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Public Access Preparation - 4 Part Series


Public Access begins when an assistance dog starts training in public places like retail stores, community buildings etc. Both of you need a specific set of skills to do so safely and effectively. In general, that means your dog should be 12-18 months old before she starts official public access, not just acclimation and generalizing basic training in public.

The required knowledge, skills, behaviors and approaches will be broken down into a 4 level course. 

 Note: These classes are NOT included as part of the school bundle.

Prerequisites: Foundation Skills Level 1-3 or good knowledge of principles and application of positive reinforcement training.


Public Access Preparation- Level - 1 & 2

For dogs 6 months and up.
Cdn$75 (for self study class only)

(3x30 min web cam 
consults available for extra purchase)

Class Goals

Your dog learns:  How to further generalize 4 behaviors needed for public access: sit, settle, loose leash walking and doorways
Is your young dog over-excited by movement, other people (toddlers, kids or people) or dogs? Is he worried about being taken away from you by a stranger? Learn how to teach him to be desensitized to common distractions in public.

How to further generalize being non-reactive to unexpected sounds and moving machines found in stores, ignoring people, and greeting people only on cue. 

Before you label your dog as "Service Dog In Training" in public, find out what public access is, how to assess if your dog is ready and if not, how to lay the foundation at home and in your yard to condition your dog to what he needs to be able to handle. Identify areas of weakness you need to work on before starting public access training. Discover what body language to look for to determine if and to what degree your dog is stressed and how to respond appropriately to that stress. Play some games that will build confidence specific to public access situations. Try out a general approach you can use to desensitize your dog to different kinds of distractions. Join the class for weekly challenges that will help you and your dog to generalize key behaviors! This class focusses on readiness for public access. 115 video clips to watch!

Learn how to prepare for and train specific behaviors for common situations and features found in public such as: posts, following in narrow areas, check out desk, line ups, elevators, eating areas, greeting children, babies, handler leaving dog, dog taken away from handler, and a dropped leash. Discover how to get stimulus control for cued behaviors. Over 120 video clips in this class!

Over 7 hours of audio files in Level 1 & 2 so you can listen to the class read by the instructor.  

Public Access Preparation - Level 3 

Cdn$40 (for self-study class only)

(3x30 min web cam 
consults available for extra purchase)

Class Goals:

Your dog learns: that ignoring dogs, other animals, and merchandise is desirable and that a vest or harness is a cue to work. Formalizing the navigation of getting in and out of a vehicle, loose leash walking in the parking lot, common public features like moving through different doorway types, passing through gates and turnstiles, bathrooms, navigating an elevator, relaxing in restaurants, and travelling away from home.

The handler learns a methodical approach public access training, how to read signs of stress in your dog and how to respond appropriately. Find out how to use  controlled set ups to teach your dog to ignore distractions and apply "the Rule of 10". Find out how you can protect the team and your dog when working in public. Discover the importance of habit and learn common behavior chains in public places. Determine how to use exercise to help with success and what to put in your public access training tool kit. More on record keeping. Learn tricks to maintain your own motivation for public access training and key tips to set you both up for success! Did you know that there are times when you should not do public access with your dog and how the handler can deal with her own stress of working in public? 62 video clips plus photos and diagrams to learn from!


Public Access Preparation - Level 4
Web Cam Discussion

 New Class! Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 2021

 Class Goals: 

Working in public presents more challenges than just getting your dog to ignore distractions and respond to your cues. People of all ages and descriptions can become the challenge themselves.

Join us for two-one hour structured web cam sessions to explore what your rights and responsibilities are as a handler in retail locations and restaurants, and how to prevent and calmly handle challenges to your access as well as the many unwanted behaviours members of the public do to you and your dog.  Class is limited to 6 handler teams.

No prerequisites but you and your dog should be training in pet-friendly public places before we start class. Dogs must be a minimum of a year old.

Be prepared to be viewed on web cam and participate in discussions to share problem-solving ideas. 

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know you are interested in being put on our wait list.

Next class TBA.
Limited to 4 handlers. CA$40 per person.

Make sure to check into the class before it starts as there is a pre-class assignment!


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