Pat Rapaport owns Hole in the Wall Dog Training Academy in Morehead City, NC where she offers private lessons and group classes, including puppy training, doggie manners, therapy-dog training, service-dog training, loose-leash walking, agility, and rally.
In addition to her Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coaching certificate, Pat holds numerous credentials and certifications. She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Karen Pryor Academy graduate, and a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), Pet Professional Guild, and TAGteach International.
What made you decide you wanted to train service dogs?
There is a real need in my community. I receive a lot of requests from people with disabilities who want to train their own dogs for service work. They’re often really frustrated by the long wait times and prohibitive cost of getting a fully trained service dog from a reputable program. It feels great to be able to offer them an alternative.
How has offering service dog training impacted your business?
Many of the people who inquire about service dog training sign up for our basic manners classes to get a feel for whether or not training their dog for service work is right for them. It’s wonderful to have classes full of highly motivated students.
Also, I’ve had several media organizations contact me about my service dog training program. This has resulted in free marketing and helped put me on the map.
What motivated you to enroll in the SDC course?
Years ago, I took a weekend workshop on service dog training — and I loved it — but knew I needed more education and experience before I could incorporate it into my business. Completing the SDC program gave me the confidence and tools I needed to get out there and start offering this service in my community.
What advice would you give to trainers thinking about getting involved in service dog training?
Do it! There is such a need for this type of work. It’s a great way to grow your business and serve your community. You will stand out over other trainers because you offer something unique.