Specialized Working Dog Training

Synapse Canine Learning Center offers a variety of specialized programs tailored to a variety of working dog disciplines. Our programs are tailored specifically for puppy, adolescent and adult dogs, and will be customized to suit your dog’s unique capabilities and temperament. All of our working dog programs are tailored specifically for the distinctive physical and psychological developmental differences which occur between age groups. We focus on building an extremely solid foundation in every working dog so their true potential will shine through as they learn to understand their work.

Working Dog Evaluations

Do you want to know if your dog is suitable for a specific job or sport? Are you searching for the perfect outlet for your dog’s energy requirements, temperament and drives? We offer comprehensive working dog evaluations for anyone wanting to gauge their dog’s suitability for specific or general working disciplines. Our Working Dog Evaluations assess your puppy or dog’s baseline:

  • Environmental stability in a variety of settings 
  • Instinctive drives specific to the type of work you would like to do (hunt, prey, play, defense, etc.). Note that we do not test for defense drive in puppies. 
  • Motivators 
  • Independence vs handler focus
  • General rate of arousal levels when exposed to certain stimuli. This does not include known sensitized behavioral triggers. 

An evaluation is always required prior to entering any of our working dog programs. Dogs with known behavioral concerns should contact us directly prior to scheduling, as certain behavioral issues may deem them unsuitable for work in particular disciplines.

Service Dog Candidate Temperament Testing

Service dogs provide an unparalleled service for their handler, and it is imperative to ensure that any puppy or dog being considered for service or therapy work is appropriately suited to their future role. We offer comprehensive service dog and therapy dog suitability testing for handlers who intend on pursuing further training with a particular candidate but want to ensure that the dog being considered is a promising choice. The evaluation process layout is as follows:

  1. Comprehensive health and behavioral written assessment
  2. Physical suitability evaluation 
  3. Environmental stability testing
  4. Motivator testing 
  5. Focus testing (age and previous training experience are taken into account during this process) 
  6. Biddability testing (if applicable) 
  7. Reaction testing 

Testing can be tailored specifically for the type of service dog work which a handler intends to use the dog for. The purpose of this evaluation is to test baseline levels of factors which commonly impact the suitability of a service dog candidate. This assessment does not assess a dog’s ability to perform obedience cues or tasks.

At Synapse Canine, we have the education and experience to bring out the best in your dog.

If you have dog training goals, we want to help you achieve them!

Bite Work Fundamentals

Bite Work Fundamentals is a program aimed at puppies, adolescent and green dogs who will be training for protection sport, protection work or apprehension. This course focuses on building the foundational skills imperative to developing a solid bite dog. Some of the key factors that this program develops are:

  • Prey drive associated with bite equipment 
  • Increasing motivation to physically engage with a decoy and bite equipment 
  • Building confidence during bite work 
  • Targeting 
  • Solid, full grip development
  • Behavioral generalization 
  • Building a solid release cue 

This program is customizable can be tailored to handler training goals and the specific requirements of the dog being trained. Since the purpose of this program is building the foundational bite skills of puppies and young dogs, we do not work in defense  during sessions. We recommend doing this program before or after a puppy has begun teething and not during. Certain precautions must be taken with teething puppies which can significantly impact their ability to get the most out of this course.

Working Puppy Program

The skills that a working puppy candidate requires to develop into a solid working dog are often significantly different from the skills important in training pet dogs. Oftentimes behaviors which pet dog owners want to discourage in puppies are some of the same traits that working puppy owners want to encourage. The important developmental periods that puppies go through in the first year of life are critical in maximizing the chances that a puppy will be a solid working candidate. 

The Working Puppy Program focuses on optimizing the traits necessary in developing a remarkable working dog, and maximizes the chances that their further training will be successful. Each program we undertake is customized specifically for a handler’s future goals and the specific needs of the puppy. We strive to maximize every puppy’s inherit strengths while also strengthening or eliminating weaknesses. This program covers:

  • Independence or handler focus building, depending on the goals of the handler 
  • Maximizing environmental stability (tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory, etc.)
  • Improving problem-solving abilities
  • Optimizing a puppy’s confidence 
  • Motivator optimization
  • Drive building (priority drives will be determined by handler goals)
  • Basic obedience 
  • Impulse control (specific to adolescent puppies over 10 months and young dogs up to 18 months)
  • Systematic distractor proofing 
  • Physical conditioning skill building (specific to a puppy’s or adolescent’s age)
  • Dog and human neutrality 
  • Equipment and handling desensitization if necessary 
  • Confidence building
  • Cue and behavioral generalization 
  • Working through fear phases (puppy specific)
  • Handler behavior and skills

… and more! The length of this program will be determined by the handler’s priorities and the age of their puppy.  This program is appropriate for future detection dog, LE K9, search and rescue dog, sport dog and service dog candidates. 

K9 Conditioning Program

This is a supplementary program developed for adolescent puppies over nine months of age, young adult dogs and adult dogs. Our K9 Conditioning Program combines physical conditioning exercises with behavior, in order to develop more surefooted, agile and confident working dogs. In this program, stability exercises using tools such as agility equipment and balance training tools are combined with real world obstacle navigation to achieve a strong, balanced dog. We also include learned skills such as rear end awareness exercises, jumping, tactile confidence development on and over a variety of surface and implementing a physical fitness regimen. 

For puppies, we offer an age appropriate conditioning program which introduces skills such as tactile stability over and through various obstacles, rear end awareness exercises, stationary balance exercises, obstacle navigation and more. All exercises included in this program are low impact and safe for a puppy’s developing physical structure. 

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Schedule your specialized training program with Synapse Canine today.

If you are searching for a specialized program for your discipline specific needs, contact us today. Our programs are customized to suit your goals and are always tailored to the developmental and behavioral profile of your K9. 

Contact us today to ask about our programs or to book an appointment.