Service Dog Training Institute October 2021 Newsletter


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SDTI October 2021 Newsletter


We are into October and the rainy days of fall. This year, the rain has come earlier than usual in BC, which is a good thing. The forest fires have declined with only a few hot spots left in the interior of the province. Smoke has declined which allows everyone to breathe easier (literally and figuratively.)


Bruce and I are settling into fall routine, getting Lucy out for mostly twice daily walks. At 13 years old, she is still going strong and enjoying learning new things. I didn’t mention it in past newsletters, but Jessie, our GSD mix, went to the rainbow bridge back in June at 14 years old. She had a cancer lump on her front leg that the veterinarian was not able to completely remove as it was wrapped around the tendon. After 3 reductions over 4 years of living with it, the lump was growing rapidly and tight skin finally split. It was time to let Jessie go. Her perky personality has been missed these last few months and our home is much quieter. 


Lucy has adapted well and has taken over all three crates in our house, as well as any sleeping surface. Having one dog is certainly much less work than two and we are able to go into the forested park to visit the lake across the street as it is easier to manage unwanted face to face greetings with off leash dogs. When will other dog join our family? Only time will tell!


Here is Lucy getting into the spirit of autumn! 

Thanksgiving Picture of Lucy SDTI


Fall is a time of reflection and I so I took a look at our most successful service dog teams to identify why they have been successful at training their dog to public access level than other teams. If you are just starting out, follow their lead and do your research before you jump into the process.


Top 6 Components Needed to Build a Successful Service Dog Team

Over the years, we at SDTI have watched many service dogs teams successfully train to working in public together. I thought it would be helpful for potential owner-trainers to take a look at the top characteristics that all the successful teams consistently possess. They are not in any particular order. They are your best bet to set yourself and your dog up to being successful as a working service dog team in the future.

[ read more ]


Here are 5 skills that every service dog should know....


Weekly Zoom Sessions

Our free weekly Foundation Skills zoom sessions have been popular with students- so much so that we have set up a second one in later afternoon to meet student scheduling needs. It’s exciting to meet the people whose names we see on the registration list! Check the forums for both Service Puppy and Foundation Skills to see the current days and times of the Zoom sessions. 


New Class!

Public Access Level 4 Group Discussion is a new class! We will be offering it again in early December. The 2 x 1 hour group discussions are live and interactive and are for anyone who wants to be prepared how to handle staff and members of the public when they start training in public places like retail and restaurants. 

Dates: Nov. 27 at 1pm Pacific and Dec. 4 at 1pm.  

Preregistration required before midnight November 24.

Registration opens Nov 13, 2021 

CLICK HERE then scroll down for more details.

See you soon!  

Sign up for the following classes this month! 

Registration Open Now! 

Single class (self-study only) is CDN$40 (~ US$32).

Two-level class bundles (self-study only) CDN$75 (~ US$59)
Three-level class bundle (self-study only) CDN$105 (~ US$82)

CDN$440 (~ US$342) for the self-study SDTI school class bundle special!   

 3 x 30 min. private webcam coaching sessions are CDN$125 (~ US$98)
Purchase webcam sessions here.

1 hour private webcam consultation session with Donna Hill 
CDN$75 (~ US$59)
Purchase webcam consultation here.

Register in the Course Catalogue 


 SDTI Classes for October 


Service Puppy

Foundation Skills 1-3

Loose Leash Walking 1-3

Head Halters

Settle/Relax 1-2

Harnesses & Vests

Public Access Levels 1-4

Service Dog Retrieve 1-2

Anxiety Tasks

Wheelchair-Loose Leash Walking 1-2

Stress and the Service Dog webinar

Tricks for Service Dogs - Body Awareness       


Course Catalogue


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Service Dog Training Institute
Nanaimo, BC, Canada