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 come to at least two of our Saturday training classes. By attending
a couple of Saturday classes, you will be able to talk to novice and experienced
Trainers, meet the Dogs-In-Training and possibly a recipient of one of our Assistance
Dogs. If you are still excited about the program after attending classes, then we
will send you an application to complete and return to us.
To inquire about applying to become a TLCAD Assistance Dog Trainer, please go to
complete the online form under 'Be A Trainer'. You will then be contacted for an
interview and, if accepted, you will be asked to fill out a full application.
The best way to learn more about Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD)
is to check out our website,
our Facebook page
No. Before beginning training you will complete a course called, Trainer Training
that is 8 weeks in length. You can start the class any week, due to the class not
being cumulative, rather each week is a different module, 8 in total. Topics will
include: service dog laws, training methods, clicker skills, preventing behavior
problems, and more.
The class will be offered twice a week; Wednesday from 1-2pm and Saturday from 9-10am
meaning the same class material will be presented at both sessions. Classes will
be held at 1250 Activity Dr. Suite A, Vista, CA 92081. Dependent on skill and dedication
you may start training a dog midway through the course, or you will be able to have
private hands on training with a dog-in-training with our Training Coordinator,
so as to practice skills prior to getting a dog full-time.
After completion of the Trainer Training course, you are assigned a Training Mentor
so you can quickly have fun teaching your pup behaviors with positive training techniques.
We do not have puppy raisers – only Trainers. If you have one of our dogs then you
are training it from the get go. The first year of the puppy's life you will build
its learning foundation, then move on to advanced training the second year. It is
fun and rewarding!
Students have access rights to train an Assistance Dog on campus. Work is a different
matter. You will need written permission by the proper authority to take the Assistance
Dog-In-Training with you to work.
Assistance Dogs-In-Training are a legal exception. They have the same rights in
California as working Assistance Dogs.
Once you have completed the online curriculum and attended eight Saturday classes,
for hands on dog experience, you will be qualified for a TLCAD puppy when one is
Not usually. If you have dog fur allergies then we can provide you with a Standard
Poodle or Labradoodle if available.
Our program is approximately a two-year commitment depending on the age of the dog
you start with. Throughout the two-year process you will help mold a puppy into
a wonderful Assistance Dog.
Trainer responsibilities include a mixture of obligations – good stewardship of
our dogs, required attendance at training classes and sessions and monthly training
reports on the dog you are training, independent training and an on-going effort
to learn and understand the TLCAD curriculum.
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 the ADA and Assistance Dogs International (ADI) requirements
of an Assistance Dog – which is part of the curriculum.
Your responsibilities also include upholding the Mission of TLCAD, abiding by its
Policies & Guidelines, as well as looking out for the welfare and training of
your assigned dog. You must remain dedicated, patient and have fun doing this 'volunteer
job' in order to be successful. Your goal will be to turn out a well-trained and
well-behaved dog, educate others and uphold the reputation and standards of TLCAD.
It appears daunting, but because we have so much fun, the final placement of the
dog appears to come fast.
Please note this on your application and discuss this with your Training Mentor
so the office can handle this for you.
This could be a problem. Please contact the office for discussion.
This may not be a problem and is determined on an individual case-by-case basis.
It will depend on how many and what type of pets you have. 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 will have to teach your dog our household rules. A puppy
is capable of making adjustments easily and TLCAD can give you some guidelines with
your present pet's behavior. If your pet(s) cannot tolerate a puppy, there may be
The training can be done 'on the fly' at work. The dog can Down/Stay by your desk,
walk beside you on a Heel or Side while you walk from one area to another. The dog
can learn to not react to outside distractions when you are on your lunch break.
When on a break or lunch hour – you can incorporate small short training sessions
– your Training Mentor will assist you with this plan. A young dog learns with short
and frequent training sessions – a small part of your day.
However, a new puppy
is like adding a toddler to your home. Even though you will be taught how to successfully
train on the fly and successfully crate the dog for down time, you will still have
a living being added to your already busy schedule. Plus your attendance to the
Saturday and a weekly session(s) with your Training Mentor on how to train this
little guy is a priority.
This is possible, but not without 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 Assistance Dog world.
You must attend a few classes on the basic cues, safety and laws, as well as possessing
a good understanding of our programs, before dog sitting for one of our dogs. You
will not be allowed to take the dog vested in public since you are not a Trainer
and cannot impersonate a Trainer; it is against the law. However, you can take the
dog for walks around your neighborhood.