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Wait lists for Service Dogs can often be over two years and so many waitlists are closed. Our Client-Trainer program is designed to teach clients how to train their own Service Dogs to help lessen the wait time. It is an intensive 24 month training program. This program requires the individual to be highly motivated and put in alot of hard work. They must be able to attend weekly lessons, complete training homework, take their dog on outings multiple times per week, and be able to participate in group and private lessons. Client must be mentally and physically able to care for a puppy through to adulthood.
Through this program, the applicant trains their own dog to hopefully one day become a fully qualified K9PAD Service Dog. K9PAD does not provide the dog. Upon pre-acceptance to the program, the applicant's dog will be subject to an evaluation by one of our Certified Dog Behaviour Consultants. We will provide some guidance into selecting an appropriate puppy. However, we are unable to act as a reference or screen potential breeders for applicants. We do not advise selecting a puppy prior to pre-acceptance. Having a puppy will not expedite the application process or give the applicant priority over other applicants.
This training program is very intensive. It has been adapted from our puppy raising program.
This program is broken down into 4 modules. Each module has two parts. Fees are paid at the start of a module part.
Teams must successfully pass midterm evaluations and module evaluations to progress onto the next part. The required attendance is 70% per module. Lower attendance records may result in the team failing to complete the module or required to take private lessons at an additional fee. Although training staff are available for support between lessons, it is the client's responsibility to ensure that they are completing homework and meeting the module requirements in order to pass the module.
If additional training is required due to minor behaviour issues, overexcitement, strength training, etc., K9PAD is not responsible for the additional training. Some of our training staff are available for paid supplemental training. Subject to approval.
It is the client's responsibility for ensuring they complete all training requirements. Our entire staff are volunteers. Assistance they provide between lessons is at the discretion of the staff members. If a client requires a higher level of assistance between lessons, they may be required to take supplemental training at additional cost.
Successful completion of the training program is not guaranteed. Many factors will influence if a team passes. Examples include behaviour concerns, dog's health or injuries, inability to complete homework and training goals, lower attendance and client health concerns. If a client misses a lesson, they are still responsible for the material.
Additional training services may be available to active clients for supplementary training, if needed (at an extra cost).
Clients must agree to follow our training guidelines. This includes behavioural recommendations. Failure to do so may result in the team being disqualified. Our Instructors are highly educated and credentialed Behaviour Consultants and Trainers. Our training staff uses methods that are backed by science. You can read about their certifications here.
All training organizations have their own set of guidelines, standards, and protocols. It is very important to thoroughly review the organizations you are interested in to ensure the right fit.
All fees are due upon start of the module. All fees are non-refundable.
Module fees include midterm progress reports and module evaluations.
For dogs with a suitable training history, our Certified Dog Behaviour Consultants will assess the dog and team to determine if the team is able to start in a later module.
Eligibility for the Client-Trainer Program is different than our program supplied Service Dog applicants.
Some of the criteria include:
Our Client-Trainer Service Dog Program application process is more in depth than for our Program Supplied Service Dogs. Clients who may be eligible for our Program Supplied Service Dogs are not automatically eligible for our Client-Trainer program. As this program requires a much higher level of involvement and dedication, careful consideration must be made. (Our goal is to ensure the best possible matching between client and Service Dog. Our application process may take a couple of months to ensure suitability. An approved application does not guarantee successful matching.)
There are many requirements that the client is responsible for. Some of them are: