As you work through our application process, you’ll be providing us with the key information that will assist our instructors in matching the best suited dog for you that will determine your ultimate success. With a clear understanding of your goals and objectives, we’ve been able to craft a program that you’ll be excited to participate in since it relates to your personal needs. Once the VetDogs service dog training team understands the needs of an applicant, they will build upon the foundation tasks and work on advanced tasks that will specifically help mitigate each applicants particular disability. Opening and closing doors, retrieving a variety of items, turning on and off lights, and providing balance and stability are just some of the advanced tasks each dog can be trained to do.
During our in-residence training program, students are introduced to basic obedience and commands, ways to motivate and reward their dogs and service dog handling techniques in preparation for receiving their new service dog. Throughout class, our instructors will provide hands-on training along with one-on-one interaction as well as full access to our extensive video reference library. Students will also work on the fundamentals of communicating and working with their new canine partner in various settings both on campus and in other training environments. Training includes personalized task training, basic and advanced obedience, primary and secondary motivators, discussions on dog care, etiquette, canine communication, learning theory and more.
By the time the team graduates from our program, students will have a clear understanding of how to read their dog and anticipate their dog’s reaction to environmental changes, use of appropriate equipment to become the most effective handler and understand how to motivate and reward their dog throughout the working day. Students will also learn how to work with their dogs in various settings that include residential and country environments; outings to malls, grocery stores and other stores, transportation venues including overland rail, train platforms, airports 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. These in-person ADI Public Access Tests will be repeated annually to bi-annually throughout the working career of the dog team.
Upon completion of training, the newly created service dog team will have begun to master the techniques they need to be successful. These include tasks such as opening doors, alerting family member that handler requires assistance, and retrieving specifically named items such as medications, phone, cane, etc.
Should a graduate require follow-up training, they are required to contact our staff to discuss their concerns. Our staff will arrange to work with them on any questions or concerns through the use of technology, telephone calls and personal visits when appropriate, in a prompt and professional manner. Each graduate will be contacted two weeks after they return to their home environment and every three months for the first year to ensure that the standards reached at graduation are maintained. Each new handler will be required to have their dog recertified one year after program completion, then every two years.