The Standard of Expert Los Angeles Therapy Dog Training, Emotional Support Dog Training & CGC Training Near You
Russell has been appointed by two consecutive Mayors, as a member & liaison of the Disability Access Committee (D.A.C.) for his service dog training and community leadership expertise. Russell offers therapy dog training, emotional support dog training, Canine Good Citizen, and service dog training near you.
Would you like your dog to go to hospitals, senior centers, and schools to help those in need benefit from your therapy dog? Training nearby for therapy dog certification will set you and your dog up for success.
Do you have a need for an ESA dog to be with you in your home? Do you need to travel with your emotional support dog to ease your anxiety, fear, or stress? If you need your ESA-trained dog to live with you in no dog allowed homes, apartment buildings and HOA’s, and your landlord or building won’t allow it, start emotional support dog training today.
Do you have a disability that requires the help of a dog to mitigate your disability and help you in life?
There are several different kinds of service dogs, including guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs, seizure alert/response dogs, psychiatric service dogs (PSD), and autism dogs. There are also other types of dogs with jobs that help people, including therapy dogs and emotional support animals (ESA).
Every person and service dog is unique, while service dogs are trained specifically to mitigate an individual’s disability, therapy dogs and emotional support dogs are not. Please visit our service dog training page and call if you have a specific disability that a service animal would help mitigate.
Russell has been awarded Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and STAR Puppy Evaluator by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for decades. Although Fun Paw Care does not support the AKC, we train dogs to a high degree of proficiency to meet higher standards than their Canine Good Citizen certification test and evaluate and test them after they have been sufficiently trained. Setting a standard higher than being a CGC shows a commitment that you are a responsible pet guardian and that your pet exhibits exceptional manners, behavior, and is well trained.
The CGC and similar designated criteria are regarded by many pet professionals as the stepping stone to becoming a Therapy Dog or Service Dog.
If your dog passes, they will receive a CGC Title by Fun Paw Care’s Canine Good Citizen program and be a CGC dog and maybe on their way to becoming an obedience champion, ESA, Therapy Dog or Service Dog. Please see our more intense first-class therapy dog Boot Camp training for Los Angeles parents that want to focus on a specific behavior and training issue or who want to speed up their therapy dog training.
1 Hour – $345
(In addition to the one-hour session, you receive a detailed therapy dog training and behavior analysis plan with abundant supporting resources)
Therapy Dog Training | ESA Training Program
CGC Testing and Therapy Dog Training Items:
Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, parents will sign the Responsible Dog Parents Pledge. Being a responsible dog parent is an integral part of the CGC dog training test whereby parents agree to take care of their dog’s safety, health needs, exercise, training, and quality of life. In addition, parents show responsibility by doing things such as never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others and cleaning up after their dogs in public places.
Once the Responsible Dog Parent Pledge is signed, parents and their dogs are ready to take the dog training test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:
- Accepting strangers – The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach him/her and naturally speak to the handler. Ignoring the dog, the dog trainer/evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner. The dog trainer/evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of shyness or resentment and must not break position or try to approach the dog trainer/evaluator.
- Sitting politely for petting – The dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch him/her while he/she is with their handler. To begin the exercise, the dog must be sitting at the handler’s side then the dog trainer/evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The dog may stand in place as he/she is petted. The handler may talk to their dog throughout the exercise. The dog must not show any resentment or shyness.
- Grooming and appearance – The dog will welcome being examined and groomed and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer, or a friend, to do so. This challenge also demonstrates the parent’s care, concern, and sense of responsibility.
The dog trainer/evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is groomed and clean. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., clean, healthy, proper weight, and alert). The dog handler should supply the brush or comb commonly used on the dog. The dog trainer/evaluator then gently brushes or combs the dog. In a natural manner, the dog trainer/evaluator will gently examine the ears and gently lifts up each foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination and the handler may praise the dog, talk to the dog, and give encouragement throughout the test.
- Loose leash walking – This challenge demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler, changes of direction, and is closely responding to the handler’s movements. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog does not need to be perfectly aligned with the handler and does not need to sit when the handler stops.
The dog trainer/evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the dog/handler team by issuing instructions or cues. Regardless of the course, there should be a left turn, right turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may praise the dog, talk to the dog along the way, or give cues or requests in a normal tone of voice. The handler may also ask the dog to sit at the halts if desired.
- Walking through a crowd – This challenge demonstrates that the dog is under control in public places can move about politely amongst people and pedestrian traffic. The dog and handler must walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler. There should be no sign of over-exuberance, resentment, or shyness. The handler may encourage the dog, talk to the dog, or praise the dog throughout the challenge. The dog should not strain on the leash or jump on people.
- Sit, Down and Stay on request – Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a 20 – foot lead. The dog must demonstrate that he/she has training, will respond to the handler’s requests to sit, down, and stay in the place requested by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must perform sit and down on request, then the stay.
The parent chooses the position for the stay. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one cue to get the dog to sit and then down. The dog trainer/evaluator will determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s requests.
The handler may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance but may not force the dog into position. When instructed by the dog trainer/evaluator, the handler asks the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the 20 – foot line, turns, and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the dog trainer/evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. It is acceptable to release the dog from the front or the side.
- Recall – This challenge demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler shall walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may simply walk away giving no instructions to the dog or choose to tell the dog to “wait” or “stay.”
- Reactivity to other dogs – This challenge demonstrates that the dog does not have aggression to other dogs can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of approximately 20 feet, stop, shake hands, chat, and then continue for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in one another or the other human. Neither dog should approach the other dog or its handler.
- Reactivity to distractions – This challenge demonstrates the level of confidence the dog has. The dog should be calm at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The dog trainer/evaluator will choose and present two distractions.
Examples of distractions may include rolling a crate dolly past the dog, dropping a chair, dropping a cane or crutch, or having a jogger run in front of the dog. The dog should not show aggressiveness, bark, panic, or try to run away but may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled. The handler may encourage and or praise the dog throughout the exercise or talk to the dog.
- Supervised separation – This challenge demonstrates that a dog does not have separation anxiety does not bark and can be left with a trusted person and will maintain dog training and good manners. Dog trainers/evaluators are encouraged to ask something similar to, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take control of the dog’s leash. The parent will then go out of sight for three minutes.
The dog does not have to stay in one position but should not continually whine, pace excessively, bark, or show anything other than mild agitation or nervousness. Dog trainers/evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive petting, talking, or management attempts.
Therapy Dog Training FAQs
What Dog Training Leashes, Collars, Equipment And Treats May Be Used?
For all of the tests, the dog/s must be on a leash. For collars, special training dog collars such as head halters, and abusive pinch collars, choke chains and electronic collars are not permitted in the Los Angeles dog training test and should be illegal and never be used in any environment. However, rear attaching body harnesses may be used in the dog training test as long as it does not completely restrict the dog’s movement to the degree that could not pull or jump if he/she tried.
Although some non-aversive equipment may be effective and helpful to prevent your dog from pulling, your dog should be trained well enough to behave without any need for such devices.
What Should I Bring To A Dog Training Test?
Your dog :), yourself, the dog’s comb or brush, your leash, collar, water for your dog, and happy, calm energy. The dog trainer/test evaluator will supply the 20 – foot lead for the test.
How May I Interact With My Dog Throughout The Test?
You may use encouragement, positive energy, and praise throughout the test. Petting the dog between exercises is acceptable however treats, food, and toys are not.
What Constitutes A Dog Training Certification Dismissal Or Failure?
No dog or parent is a failure; this just means that you and your best friend need more human and dog training. Any dog that eliminates during the test and needs potty training will be marked as a dismissal/failure. There is one exception to that rule, and that is when the dog has supervised separation, and it is held outdoors. Any dog that displays behavior problems such as a dog that bites, growls, snaps, attacks, lunges, displays any fear, anxiety or stress or attempts to attack another dog or human is not a well-trained dog and will be automatically dismissed/failed.