At what age can a SD candidate become a service dog in training?

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Haven, SDiT

Professional- Catcher
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 5:53pm PST 
I'm not planning on my puppy being a SDiT anytime soon, as she's only three months. But could anyone tell me what the age range is for a dog to start training to be a service dog? Mine is definitely far too young, but I'd just like to know for sure for future reference what age is acceptable.

Edited by author Sat Jan 19, '13 6:33pm PST


Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 8:25pm PST 
I don't think your dog is too young at all. Start off with obedience. Don't think you have to wait till a certain age before you start doing any training. I started Sarge on obedience when I got him when he was 8 weeks old. Once I felt he was ready to move on I trained until I felt he was ready to pass the CGC test. I took him with me to different dog friendly places once he was old enough and done with his vaccinations to get him used to different noises and people in different situations. Once he passed his CGC is when I really started focusing on his task training. He was quick to pick up a lot of things at a young age. Now I didn't start taking him into other stores as a SD in training till I knew he would be well behaved in public, passed his CGC, and fully potty trained. I've never had an issue with anyone asking us to leave a restaurant or store because of him because of how well behaved he is even with his vest saying he's in training. My state doesn't protect SD's in training so if a store had asked me to leave I would have to so I make sure I never give them a reason to. My problem is having people leave us alone when we go out. I'm constantly blocking ADULTS from petting him and wanting to stop me and ask me about what breed he is. My husband and I joke that I just need to hang a sign around Sarge's neck that says, " I'm a Saint Bernard/ Standard Poodle mix. No you may not Pet me." He has a patch on his X Large red vest that says working dog Do Not Pet but people seem to be blind to that when they see him. I just bought some new patches that will hopefully stand out more that says Stop! Do Not Pet Do Not Distract. We'll see how that works out.
Haven, SDiT

Professional- Catcher
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 9:14pm PST 
Yeah, I have started off with obedience. Currently working on sit, off, lay down, leave it, not walking out doors before me, walking nicely on a leash and also eliminating biting and training her to go outside. Also trying to get her more used to the sounds of cars, seeing people and dogs on walks, etc. She's very friendly, but gets SO excited! She's doing well with some of those things, so I'm working on those with her for a while until everything is pretty much perfected.

Next on my list after those is working on heel and maybe a few more complex things (wave, shake paw, etc.), as well as maybe teaching her some very basic things that could help me out (probably would start with teaching her to find my phone and keys for me). Sorry to hear that people pet your SD, I know it can be very frustrating, as my best friend has a guide dog. People pet the dog and distract her by talking to her all the time!


Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 10:00pm PST 
Sounds like your off to a good start. I ended up buying a pouch for Sarges collar from a gun/military store to put my small wallet and phone in so I wouldn't lose my purse again in a store. I couldn't remember if I had brought my purse in with me before because my migraine hit me and I was in too much pain. Luckily I got it back and nothing was missing but that sure gave me an anxiety attack at the time. Now I don't have to worry about it and I can also carry my meds with me.
Abrams Tank- SD

I'm trying to- fill some BIG- paws
Barked: Fri Jan 25, '13 5:48pm PST 
Tank went from SD candidate to SDiT when he was about 5 months old. He is now a year old and is in my opinion doing very well with his training. He has been to church once and to the new years eve wrestling show that a couple friends of my hubby and I work with. Tank did so well at both those events and we are talking about taking him to the next wrestling show in two months. I think its whenever you really feel comfortable with making your dog a SDiT. I know we really stepped up Tank's training after my hubby's previous SD Katana passed suddenly in August of a heart attack.
Chief- Majestix the- Impeccable


Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 12:05am PST 
A potential SD is in training once they are born..
Training is a wide range of things, which is being done at many different places and in many different situations. Every walk is a practice, every visit to friends or parks, the city, every trip on a bus..
It's up to you to make it age appropriate.
Chief started being out when he was a few weeks old. I sat with him outside, holding him, humming, wrapping him in a blanket, playing music, walking through different rooms to take in atmosphere, brushing him with a very soft brush,.. just sweet stuff.
The older he got the more we did.
The most important thing was going on walks. When he was very little, I stood in front of the door in the sun for a minute, holding him.
Every day I went outside for a min. When he was 6 weeks old we went down the street for the first time, carry only. Then around the block, around town, sitting in a park, playground, water fountain - be creative.
Training when they are young is all about stimulation, sensory work, handling and some basic and simple obedience.
When he had all his vaccinations, he went wherever we went. His first cafe visit was when he was about 4 months old. He was curled up on my lab and took it all in. He loves this stuff. Again, you got to make it age appropriate and fun for the pup. It's all play and fun, timing, short units when they are young.
Have fun training dog walk
feel free to check out my article
my facebook trainings albums (sonja ohldag)
youtube channel (sonja ohldag)

Mali Woo
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 12:17pm PST 
Mali started the day she came home, 11 weeks old. I never had any other plans for her but to be my service dog. Everything I did with her was with that in mind. Doggie daycare For socialization with other dogs… puppy kindergarten… basic obedience… advance obedience… walks in the beside my wheelchair daily starting the day she came home, and when she had enough shots the daily walks became at the park. Walks down town, at the airport, adventures to as many different places before she was a year that I could come up with…very thing geared towards her becoming my service dog one day.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 12:04pm PST 
Sadie was 7 months old when I got her and started right off training her. She was pretty good with her obiediants Basic training. She was very smart and fast on top of all her need to know stuff. I just kept up with her basic training to be well behaved and socializing her to bits. (that was the most important thing was to socialize her cause was the breed that most people mistakened her to be a bad breed dog. I was very attament on her downs and other tasks, menovers. Sadie was good at all this and then some. I was very impressed with her manners and abilitie to adapt to to any situations and to learn fast. A lot of breeders claim that their breeds were fast learners. She is high sprited and strong that is for sure I really like her looks and etc. So her breed just fit my needs and I just was happy to have her learn and improvize her own training. SHe just seemed to know what I needed her to do and I just needed to incurage her helping behavyors to my needs. I am a big advicate of this kind of training when it works for me.