As I am a non-veteran (contractor) with an extensive history of work in war zones and the VA benefits do not apply to me, my options were limited. I have been advised that there was a three to five-year wait for a service dog (not to mention the great expense) after all standard treatments have been exhausted for the type of assistance I need.
SDTSI gives you the fundamentals in a very easy-to-understand and implements the methodology. We were able to take our dog from 0 to 60 in a short period of time, given we worked consistently in 10-minute increments, every day, several times a day. Of course, with all things, consistent repetition and experience will fill out the rest of the training.
Naida is doing so well and has mastered the basics, thankfully she is a very calm-natured dog which makes it easy to continue public access training when we return to the U.S.
For anyone thinking that a service dog would benefit them after exhausting standard treatments should seriously consider the school. Dogs are amazing animals and their abilities are unmatched. One must have patience and allow the dog to learn at his/her own rate. I would not recommend going it alone, as the advice of an expert can save you months in training.
Please stay away from the scam sites that offer to just “register” your dog without training and uploading videos as proof of concept. They are scams and afford you no protections under the law as your Service Dog must be well trained to accompany you in public. SDTSI is a real training academy and requires proof of concept in video and written form to move on. They really care about progression and make the lessons easy. The team at SDTSI has been great and the tutors have been very responsive.