Pet Professional Consulting

Get the Best Results for Your Clients

Service dog training is a specialized field. Receive expert guidance to give your clients your best.

  • On-tap consulting – Get a quick hit of support whenever you need it. Get your questions answered. Receive guidance, trouble-shooting, and materials to provide the best service to your client.
  • Tandem consultation – Working with you and your client together, we’re the training wheels on your tandem bike. Whether at the initial consult or midway through a package, we’ll give you the strength and stability to continue on your journey with confidence.

Life Saving

“Although I train pet dogs professionally, I was struggling to use my skills to train a service dog for my friend who was paralyzed in a bike accident. Sharon was priceless. Within just a few tandem training sessions we made huge progress. Sharon is very responsive and actually cares deeply about her clients. My friend is doing great with her dog now, and their bond has deepened due to the training.” ​

Emily Wolf, CPDT-KA

German Shepherd

On-tap Consulting

Tandem Consultation

Choosing the Right Service

Which option is right for me: tandem consultation, on-tap consultation, mentorship, or something else?

More details about each option are below, but here are some general guidelines.

Tandem consultations are most useful for professional trainers who want help with a specific case – often near the beginning of the case or when you’ve hit a roadblock. These are cases where you and your client need guidance at the same time. This is usually the best option for pet dog trainers who are new to service dog training. Book your consultation.

On-tap consulting is usually best for trainers who want guidance on working with service dog cases, setting up their business around service dog consulting, or have more than one case that they want to consult about. This is usually the best option for trainers who have primarily trained pets and have started to take service dog cases. You may be discovering that similar questions are arising across cases, trying to decide which service dog cases to take and which to refer out, or how to better structure your business for service dog training. Book your consultation.

Our mentorship program is geared toward people who want ongoing guidance, support, and education about working as a professional dog trainer or specifically as a service dog trainer. Some mentees are considering careers as service dog or pet trainers; others are already working as pet or service dog trainers. Some are new to the field; others are experienced pet trainers who are now taking more service dog clients. If you are a college student or a student for one of the trainer vocational programs, you may be able to earn credit or observation hours through your institution. Learn more about our At Your Service Mentorship.

Sara Munro

Worth a lot more than you charge!

I can’t say enough good things about my experience. I learned so much – not just on the service dog aspect, but also the way you worked with the client, your approach and how organized you were, the resources and extras you provided. I think you are worth a lot more than you charge! I appreciate that not only are you a serious and skilled trainer steeped in evidence-based training methodology, but I loved that you have an eye out for the emotional and physical welfare of both the human and the dog. 

Sharon helps avoid common pitfalls while exceeding your training expectations. I highly recommend her as a consultant for trainers taking on service dog cases.”

Sara Munro CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, CSAT

Logistics, Costs & General Questions

Since we consult with trainers and clients across the country, we’re very experienced with online consultations (Zoom video chat). However, for those in our area, we can certainly meet in person. 

For tandem consultations, the ideal is for you and your client to meet at the client’s home while we connect by Zoom. This allows us to start coaching you and your client as we all train the dog together. 

For tandem consults, sometimes just the initial consultation is all you need to get your client on track to continue training with you. In other cases, we may recommend a training package to give you and your client the tools you need to go forward with confidence. For example, a few lessons can be very helpful when there are issues of training mechanics and equipment for physically disabled clients or communication issues relating to a cognitive or psychiatric disability. On-tap consulting, as the name implies, is typically used as needed. Trainers with specific questions about service dog training usually meet with us one to three times to get answers when they need them. We’ll make a recommendation at the end of our first hour.  If you’re seeking ongoing service dog mentorship – to observe and learn from a professional service dog trainer every week, read course work, and meet regularly – we recommend our mentorship program instead.

If you know which option is right for you, you can book your consultation now.

A 90-minute on-tap consultation is best for questions about more than one case, complex cases (especially if both the client and the dog present challenges), or for questions about setting up or modifying your business to accommodate service dog training. Get answers now. 

A one-hour on-tap consultation is most helpful for guidance for working with a disabled client who has a pet dog, advice on a single service dog case, or for specific questions about service dog training. If you are incorporating service dog training into your business, a package of three one-hour consultations to be used whenever you need them will offer you the best support and save $50.  Book a one-time consultation  or book a package of three consults

A tandem consultation is the best option for guiding you and your client at the same time – at the beginning of a case OR when you’re farther along and have run into a roadblock. Consult with your client about days and times you can BOTH do before scheduling your tandem consultation. Once that’s scheduled, we’ll get in touch to set up your brief individual meeting with Sharon before meeting with you and your client. Get expert support for you and your client.

If you’re not sure which service fits best, contact us. Please describe a bit about your training business, the client(s) you have questions about, and your location. We’ll get in touch with a recommendation for the service that will support you and your clients the best.

Rebecca Brame

Confidence & Fortification

“Sharon, I spoke to this client yesterday that I mentioned in the last session. I think I used all of your metaphors! I was surprised that her first reaction was relief! I had an epiphany. I realized that she already knew – and needed me to tell her in no uncertain terms in order to move forward. I would not have had the confidence to have done that in a decisive way before we spoke, and I am realizing what an imperative part of this job that is. Also, the screening concept we discussed will be a HUGE asset for me. I do love these clients, but phew they require emotional fortification!”

Rebecca Brame, CPDT-KA KPA-CTP

Frequently Asked Questions

On-Tap Consulting

On-tap consulting is ideal for trainers in these situations…

  • You’re thinking about adding service dog training to your services. You want to prevent problems and make the change smoothly for you, your business, and your future clients.
  • You’re working with a pet dog owner with a physical, mental, or emotional disability that is adding complexity to the training process. You want help with practical suggestions to improve training outcomes for the client and dog.
  • You are already working with one or more service dog teams. You’ve noticed certain questions arising repeatedly (e.g., how to work with teams where the dog is inappropriate for public access but is providing a huge emotional benefit to the handler, how to help clients train when they are already struggling to function, how to set boundaries with clients who text at 3 AM). Other typical questions may include laws and terms; the service dog training process; service dog business structures; or which types of service dogs to focus on.
  • You want to give your clients top-notch service dog training without having to refer them to a service dog specialist
  • You want to talk with an honest, nonjudgmental, experienced service dog trainer as a sounding board, resource, or mentor*

We’ll address what matters most to you. Often, we’ll untangle an underlying issue that’s been causing you headaches and discuss solutions to prevent those in the future! On-tap consults can help you…

  • Decide on assistance tasks for a particular team
  • Work more confidently with a client’s physical limitations or emotional challenges
  • Feel comfortable deciding which questions to ask about a client’s medical or psychiatric conditions or knowing when to speak with a client’s therapist or ask for a doctor’s letter
  • Determine if a dog is appropriate for service work – and help the client accept when their dog is not a candidate
  • Decide how to take care of yourself and your business when working with “high-maintenance” clients, including those with severely disabling conditions or intense emotional distress, low-income clients who may not be able to afford lessons, clients who text you in the middle of the night, etc. (Or help you decide which of these clients are not a good fit for you, and how to screen or refer out.)
Shannon Bayless

The Exact Information I Needed

“Yours is the most useful consultation fee I’ve paid in a long time! I really appreciate the prep work you did and your generous sharing of documents before we even had our call. The call was packed with the exact, straightforward information I needed to proceed with more involved service dog training. The questions you asked before our call made me look at some inefficiencies in my business and I was ready to hear your good advice on fixing those time and money leaks. Considering the tremendous value I just received, your consultation was a bargain! Thank you!”

Shannon Bayless, KPA CTP

Tandem Consultations

Tandem consultations are a meeting between you, your client, and At Your Service Dog Training’s head trainer, Sharon Wachsler CPDT-KA KPA-CTP. The tandem consult has three parts:

  1. Before the consultation, we’ll meet by phone or Zoom to discuss the case. We’ll go over your questions and get background on the dog and handler/family. We’ll also send your client our service dog questionnaire to get more information.
  2. We’ll all meet together (online by Zoom or in-person if you’re local) – you, your client, and our trainer. We will conduct the consultation, but you’ll be present to ask questions, provide background, etc.
  3. After the consult, you and your client will receive written recommendations and access to our extensive library of written and video tutorials. You’ll also have a private follow-up meeting to “debrief” and ask final questions.

You and your client are both learning together from an expert. (Although you are hearing the same material at the same time, you will understand it at a different level than your client.) This process unites you as a team to move forward with greater clarity, confidence, and understanding of training problems and solutions. You both receive follow-up notes and recordings. The consultation is intended to support everyone (trainer, client, and dog) while also underlining your expertise and professionalism to your client.

Tandem consultations are typically most useful for helping you with a particular client that is a little outside your comfort zone. For example…

  1. A new client. A client has approached you to train their puppy as a future service dog. You feel confident with puppy and manners training, but you’re not a service dog expert. Before you get too deep, you want to be certain that you’re doing all the right things to set the team up for future success. You may have only done an initial consultation, no consultation, or be early in the training package. 

    A tandem consultation gets you and your client off to the right start – and on the same foot!

  2. Feeling stuck. You’ve hit a bump in the road with a client, such as…
  • You’re not sure whether the dog is cut out for the life of a service dog
  • The client has a new physical disability and is having trouble adapting to different training mechanics
  • You can’t get the client to hear your concerns, and now you’re questioning your approach. 

    A tandem consultation will cut through the confusion and provide clarity for you and your client from an impartial third party with service dog expertise.

  1. Additional expertise required. You’re a skilled and experienced pet trainer, but service dog particulars are leaving you uncertain. Such as…
  • The team has finished manners training. How should you select service tasks?
  • How to train in public places like medical offices, restaurants, and buses? Should you call ahead to ask permission? Should you bring a letter? How to choose the best locations to start?
  • You’re facing legal questions. One client’s chiropractor is requiring a letter from you to bring the dog to the client’s appointment. Another client is taking the dog to college and asking whether disability rights laws apply to keeping the dog in a dorm 

    A tandem consultation will answer your and your clients’ questions and set the next steps for your team’s training plan.

That’s up to you. Some trainers want their client to pay the whole fee, while others prefer to split it with the client. Since payment is due at the time of booking, you may choose to have your client book and pay for the consultation, or you may book the consultation and invoice the client for their portion.

Delightful and Engaging

Thank you for your presentation yesterday. I have been approached by a client with a disability. Your presentation was very helpful! The quiz and poll were delightful and engaging. I especially liked learning more about how important it is to screen owners to make sure they get the support they need and help owners understand the work involved.

Beverly Lassiter, BA, CPDT-KA

Presentations and Workshops

Sharon and Frieda
Sharon trains TBI service dog, Frieda, to stop at a curb

Sharon is an experienced writer, presenter, and public speaker. She is available to speak on-site or online. Topics may include service dog laws, the process of training a service dog, service dog task selection, selecting appropriate SDiT candidates, how to deliver the bad news (career change), or hands-on work with clients. Sharon has an engaging, humorous, and empathetic presenting style. We are happy to develop just the right material for your audience. Contact us at office@atyourservicedogtraining.com to discuss your project.