PROJECT: Service Dog in Training

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Project: Service Dog in Training
PROJECT: Service Dog in Training

Welcome to PROJECT: Service Dog in Training – Chronicling the journey of one puppy prodigy from birth to working Service Dog.

We’re not going to have a new puppy until ohh…about February 2019 when Raven has her next litter. So, why are we talking about this now?

If you’re planning to get a puppy it shouldn’t be an impulse decision nor should it be something you take lightly.

Before we brought home Linus back on January 7th, 2005 I did a ton of research reading books and magazines, talking to friends and family, and yes, I even consulted my good friend Mr. Google.

For many years I’ve wanted to be the definitive resource for anyone getting a new puppy…with a little twist.

While some people may just want to learn the basics of training a puppy I’ve had many others ask me what can they do to raise and train their puppy like a Service Dog.

That’s where this website is different. We don’t want to teach your puppy to be good. We want your puppy to be GREAT!!!

Bear a Service Dog in Training
Bear a Service Dog in Training

Just a couple days ago we received this email from one of our readers:

“I have been so interested in dog training the last few years, particularly in the training aspect of raising a service dog, but fortunately, never really needed an actual service dog. I’ve been scouring the web for advise and guidance because I am hopefully going to raise a new puppy (just a family pet) next year but cannot find such information besides the usual obedience training books. Many of them are very helpful, but I’m curious to know what an actual puppy raiser would do. And what they would do differently. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all pet dogs be raised the same way and grow up to be as well mannered as service dogs?!” –B.E.

Your puppy doesn’t have to be a Service Dog to act like one and most of the things we do with our SDiT (Service Dog in Training) are not difficult and are fun activities that help you build a better relationship with your dog.

All that being said what exactly is PROJECT: Service Dog in Training?

PROJECT: Service Dog in Training 

PROJECT: Service Dog in Training is a combination of everything we’ve been doing, learning, and sharing on our blog over the past 10 years.

At it’s core we’re going to teach you how to raise and train your puppy like a Service Dog in Training (SDiT).

Here’s a quick outline of what we plan on doing over the next 2 years:

Phase I (Sep. 2018 – Feb. 2019)

Over the past 10+ years we’ve raised 11 Service Dogs in Training for multiple organizations.

During that time I’ve thoroughly read a half dozen puppy raiser manuals, dozens of books on dogs, blog posts, white papers, and various other material about dog training and behavior.

We’ve even attended conferences and seminars to further our knowledge about all things dog.

On top of all the book work and lectures I’m also apprenticing and working to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

My goal in Phase I is to share what I know about raising and training a Service Dog puppy with you, right here on the blog.

Charlie a Service Dog in Training
Charlie a Service Dog in Training

Phase II (Feb. 2019 – Jul. 2020)

As I mentioned earlier we plan on getting our next Service Dog puppy around February 2019 and that’s when the real fun begins. The goal of Phase II is to follow the guidelines we wrote in Phase I on how to raise a SDiT.

We will keep a weekly Vlog to share what we’re doing with our puppy including his successes and failures.

Guys, every puppy is different. It’s very possible that we will have to make changes on the fly. Some puppies advance quicker while others take more time.

It’s even possible our puppy will not make it as a Service Dog.

There are many great career changed puppies that get adopted and move on to other jobs like Search and Rescue, Therapy Dogs, or Family Pets.

Just to give you an idea, we’ve had more failures then successes. Out of the 11 dogs we’ve raised 4 are working dogs, 2 are still in training, and 5 are career changed.

This is not uncommon many dogs do not have the proper temperament, health requirements, or flat out just don’t want to work…they’d rather be couch potatoes.

Phase II will help me make adjustments to my initial ideas outlined in Phase I.

Phase III (Sep 2018 – Sep 2020)

The goal of Phase III is to gather everything we learned from Phase I and Phase II into comprehensive guides to help you raise your next puppy like a Service Dog in Training.

  • Printables – puppy training basics.
  • Quickstart Guides -common puppy behavior problems
  • E-Books – dog behavior and obedience training.
  • Sponsor a Puppy – The cost to raise and train a service dog often exceeds $20,000. We need all the help we can get to provide these pups to individuals in need free of charge
  • And More…tell us if there’s anything you’d like us to produce to help you with your puppy.

The Goals of PROJECT: Service Dog in Training?

  1. Provide Service Dogs FREE of charge to individuals with disabilities.
  2. Teach you how to raise and train your puppy like a Service Dog in Training (SDiT).
  3. Raise public awareness about Service Dogs and SDiTs.

What say you?

Do you have any questions about how to train a service dog puppy?

Tell us about it in the comment section below.

PROJECT: Service Dog in Training. It’s simple we’re putting together a guide that will teach you how to raise and train your puppy as if he were a Service Dog in Training. After 10+ years raising 11 Service Dog puppies I decided to get all of my knowledge down into one (hopefully) organized guide. #servicedogs #assistancedogs #servicedogintraining #servicedogpuppy #puppyintraining #raiseapuppy #puppytrainingguide
PROJECT: Service Dog in Training – Your “How to” guide for training a puppy like a Service Dog in Training.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Bones & Chews Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. I am so in awe with what you do. I’ve been learning through the Instagram posts but I love receiving the email notifications about a new blog post so I can follow your journey!

    Also going to be going through your existing content to learn more about the previous puppies you raised.

  2. Sounds like a solid, clear and concise plan!! I’m a teacher and I know the more organized I am with my lesson planning, the more successful I am at implementing and teaching the material, so I’m sure you’ll be great with your future service dog in training! I’m excited to see the progression from pregnant mama to puppy in training to service dog!!

    1. Having a clear and concise plan is great advice that I need to follow more often. I have all the information in my head. Now I just need to get it written down in the blog. Stay tuned!

  3. What a great cause you are working toward. I hope you are able to spotlight some of the people who benefit from your Guide or Service dogs. I also look forward to learning some new tips and tricks for my senior doggy.

    1. I haven’t really thought to much about spotlighting the people who have our Guide/Service Dogs mainly because I want to respect their privacy. There’s a lot you can do with a senior doggy. One thing I have learned when working with Stetson (he’s almost 12) is to keep in mind he can’t do the same things he could when he was younger because of arthritis and his general body aches.

  4. This is exciting. I want a new dog but I want to make sure he/she is well mannered. Of course I do want him to bark when necessary. Can’t wait to hear more!

    1. I agree on the barking. I want my dogs to bark a little for protection. We’re working on letting Raven know when it’s okay to stop barking.

  5. I can’t wit to read all about how to train a service dog puppy from birth. I’m sure I will learn a lot about where we went wrong when training our puppy who is now fully grown. I hope we can still train our dog to be better behaved with your suggestions.

    Looking forward to your weekly blogs

    1. Every time I raise a puppy I learn something new! 🙂 I think one of the big things is like Nike says: “Just Do It”. I always hold the Service Dog puppies to a higher standard then my own dogs. Change your mindset, have rules and boundaries, and be consistent, persistent, and patient with your dog (I’m speaking to myself about Stetson and Raven).

  6. Of course if you wanted to sponsor a puppy their would be some kind of donation involved. Down the line we’re thinking about charging a fee for some premium products or services. I remember before I started volunteering at the guide and service dog schools I was always very interested in learning about how Service Dogs were trained to behave so well in public places. Hopefully the information I share over the next two years will help others with their dog’s training and behavior. Oh, as much as you enjoy reading about cute pups we love playing with them 🙂

  7. Wow! This program sounds fantastic! Are you going to charge for the materials and information? I think having a pet that is well mannered like a service dog sounds like a dream come true! Thank you for the continued information. I love you blog and reading about your cute pups!

    1. I’m excited too! If you think of any questions your might have please leave them in the comment sections of the blog posts that way I can hopefully help others who have similar questions about Service Dogs and training.

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