The first step is to submit a request through the contact form. We will connect with a video call and discuss if a BFRB service dog makes sense for you and your specific needs. How does your dermatillomania, trichotillomania and/or other body-focused repetitive behavior(s) manifest themselves in your everyday life? Do you have other disabilities that a dog may assist with as well, like depression, anxiety, or OCD? Are you willing to put in the work to become a partner to your dog, and have your dog rely on you as much as you may rely on them?
A large portion of this process will include video training and check ins, apart from an intensive in-person week with me and your service dog in training (in your location). Ultimately, I’ll teach you to become the trainer! This approach not only helps you bond with your dog, but it sets you up to succeed in future task training, because you’ll be given the tools to carry on and teach your dog new things as your needs change. Perhaps the most exciting parts are that this strategy can drastically streamline the process (big agencies often have 2 year+ waiting lists; we just need time to scout out the dog once it’s your turn), and minimize costs. You’re paying for the cost of acquiring the dog, supplies, and my actual training time with you as it happens, instead of a lump sum for potentially raising and training the dog without you for up to two years, which could run you $5,000-$25,000 per dog from big agencies.
Next, the actual process of acquiring and training the dog may vary depending on your location and some other things. Pick the track below that is most relevant to you (links to pages on their way. For now, Contact Me for more information):
I already have a service dog candidate* I want you to train
*Your average family Fido probably won’t make the cut, but we can assess together. It will depend on your dog’s age, temperament, drive, potential behavioral issues, training history, relationship with you, and more. ^Click this track to learn about training your current dog (link coming).
I live within 2 hours of Massachusetts and need a service dog candidate
I’ll be personally involved in scouting out and assessing your dog. We’ll prepare ahead of time together so you know what to expect and how to start training your dog the basics. Once basic training has been completed, I’ll come to you for intensive public access and task training. ^Click this track to learn more about getting a service dog near Massachusetts (link coming).
I don’t live near Massachusetts and need a service dog candidate
I’ll network with a trainer or behaviorist in your area to scout out and assess a dog near you geographically. We’ll prepare ahead of time together so you know what to expect and how to start training your dog the basics. After basic training, I’ll come to you for intensive public access and task training. ^Click this track to learn about distance training (link coming).