Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™ is a service dog trainer certificate program developed by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC, CPDT-KA, an expert in service dog training. The program is for experienced professional pet dog trainers who would like to learn how to train service dogs. Successful graduates earn the respected SDC™ certification.
“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 need for dog trainers qualified to train service dogs.
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 train a dog complex, high level skills and make a 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.”
Lisa Marino PMCT-2, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA, FP-MT, CSAT, SDC
Learn from Veronica, a Service Dog Expert
The Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™ 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.
Veronica knows what it’s like to run a pet dog training business. She will give you valuable recommendations to fit service dog training into your business in a way that works for you. You will learn how to help clients, provide an important service and grow your business.
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. Veronica is committed to helping students succeed.
“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.”
Laura Sharkey PhD, KPA-CTP, SDC
A Comprehensive Curriculum
The 12-week program is thoughtfully organized in an easy-to-follow format. You will be well-prepared to train service dogs with confidence and integrity. The course includes information on:
- Service dog laws
- Selecting service dog candidates
- Foundation Skills
- opening/closing doors
- lights on/off
- hearing alert
- anxiety alert
- Deep Pressure Therapy
- scent-based alert
- Public Access Training
- Incorporating service dog training into your business
- Getting started
- Virtual services
- At-home only service dogs
- Working with People with Disabilities
- Training accommodations
- Collaborating with healthcare professionals
- Service dog program challenges
- Placing dogs
- Educating recipients
- And 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.”
Ali Imel RVT, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, SDC
Practical, Doable Coursework
The SDC program’s flexible format 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! You will receive numerous business tools to use in your marketing including forms, letters, checklists and handouts so you can hit the ground running training service dogs:
- Service dog candidate assessment
- Public access assessment
- New client intake & questionnaire template
- Marketing tools – website content examples, social media and SEO tips
- Client handouts
- Client contract addendum, Medical release, Healthcare provider letters & forms all created in consultation with an attorney
“My service dog work is exciting and ever-changing. No two clients are the same. The dogs are always a breath of fresh air and yet challenging in the same moment. I have the best, most rewarding job in the world!”Ginger Hetrick CCDT, SDC
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 you want to work with owner-trainers, expand your skill set or work for a non-profit service dog program, this program is a great investment.
- Tuition: $2450
- Application fee: $50
- CPDT-KA: 21
- CPDT-KSA: 12 Skills & 9 Knowledge
- KPA – 30
- IAABC – 14.25
“The best person to teach people with disabilities how to properly select and train their own service dogs would be a person with a disability 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