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Assistance Dog Trainer Course
The origins of the Assistance Dog sector
This module of the Assistance Dog Trainer course provides an overview on the origins and development of the assistance dog industry. The module gives an insight regarding the unique bond between humans and dogs that has allowed the human-canine interface to develop not only from being a functional working relationship where dogs are used for tasks such as herding and guarding, to their becoming companions and friends to man and then, for some dogs, their taking on a new life changing support role to many people who have disabilities.
The Assistance Dog sector today
This module provides an overview on the different types of assistance dog programmes available in the UK today, including guide dogs, dogs for the disabled, support dogs, hearing dogs, medical detection dogs, etc. The module also covers the nature of the disabilities faced by users and their resulting limitations, what users’ needs are and the tasks that trained assistance dogs need to carry out to help users overcome these limitations.
The everyday work of an Assistance Dog
Includes an overview on the differing types of profiles that assistance dogs’ must have to fulfill their roles and explains how these profiles best match differing needs of disabled users. This module supports this by providing some fictional case studies that would highlight why different types of canine profile are more suited to a particular job role and disabled user than others. Also covers the basics and importance of matching a dogs’ personality with that of its potential disabled user.
Selection and development of Assistance Dogs
This module covers the breeds and types of dogs used for differing types of assistance dog work (including the use of cross-bred and shelter or rescue dogs) and their strengths and weaknesses. Also covers the most popular methods for selecting suitable dogs for an assistance dog career and the ethical and welfare implications for the use of dogs for assistance work and the dogs’ needs and rights.
Developing and training an Assistance Dog.
This module discusses typical or commonly used methods for the development and training of dogs for differing types of assistance work. The module describes a small number of in-depth step-by step examples that reveal how some key tasks are taught to assistance dogs from different disciplines.
The Assistance Dog trainer
This module of the Assistance Dog Trainer course provides a profile of the range of skills and personal attributes required in an assistance dog trainer. Module suggests methods to best develop personal skills and attributes to work in the assistance dog sector and how to select the assistance dog organisation best suited to the individual. Module would conclude with a course summary, including key points of contact with major UK assistance dog organisations.
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