Overview – PPP Service Dog Training


Peaceable Paws Partners (“PPP”) Service Dog Training Program Overview

Welcome to our Service Dog Training Program! We created this program to make service dogs accessible to those who need them but cannot afford to buy a trained dog or pay for expensive service dog training. Throughout the program, we will guide you through the complex and demanding process of training your own service dog. You’ll also have the advantage of training your dog to suit your specific needs.

Our program is open to anyone who is interested and will benefit any dog owner who admires a service dog’s public manners and advanced. While any dog can take the program, only those who are legitimate service dogs and satisfactorily pass all six levels of the program will be eligible to receive a Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Certificate. Non-service dog participants will receive Graduation Certificates. 

In order to obtain the final Service Dog Certificate, service dog owners must successfully complete the program, present a veterinarian’s letter verifying the dog’s soundness and suitability for service dog work, and a physician or mental health provider’s letter stating the person’s need for a service dog.

According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, service animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses, who are individually trained to do work or perform tasks that are directly related to a person’s disability. “Disability” is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

The program includes Puppy Kindergarten (highly recommended but not required), Basic Good Manners (required), and six additional phases of classes. Each class phase builds on the skills learned in previous classes and class phases must be taken in order. Detailed information about each class is included below. Dogs who have completed a Basic Good Manners classes elsewhere may be evaluated for a fee to see if they are ready to enter the Partners program.

It is important to understand that not all dogs are appropriate for service dog work. A working dog’s life is mentally and physically challenging. A dog’s well-being must be the first priority when considering him or her for service dog work. Good service dog candidates are healthy, physically and mentally sound, calm, friendly, confident and comfortable in a wide variety of situations. Fearful, reactive or aggressive dogs are not appropriate service dog candidates. While minor behavioral issues may be resolved through behavior modification, there is no guarantee that a dog’s issues can be resolved sufficiently to enable him or her to become a service dog.

PPP SERVICE DOG CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

  • Graduation from Basic Good Manners or satisfactory evaluation of training completed elsewhere
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 1
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 2
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 3
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 4
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 5
  • Graduation from PPP Phase 6
  • Veterinarian’s letter verifying dog’s soundness and health
  • Physician or mental health provider’s letter confirming the need for a service dog
  • Minimum score of 75 points and pass all mandatory items on Peaceable Paws Public Access Manners Assessment
  • Score at least 75 points on written test

Upon completion of the Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training Program, certificate holders must meet annual certificate renewal requirements in order to maintain their PPPSD certificates.

COST

There are six class phases in the program. Each class costs $175 (with a $10 discount for dogs who are spayed or neutered, adopted from a shelter or rescue group, or whose owner is military, retired military, senior or disabled – maximum one $10 discount per class phase). The cost of the full program from Basic Good Manners through Phase 6 is $1210. Puppy Kindergarten is an additional $160. Class fees are due and payable when registering for each class.

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Puppy Kindergarten (highly recommended for future service dogs but not mandatory) includes:

  • Socialization discussion and practice
  • Learning to read body language
  • Off-leash play with other puppies
  • Dealing with common puppy behaviors like chewing, nipping, and housetraining
  • Teaching your puppy to “Bathroom” on cue
  • Proactive handling exercises
  • How to use a clicker or verbal marker
  • Teaching your puppy to automatically sit when approached
  • Building focus through Name & Attention
  • Training basic cues: Sit, Down, Leave It, Trade and Come
  • Teaching polite leash manners

New Puppy Kindergarten classes begin monthly.

Basic Good Manners (mandatory entry-level class for service dog program or satisfactory evaluation) includes:

  • Learning to read body language
  • How to use a clicker or verbal marker
  • Teaching your dog to “Bathroom” on cue
  • Building focus through Name & Attention
  • Basic good manners cues including: Sit, Down, Stand, Come, Leave It, Trade, Loose Leash Walking, and Wait
  • How to fade the use of treats
  • Training your dog to “Spin & Twirl”
  • Teaching your dog to automatically sit when approached
  • Helping your dog be comfortable being handled, including grabbing his or her by the collar by training “Gotcha!”
  • Keeping your dog occupied and engaged with “Find It”
  • Training “Touch” (a universally useful cue and a basic service dog behavior that is used to train your dog to push with his/her nose)
  • Using “Settle” to calm your dog

Basic Good Manners graduation requirements:

  • Attend at least five out of seven classes
  • Dog enters the training center politely
  • Name and Attention with distractions
  • Sit and Down on verbal cue
  • Loose leash walking

Additional requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 1:

  • Sit when approached
  • Leave It with treat exposed
  • Settle
  • Touch

New Basic Good Manners classes begin monthly.

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 1

Prerequisites: Graduation from Basic Good Manners or satisfactory evaluation, and you must also attend our FREE service dog information session prior to the start of this class.

PPP Phase 1 includes:

  • Building on the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners class
  • Exercises to build impulse control
  • Adding offered eye contact to Polite Greetings, as well as how to release your dog to “Say Hello” to someone
  • Strengthening your dog’s focus
  • Training to sit after coming
  • How to transition Leave It to objects
  • Incorporating Wait at doorways and during walks
  • Increasing Settle duration
  • Introducing Heel
  • Training Stay, including how to incorporate duration, distance, and distractions
  • Transitioning Touch to “Push”

Graduation requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 2:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
  • Leave It with various objects on the floor
  • Dogs sits and makes eye contact with handler when approached
  • Come from 15’ and sit in front of handler
  • Heel calmly past other dogs
  • Down-Stay for two minutes
  • Sit-Stay for 30 seconds
  • Maintain or regain focus with moderate distractions

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 2

Prerequisite: Graduation from PPP Phase 1.

PPP Phase 2 includes:

  • Continuing the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners and PPP Phase 1 classes
  • Socialization discussion and activities
  • Understanding desensitization and counter-conditioning
  • How to use Shaping to train behaviors
  • Challenging Leave It and recalls (“Come”) that involve resisting food, toys, people, and other distractions
  • Training your dog to walk on your right side, Go to Place, and Under (Down-Stay under a table or chair)
  • Teaching your dog to ignore offered attention during Polite Greetings
  • Incorporating Sit, Down, turns, and pace changes while walking in Heel position
  • Training foundation behaviors for task work: Paw-Targeting, Back Up, and Chin Rest
  • Discussing the importance of husbandry procedures
  • Applying advanced training concepts including generalization, proofing, and discrimination

Graduation requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 3:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
  • Sit and focus on handler when approached by enthusiastic person
  • Leave It with food on a low table
  • Heel with Sit, Down, turns, and pace changes
  • Under without luring, and remaining for one minute
  • Come when called past major distractions
  • Down-Stay with dogs walking within five feet
  • Down-Stay for two minutes with handler five feet away

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 3

Prerequisite: Graduation from PPP Phase 2.

PPP Phase 3 class includes:

  • Continuing the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners, PPP Phase 1 and PPP Phase 2 classes
  • Introducing task training specific to handler’s needs
  • Increasingly challenging Polite Greetings, including ignoring offered treats
  • Incorporating Sit and Down during walks in Side position
  • How to properly fade the use of treats
  • Increasing duration and distractions during Under
  • Go to Place next steps, including increased duration, distance, and distractions
  • Sharpening training skills through “blind” and distance cues
  • How to effectively use praise to reinforce behavior

Graduation requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 4:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
    • Leave It with various objects, food, merchandise, and people
    • Sit and focus on handler when approached, ignore petting and offered treats
    • Side combined with Sit and Down
    • Under for three minutes
    • Distance Sit with handler five feet away
    • Down-Stay with handler out of sight for 30 seconds
    • Go to Place on verbal cue and remain there for two minutes
    • Additional requirements may be included according to handler-specific task training

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 4

Prerequisite: Graduation from PPP Phase 3.

PPP Phase 4 class includes:

  • Continuing the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners, PPP Phase 1, PPP Phase 2, and PPP Phase 3 classes
  • Continued development of handler-specific task training
  • Reviewing service dog owners’ rights, general service dog etiquette, and the Americans With Disabilities Act as it pertains to service dogs
  • Discussing the proper etiquette and safety while riding in vehicles
  • A field trip to practice and generalize good manners cues and behaviors in public
  • How to identify when your dog is stressed and strategies to help

Graduation requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 5:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
  • Identify two of your dog’s stress signals and one way to mitigate
  • Heel and Side with major distractions
  • Under with two or more people seated at table
  • Distance Down from handler five feet away
  • Down-Stay with major distractions while handler five feet away
  • Go to Place unescorted from ten feet away
  • Additional requirements will be determined according to handler-specific task training

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 5

Prerequisite: Graduation from PPP Phase 4.

PPP Phase 5 class includes:

  • Continuing the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners, PPP Phase 1, PPP Phase 2, PPP Phase 3, and PPP Phase 4 classes
  • Frequent public outings to generalize and proof Stay, Heel, Side, Leave It, Polite Greetings, Under, etc.
  • Continued handler-specific task training

Graduation requirements to enroll in PPP Phase 6:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
  • Sit and Down while walking in Heel position in public
  • Sit, focus on handler, and ignore person who approaches and chats with handler in public
  • Leave It with various objects, food, merchandise, and people in public
  • Down-Stay in public for three minutes while handler moves five feet away
  • Down-Stay in public with handler out of sight for 30 seconds
  • Down-Stay w/handler away and dog passes by
  • Additional requirements to be determined according to handler-specific tasks training and public access manners progress

Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training – Phase 6

Prerequisite: Graduation from PPP Phase 5.

PPP Phase 6 class includes:

  • Continuing the behaviors learned in Basic Good Manners, PPP Phase 1, PPP Phase 2, PPP Phase 3, PPP Phase 4, and PPP Phase 5 classes
  • Field trips to a farm or zoo, supermarket, restaurant, downtown area, shopping mall, airport, etc. to generalize and proof handler-specific task training and good manners behaviors
  • Continued handler-specific task training

Graduation requirements to complete the training program:

  • Attend at least five out of six classes
  • Minimum score of 75 points on written exam
  • Minimum score of 75 points and passing all 24 required items of Public Access Manners Assessment
  • Additional requirements to be determined according to handler-specific tasks training and public access manners progress

Additional requirements to earn Peaceable Paws Partners Service Dog Training Certificate:

  • Veterinarian’s letter verifying the dog’s soundness and health
  • Physician or mental health provider’s letter confirming the need for a service dog