This page is for professional trainers. If you are a dog owner looking for a trainer to help you train your service dog, please see our Service Dog Training services instead.
Service Dog Consultation for Pet Professionals
Are you a professional trainer taking on a service dog client? If this case is different from previous clients or if service dog training is a new field for you, you may be looking for guidance to give the best possible service to your client and their dog. You’ve come to the right place. Sharon Wachsler, head trainer at At Your Service, offers flexible services to pet professionals, based on what you need to do your best work for your client.
Consultation Services for Pet Professionals
Sharon works with clients to help them train their own service dogs. If you are thinking about entering this specialty, she can help you with new cases. As an experienced trainer in this relatively small, niche field, Sharon is available to help you and can collaborate by phone and email.
We hear from trainers around the country with questions about the process of owner-training service dogs. There is a great deal of confusion and information to navigate: Which laws apply to which situations? What is the best approach to working with service dog partners? Which manners skills are most important? In what order should you train manners and tasks? How do you tell a client that their dog is not a good candidate? How do you help a client find a good candidate dog? Which tasks are best to train for which disabilities? We can help answer these questions.
If you’ve been approached by a client who wants you to help training a service dog, but you’re not sure of the best approach, she can offer a tandem consult:
- Tandem consults are a two-hour, three-way call with you, Sharon, and your client
- Before the tandem consult, you and Sharon meet by phone to discuss your questions and concerns
- During the tandem consult, Sharon takes a history and makes recommendations. You and the client will get both of your questions answered and can coordinate and agree on next steps
- After the consult, you can implement the recommendations, working one-on-one with the client on the ground.
- After the consult, Sharon meets with you again to debrief and go over any questions you have before you begin working with the client. Both you and your client will also be given the password and have lifelong access to my Client Portal with its library of over 80 handouts on dog training and service dog information.
- A month of email follow-up is also included for you and the client.
- Sharon is available at any point by phone or email to you or your client when questions arise about service dog training.
- Tandem consultations are $270. It is up to you how to divide this, but we generally recommend $200 from the client and $70 from the trainer.
If you’ve already started working with the client or you prefer to conduct intake on your own, Sharon can meet with you by phone or online to provide guidance. We’ll set up a call and address all your questions. Typical issues include, “How do we decide assistance tasks for this dog?” “How do we work around the client’s physical or emotional limitations?” “How do I know if this dog is appropriate as a service dog?” On-tap consultations are $97 per hour by phone, with follow-up materials and handouts by email. Depending on the case, we may ask for video or written history on the client and/or dog before we meet.
Shannon Bayless of In Tune Dogs in Georgia did an “on-tap consultation” with Sharon when she was interested in taking on more service dog work. Shannon called the consult “a bargain.” Read Shannon’s experience of consulting with At Your Service.
Presentations and Workshops
Would you like to offer a service dog workshop, webinar, or presentation? I am available to speak at your training facility or to give a webinar. Topics may include service dog laws, the process of training a service dog, service dog task selection, selecting appropriate SDiT candidates, or hands-on work with clients. I am an experienced writer and public speaker. I am happy to develop just the right material for your audience.
Sharon is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a graduate with distinction of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA-CTP). She has been involved in the disability community since 1991. Before Sharon became a professional trainer, she worked as a disability information and referral specialist, then became disabled herself by severe chronic illness. She trained her first service dog as an owner-trainer in 1998 and has been deeply involved in the service dog community since then. She ran the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival and the service dog blog, After Gadget, in the 2000s and has been actively involved in the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners’ (IAADP) since the 1990s, including writing and editing training articles for its newsletter. Sharon opened At Your Service in 2014 to help people to train their own canine assistants.
Sharon’s combined expertise in service dogs, life with a disability, and working privately with clients offers clients unparalleled support and insight to trainers who are delving into this field for the first time. Learn more about Sharon’s background, including professional associations, credentials, education, and media appearances.
How do I set up a consult or workshop?
Call 413-336-0598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to helping you and your clients to achieve your goals!