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Welcome!

Note: If the writing on this blog is too small, hold down your CONTROL key, (it might say “Ctrl”) and tap the “+” symbol until it is large enough for you. This works for most other websites also…   🙂

The purpose of this blog is to provide information to users of Service Dogs and those who think a Service Dog might be helpful to their situation. Feel free to contribute liberally with comments and guest posts with any information, tips and experiences that might be helpful to others with Service Dogs.

I am a dog trainer with 40 years of experience, but I no longer personally train other people’s dogs. Now I coach dog owners who are training their own Service Dogs.

Our coaching covers all aspects of living with your Service Dog. We can begin with any specific issues that you may be having, or if you’re new to Service Dogs, we’ll probably start out with an emphasis on training, both initial tasks that MAKE it a Service Dog as well as those which enhance your relationship with your dog and make him/ her a better companion, although there are many other facets of training, working and living with a Service Dog.  The fact is, we are with this being 24/7, so the better companionship s/he provides, the better, right?

I can assist you with whatever stage you’re at with your dog’s training:

All Service Dogs need to review their tasks from time to time! Tasks that are not used on a daily basis in “real life” situations need to be practiced so as to keep your dog sharp for when they are needed. So, even if you’re satisfied with the training that your dog has received, there are things that should be done to maintain it at that level. I can help you develop a routine to keep your dog sharp on all of his tasks.

If You Don’t Have Your Service Dog Yet:

If you have a disability and have decided that a Service Dog would be right for you, I can assist you with determining if the dog you already own is suitable for the work, or I can help you screen a dog before you acquire it, and then coach you as you train him. I will support you every step of the way!

Expanding Vocabulary and Developing Reasoning Abilities:

Special emphasis should be placed upon increasing a Service Dog’s vocabulary and developing his/ her reasoning abilities.

I will help you learn strategies for successfully relating to your Partner. Although there are general dog training basics that apply, Service Dogs require special handling.

In order to more effectively carry out their jobs, Service Dogs must be given responsibility and permission to think and make decisions on their own.

I will help you guide your Service Dog to learn how to make the transition from just mindlessly following directions to working independently and making good decisions in regards to performing his tasks when the situation requires that he think for himself. I can help you take your relationship with your canine partner to a new level of functionality, intimacy and trust.

I can help you bring out the full potential in your Service Dog to make him or her the best companion and helper that s/he can be.

My Experience:

I am an experienced dog trainer and certified Life Coach. I’ve trained dogs for a variety of purposes for over 40 years, but I now specialize in Service Dogs; My mission is coaching owners to bring their canine partners to a higher standard of excellence.

When I was growing up, some of my relatives raised and trained dogs for the circus (as well as for other purposes) and I loved to spend time working with them. One of my uncles used to brag that he could teach an intelligent dog to do anything that was physically possible for a dog to do, and he certainly did do some pretty amazing things with dogs. (To read a bit more about Uncle Joseph and his circus dogs, CLICK HERE to download my book  : )

I won’t make such a bold claim as my Uncle Joseph, but I will at least say that I’m a very good dog trainer and coach. Make an appointment today to see if you agree! 🙂

 

By the way, I used a “blog template” to make this blog, so the dogs that are pictured above are not to my knowledge service dogs, but who knows? They could be, since Service Dogs come in all breeds and sizes!  😀

Please comment, question and discus your experiences; feel free to jump in and offer advice! If you’d like to contribute an article on some aspect of training or living with your service dog, please contact me at webmaster (“at” symbol) yourservicedog.com

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New Service Dog Courses Begin January 1st

New courses begin January 1st – ENROLL NOW!

I’ve created a couple of in-depth, advanced training courses which are designed to use the programs outlined in my books, and which will be further tailored to the needs of individual students.

With the advanced class, the sky is the limit! It’s like a cross between a group class and my personal coaching programs. The Group part of the course takes place online in a Private Facebook Group.

I’ll be spending personal time with each student through phone or video (with Skype or Facetime) with a 15 minute, One on One coaching session each week to work on fine tuning your dog’s progress to work with your needs.

If you are interested in taking one of my advanced group classes, please click the link below to go to the appointment menu and choose either “30 Day Basic Foundation Skills Training Course – 010117” or “30 Day Basic Psychiatric Service Dog Course – 010117.” (Please take only one course at a time. You can continue with the other course next month.)

Each course is an entire 30 Days of personalized coaching, training exercises, group activities, and even games and prizes. Come and join the fun!

Please remember to choose your preferred time for your first Private One on One Coaching Session for Week 1 from the available appointment times when you sign up. (Choose from between January 1st and January 7th – You will set up your other 3 Private Coaching appointments later after you are enrolled.)

Classes Begin January 1st. Click here and sign up today!  https://live.vcita.com/site/yourservicedog.com

Good news for you and for me!

I have decided not to retire just yet, so I will be accepting some new clients, both paying and pro bono.

I’m a firm believer in “paying it forward” so I’ve always made it a practice to take a certain percentage of pro bono clients. I like the saying, “Helping one person may not change the whole world, but it can change the world for one person!”

Unfortunately, like most everyone else, I have only so many hours in the day, and more people are requesting my help than I can give proper attention to.

It saddens me to have to turn anyone away, and I’ve been searching for a fair way to choose between the many people asking for help.

I’ve decided that a good way to do this might be a random drawing. We won’t know until we try it, right? So, here goes!

This is my 30 Day Premium Package, and it includes 2 scheduled Skype or Phone Coaching Sessions per week, and 3 “emergency” phone calls per week which may be placed any time, 24/7, plus much more!

This means that the winner receives up to 4 hours of One on One coaching from me PER WEEK, and 3 of those sessions can be any time you feel you need them.

Join today, and even if you don’t win, I still help everyone on the Facebook group as much as I can, and the other members of the group are very supportive and helpful too!

Current GiveAway

What Prizes Would You Like To See in a Giveaway?

“Giveaways” are becoming quite popular these days, so I thought I’d get in on the fun and see how it goes.

This giveaway is just a really quick one to test how it works and also find out if enough people will play.

The prize this time is for a Service Dog patch for your Service Dog’s Vest, which is a simple but indispensable item. Besides, to some people, patches are like Pokemon – you gotta get ‘em ALL! 😀

I plan to have other and possibly more interesting prizes soon, if people show interest by participating in this giveaway. This first one is to sort of “test the water.”

What is your style when it comes to patches? Do you prefer just one or two which are “to the point” or does your Partner wear as many patches from your collection as you can artfully display on his Vest?  🙂

Please comment below on this post and tell me what kinds of prizes you would like to see me offer if I keep doing giveaways.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind, please click one or more of those “social” buttons at the top of this post and share the fun!

Please note that if you choose to join the Mailing List, in order to be verified you will need to click the link in the email that arrives to make sure it was really you who signed up. Otherwise anybody could sign you up just by putting in your email address, and we wouldn’t want that, so it’s not official until you give permission by clicking the link in that email. 🙂
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New Service Dog Training Book is LIVE Today!

TrainBook2CLICK HERE to Purchase

Because I want to make sure that you succeed, this book comes with a COMPLIMENTARY COACHING SESSION In case you have a training question that the book didn’t answer.

This book is dedicated to the veterans of all wars, who with good reason comprise a large portion of those afflicted PTSD and other related disabilities.

Of course, it doesn’t take the carnage of war to cause PTSD; If our own “worst nightmares” become reality, severe psychological wounds can occur when the horror of the traumatic experience crosses the threshold of tolerance.

Training Your Own Service Dog – Book 2 (Psychiatric Service Dogs) takes up where Book 1 leaves off, taking your dog from the basic foundation training common to all Service Dogs, to performing Tasks and Work for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Many people cannot afford the cost nor abide the long waiting lists to acquire a trained Service Dog from an organization and so are opting to train their own.

I believe that everyone who needs (and wants) a Service Dog should be able to have one, so I’m retiring from my Service Dog Training Coach business to focus on consolidating my lifetime of training experience into books (as well as dedicating time to answer questions on the phone or via Skype for my readers).

This book contains detailed information specific to Psychiatric Service Dogs and how they do their Work, including a 30 Day Intensive Training Curriculum with step by step instructions for training your own Psychiatric Service Dog.

I will teach you how to take your dog from the basic foundation training that you learned in Book 1 to teaching specific Tasks and Work that your dog might do to assist with the challenges unique to your situation.

Many people cannot afford the cost nor abide the long waiting lists to acquire a trained Service Dog from an organization and so are opting to train their own.

It’s my hope that my books can help assure that those needing a Service Dog to combat the challenges of living with a disability may now have the means to train their own competent and reliable Service Dog.

If you are training your own Psychiatric Service Dog, this book can help guide you through the process.

Remember to CLAIM YOUR COMPLEMENTARY COACHING SESSION!

CLICK HERE to go to download page.

“Training Your Own Service Dog” Kindle Edition

Training Your Own Service Dog is now available on Amazon in Kindle format.  CLICK HERE to order.

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Training Your Own Service Dog: Step by Step Instructions with 30 Day Intensive Training Program to Get You Started.

Because I want to make sure that you succeed, this book comes with a COMPLIMENTARY COACHING SESSION in case you have a training question that the book didn’t answer. 

Many people cannot afford the cost nor abide the long waiting lists to acquire a trained Service Dog from an organization, and so are opting to train their own. 

I believe that everyone who needs (and wants) a Service Dog should be able to have one, so I’m retiring from my Service Dog Training Coach business to focus on consolidating my lifetime of training experience into books (as well as dedicating time to answer questions on the phone or via Skype for my readers). 

If you are training your own Service Dog, this book will help guide you through the process. It starts with the basics, creating a firm foundation to build upon for any type of Service Dog that you might be training. 

When you finish the 30 Day Intensive Training Program included in this book, your dog will have several foundation behaviors that he’ll need to do his Work as a Service Dog, as well as one Task that can be customized to the individual for a number of types of disabilities. 

Your dog will learn to have good manners in public, and also to conduct himself in a way that will allow him to keep his attention on his Service Dog Work. 

I’ll show you how to teach your dog to help you deal with your life challenges, and with this method of training, he will “learn how to learn,” which will make your job of continuing his training even easier! 

<3 ¸.•*¨*★☆ FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED! ☆★*¨*•.¸ <3

BONUS OFFER – FREE COACHING SESSION for Purchasers of “Training Your Own Service Dog” – In case you have a training question that the book didn’t answer.

CLICK THE CONTACT TAB IN THE LOWER RIGHT OF THE SCREEN AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. As proof of purchase you will be asked to quote the last (it’s short) sentence in the book. <3

<3 BUY TODAY AND CLAIM YOUR FREE COACHING SESSION! <3

CLICK HERE to order.

For Children – Mostly :)

Some adults might also get a smile from this, I thought it was cute anyhow!  🙂

It’s from Sesame Street, and is about a service dog in training. Children who currently have service dogs, those who are waiting to acquire one, or those who know a child who has a service dog might enjoy it…

 

What Does a Service Dog Do?

Because a disability can take so many forms, a service dog is trained to perform the tasks needed to mitigate the disability of the person that s/he will be providing service for. I will have another post soon on some of the different tasks that some dogs do for their human partners, listed by types of disabilities.We will assume that the dog you have either already does the minimum, or that you are in the process of training him to do so, but my goal is to go way beyond that.

In my opinion all service dogs should be trained to open doors and drawers, turn on lights and fetch, carry and drag items, etc, in addition to the main tasks that focus on the disability of his or her human partner. As most people know, the service dog improves the quality of life just by being there as a constant and loyal companion, although that does not legally count toward qualifying him as a service dog.  Unless you have mobility issues, and cannot open your own refrigerator, the thing that makes him a service dog is what he does for you to help you with your individual disability, but a dog that can go to the refrigerator for you can still make life easier for someone with just about any kind of disability!

It is my contention that there are plenty more things that our dogs could be doing for us that would contribute to our overall wellbeing, even if those things are not directly connected to what we absolutely cannot do for ourselves, such as getting us a drink or a snack when we just don’t have the energy or otherwise feel like getting it ourselves, even though physically perhaps we could do it.

It’s easy for almost anyone with a disability of any kind to feel lonely and even become depressed, because the fact is, the very nature of a disability usually prevents one from participating in some activities and social situations.

Of course, a dog is not a substitute for human companionship and conversation, but unfortunately too many people are alone (except for their service dogs) more often than they might otherwise be were it not for their disabilities. It’s also a fact that the more interactive and useful a dog is, the better a companion he will be. Even if one is not in the middle of a crises that requires the main tasks for which the service dog is trained, it’s nice to be able to ask him to go and get a drink from the refrigerator and a snack from the cupboard for the two of you to share as you watch TV or read a book while your human companions are out enjoying some other activity that you are not participating in.

My dog Varah seems to really enjoy helping while I cook, and watches attentively for me to leave the cabinet doors or drawers open so that she can close them, which of course I try to remember to do, so that she has things to keep her busy. She also waits eagerly for me to ask her to open the refrigerator so that I can get a item out, and then she closes it.

If I feel up to cooking in the first place, I can open and shut my own doors and drawers, but having someone there participating in the activity (even if it is only a dog) goes a long way toward helping me keep a positive mental outlook.

Please comment and tell us what your dog does that makes him or her a better and more helpful companion, or suggest things that you think would do so, disabilities notwithstanding…

“Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA”

     Many people, (including some business owners and employees who should know better) are ignorant of the laws regarding Service Dogs which were put into place to protect those who choose to utilize the Services of a trained dog to mitigate a disability.

      For the most part though, it seems business owners are becoming better acquainted with the laws and are quite accommodating and even friendly toward me and my Service Dog, and for that I am grateful. Even so, I am still occasionally asked to show for ID for my Service Dog, but what I show them instead is the handout (provided for that purpose) by the Department of Justice with certain pertinent points highlighted (although in case of confrontations I also used to carry a letter from my doctor explaining why I require a Service Dog, but it certainly isn’t required and I don’t do that anymore).

      Remember, the only thing necessary is your word that the dog is trained to mitigate your disability. However, PLEASE, make sure that s/he is fully capable of doing so before you say that s/he is. People must take us at our word, and in this, as in any other area of our lives, we should be trustworthy.

      If someone won’t accept your word about the laws, there is an ADA Information Line to call, (800-514-0301) where somebody is available during normal business hours (Eastern Time) to set a business owner straight about your rights.

      You can also carry an official paper from the Department of Justice called “Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA”. You can either go to their website (ada.gov) to get a copy (though it is a little tricky to find) or I can send you one. (There is a form at the end of this post.)

      So don’t let anyone tell you that you “must” have documentation to show. “Service Dog IDs” and other “papers” mean nothing (as is plainly stated in number 17 of the handout from the Department of Justice mentioned above). If you feel the need to carry a paper for your Service Dog, carry this one!

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Keep This Document Handy on Your Tablet!

This is the handout published by the Department of Justice regarding the rights of those with disabilities who are using Service Animals. It’s Better to Have It and Not Need It,Than to Need It and Not Have It!

The next time someone wants to see your Service Dog’s “papers” give them this!

 

 

 

Tenative Retirement

It is my (tentative) plan to retire from active Coaching, and focus on consolidating my knowledge into books.

I will still be available for my current (as well as any previous) clients, but will be taking few if any new ones.

I plan to teach an occasional Training Seminar, (hands on with dogs) so if that interests you, watch for updates on the website, and you can sign up HERE so that I can notify you by email if I schedule anything.

Please Don’t Let a Child Do This!

I found this video and thought I’d share it. We all know that children are sometimes harder on dogs than they ought to be, which is why they should be supervised while they are still learning how they ought to treat others (canine, fellow humans, or otherwise).

This is a very tolerant dog, (as dogs should be, of course) and his owner should protect him, rather than encouraging the child to abuse him like that.

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