Sunday, August 14, 2022

Service Dog Training

The Crazy2Calm Canine Coaches has been working on hard on putting together our SD Foundations Class and with that we've made 2 great videos to help all those new owner trainers that are just getting started.

Service Dogs Azul and Maverick doing some shopping together.

Crazy2Calm Canine Coaches, Penny Beeman, Cindy Schwab Campbell, & Elliot Brooks have teamed up to make these great videos that are FREE to anyone.  The first video deals with Public Access Training and the second video deals with Task Training.  We hope these videos help you get started with setting your Service Dog in Training up for success!

Public Access Training

Public Access Training (PAT) is one of the hardest things to do because we tend to think of training in a short amount of time, perhaps what we will accomplish in the next 1-3 months.  However PAT is one of those things that we work on for closer to 2 years and still touch up for the whole working life of our Service Dogs.  Unfortunately there are very few resources out there for new owner trainers to help you get started along this journey.  Therefore we wanted to create a video to cover some the key aspects of starting inside the house, in outdoor environments, in pet friendly businesses, and last but not least non-pet locations.

The video is long so there are 2 parts and places to stop in the middle for a break!

Part 1: Topics
Choosing new environments wisely.
Teaching your dog to process the environment slowly and feel safe.

Part 2: Topics
Leading up to restaurants.
Monitoring stress levels and conducting a readiness check.
Creating your Road Map to Success

Task Training - Setting Realistic Expectations

This is probably the biggest struggle for first time owner trainers or those with less experience.  Programs often won't do any task training until a dog is at least 18 months.  Some trainers are adamant that you must meet X,Y,Z criteria before you start any task training.  The problem with this thinking is that often the owner feels the need to get at least 1 task under their belt to feel like they really have a SDiT.

While it is extremely important to not rush through training or put too much pressure on a young dog, we wanted to help people understand why certain tasks need to wait for a dog to mature while also giving people some simple things they could do with young dogs to get started.

Common Task Foundations

There are absolutely some task foundations you can teach a young dog.  Targets such as a nose/hand touch, chin rest, and paw targets can be taught at a very young age.  Many medical alerts that are taught to mature adult dogs use some type of target as an alert behavior.  Positions in relationship to the handler such as heel position, between the legs position, standing in front or behind the handler, etc.  While standing in front, behind, or doing an orbit, common tasks designed to block or create space should not be paired with the environmental predictor for the need of that task until a dog is mature, you can easily get the dog comfortable in moving into those positions as an adolescent.  Tasks that involve scent training and mobility should officially be taught to mature adults and yet there are early foundations such as find it games and retrieving dropped items that can be taught to a much younger dog.

Our rule of thumb when it comes to task training is any task where you put a physical or emotional strain on a dog absolutely needs to wait until a dog has become mature.  


Additional SD Training

For more information about training your own Service Dog, be sure to check out my SD Tips page of this website. 

Here are the current Service Dog classes that are open for registration:

And here is the playlist for the SD Handler Chats on YouTube.

If you'd like to schedule an appointment to discuss training your own Service Dog, please reach out to  This first appointment is always free!

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