Service Dog Training Institute Logo Banner


Foundation Skills for Service Dogs- 3 Part Series
Suitable for puppies 12 weeks and older.

Package of Level 1-3 CDN$105 (Self study only)

You get:

  • the class materials for about 12 weeks of training (access for 1 yr)
  • 12.5 hours of audio files to listen to the material
  • 24/7 access to a class discussion forum (on our website) for foundation skills students
  • 24/7 access to school-wide discussion forum (on our website)

Private 3x30 min web cam consults are available for extra help 


In this 3 part series, both you and your dog learn! Your dog learns how to learn while he acquires base skills he will need for life as a service dog. You learn both the theory and mechanical skills you need to train your own service dog. Both of you learn how to generalize this knowledge to other skills and be able to apply what you learned to creating other behaviors and tasks.  Every person who is training a service dog, owner-trained or professional should have this foundation knowledge and develop these skills to create a willing service dog partner! Suitable for puppies 12 weeks up to adult dogs. If you could afford only one class, this is it! Great value for the money plus, it is a FUN class for you both!

12.5 hours of audio listening for learners who do better listening than reading. Hundreds of video clips to guide you through the process!

Join class discussions to apply the skills to your own dog! Ask questions! Share your training challenges!
Submit videos.

***Please note this is a skills-focussed class for service dogs, not a general problem behavior class. Please book a one hour consult to get help creating a plan for unwanted behaviors you may be dealing with currently.***


Foundation Skills - Level 1 (12 weeks of age+)

Class Goals:
 Your dog learns to eagerly work with you, the beginnings of impulse control, default eye contact, nose targeting and its other applications, potty on cue, handling skills, targeting and learns that there is value for staying near you without a leash.  

100 video clips to view! You will take away the 4 stages of learning new behaviors, key elements in teaching behaviors, mechanical skills needed, using distractions to your benefit, different ways a dog learns, biology of dogs as it affects learning, adding cues and achieving control over behaviors, and how to help a dog learn behaviors in different environments quickly. Problem solving for dogs is also included for many behaviors. Try out a FREE training log template. It might be the only one you need to record your sessions and keep you on track! 

This level has more than 5.5 hours of audio files to allow you to listen to the information read by the instructor!

Foundation Skills - Level 2

Class Goals: Your dog learns to do a chin target, go around objects, lay on a mat at a distance, place front paws on a platform, pivot on her front feet, stand still and take and tug. Also several more handling skills for real life. We start introducing a few skills to real life.

More than 80 video clips including a few complete training sessions will help you  learn about cues, prompts, 3 ways to add distance and duration, and develop your shaping skills. You will also learn different kinds of cues you can use, test which ones your dog actually understands, and how to start building fluency for known behaviors focussing on how to change the speed of a behavior and how to get a faster response to a cue.  Learn several easy ways to speed up and slow down behaviors and ideas to adapt reinforcement delivery for people with disabilities. Try your hand at creating your own behavior training plan and carry it out. Have some fun with experimenting!

Prerequisite: Foundation Skills - Level 1

This level has more than 3.5 hours of audio files to allow you to listen to the information read by the instructor!

Foundation Skills - Level 3 

Class Goals: Your dog will learn how to give you default and cued attention, how to wait on cue, build onto impulse control and learn the common positions for a service dog. He will also learn to generalize several behaviors to a high degree, and how to switch sides.

How the handler will learn how to deal with unwanted behaviors, why cues fail, how to achieve stimulus control over behaviors, improve speed and latency of behaviors, phase out food and toy reinforcers and how to use real life reinforcers are demonstrated in more than 80 videos. How to use behavior chains and patterning are helpful things to know as is impulse control. You'll learn how to generalize behaviors to obtain reliable performance. Lastly, you'll learn how to maintain trained behaviors so they don't get forgotten when being used regularly.

Prerequisite: Foundation Skills - Level 2

This level has 3.25 hours of audio files to allow you to listen to the information read by the instructor!



 Return to Course Catalogue