Description of Training
Training is first performed on a basic level, and then moves to customized training focused on socialization and the performance of specific tasks. Nearly 400 hours is invested in each dog and soldier. We train all dogs to perform specific tasks pursuant to the final ruling released in March 2011, under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). These tasks include, but are not limited to, brace, get help, lights, doors, pull, dress, retrieve, reverse – all standard Service Dog tasks. Additional Psychiatric Service Dog tasks include tactile stimulation, alerting, interrupting, stabilizing, calming, waking, initiate activity, initiate interpersonal interaction, and the creation of personal space. Non-task functions of Psychiatric Service Dogs include providing a constant 24-hour reassuring, unconditional Love and companionship. They also occupy the mind of the Veteran, helping direct their focus on something other than depression, or re-living horrible memories due to traumatic events experienced during deployment. The Veteran is required to train extensively alongside the dog before we can release them into their care, on Graduation Day.
All Puppies begin with general training including training and certification as AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and AKC Canine Good Citizenship (CGC).
Handler Training Curriculum: Dog Behaviors, Temperament , Pack Structure, Behavior Modification, AKC S.T.A.R.Puppy and CGC Test Items; Public Access Test Items; Obedience for Service Dog; Physical and Psychiatric Disabilities; Disabilities that qualify for a Service Dog; Symptoms for each Disability ; Service Dog Tasks for each Symptom ; Laws Regarding Service Dogs; Advanced Service Dog Obedience Training; Psychiatric Service Dog Tasks ; Public Application of Advanced Obedience and Service Tasks
Final Testing before certification as a Patriot Rover Psychiatric Service Dog includes: Testing on Advanced Obedience, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and CGC, Public Access, and Service Tasks