Service DogTraining formed in 2008 to address the ever increasing need for people with disabilities to access assistance / service dogs. Service dogs are trained to improve their owner’s independence, give them empowerment, better quality of life and increased confidence by assisting them with a range of daily living tasks.
Not everybody can afford the cost of a trained dog and with the delays and the high costs, our model of whereby we help clients to train their own service dog not only creates an unbelievable bond whilst skills are learned, but also takes a path of discovery and learning.
Crucial is that people see the dog as a ‘aid’, rather than the solution. Dogs can do great things, but they remain dogs. It is well documented that people with dogs live longer and feel better – and that a dog’s intuitiveness can assist with many mental issues.
Hans van Heesbeen, certified dog trainer and trainer of people to become dog trainers, formed Service DogTraining and has numerous clients for whom the dog plays a vital role in development, well-being, particularly those with physical, mental or learning disabilities. The joy of seeing a partnership blossom was the catalyst for Hans to expand into this specialist field. Hans also saw a means to help himself with his own demon, depression, and focusing on those with more need for help has been of assistance.
In August 2011, Hans, on behalf of Service DogTraining became an approved training institution (Assistance Dogs) under the Queensland Government’s Section 71(4) of the Guide, hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009. Please visit further details.
In 2016 we started the Mentored ST Trainer programme; a number of carefully, hand-selected handlers who, together, have far reaching dog training experience. As a team we can now offer trainers in varying geographical locations, with knowledge, skills and understanding of training a service dogs
Susan, the cornerstone of Hans’ private and professional life has taken on the tremendous task to use her well-versed past e-Learning design skills and understanding of assistance/service dogs to help make the first Australian APP – specially designed for handlers to be empowered to learn to train their own service / assistance dogs in their own time, using smart technology to gain the skills and knowledge. The SDT APP is planned to be launched late February 2017 allowing more people to access our services. Susan is also the coordinator for the specialist Soldier On K9 Support Programme and is keen to assist those needing further help.
Service DogTraining is the not-for-profit (cost recovery only) arm of Hans’ dog training interests, and is generously supported by other like- minded organisations, keen to combine and jointly empower as many people as possible to be self-reliant – and join our programme.