Seizure Response Service Dog Training
Once the VetDogs service dog training team understands the needs of an applicant (several months prior to the student attending class), they will build upon the foundation task and work on advanced tasks that will specifically help mitigate each student’s particular disability. Pushing a 911 emergency alarm, getting help, and retrieving medication are just some of the advanced tasks each dog can be trained to do.
During the first week of class, students are introduced to basic commands and the four foundations of service dog tasks in preparation for receiving their new seizure response service dog. On day two, they get acquainted with equipment and handling techniques and then are introduced to their dog. For the remainder of the week, they work on the fundamentals of communicating and working with their new partner in various environments both on campus and in other training environments. Training also includes basic obedience, discussions on dog care, etiquette and more.
As the class carries over into week two, students will gain confidence in leading their dog; have a clear understanding of pack theory; basic learning theory, which will address the commands the dog already knows; and advanced learning theory that will comprise advanced commands. Students will also learn how to work with their dogs in various settings that include country walks; mass transit situations, including train platforms, subway, or bus travel; outings to malls and other stores; and other types of real-world situations.
Prior to the completion of class, each new handler and dog team will have to pass the Assistance Dog International Public Access Test. The test is to determine if the dog is safe to be in public and that the handler demonstrates that he/she has control of the dog at all times.
Upon completion of training, the newly created human and seizure response service dog team will return home to start their new life together. They will have begun to master all of the techniques they need to be successful—from retrieving a dropped wallet or phone, to alerting a relative that their handler needs help, to being comfortable in new and different situations. The veteran can feel confident and independent with a new companion by their side. Should a graduate require follow-up training, our staff will arrange to work with them on any questions or concerns they might have in a prompt and professional manner, which may include additional follow-up visits to their home to work on specific tasks or dog behavior. Each new handler will be required to have their dog recertified one year after program completion, then every two years.