“Training a service dog is a daunting task. I was seeking a safe place where I could learn, ask questions, and have knowledgable instructors that can enable and coach me throughout the process. Service Dog Training Institute has a comprehensive program that is laid out in a clear, logical, and effective manner. The best part is that I can completely trust their team to guide me and support me through building my service dog team. I benefited from practicing the exercises they laid out in the course, receiving individual feedback, and interacting directly with Jenn, an instructor (via webcam), and other participants. I would recommend Service Dog Training Institute to others that are looking to build a stronger relationship with their dog(s) whether or not they are working towards becoming a Service Dog team.”
Foundation Skills 1 with weekly web cam sessions
"I highly recommend the webcam sessions in combination with the self-study materials for the “Foundations” course. The weekly meetings with Donna give me (1) accountability, (2) feedback through questions and self-recorded videos and (3) encouragement.
It is easy for me to get frustrated, discouraged and even depressed about the long road that is SD training. This is probably the biggest benefit of the webcam sessions for me: they always leave me with a smile on my face and new ideas for improvement to try immediately.
Regarding the curriculum, its logical progression, structure and detail are outstanding. Audio, text and tons of video means that the concepts are clearly explained and demonstrated. Despite knowing where I want to go with training, without a structure I tend to try to train too much too soon and then get frustrated and discouraged. By SDTI breaking it down one step at a time, my dog and I may not be able to run a marathon yet, but we can still get to our destination!"
Emily and Carbon
"A service dog has to learn way more tasks, so I knew I'd need to find more help... I was so grateful to find the online courses. Donna Hill has developed these courses with clear instructions, numerous videos, and timely replies to questions. Her love for dogs is clearly seen."
Nicola Gord Focht
"I recently “purchased” the Service Puppy course and completed most of the course content. I wanted to “try” the course before committing to the entire program. I would now like to go ahead and commit to completing the classes...
By the way - I am SO VERY IMPRESSED with the entire web site and course and information that I have been able to access up to this point. I no longer work but once was a reference librarian and communicating information, making it available and easily accessible from home or on site was my job. Your team is doing a spectacular job. Everything, the web page layout and design, the text, the videos, your instructions, ... everything is beautifully thought out and presented. So easy to follow, engaging, helpful, and not at all FRUSTRATING (as so many sites can be). Kudos to everyone involved in the project. You are not just talented dog trainers you are talented teachers for the people who are so desperate to find this type of quality help."
Patricia and Duke
Fast Track In-Person
"I found Service Dog Training Institute in the process of getting a service dog, after contacting countless programs all throughout Canada and parts of the USA I realized I was going to have to train a dog on my own. My family and I had been looking into service dogs for years.
Finding The Service Dog Institute of Nanaimo really sealed the deal of finally getting a dog. The online courses are laid out well and there are a lot of videos to help. My 6-month old Standard Poodle was learning very quickly.
Although the online courses are great, I decided to do the Fast Track program. Nanaimo is 14hrs away from home, so I decided to make it a vacation and drive up and do the fast track program in person. I did 4-1hr in person sessions. Doing it in person was amazing it helped me understand things that I couldn’t seem to grasp during the online program. The little things she (Donna) was able to help me with, doing it in person was definitely more for myself than the dog. I learned how to train better.
I plan on doing the fast track program again through webcam lessons and I also plan on going back to Nanaimo for the in person fast track program."
Interior of BC, Canada
Service Puppy Class
"You are amazing with all you do for the dog community. I’m a long time admirer and I appreciate all you have done for the service dog community in Canada.
I send a great many pups home to families across Canada. I’m not here to help them so it is such a huge peace of mind to me when I can send them to your resources. I know they will learn methods and theories that I am also teaching. It’s been a game changer for me and my puppy families! Can’t thank you enough."
April 2018 (Breeder)
"Classes don’t get any better than these! Donna slices behaviors into their smallest components and shows them so detailed that learning is easy, all you have to bring is practice."
Donna Wolff, Jan. 2018
Anxiety Task Class
"Donna. Your content is so good! I appreciate you offering your courses at a reasonable price."
"I just wanted to let you know I've been working my way through this course (Service Puppy) and it's amazing! We're doing so well. When will the next level registration be open?"
"I feel like the SDTI Service Puppy class definitely got me started on the right foot. It provides a lot of great information, helps you get yourself organized and most importantly helps you build a great foundation with your new puppy. I would definitely recommend the class."
submitted via survey Nov. 2017
We LOVE your classes and system and so far have found them to be both easy to follow and very effective! We actually have bought the whole bundle, but before, that, we did a little test with our lab using your free online video for Leave It. We were so amazed, she walked right through the training, loving the game the whole time. She even did all the things you said she might do in the video (moving back, over to the side, lay down, etc.) by session 3 she would follow the command in situations around the house and would be so happy with herself when she did. 😊 We have since taught her other things as well since she finds them so much fun to do, even though she will not be a service dog."
"We have used the Service Puppy class (so much good help there) and Loose leash 1 (Since the puppy seemed to naturally tend to walk with a loose leash we wanted to encourage something he did naturally the right way), and Foundation 1.
We got Gambit recently when he was just 6 months old. He hadn’t hit his fear period quite yet but did not long after, so we have been doing a lot of socialization work with him, and working on things like getting used to people who wear hats and glasses, and so forth which confused him and made him nervous. However, Leave It has been a life saver with a puppy, Sit is becoming is go to behavior more and more, and he is getting good on eyes. 😊 "
Trudy & Gambit SDit Akron, OH
"Great class (Service Puppy). Instructor very helpful. Love the class. I would recommend to others!"
Am having a blast with the courses with my two pups. It is a bit challenging to have two the same age, but we are managing and making good progress. Just attended the KPA Clicker Expo (first time for me) in Stamford. Lots of fun. Thanks for these courses!"
Nancy and 2 SDit's New Hampshire
"Donna Hill is a great instructor. Very detailed. Easy to follow. And tons of good information."
Anne Springfield, VA
"Hello and deepest thanks. With my year old Giant Schnauzer, I took an 1 1/2 hour walk while waiting for auto repair. As she is the most environmentally affected dog I've known, we are in an acclimation / habituation phase so we can train in public.
I thanked you dozens of times as we walked LLW, completely without pulling and if she came to the end of the leash she either stopped or returned to me. It was effortless and elegant. Thrilling!
So grateful to you for your teaching style which made this easy and possible for us."
Donna and Nina Ann Arbor, MI
"Yesterday after a week of working the first Settle lessons I took my 16 month Giant Schnauzer into my backwoods for the first time since one attempt a year ago. Beautiful loose leash through thick brambles into woods over many downed limbs and logs. While I collected sap, I asked for a "Chill" (Settle), securing the leash around a limb. She stayed calmly as I emptied jugs and return to the house was pleasantly relaxed. Today, instead of moving her with me from tree to tree, I decided to leave her by the first tree, walking a few feet further after each return to reward. I was able to walk thirty feet and spent five minutes collecting before returning to her, still calmly watching me.
This is a working line German dog, very soft for her lines but unless in working mode wth me, hopping and jumping instead of walking, quite rambunctious. The huge shift in how she works with me although quite biddable and easy to teach prior to the LLW and Settle, is remarkable, a transformation in calmness.
Still working on acclimation to more active environments in nano steps.
Your meticulous presentation of the tiniest steps has made learning easy and joyful for both of us."
Thank you, Donna and Nina Ann Arbor, MI