You will need to have a love for dogs and have a passion for working with them AND
wanting to help others with limited abilities on a volunteer basis. First, review
our website, and complete the Volunteer Trainer Interest
Questionnaire. Our staff will review your questionnaire to determine suitability
for acceptance into the Trainer Training Course (TTC). If you are accepted, you
will be asked to register for and complete eight 1-hour sessions of training. If
after two sessions you are still interested in becoming a TLCAD Service Dog Trainer,
you will be asked to fill out a Trainer Application Packet, will be personally interviewed
and a home visit will be made in order to assess your suitability as a TLCAD Service
Please Note: This does not guarantee that you will receive a puppy to train
when you have completed the course. Your suitability as a TLCAD Service
Dog Trainer will continue to be assessed during the 'hands on' experiences with
No. If a volunteer is accepted by TLCAD, they will be expected to participate in
the TTC. This will provide them with a foundation for TLCAD Service Dog training.
Topics will include Service Dog laws, training methods, clicker skills, preventing
behavior problems and more. Classes will be held at The Spirit Training Center,
Home of TLCAD at 1250 Activity Dr. Suite A, Vista, CA 92081.
Students have Public Access Rights to train a Service Dog-In-Training on campus
as long as the dog behaves in an acceptable manner. Work is a different matter.
The volunteer trainer will need written permission by the proper authority to take
the Service Dog-In-Training with you to work.
Service Dogs-In-Training are a legal exception. They have the same rights in California
as working Service Dogs. However, if the Service Dog-In-Training is responsible
for any damage, this is the TLCAD Volunteer Trainer's responsibility to repair,
not the landlord.
Once a volunteer completes the curriculum and has attended eight 1-hour Saturday
classes, experienced some hands on dog experience and has been screened/assessed
as meeting our Service Dog training standards and expectations, they may be assigned
a TLCAD Service Dog-In-Training once one becomes available.
Not usually. However, if there are particular concerns and requirements, we will
attempt to accommodate the volunteer's needs.
Our program requires up to a two-year commitment depending on the age and experience
of the dog. Throughout the two-year process the volunteer will help develop a puppy
into a wonderful Service Dog under the direction of the TLCAD Training Department.
There are times in a dog's training that it may need to be moved to another trainer.
These situations will be determined and handled by the Training Department staff.
First and foremost, TLCAD Volunteer Trainers are expected to be good stewards of
our dogs. You will also be expected to attend training classes, any additional independent
sessions and to produce monthly training reports on the dog you are training. Each
TLCAD Volunteer Trainer will make themselves intimately familiar with the TLCAD
You will work closely with an assigned Training Mentor who will help you remain
focused and work to accomplish the training plan for your particular dog. You will
understand and uphold the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation, California State legislation
and Assistance Dogs International (ADI) requirements of an Assistance
Dog – which is part of the TCC curriculum.
A TLCAD Volunteer Trainer's responsibilities also include upholding the Mission
of TLCAD, abiding by its Policies & Guidelines, as well as looking out for the
welfare and training of their assigned dog at all times. TLCAD Volunteer Trainers
must remain dedicated, patient and have fun training Service Dogs in order to be
successful. Their goal will be to turn out a well-trained and well-behaved Service
Dog, educate others and uphold the reputation and standards of TLCAD. This may appear
daunting, but because we have so much fun, the final placement of the Service Dog
appears to come fast and is immensely rewarding.
TLCAD presently pays for dog food, training equipment and veterinary expenses for
our Service Dog-In-Training.
This could be a problem. Please contact the office for discussion.
This may not be a problem and would be considered on a case-by-case basis. It will
depend on how many and what type of pets you have and their behavior. Many of our
Trainers have pet dog(s). The puppy you will be training will have different household
rules than most pet dogs, so you may need to teach your dog our household rules.
A puppy is capable of making adjustments easily and TLCAD gives recommendations
for your present pet's behavior. If your pet(s) cannot tolerate a puppy, or their
behavior is considered undesirable for a TLCAD puppy to be associated with, we will
not place a dog in the home at that time. It is possible to retrain the dog if you
so desire and are consistent and dedicated in doing this, whereby our decision would
The training can be done 'on the fly' at work, home or in public. The dog can "Down"/"Stay"
by the volunteer's desk, walk beside them on a "Heel" or "Side" while the volunteer
walks from one area to another. The dog can learn to not react to outside distractions
when the volunteer is on lunch break. When on a break or lunch hour – the volunteer
can incorporate small short training sessions – their Training Mentor will assist
them with this plan. A young dog learns with short and frequent training sessions
– a small part of a day.
However, a new puppy is like adding a toddler to a home. Even though volunteers
will be taught how to successfully train 'on the fly' and successfully crate the
dog for down time, they will still have a living being added to your already busy
schedule. It is also a priority that the volunteer and their Training Mentor attends
the Saturday and a weekly session(s) in order to train effectively and for the Service
Dog-In-Training to move forward in its training.
This is possible, but only with the Training Department's permission. This is decided
on an individual basis depending on the Dog and Trainers involved.
Of course, and this is a good way to get introduced to the Service Dog world. You
must first fill out the Dog Sitter Application.
After we receive your application you will be invited to attend TLCAD's Dog Sitter
Workshop (DSW). This workshop will go over basic cues, safety and laws, as well
as providing information on our programs, before a volunteer will dog sit for one
of our dogs. The volunteer will not be allowed to take the dog vested in public
since you are not certified as a TLCAD Service Dog Trainer, it is against the law.
However, they can take the dog for walks around their neighborhood if this is a
safe environment. Allowing a TLCAD Dog-In-Training to visit with other dogs is strongly
discouraged when it is in your care unless you have been instructed otherwise.