Bella was rescued from a foster that had received her from Kansas. She was abused and abandoned before her mother could help discipline her, so she was behaviorally and emotionally wild.
At just 7 weeks, she was crate trained, but not house trained, was biting us, jumped to the point of serious injury, and was full of way too much energy.
But still, I knew she was meant to be my service dog. She had hope in her eyes and was truly a beautiful little puppy who just needed guidance and love. It was love at first site for us.
In order for the adoption to be completed, I needed to have her enrolled into training beforehand. So off I went down the rabbit hole of service dog training schools and how to train your dog on your own compared to programs that pre-train your dogs. Let me tell you, that research landed me here at Service Dog Training School International!
With SDTSI, I was able to purchase a bundle for my puppy’s training in obedience and Psychiatric Service Dog Intensive Training. I automatically received access for two years and had access to look over everything immediately after payment. I was so excited I read through the first two training courses.
The puppy training helped us bond, build our confidence together, listen better to each other's body language, learn our nervous ticks and tells, leash training was a must, and establish dominance + submission.
I still use many of our original obedience commands from our training sessions that we worked on for a couple of months. Most of these commands are come, sit, stay, wait, lay down, alert, etc.
I say these commands many times a day, so we are constantly training. I set aside time to do development work where we start simple and add in harder tasks towards the end and then treat bomb with simple commands that she can for sure do. This way we are constantly learning and achieving new goals.
We have learned each other's tells to the point where, as soon as I stand up to walk, Bella is right at my heel ready to work. She is in tune with what I’m feeling and how our routine typically would be.
But the real magic happened during our task training portion of the Psychiatric Service Dog Intensive Training. When we really started to assign the alert command actual motions for me to recognize I needed to sit down. When she started to put together her next task after sitting me down, to DPT or deep pressure therapy, where she applies pressure to my body just by the common need to hug someone who’s upset.
This bond was really established earlier in training, which made the transition through Psychiatric Service Training so much easier.
I may not vest my dog while we are home, but I certainly do vest her when we are out in public, and she really does enjoy the ability to show off and do her work to the best of her ability, learning something new along the way.
I am so proud of how far my Bella has come, and we owe it to the knowledge and experience we have gained, which is so invaluable, to Service Dog Training School International and our trainer Dani! The support we received through the beginning of our training, through my brain injury, and after into the end portion of our testing is more than we would have received from a local training company. We are so grateful.
Thank you for helping us establish our team and growing with us through every obstacle along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.