional pet dog trainers who are committed to positive training methods.
“This is an excellent program. It provides so many important details and is very clear, while still remaining interesting! The mixture of learning methods is superb, and I highly recommend this thorough and informative program.”
Risë VanFleet, PhD, CDBC
Author, The Human Half of Dog Training and Animal Assisted Play Therapy™
International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy
The demand for service dogs has skyrocketed. Whether working with “owner-trainers,” people with disabilities training their own dogs for service work, or for a service dog program, there is a growing demand for dog trainers qualified to train service dogs. Unfortunately, few pet dog trainers are knowledgeable and skilled in service dog training.
“This is what the dog training community has been waiting for. Finally, a comprehensive, high-quality program to teach trainers how to train service dogs!”
Kelly Spring CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
A Complex Challenge
There is a lot to think about when it comes to service dogs: disability challenges, legal issues, public access, safety and the dog’s needs. On the other hand, service dog training is extremely rewarding. You get to train a dog complex, high level skills and make a real difference in a person’s life. Also, people training their own dogs for service work are some of the most committed clients you will ever find!
“I kept getting requests for service dog training, but I did not feel I knew enough about the topic. When trying to find places to refer the callers, I found very little in the way of positive reinforcement options. Veronica is a skilled, positive-reinforcement trainer, so her program was exactly what I needed to become comfortable helping owners train their service dogs in a way that is enjoyable, fair, and free of intimidation.”
Learn from Veronica, a Service Dog Expert
This program is the best of both worlds, the convenience of online learning combined with guidance from an industry expert, Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC, CPDT-KA. Have a question about how to train a task? Not sure how to address a challenge with a client? You are encouraged to ask questions via email and in course discussion areas. You will receive individualized feedback on your training as you submit videos of your work. An experienced teacher, Veronica is committed to helping students learn to train service dogs.
“Veronica was fabulous to work with. She was responsive and thoroughly answered all of my questions. This program is a must have for anyone working with clients who want to train a service dog.”
A Comprehensive Curriculum
Our program is thoughtfully organized in an easy-to-follow format. SDC™ graduates are well-prepared to train service dogs with confidence and integrity. Students learn:
- Service dog laws, types of service dogs and ways they can help
- Selection of service dog candidates
- temperament and behavior characteristics
- strategies to assess clients’ dogs for service work
- Socialization and basic training for service dog candidates
- Service dog task training
- retrieve (also component behaviors including pull, hold, carry), balance/brace, hearing alert, targeting based (push doors, turn on lights, access buttons), also training recipes for anxiety alert, Deep Pressure Therapy, response to a fall and more!
- Public access training
- understand how to prepare dogs to work in places pets are not permitted in various kinds of settings and situations, also how to evaluate/assess public access readiness
- Working with people with disabilities
- Accommodating training strategies, disability etiquette, how to collaborate with healthcare professionals
- Different ways to incorporate service dog training into a pet dog training business
- Behavior consultations with working service dogs , “At home only” service dogs and support working teams
- Service dog program issues and challenges
- Much more!
SDC students have access to an extensive Learning Library of scientific research articles and resources on service dog specialties including mobility, guide, hearing, psychiatric/PTSD, autism, diabetic, seizure-alert and more.
“I really enjoyed the course. The projects were super awesome and caused me to consider things that I never would have.”
Practical, Do-Able Coursework
This comprehensive 12-week online learning program gives you the information and skills you need in a flexible format that is easy to fit into your schedule. You can complete lessons at times that are convenient for you. The mix of video presentations, readings, hands-on projects with individualized feedback keeps the process interesting. The lessons include discussion areas and you are encouraged to email questions so expert help is always at your fingertips. Successful graduates earn the SDC™ certification and can use the Cooperative Paws SDC® logo in their marketing materials and website.
Business Tools You Can Use
No one likes paperwork! Graduates gain access to numerous business tools to use in their marketing and receive forms, letters, checklists and handouts so they can hit the ground running incorporating service dog training into their business:
- Service dog candidate assessment
- Public access work assessment
- New client intake & questionnaire template
- Marketing tools – website content examples, social media and SEO tips
- Client handouts
- Medical release, Healthcare provider letters & forms, Client Contract Addendum created in consultation with an attorney
Support for Grads
Graduates receive a beautifully printed certificate to frame when they earn the SDC credential. They are listed on our online directory for SDCs. SDCs also have access to program updates and support through an exclusive, private Facebook group.
A Great Value
Service dogs require 2 years (or more) of intensive training and maintenance training through the dog’s retirement. The service dog training process is flexible and can include a combination of services such as private lessons, board and train, day training and group classes. Whether your goal is to offer service dog training as part of your pet dog training business, expand your training skill set or work for a non-profit service dog program, this program is a great investment. Auditing spots available.
- Tuition: $2250
- Application fee: $50
CEUs: CCPDT (trainers) – 21 IAABC & KPA – 14.25
“The best person to teach disabled people how to properly select and train their own service dogs would be a disabled person who knows the importance of this from personal experience.
The best person to teach trainers how to train service dogs for the disabled would possess the ability to help trainers breach the gap between standard training skills and those essential for the training of well-behaved service animals.
And the best person to advise healthcare professionals regarding the full range of human, canine, and environmental concerns that must be considered before recommending the addition of a service animal to a patient’s or client’s household would be someone familiar with the costs and benefits of every such human-service animal interaction.
Add the excellent teaching and communications skills needed for one-on-one service dog training, on-line service dog training courses for trainers, and private consultations with medical and mental health professionals, and I can think of no one more qualified to provide these services than Veronica Sanchez at Cooperative Paws.”
Myrna Milani, DVM
Integrating animal health, behavior, and the human-animal bond