Yes, your dog does not need to be suited for service work for you to take the course. There is one project in the course that requires you to submit video of yourself training a dog two different behaviors that are commonly needed in service dog work. All of the training can occur in the comfort of your own home. You will submit video of the training process for feedback.
You will need:
- A dog that is an appropriate age to train. A geriatric dog or a very young puppy would not be appropriate.
- A dog that is relatively “easy to train” is best for this project. Dogs who are not food motivated or who do not enjoy training are not appropriate.
- You will just be training the dog two different behaviors in a controlled setting (like your home) – you will not be training this particular dog to work as a service dog. The dog you work with in the course does not need to have the behavioral characteristics needed to work in places pets are not allowed.
- If you choose to work with a friend’s or client’s dog, be aware that you need to have very frequent (ideally daily) access to the dog to complete this project. Once or twice a week will not be sufficient.
- You do not have to use the same dog for both behaviors unless you want to.
- There is no specific breed requirement. SDC students have worked with golden retrievers, labradors, pit bulls, border collies, Havanese, hounds, samoyeds, doodles and many mixed bred dogs to complete the program.