Our Training Philosophy
We believe that assistance dogs should want to work, want to please. As such, we use praised-based methods of training, encouraging our dogs to learn more. We teach each dog to think and process the information, executing commands efficiently and without frustration no matter how daunting the task. By providing feedback (much like the child’s game of ‘Hot & Cold’), our dogs can quickly narrow down possibilities to make an appropriate decision.
Our puppy training starts the day pups are born, stimulating the neurons to enhance brain capacity. Once puppies are old enough to make conscious decisions (around 3 weeks of age), we start gently teaching behaviors that we want ingrained for life. By around 16 weeks our puppies have learned the basics of close to 60 commands, some of which are as reliable as an adult dog’s response.
At the bottom of the page is a typical training session with a 5 week old pup.
Our dogs are raised together, but once they are older (6-12 months) certain pups may be placed with Puppy Parents who continue socializing them until the puppy is approximately 18-20 months old. At that point we bring the young adult back to brush-up on the skills they learned as a puppy, learn a few more advanced tasks, and be matched with a client for their ultimate career. However, the majority of our dogs stay at our facility with various overnight and weekend excursions with volunteer trainers through-out their adolescence.