Service Dog Training
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Service Dog Training
At Guardian Service Dogs™, we specialize in providing Disabled Veterans and Service Members with a quality, individualized, Service Dog Training Program. We utilize the Battle Drill Training Method, developed by our own Executive Training Director and Head Service Dog Trainer, David Proctor Sgt. Ret.
We don’t just train the dogs, we train the Handler.
With our program, Warriors don’t just learn how to “use” their Service Dog, they learn how and why their dog is behaving the way it is and how to address various situations with their dog in real-life situations. Each Handler also will learn about the laws related to Service Dogs and what to do in the case of an access issue. This alone can help prevent any undue stress for a person using a Service Dog, especially those with PTSD.
The Americans With Disibilities Act (ADA) defines a Service Animal as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA”.
Evaluation and Assessment
The client schedules an initial evaluation with Guardian Service Dogs™. This Evaluation takes place at our office. If you have a dog, we perform intensive intelligence and temperament testing. This is to determine the ability of the animal to perform as a Service Dog.
If you do not have a dog, we offer an assessment package that consists of 5 separate trips to your choice of local* shelter, rescue or breeder to evaluate a number of animals. This allows us to determine the best animal for the individual.
*Local refers to the immediate Colorado Springs area. Outside of this area, an extra fee may apply.
**All New clients that sign up for training will receive a Startup Training Kit
Puppy Training, Intro to Training Techniques
Introduction to Training Techniques is an 8-week course. It covers basic socialization, basic care and administration of vaccinations, proper use and fit of equipment, introduction to positive reinforcement training, introduction to luring, and other basic techniques that we build upon as the puppy matures and the handler gains experience.
*At end of this course the Client will receive a GSD Introduction to Training Techniques Certificate
GSD Basic Obedience Course is an 8-week course that includes a proper introduction to strangers and other animals, advanced positive reinforcement training, introduction to targeting, introduction to retrieval, and basic on leash commands such as sit, down, stay, in, on, off, to, heel, and recall.
*At end of this course, the Client will receive a GSD Basic Obedience Certificate
Advanced Obedience: Introduction to Public Access
Intermediate Obedience Training is an 8-week course that includes an introduction to off leash obedience, food refusal, positioning commands, stand, halt, give, take, advanced socialization, and working with distractions. During this course, our veterans will learn how to properly handle their animal in public environments such as dog parks, pet-friendly stores, and crowded urban environments.
At the end of this course, the Client will receive a GSD Intermediate Obedience Certificate (training dues must be current before the certificate is issued).
*Must past Guardian Service Dogs, Basic Obedience course before taking Intermediate Obedience
**Clients advancing into the Service Dog program will receive a Service Dog Vest & A Guardian Service Dogs “Service Dog In Training” Patch (Provided by Guardian Service Dogs)
Advanced Service Dog Training
Our Final portion of training consists of Advanced Service Dog Training, This is a total 24-week course. This course is a combination of our Public Access Classes and Individual Task Training Class. These classes run in unison with each other.
*Our Public Access and Task training courses are a combined package, Public access, and Service Dog certification will be issued at the completion of Public access and Task training courses
GSD Public Access Course is an extensive 12-week course that is geared towards training the handler and the dog to be able to pass a Public Access test. The skills that our Veterans learn in this class will allow them to move freely in public with their Service Animal. These areas include grocery stores, shopping centers, malls, airports, public transportation, restaurants, and the Veteran’s workplace if applicable. We will teach our Veterans how to properly expose their Service Animal to obstacles such as escalators, elevators, loud noises and moving objects like shopping carts, and how to handle their dog around a variety of other distractions.
*At the beginning of this course, the client will receive a compact Service Dog in Training ID card.
Individual Task Training
GSD Individual Task Training is an intense 12 week course that is tailored to each individual Veteran depending on their specific disabilities and needs. When this training is complete our Veteran will be confident in approaching any new situation with their service animal. They will understand how to communicate with and read their service animal, move fluidly through any environment that they may encounter, and properly command and respond to the animals behaviors while it provides them assistance with day-to-day tasks such as Mobility Assistance, Seizure Detection, PTSD Detection and Alert, Hearing Assistance, Emergency Response Notification and more. On completion of this course the Handler -Service Dog Team now qualify for Service Dog Certification!**
Congratulations! You are now a GSD Certified Service Dog Team!
At end of this course the Client will receive a GSD Service Dog Certificate, Personalized ID Card, Guardian Service Dogs “Certified Team” Patch. As well as Support from GSD if the Handler has any access issues in the future.
*Our Public Access and Task training courses are a combined package, Public access and Service Dog certification will be issued at completion of Public access and Task training course
**Please note that full dedication of the handler is imperative. Some individual tasks may not be immediately trainable due to the unpredictable nature of disabilities. Such tasks include but are not limited to, seizure detection, high/low blood pressure detection, diabetic alert, nightmare interruption and emergency alert. Why? Guardian Service Dogs does not believe in inducing a medical incident for the cause of training thus we must capture an incident in order to train the Service Animal to properly respond to the incident. Guardian Service Dogs will provide training and guidance on these issues when they arise in order to ensure the Service Animal will respond properly during an emergency. Additional per-class charges may apply.
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