When we are first contacted, we will begin with an initial assessment to meet both you, the person who the dog will be trained up for (if not yourself), and the dog. It is important that most of the family (if applicable) is present in order for us to get a full picture of what you want to achieve with your Owner Trained Helpful Hound. Provided the initial assessment goes well and we believe your dog has the potential to become an Owner Trained Helpful Hound, we will follow on with two more assessments between two to four weeks. The first will be seeing how your dog copes in a dog friendly environment, and the second will involve a dog walk to test recall, leadwork and meeting other dogs/people.
Provided these three assessments go well, we begin a tailored training program dependent on your requirement. Depending on the age, basic obedience and circumstances, trainers will advice the recommended frequency and length of sessions required. Some of the things we might cover include:
- Public Access Work, like shops, restaurants, busy shopping centres etc.
- Obedience Training.
- Taskwork training.
It all depends on what we feel the partnership will need in order to reach the standard of an Owner Trained Helpful Hound.
In order to become a fully partnered Helpful Hound, the dogs must be taken through an outside accreditation training scheme. Clients will be asked to attend classes run by other dog trainers in line with the following accreditation schemes:
Kennel Club Good Citizen Award.
IMDT Partnership Grades:
The dog must reach at least Silver (Kennel Club) or Grade 2 (IMDT Partnership) before the dog will be issued a jacket that allows them full public access rights under Helpful Hounds. The dog must reach Gold (Kennel Club) or Grade 3 (IMDT Partnership) standard before they can become a fully qualified assistance dog under Helpful Hounds.
There are two more tests a Helpful Hound in training must undertake before they are fully trained under the Helpful Hounds banner. They are as follows:
- The Helpful Hounds Taskwork Test – a test to see if the dog can perform the three trained tasks in the home environment.
- The Helpful Hounds Public Access Test – a final test to see if the dog can perform the three trained tasks in an outside environment.
If the dog can pass these two tests, they can become a fully trained Helpful Hound!
Our owner trained programme is a paid service, similar to paying a dog trainer to come and train your pet dog. Payment is on a session by session basis.
Our initial assessment is around £75, with every session thereafter roughly £40. This includes a 20p per mile charge if you are out of our twenty mile catchment area.
We are more than happy to help you fundraise for the costs of training, and are happy to answer any questions you might have about the above.