Training - the Basics and Beyond

Offering all levels of training - from puppy basics to Service Work.  All basic training is modelled after the AKC's Canine Good Citizen programs. You will be able to pass any level of CGC, but are not required to test.

All Therapy and Service training is within the high standards of Assistance Dogs International. You will be able to certify with any of the agencies you choose, but are not required to test.

AKC's Canine Good Citizen
Training and Evaluations for all Levels
  • S.T.A.R. Puppy
  • Canine Good Citizen
  • Community Canine
  • Urban C.G.C.
THERAPY DOG I

Hospital visits (children's and  general)

Residential nursing homes, group counseling and physical therapy

Direwolf Guardians

Offering specialized training for the unique temperament of the American Alsatian

SERVICE DOG

Owner training for Service Work including Medical and Psychiatric.

(DWG Service dog currently in training until June 2020 - ).

 

 

THERAPY DOG II

Education Assistance and Tutoring, Schools, Libraries and Correctional facilities. All youth specialties.

THERAPY DOG III

Hospice, Youth and Correctional Institutions, , Veterans Hospitals and Social Workers Therapy Partner

My training Philosophy

Professionally, I've been training dogs and their people for over 20 years.  My experience over the years has given me an inside wisdom of the dog. The way it learns, solves problems and finds solutions can vary so much from breed to breed and from dog to dog.  Many times I have been hired to train two dogs in the same household, from the same litter, with two different methods. The trick is to find out what motivates the dog, and what can correct mistakes. A balanced combination of lure and reward, timed just right, will lead to successful training with any training equipment. and of course: praise! praise! praise!

 

I  do not have a piece of training equipment that I prefer over another. Sometimes a flat buckle collar is all that is needed, or a Halti or No-Pull harness may be introduced to gain some basic control.  Rarely would I suggest a prong collar for dogs in training, and never for service or therapy training.  I feel if a prong is needed the dog is not ready for either level of training.  My favorite training catch phrase is-

"TRAINING EQUIPMENT is for TRAINING not CONTROL."      

 

Most people have a good handle of corrections. It is obvious to them when the dog is not behaving, making mistakes and needing to be corrected. Generally speaking, 80% of dog training owners will not follow up with praise once the mistake has been corrected. The dog is left in learning limbo, never knowing if it's resolution to the correction was the right one - the behavior you want.  You've taught your dog what NOT to do, but gave no instructions on what TO do instead. My job is to teach you the right way to tell him what's right. 

As mentioned above, every dog and situation is unique, which makes every training program a little different. I prefer not to work with groups, keeping all lessons private and tailored for the individual. The exceptions are situations where I work with families and one or more of their dogs.  I always recommend a "same day- same time" schedule, but I have enough flexibility for life to happen sometimes.   

 

 

Lesson structure

  Lessons average an hour long.

  • 15 min refresh and follow up from last week

  • 30 min learning new material or practical application

  • 15 min. Recap/Questions and homework plan

  • Every program has required reading

  • Equipment is provided by the client unless otherwise specified

Basic training and Canine Good Citizen programs  : 6 weeks + evaluation day.

Basic training for Therapy I, II and III   programs  : 6 to 14 weeks

Basic training for Therapy Dog III          programs :  3 to 6 months

Service Dog (Owner trained)                   programs  : 6 months to one year

Direwolf Guardian service dog               programs  : 18 months to 2 years                  

Assistance Dog (Owner trained)            programs  : 6 months to one year

Direwolf Guardian Assistance Dog       programs   : 1 year to 18 months

Classifying Programs

Therapy Dogs

Programs are classified by the dogs personality in combination with the work they are best suit.  Therapy dogs can be trained to perform many of the same tasks in their work as Service Dogs. The primary difference is that Therapy dogs are owned as pets, and are trained by their owners to work FOR OTHER PEOPLE .Public Access is limited to the Therapy setting.

Gregarious. Likes the  hustle and bustle of life. Therapy I Dog is highly food motivated, and loves fetch games. They look forward to splashing in the lake with people and other dogs. Eager to please and energetic.

Example: Hospitals and Nursing Homes, schools and Rehab Centers

Prefers the fringes of the dog park instead of heading into the frey. A relaxed eater but enjoys a good jerky treat and is easily motivated with interactive games other than fetch. Likes to sit quietly with their bones or chew toys for extended periods. Example: R.E.A.D. and Youth facilities

These sensitive souls are better with one-on-one petting and cuddling. They aren't fond of large groups with unorganized noise. Their forte is quiet and intensive connection with those in a place of deep hardship in their lives.

Examples: Therapy work in Hospice, Domestic Violence Shelters and Prisons

 

 

Therapy Dog I
Therapy Dog III
Therapy Dog II

Service Dog

Training Programs

On Site : I train your service dog for you- I am currently training only American Alsatians for Direwolf Guardians

OWNER TRAINED - I teach you to train your own service dog - From helping with the selection of your prospect service dog, either from a rescue or breeder's puppy,  to training and certifying a family pet -  we will develop a complete program to teach you have your dog help you live your life to its fullest potential.

SERVICE DOG

Train your own

Service Dog

Task/Alert training for Medical and PTSD/Anxiety

Canine Good Citizen

  • S.T.A.R. Puppy

  • Canine Good Citizen

  • Community Canine

  • Urban C.G.C.

Direwolf Guardians

SPECIALIZED

Service Dog Training for American Alsatians