Team Training is the moment that our puppies work toward from the moment they’re born.
At eight weeks old, the puppies start learning basic cues, like “sit” and “down.” As they grow, their puppy raisers teach them good house manners, take them out in public to get them used to working in different environments and situations, and teach them a variety of other cues. When the dogs are 18-24 months old, they move on to advanced training where they learn more complex cues. They meet several people, make a match, and receive individualized training specifically for that one person.
And finally, when their training is complete, it’s time to learn how to work with their new partners. It’s time for Team Training.
SSD Atari, SSD Clara, and SSD Dyson are going through Team Training right now. The first moment when our volunteers bring the dogs out to their partners is almost magical. The dog comes trotting toward you, and as you’re petting him or her and giving the dog treats, you know that this is going to be your dog.
Since that moment, Atari, Clara, and Dyson have been practicing cues and getting to know each other. They’ve been practicing cues like “visit,” “lap,” opening doors, and picking up items. As they continue to work together, their trust in each other will grow and soon an inseparable bond will be forged.
At the end of the two-and-a-half-week Team Training, each team will take the public access test, and then they will officially be working service dog teams!