Positive, gentle training methods produces a person and dog working happily together – The Team – they understand each other completely, including intuitively because there is a bond between them, and their training together strengthens this bond.
The first part of our training programme trains how to appreciate a dog and it’s thinking meaning it’s not just learning how to sit the dog, but also about canine behaviour, body language, social skills (dogs, people and many other stimuli), the importance of bonding, breed suitability, characteristics, pack relationships and leadership — all the different factors which form the best relationship with a dog. Importantly, a dog is sensitive to moods and needs, but will never complain if handled with respect, love and care. We train basic obedience, toileting-on-command on the leash, how to behave around people and things, out and about in shopping centres, public places, the travelator, escalator and the lift – preparing the Team for their world of independence.
The second part of our training is adapted according to a client’s individual needs, such as:
- picking up various objects
- opening and closing doors
- turning lights on and off
- helping up from the floor or out of a chair
- assisting dressing
- all of these skills, and more!
The training framework, our reward based programme, is being constantly improved and developed. Our programme has the dog working with you and not for you.
Our Teams learn and practice in their own time and at their speed and skills level taking the time needed. Each milestone will have an assessment as a check/balance against learning to train the assistance/service dog to cope with all that life throws at it – and not just passing the PAT (Public Access Test). A little like learning to drive and not just pass the driving test.
SDT is presently developing an APP (available on mobile and tablet) for those that prefer to prescribe to using an APP independently, designed to make things even more mobile and accessible for all to use, as most people have access to a smart phone, this seemed to be a logical step in our development.
SDT is not-for profit, operating on a cost-recovery basis, where expenses such as purchases from the shopping trolley, and the purchase and downloading of the APP help to cover some overheads expenses. With all the new initiatives, we hope to reduce waiting list pressures and hopefully we can help clients needing support.