Sit is a command that we use to direct our dogs to sit down. Often times, this command is used to get our dogs to wait patiently before entering a room, or to politely greet the public!
Down is a command that we use to direct our dogs to lie down. Once our puppies have mastered this command, they begin acquiring access to public spaces like restaurants and classes where they get to put this task to good work!
Stay and Come
Stay is a command used to keep our puppies in one place until we ask them to move! This is an incredibly important skill our puppies have to learn at a young age so that they can begin going to long classes or to outings to restaurants! Once we need the puppies to move, we use Come to ask the dogs to come to us!
Touch and Mark
Touch is a command that we use to direct our dogs to touch our hands, eventually transitioning them to being able to touch handicap buttons or other objects! Mark is a tool used to get our dogs to understand the beginnings of the command Push. By teaching them early to touch things with their nose, they are able to understand the difference between Push and Touch much easier!
We use Place to direct our dogs to settle in a specific spot. By teaching them this at a young age, it allows the puppies to learn that they are supposed to settle down in a specific spot! This helps with in-home manners, as well as settling in places like restaurants and classes.
Under is the command we use to direct our dogs to lie under a table, chair, or other object that we need our puppies to settle under. When going out in public to restaurants and classes, this command is used to direct the dog where to lay!
Take it, Hold and Give
These commands almost always go hand in hand. Take it is used to pick things up or retrieve things from across the room. By using the Hold command, our dogs can carry things in their mouths when asked while walking around in public. Finally, we use Give to have our puppies place the object that they are holding in our hand. Using all three of these techniques together allows our dogs to do incredilble mobility tasks like paying the cashier or carrying umbrellas for us around campus!
Head Down is a command that we use to settle our dogs. Whenever our puppies are feeling a little extra energetic, this command asks them to place their head on the ground and lie still in an attempt to calm them down.
This is a command that is used by our dogs to tug on various objects that we direct them to! This can include tugging open the fridge or oven, cabinets, or even helping us take off a sweatshirt!
Push is a command used by our dogs to apply continual pressure to an object or person by using their nose. Practical applications include closing the fridge or cabinets, pushing buttons, or helping someone push their legs up onto a bed!
Finish is a word we use for body-positioning. The command directs the dog to line their front paws up with their handler's hip. From here, the trainer and dog can walk nicely on leash!
Heel and the command, Finish, are very similar. However, while Finish lines the dog up at a trainer's hip before they begin walking, Heel ensures that the dog remains walking at your hip while actually in the process of moving!
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"Being a trainer will change your life. You learn patience, problem-solving and persistence.There are no words to describe how much someone grows through a partnership with a service dog in training."
-Hannah White, Training Supervisor (2013).
"WSD is an amazing organization. As an active member for four years, I learned that helping others not only gives back to society as a whole, but it also brings someone personal and lifelong joy."
-Jennifer Lyons, Puppy Raiser (2013) & Training Supervisor (2014).
"Getting to grow close to each dog through sitting has been life changing. These dogs truly leave paw prints on your heart and I feel so blessed to watch them grow."
-Brianna Vollman, WSD Sitter (2017).
"The puppies I raised will have a place in my heart forever, but most of all, I am so grateful to have been given the chance to help them grow into dogs who can make someone's life better in a way that I can never fully understand. It was such an incredible experience to be able to give something so special to someone else."
-Molly Mathistad, Puppy Raiser (2017), Training Supervisor (2017), & President (2018).
"Having a little puppy taught a big responsibility of time management and just being responsible in general. I'm so thankful he was brought into my life and still changes lives today."
-Haley Barter, Puppy Raiser & Secretary (2016).
"I get so excited for every dog in the program because every dog has so much potential and I love seeing them fulfill that purpose. I will forever be grateful to this program for showing me and letting me fulfill a passion for helping dogs, help people!"
-Caitlin Hudson, WSD Sitter & Photography Chair (2017).