Service Dog Trainer Course

Service Dog Trainer Course

Service Dog Trainer School

If you are eager to be a service dog trainer and work with their handlers, our Service Dog Trainer Course is the best program for you. This intensive program will help you cultivate the appropriate skill set necessary to understand how to properly select, socialize and train Service Dogs for mobility, hearing assistance as well as other psychological disabilities. The program also concentrates on training Autism Service Dogs for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum. Our service dog trainer course also covers rights and laws governing service dogs, their trainers, and their handlers.

This program provides extensive hands-on instruction with a variety of service dogs and gives the student the opportunity to work with service dog candidates throughout the entire process, from selection and testing, to socialization through training the handler, this program gives you all the tools you need to be an effective service dog trainer.

Our Service Dog Trainer Course  focuses on teaching students to perfect a variety of skills for mobility, stability, seizure, hearing and autism service dogs.  Each service dog training skill is taught in a way so that they are easy to comprehend and apply with in a variety of service dog training applications.  Our program tests each student in their ability to train and work with service dogs and handlers in real-life environments.  Students are also afforded the opportunity to see the “inner workings” of the Service Dog Sales and Training programs offered at Highland Canine Training, LLC.  This includes meeting with potential clients alongside our trainers and service dog coordinator as well as getting involved in our other work within the community.

Our Service Dog Trainer Course also emphasizes the importance of environmental stability and socialization for both adult dogs as well as service dog puppies.  We also work with students to ensure that they are comfortable working with and training service dogs in public areas.  As such, students in our Service Dog Trainer School frequently take dogs to schools, restaurants, shopping, nursing homes and other public places for their training.  In addition, this course provides an in-depth look at the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act and other applicable laws that pertain to service dogs and their handlers.  If you are eager to become a service dog trainer, this program will give you all of the knowledge and experience you need to be successful.

Our Service Dog Trainer Course is only offered twice per year, during our Winter (January) and Summer (July) semesters.


18 Week Program


Payments as Low as 223.49 per month


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Price includes deposit and program materials. Optional student housing is additional. Apply for our Service Dog Trainer School today!

Below is a brief outline for the Service Dog Trainer Course. This outline does not cover all of the material, lectures, discussions and hands-on application that is covered during the program and is provided to give a general idea of what the curriculum covers. Practical application evaluations and written examinations occur following each week’s instruction.



Introduction and Ethology
Introduction to Professional Dog Training as a Career
– Evolution of the Canine
– Canine ethology, & taxonomy
– Comparison of the Domestic Dog and other Canids
– Pedigree Research
Language of Dogs
– Reading and Understanding Canine Body Language and Stress Signals in Dogs
Applied Dog Behavior
– Understanding applied dog behavior
Clicker training as a method of Positive Reinforcement
Baiting and Luring dogs, using food as a reinforcement

Practical Application of Baiting and Luring Dogs
How Dogs Learn
– Learning Theory and Principles
– Application of Reinforcement Schedules
– Behavior Shaping and Fundamentals of Training
EXCEL-erated Learning
Working with Puppies
Dog Breeds (Terriers)
Crate Training and Housebreaking/ Puppies

Proper Application of Training Tools
Practical Socialization
Testing Dogs
Dog Breeds (Sporting)
Purely Positive Training

A Dogs’ Mind
Behavior Problems
– Effective Behavior Analysis
– Dominance and Aggression
– Phobias and Fear Aggression
– Possessive Aggression
– Territorial Aggression
– Maternal Aggression
– Idiopathic Aggression
– Neurotic Behaviors
Successfully Resolving Problem Behaviors
Dog Breeds (Hounds)
Dog Aggression BITING
Conducting Behavior Analysis
Group Class Evaluation
Developing a Client Questionnaire

Marketing Your Service Dog Training Business
Advertising Strategies for Dog Trainers
Website Planning and Design
– Site Structure
– Form vs. Function
– Blogs and other Web Marketing Ideas
Kennel Management
Running a Boarding Kennel
Working with Clients
Dog Breeds (Working and Non-Sporting)
Practical Business Management Assignments
Behavior Analysis Evaluation

Explore Dog Specialties
– Agility
– Treibball
– K9 Nosework
– Protection
– Search and Rescue
Attend a Private Lesson
Pet First Aid and CPR
Veterinary and Canine Medical Issues
– Understanding What is Normal
– Preventive Medicine
– Treatments for Illness
Dog Breeds (Toys and Herding)
Design Lesson Plan for Group Class and Handout for Private Training
Go Home Video (Basic)


Service Dog Overview
– Puppy Programs
– Testing and Selecting Service Dogs
– Service Dog Equipment
– Legal Issues and the Americans with Disabilities Act
– Operant Conditioning as a Tool for Service Dogs
– Proper Socialization for Service Dogs
– Capabilities and Limitations of Service Dogs

Working with Clients with Disabilities
Understanding Your Role as a Service Dog Trainer
Understanding Your Clients Perspective
– Hearing Impairments
– Physical Impairments
– Other Impairments

Signal Dogs (Hearing Assistance Dogs)
– Conditioning to Noise
– The Importance of Discriminative Stimuli
– Teaching the Indication
– Teaching the Response from Distances
– Practical Application in Public

– Odor Theory
– Special Equipment for Trailing Dogs
– Progression of Teaching Trailing Dogs
– Variable Surface Trailing
– Scent Discrimination Trailing
– Introducing and Utilizing Scent Articles

Mobility Dogs Overview
– Conditioning around Medical Equipment
– Working with Wheelchairs
– Environmental Conditioning, vehicles, etc.

Mobility Dogs
– Teaching the Retrieve
– Working with Switches and Buttons
– Mobility Dogs in Public

– Opening Doors, Gates, Etc.

Autism Assistance Dogs
– What is Autism?
– Introducing the Touch Command
– Environmental Stability
– Teaching an Alert

Autism Assistance Dogs
– General Safety Concerns
– Tethering
– Sleeping Exercises
– Touch Command (continued)
– Service Dogs in Schools
– Service Dogs in Therapies

Other Service Dogs, PTSD, TBI, Seizures, etc.

Service Dogs in Public
– This Module of the Course Emphasizes the Importance of Environmental Stability in Public Places Through Practical Application.

Managing Your Service Dog Business or Organization
– Non Profit Organizations
– For Profit Business
– Application Process
– Service Dog Delivery
– Handler/Family Training

Practical Examination and Certification

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