Indianapolis, IN, July 25, 2020 --(PR.com
)-- When it comes to Do-It-Yourself projects, training your own service dog doesn’t typically show up on our “to-do” list. Yet today, a service dog organization is launching a new online program to help owners all over the world, train their own dog to help them. How does this work?
Training a service dog is certainly not like fixing a bug in your computer or replacing a sink, it’s a long and complicated process that until recently, was only done by specialized trainers. But if this can really be done, it would answer the need of many people who struggle with a disability and can’t afford either the wait or the cost of a fully trained service dog. It could take over 2 years to get a service dog from a reputable organization and the costs can go up to $25,000. So, learning how to do it yourself makes a lot of sense, especially at a time when most of us are stuck at home anyway.
“You can’t simply start training service dogs without a good deal of guidance, even if you’re an experienced pet dog trainer,” explains Jennifer Cattet, Ph.D., executive director at Medical Mutts, an organization that specializes in medical detection dogs and research in the field. “Service dog training is a specialty, with practical and legal requirements. If you don't have experience in this industry, you will make mistakes.”
For years, Medical Mutts has offered private and group classes, teaching owners who could travel to their facility how to train their own service dog. But 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges to all of us, and in order to help those who might be stuck at home and to keep people safe, the organization is now expanding access to their expertise through online options. For those with qualifying dogs, on a budget, and have the time and commitment to put into this ambitious project, this is a unique and much cheaper way to go.
“Our program is divided into 4 different segments, with assessments at every level. The owners and their dogs don’t need any training experience to get started and can enroll at any age. We offer live and interactive online classes where owners learn how to get the best out of their dog and train them to do over 30 behaviors. As they progress through the program, the dogs learn to help with a specific disability, such as diabetes, seizures, psychiatric, autism, mobility support, etc. Our training methods are fun and kind to the dogs. We don’t force dogs into obedience but teach them instead to collaborate willingly. We believe that this is not only the modern and ethical way to go, but its’ also the best way to train reliable service dogs,” explains Cattet.
For information about Medical Mutts’ service dog training classes, visit https://www.medicalmutts.org/group-classes
. You’ll need to get your dog assessed before enrolling into the class, so if you’re interested, don’t wait to get in touch.