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Service Dog (Dog Assistant)

This video is an educational foundation of what each dog assistant must go through, after which they can get trained in different therapy programs.

 

        Royal Dog Academy offers a therapy program for adults and children that have disabilities, such as Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, deaf people, visually impaired, have movement issues, for seniors, we have special  individual programs that have dogs that work as service or therapy dogs. Service dogs help you in everyday life, while therapy dogs help heal any ailments.

               In order to train a therapy dog for our clients, we use an individual approach to our clients and show the help that your service dog should be doing. The dog is specially selected by age, size, breed, coat, and the kind of temperament that will best match your lifestyle and the help that you need. Lots of professionalism, and our 4-legged friends are ready to serve you and your family.

 

Step By Step Guide to Service Dog Training:

1. Application Process
Online Applications for a service dog are taken into consideration by our training team to evaluate a wide range of criteria from suitability, need of service, type of training, and urgency of disability/ medical condition to ensure that our canine therapy program is focused on improving people’s lives through the addition of a trained service dog.

2. Interview
After screening the initial application you will be invited in to our training center, or online appointments will be scheduled for out of state candidates. The purpose of this interview is to begin tailoring the plan for training based on the specific goals of your service program.  We take care to learn the full details for each case to specialize the training program for each individual.

The interview includes a personal acquaintance of the trainer and the client with familiarization with client’s individual questions and wishes. The trainer also conducts a practical lesson where he looks at the recipient’s reaction to different types of dogs (large, small, medium), client and dog compatibility and the possibility of working together. Such interview cost $150 which includes the practical lesson

3. Acquaintance & Testing
This is an important and exciting step to begin finding the right dog for you.  Our trainers work with dogs of all breeds, sizes and temperaments which vary just like they do with humans.  Choosing the right type of dog based on creating a strong pair between owner and canine is essential to establishing a long term service relationship that will be mutually beneficial.

4. Contract Approval
Once the initial steps have been completed, our team will issue a final approval to formally begin the training process. This would also require the approval or recommendation from a medical professional. We require an initial deposit of $2000 to enact the training, and due to the significant training time to educate a service dog the total cost could range from $9500 to $39000.  At this point the trainers will have the required information from your interview and testing to plan the program duration and pricing.

5. Selection Class
After completion of training paperwork, our team will be ready to continue classes and owner training in their role as a future companion to our service dog. At this point we will have completed background screening of different potential dogs and selected a dog that is both capable of the job and suited as a companion for the owner.

6. Training Program
During the training process, we will schedule regular owner classes to demonstrate the progress and help acclimate the dog to working with you. Each type of service training has individual specifications, including home training with you and varying lengths of training in our center. The goal is to efficiently educate the dog to begin serving a critical mission with their owner, and we will ensure that the training is progressing with the priority being 100% success in each service.

Notes:
Price range 9500 to 38000 depending on the specific training plan
Interview and practical training cost $150
Short video, medical prescriptions/ condition, FAQ


           Service dog applications are processed within 48 business hours. Our training staff will carefully review the information you submit in your application, and if we feel that a service dog would meet your needs, we will contact you within 10 days to discuss your needs. After that we will schedule an interview.

  • Please understand that getting a dog is a personal experience and a huge responsibility

  • Please provide thoughtful responses by taking your time and providing detailed answers for each question

  • The more descriptive and specific you can be, the more it will help us determine if you are a good candidate

  • Your answers are strictly confidential

List of service dog education:

  • Medical Alert
  • Diabetes Alert
  • Visual Assistance
  • Hearing Assistance
  • Wheelchair Assistance
  • Epilepsy Alert & Response
  • Brace/ Mobility Support
  • Autism Support
  • Psychiatric Service
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Assistance Service
  • Allergy Detection Alert
  • Emotional support
  • Service dog for other animals
  • Dog nanny
  • Post-Traumatic stress disorder
  • Drug rehabilitation service dog
  • Alert to allergen in food
  • Routine reminders(feed dog, go to sleep, eat meals, wake up)

FLYING WITH SERVICE DOG


This program is unique because it helps children and adults with different disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and down syndrome; as well as deafness and blindness.

Kanis Therapy

Kanis-therapy is divided into 4 stages. Each stage consists of at least 20 classes depending on the patient.

Dog Assistant – first stage

Kanis Therapy

 

 

             The first stage is focused on socializing the patient with the dog. The selection of the dog-therapist is based on the individual characteristics of the patient. This stage is one of the most important ones, and lays the foundation for success at an early stage.

Dog Assistant – second stage

Kanis Therapy

            The second stage is responsible for the development of the relationship between the patient and the dog. This is done through interesting activities that are based on the positive desires of the patient. These activities are ones that can be done with the dog: playing together, sharing a bath, driving together, etc.

             As a result of this stage, the patient improves his or her vision, hearing, concentration, relaxation, and is able to interact with the environment, people, and with other dogs. This is a great outcome for patients because it allows them feel courageous and better about their ability to do things on their own.

Dog Assistant – third stage

Kanis Therapy

 

           The third stage is where the patient develops a strong feeling of importance. This is extremely beneficial to the relationship with the dog. In this stage, the patient must learn to manage a dog with words, gestures, special signals and sounds. He or she gains the ability to properly communicate with the dog therapist and eventually gains complete control of the dog. This stage brings great therapeutic results as the patient becomes aware of the ability to be independent, to manage, and subordinate.

Dog Assistant – final stage

Kanis Therapy

                 The final stage is transforming the patient, changing his or her behavior with the understanding of the care he or she provides for his or her beloved four footed friend. This stage includes the understanding of the need for daily walks in accordance with the schedule of his beloved dog.

       The patient then understands that the walk is not only a game, it is a mandatory exit for dogs to relieve themselves and this must be done regularly. This segment brings about an entire transformation in the patient. At this stage, walking, feeding, and combing the dogs also brings a therapeutic effect, as one begins to understand the meaning of care, love, and living together with his or her beloved dog, which is a significant contribution to the patient’s life.

 


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: In order to receive a dog, how old do I (client) have to be?
A:  Royal Dog Academy dogs assist children and adults. Clients who have physical limitations or disabled and are not able to give commands and maintain the conditioned reflexes of the dog because of the age, it will require a handler who will take care of the dog therapist (dog assistant) to issue commands to the dog, and additionally encourage it, if is necessary. Thereby it s important to support dogs skills that helps to take care of the disabled party. Because of this, there is not necessarily an age requirement for the clients with physical limitations. Dogs can even alert to seizures in an infant as long as the parent is consistent with training reinforcement.
Q: Can my child take the dog to the school with her?
A: There are certain situations where service dogs (dog assistant) can attend school with a child. For sure there is no legal advocacy for the dog to attend the school of other facilities, if the child is not able to fully control the dog. However, a the child has personal assistant or the school has one, then it will be allowed for the dog to attend school without any problem.
Q: What kind of service can the dogs provide to me?
A:

Depending on a dog’s level of education, it will be able to provide the service the ones that we have taught him. While our dogs are highly trained, they are not robots. Our clients, during and after training with their dog and trainer, will get detailed instruction on how to properly maintain working qualities in the dog. They can be relied on to protect or guide individuals away from harm if they are trained for that. The dogs care for their owners, but they are not caregivers. It is the handler’s responsibility to care for the dog, and in return the dog will perform tasks to assist the owner (patient). Our dogs are trained for each individual’s needs. We train dogs to assist with seizures, autism, hearing, diabetes, PTSD for veterans and civilians, extreme anxiety disorders, and mobility for those with or without a wheelchair and a lot more (see the list of the service dog education above). Some of these tasks include retrieving items, opening/closing doors, turning on/off lights, dialing assistance dog phones, retrieving phones, bracing for balance while walking/transferring/getting up off the floor, providing non-protective boundary control, going around corners in advance of the recipient, alerting to specific sounds, tether and search training for autism assistance, and providing deep pressure therapy. We also actively train our dogs to recognize and alert to seizures, drops and rises in blood sugar, panic/anxiety attacks, and nightmares and flashbacks. We successfully use scent training which allows our dogs to recognize seizures in advance for many individuals with epilepsy. This depends on the type, frequency, and activity of the seizures which will be discussed in the phone consultation.

We also train dogs to work for or guide the blind, or to alert to food allergies.

Q:Is there a cost that clients(recipients) need to pay for the dog?
A: There is $30 fee for application to ensure the commitment level of each applicant. After the application process is complete and the recipient has been approved to receive a dog, the recipient or his sponsor will be responsible for making full payment (ranges from 9,500-38,500 depending on quantity of trained services that will be provided to the future owner and his individual needs). We will require at least $2000 of non-refundable fee upon signing contract which is included into the amount that will be paid for the future service dog. This deposit shows us that the recipient is committed to the waiting process and our program. Once a recipient has paid the full amount due for the educational program, our trainers will begin to organize the training schedule with the client and his future service dog.
Q: Do you provide the fundraising?
A: The Royal Dog Academy is commercial company. We do not do any fundraising or donation, we work upon prepayment. Although we can accept payment from your sponsors. After full payment was received, the client may get his service dog as little as in 2-3 months, depending on features of the order and the needs of the recipient.
Q: How does RDA determine the fundraising goal for each dog?
A: We certainly understand the sticker shock when it comes to the high expense of providing service dogs. It’s a lot of money! Organizations generally take the overall expenses of the program, and divide that by how many dogs they plan on placing in a year, to come up with the amount needed to keep the organization functioning that year. Many can’t see how so much money could possibly pour into one individual dog, but for any pet owners who have ever boarded their pet, for even a week, know that the cost is often similar to the expense of their own vacation. This is because there are so many staff members needed to care for the dog and provide enough enrichment for them to do well in a kennel environment. (Quick Math = if you boarded your pet for 1.5 years, at an average boarding fee of $50 a day, it comes to $27,375! And this is just basic boarding without veterinary or supplies. It also does not include the additional expenses to transform a dog into a service dog.) Some of our dogs are boarded at our kennel, while others are in foster homes or our prison programs. During the course of a dog’s training this often changes because it is healthy and productive for them to be in both environments, off and on. The dogs who are in foster homes or prison programs are cared for by volunteers, but still have many staff hours put into managing the fostering experience, with regular instruction and follow-ups with the volunteers. For the dogs fostered by dedicated inmates in our prison programs, we have staff who have weeks of travel expenses, due to the need to travel to the prisons for weeks at a time to instruct and oversee training and progress, as well as manage it administratively between trips. The travel expenses to the prisons often include airfare, or mileage and hotel expenses due to our long distance relationships. Expenses for each dog will certainly include the initial adoption or whelping costs. If a litter is born from our own breeding program we have the yearly expenses of both parents of that litter, in addition to fees paid to the canine cryobank, veterinary, and supplies of whelping which is around $3,000 per litter, with an average litter size of 6 puppies (remember it also costs thousands to care for the parents throughout that year). If we are lucky enough to adopt a dog from a shelter we will have an adoption fee of $69. But if we purchase a puppy or dog from a breeder we pay between $2,000 – $5,000 per pup (we aren’t purchasing run of the mill dogs for this program because they need to have proven lines of health tested dogs for generations). Other direct expenses per dog will include boarding that dog for 1-2 years, an average of 600 one-on-one hours to train a dog, an additional average of 300 one-on-one hours for grooming and driving that individual dog to field trips, travel expenses of field trips, supply runs, and veterinary visits. Then we have direct supplies (such as leashes, vests, collars, tags, microchips, booties, crates, toys, harnesses), veterinary procedures, health clearances, medications, and the food that goes into each individual dog, in addition to the trainer’s time during handler training when the recipient learns to work with their dog. Then there is all of the administrative staffing required for the behind the scenes work (excluding application reviews which end up paying for themselves, hence the $25 application fee). Our administrative team collaboratively returns voice mails, conducts phone consultations, oversees human resources, manages social media and our website, supports the recipients on our waiting lists, coordinates fundraising, and together will answer close to 300 emails every day! This alone requires 5 full time staff (who work with people, rather than the dogs themselves). The administrative costs also do not end when the dog is finished with training, but continues for the lifetime of the dog. Training costs also continue because we offer free refresher training, at anytime, to any recipient, as well as availability to reach a trainer 7 days a week, for the life of the dog. There are also the expenses related to the facilities themselves; the lease payments, utilities, and kennel upkeep such as fencing repairs and landscaping. Insurance is also very expensive both for workers compensation of employees working in a high risk related industry, commercial auto, and for the high liability we are exposed to in having so many dogs out in public settings throughout the United States. While these expenses are quite enough on their own, we also have the exact same expenses for dogs who never make it as service dogs, which are also included into the grand total. The fact that we do have so many amazing volunteers is what lowers our expenses to the total of $38,000 per dog that we place. While every nonprofit has financial statements available on the internet, I often encourage the public to do an internet search to question how much it costs for the largest service dog organizations in the world to place each dog. We won’t mention any names here, but think of the largest, most widely recognized organizations, type in the exact name of that organization, and go from there. This is a good comparison because they are also openly transparent online that it costs them anywhere from $50,000 – $70,000 per dog that they place. Anyone can find this easily on the internet. Even though $50,000 is a much higher expense than we are faced with, they are still within an average range for service dog organizations that are reputable and have high standards. While they also have many dedicated volunteers, they are also much larger organizations, which will have greater expenses.

We are hopeful this paints a small picture of why this industry is faced with such high fundraising goals across the world. There is quite a bit that goes into each working team.

Q: How long is the waiting list?
A: Our company do not have waiting list, which makes things easier and more convenient for recipients. After full payment was received, we start to train the service dog for you right away.
Q: What about travel and expenses?
A: The costs for travel expenses are responsibility of the recipient and are not included into total amount paid for the training of the service dog. Recipients who do not live close to one of our facilities will need to travel and stay near us for the two weeks of handler training.
Q: What will the dog be like?
A: Royal Dog Academy offers various dog breeds. The breed of the dog is selected individually depending on the features of order, characteristics, and special requests made by client. We have huge variety to choose from, it can be hunting breed, decorative, as well as working species (Labradors, Golden retriever, Yorkie, German Shepherd, and so on). It all depends on personal data of the client and the dog. We can also work with client’s dog if they have one already, and check if it is suitable for performing all needs and requests of the owner. Also we can find a good match for you in Dog Shelter, if there is a good quality dog. All dogs are fully medically screened for good hip and elbow joints, spine, good vision, heart and other medical concerns associated with that specific breed. Most service tasks require a larger breed dog weighing an average of 60 pounds, but some assistance tasks would allow a 10 pound dog to be suitable. If there are any dog allergies within the recipient’s home we will place a hypoallergenic dog such as a Yorkie, Poodle, doodle, Bichon Frise or Coton de Tulear. Poodles and doodles come in all sizes, some of which are even larger than Labradors. Our Bichons and Cotons are closer to 10 pounds. All of our dogs have their own individual personalities. Some are laid back, while others are playful. All of our dogs understand the difference between work and play. When they are not working they relax and play just like other dogs. Each dog is selected individually for each recipient.
Q: What if I have other animals?
A: If you have other pets at home, you will have to tell about them during the interview. You will also need to provide video of your animals, to see what it looks like and help to determine its temperament. If your animals will disturb the service dog in any ways, we will help you with this issue and find friendly dog for you.
Q: What are the requirements for receiving a dog?
A: All applications are reviewed by qualified specialist to determine the recipient will not be hindered by the dog, the dog will be properly cared for, and the dog will be able to assist the recipient appropriately. All our customers are considered regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, or beliefs.
Q: Will my personal information in the application stay confidential and protected?
A: All information provided will be kept confidential and only shared with Royal Dog Academy employees and trainers who require the information to review your application and to train a service dog. Information will not be disclosed without express permission of the recipient.
Q: I am under 18-years-of-age. Can I submit an application?
A: Although we do place our service dogs with minors, we require a legal guardian to submit an application on behalf of the minor. Application will not be accepted if it is submited by anyone under 18 years old.
Hopefully this has helped you to clarify some of your questions. Any additional questions can be discussed in online chat or during the phone interview/consultation. Each customer is handled on an individual basis with many different scenarios.
To submit an application select the link below. A non-refundable fee of $30 will be charged to ensure the commitment level of each applicant.

Hopefully this has answered some of your questions. Additional questions can be discussed in the phone interview and consultation. Each recipient is handled on an individual basis with many different scenarios.

To submit an application select the link below. A non-refundable fee of $25 will be charged to ensure the commitment level of each applicant.

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