Training Materials

Max is ready for his lesson.

Every dog needs a solid foundation in basic obedience.  Without that foundation the dog cannot succeed in sports, service dog work, therapy work and in some cases even as a family pet.  Most dogs are placed in shelters because of behavior issues that the family can no longer handle; many of these issues can be solved with basic training.

Every dog I work with I evaluate to see what they know.  If they have holes in their training, I work on filling them using Sue Ailsby's Training Levels: Steps to Success.  This not only helps the dog learn the concepts needed for service work, but also helps the handler learn how to communicate with and train their dog.

I ask my clients to please purchase the material so they have it available at all times, and then work with them as they train their dog.  Once the foundation has been made, the dog and handler then work on training the dog the tasks needed to become a service dog.

Healing Companions is recommended to any client asking to train a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) 

Basic Equipment:
  • A six foot leash (no flexi leads)
  • A no-pull harness or head halter for taking the dog for a walk (this is to prevent the dog practicing pulling on their flat collar)
  • A flat collar properly fitted to the dog
Optional Equipment:
  • A treat pouch
  • A clicker
Some clients may find working with a clicker, a treat pouch, a leash and a wiggly dog too much to do at once.  We strive to have each client succeed, thus if a client finds it hard to work with a clicker, we teach a verbal marker word instead.  A treat pouch is optional, since a container that holds the treats can be just as easily used, or a tube that squeezes a bit of peanut butter, salmon paste or some other strong smelling food may work just as well.

Since we will be using positive training methods, choke, prong or electric collars will not be used.