Training

I offer a number of different types of training, including:

- Pet Dog Training (Pet Dog Ambassador)
- Assistance Dog Task Training
- Disability Specific Scent Training
- Online Training


Assistance Dog Task Training

I don’t train your dog. I coach you to train, and keep your dogs skills sharp. I ask that you do not use other training methods or go to other classes. The assistance dog training methods I use have been used in Australia and internationally with great success. I am, however, open to discussing any information you bring to me, and can look at adapting it to your program if suitable. I like to work cooperatively with my clients, teaching and learning together.

Expected Timeline

Training an assistance dog is labor intensive, and the results are dependant on a number of factors. While it is generally accepted that it takes up to two years for a dog to become fully qualified, every dog, and person, is different. It is impossible to tell how long it will take you both to complete the program to become fully qualified. Some dogs pick up and learn tasks quickly while, others may take longer.

Training Plans and Process

At our first contact we will discuss your needs and decide if we are a good match to work together, as well as the level of training your dog currently has. We will also discuss your disability or allergy in depth, and decide what three tasks would best mitigate your disability. Then we will plan how we are going to develop you and your dogs skills to be ready for work and public access.

This plan will include progress through the Pet Dog Ambassador (PDA) program, for basic manners and public access skills, and specific task training such as getting medication or bringing the phone. The options we come up with at this initial planing sessions are fluid and can be changed to suit the progress of you and your dog.

Once your dog has passed all levels of the PDA and can perform the three necessary tasks with 90% accuracy you will do your public Access tests and be fully equipped for working life.


Disability Specific Scent Training

Dogs can detect a wide variety of scents, up to one part per billion in some cases. This ability can be used to detect external allergens, (like gluten or nuts), as well as chemical changes inside the body that may pre-empt the onset of a specific medical episode, (such as migrain, seizure and pain).

Another such medical condition is Coeliac Disease. Coeliac Disease affects 1 in 70 Australians, with gluten being a major trigger. Studies have shown that food allergies affect 10% of children up to 1 year of age; between 4-8% of children aged up to 5 years of age and approximately 2% of adults. Allergen detection dogs have become life-changing companions for many people around the world. Some people are now able to lead full and social lives, without the, previously ever present, fear of being poisoned.

The conditions mentioned earlier (allergies, migrain, seizure and pain) are just some of those that can be mitigated by the amazing scent abilities of an assistance dog. Scent training, like all assistance dog training, is labour intensive. It is impossible to tell how long it will take your dog to become fully qualified. Some dogs pick up detection quickly and others take longer. All detection dogs that have completed my program will need to meet the standards outlined by the Organisation for Detection and Olfaction Reliability of Service Dogs (O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc) dogs.

We will plan how we are going to manage exposure to the allergen your dog is training to detect.

This plan will include progress through the Pet Dog Ambassador (PDA) program, for basic manners and public access skills, allergen detection, and specific task training, such as retrieving medication or the phone. The options we come up with at this initial planing sessions are fluid, and can be changed to suit the progress and requirements of you and your dog.

Once your dog has passed all levels of the PDA, has passed the O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc standards, Organisation for Detection and Olfaction Reliability of Service Dogs (O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc) and perform the other two necessary tasks with 90% accuracy, you will complete your public Access tests, and will then be fully equipped for working life.

Pet Dog (Companion Animal) Training

Pet Dog Ambassador (PDA) is a program for dog guardians to test their knowledge, skills and ability to manage their canine companion in real life settings. Its aim is to acknowledge the hard work and commitment that guardians and their dogs undertake to make their shared lives enjoyable and recognises these efforts from a puppy’s very early training. The program aims to encourage guardians to continue training and developing new skills, abilities and knowledge.

Candidates

All dog Guardians who have reached the legal age of accountability in their country (usually 18 or 21 years) are encouraged to become actively involved in the Pet Dog Ambassador Program. The program is suitable for all, including Guardians and/or dogs with a disability or special needs.

Junior Candidates

Junior candidates are those who have not yet reached the age of legal accountability. Junior candidates may, with written permission from a parent or Guardian, enter the PDA Program with a dog considered suitable by a PDA instructor or assessor. The assessor has the choice of whether or not to assess junior candidates. The assessor can also stipulate from what age they will assess junior candidates.

Canine Candidates

These are dogs of any breed or mixed breed aged from four months. Dogs with special needs can also be assessed with exercises being adapted if necessary. It is mandatory that dogs have a veterinary health check before taking part in the assessment.

Tangible Evidence of Success

As well as the pride in the hard work that they do, successful dog and guardian teams are awarded certificates and medallions at every level.

How To Become Involved

For further details about the Program go to the website www.petdogambassador.com or ask us how you can become involved in this wonderfully rewarding program for you and your dog.

Online Training

I am based in South East Queensland, 90 mins northwest of Brisbane. Due to Covid19, I have implemened a fully online process in 2020, which will continue for the forseeable future. With today's technology, video conferencing can be used for training sessions, and self-recorded video can be forwarded to me for trouble-shooting and ongoing issues.

I use the video conferencing software, Zoom, which can be downloaded free here, however if neccessary, I am open to using other programs.

The video conferencing faciity can be extremely useful if clients experience anxienty, or are unable to attend in person training for other reasons. Objectively there is little to no difference in the quality of training provided or the achievable results when using online training.

All of these things do not guarantee that a chosen dog will be successful in completing the required training to become an assistance dog. It does, however, give them the best chance. My main focus in this process is quality of life, for both dog and handler.

Memberships & Associations

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Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia
Association of Professional
Dog Trainers
Pet Professionals Guild
Pet Dog Ambassador