Our service dog training courses are structured to set our dogs up for success and to develop creative and strategic dog trainers:

Puppy Basics

Before we can move on to service dog training courses, we have to start with teaching dogs how to live in our homes with our families. This course is ideal for people with new puppies or older dogs who need to become better roommates, through potty training, crate training, bite inhibition, and socialization. If you know you’re getting a new puppy soon, do this course before bringing the puppy home. If you’ve already got a puppy (or older dog) at home, it’s better late than never! The Puppy Basics course is included for free to all of the volunteer trainers (mostly owner/trainers) who apply to our complete service dog training program and start with young dogs. The Puppy Basics course is available for purchase by itself for anyone with a puppy. Click here to register for the Puppy Basics course as a stand alone course.

Foundational Obedience

Our courses and all solid service dog training courses start with a good foundation. In this course, we teach trainers how to develop “heel”, “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “down”, and “place” with their dogs. This course is ideal for anyone with a dog, from puppies to older dogs, from pets to service dogs.

Public Access

Service Dogs have to be with their handlers, wherever they are, to do their work and tasks. In this service dog training course, we teach trainers how to develop “under”, “follow”, “through”, “up”, “off”, “back up”, “leave it”, and “stand” as well as build confidence in public bathrooms, restaurants, transportation (public and private), and stores with their dogs. This course is aimed at service dog trainers but pet owners can benefit from training that will help their pet visit pet friendly places like parks, stores, and restaurant patios.

Tasks And Work

What distinguishes a Service Dog is that they are individually trained to perform tasks and/or work that mitigates their handler’s disability. In this service dog training course, we teach trainers how to identify which tasks and/or work are necessary and develop these with their dogs. In particular, we develop buffering, deep pressure therapy, retrieving, bracing, and alerting. This course is aimed at service dog trainers but many of the skills help with training sports and agility, games and exercise.

To take any of our three main courses (Foundational Obedience, Public Access, and Tasks & Work), please apply to our complete service dog training program here.

Remote Structure of our service dog training courses

Our primary service dog program consists of Foundational Obedience, Public Access, and Tasks & Work. The Puppy Basics course is optional to our volunteer trainers taking all of these courses or à la carte for people who only want Puppy Basics. All of our courses have 7 remote lessons. Each lesson is available to read and/or listen to online or downloaded. Most lessons include links to short demonstration videos of the techniques described in the lesson. Each lesson has a 10 question quiz at the end. It takes 100% on every quiz to pass, but the quizzes may be retaken as many times as necessary to achieve this perfect score.

After a volunteer trainer works through the lesson and passes the quiz, they train their dog on their own schedule and log their training time. For each lesson, the trainer sends in a short video showing them training their dog on the commands/skills from that lesson (no videos are required for the Puppy Basics course). These videos provide the opportunity for feedback on the training mechanism by a certified dog trainer. The certified dog trainer is also available by email and messaging for questions/answers about the lessons, the specific training with the dog, and other issues like problem behaviors that need modification (including those trainers only taking the Puppy Basics course). These features make the remote course truly interactive with a certified dog trainer, rather than just passively reading a book or watching social media videos. In addition, ELLAS Animals INC maintains copies of the volunteer trainer’s training log, training videos, testing videos, and certificates which provides a “protection portfolio” should the volunteer trainer ever be called upon to prove that their dog’s training meets the legal qualifications of a service dog.

The final lesson in each course is an assessment. The volunteer trainer takes video of their dog meeting all of the requirements listed in the testing rubric for the course and sends them in for verification by the certified dog trainer. Upon completion of all requirements, the dog receives a certificate of completion for the course, which includes passing the test, and the volunteer trainer receives a professional dog trainer certification for that level (except for the Puppy Basics course, which earns a certificate of completion for the trainer, but not a professional dog trainer certification). Our tests are included free of charge for all of our volunteer trainers working through the program but can be purchased individually by those who have trained their own dog and merely want external verification of their dog’s skills.

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Because of courses are online and remote, our owner/trainers can be located anywhere!