HOW TO GET STARTED:

Before your dog becomes a mindDog there are some fundamentals you both have to know.

How good is your dog at basic obedience?

  • Will she walk calmly beside you on a loose lead without pulling or lunging?
  • Does she sit on command?
  • Will she drop and stay?
  • Does he lift his leg inappropriately?
  • If you are in a busy place with lots of distractions, does she come when you call him?
  • Does she bark frantically if she’s excited?
  • And how about toileting?
  • How is she with kids or other dogs?

These are all things you need to think about when you apply to join mindDog.

If your dog isn’t so good at some of them, your mindDog trainer will help you.

A dog that demonstrates boisterous behaviour, nuisance barking, hackles-up, growling, showing teeth, lunging, biting, aggression, excessive fear or inappropriate elimination is not ready for public access work and will not be admitted into the mindDog program.

These are all things your dog will have to be able to do before you sit your Public Access Test. If your dog is not so good at some of them, then your mindDog will help you. There is a list of helpful documents on our Resources page.

The Process

To become a mindDog, your dog must already have some basic obedience training. He must sit, down, stay, come, wait, and so on. A dog that demonstrates boisterous behavior, nuisance barking, hackles-up, growling, showing teeth, lunging, biting, aggression, excessive fear or inappropriate elimination is not ready for public access work.

PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS BEFORE YOU APPLY:

YOUR DOG:

Do you have a suitable dog? If you are unsure, find out more on our 'mindDog Gallery' page.

REGISTRATION, MICROCHIP & AGE:

All dogs must have current registration with your local council and must be microchipped. All pups must be at least six months old and de-sexed. We only certify one dog per person. When your dog is ten, we will need a health check from your vet.

OBSERVATIONAL DIARY:

Once we have received your payment and application you will receive a mindDog Book, which is an introduction to mindDog and contains an observational diary for you and your dog. You fill this out yourself and there are no right or wrong answers — we are just trying to get you to LOOK at your dog and begin to understand his body language. The diary also gives us some basic information about you and your dog.

TRAINEE STATUS:

If all goes well at the first visit, you will be given Trainee status. This means a “trainee” vest and ID card for your dog.
You will also be given the details of your local mindDog trainer.
With your trainer’s oversight you can now begin to work in public.

AFTER THAT:

Your Assessor will visit around every six months to make sure things are going well. With your trainer you will fill out the three monthly, six monthly and nine monthly training reports that are in the mindDog Book.

THE PUBLIC ACCESS TEST (PAT)

You and your dog should be ready for this at about 12 — 15 months after you began training. If you are not ready for the PAT because your training was interrupted by illness or circumstances outside your control, we will extend your Trainee period. Most clients become very tense and anxious about doing the PAT. We try hard to make the test as stress free as possible.
The Assessor will stop the test if there is a problem and it looks like you and your dog aren’t going to pass. She will then talk about things and try to help you. She will probably give you more work to do with your trainer. Your trainee status will be extended for six months then you will be given the chance to try again.

THE FOLLOWING YEARS:

Your Assessor will visit you about every six months just to see how you are going and if there are any problems. You will need to keep up a relationship with your trainer to ensure that you pass the PAT which happens every year.

Clients also have access to an online training and support forum on Facebook which has training tips, advice and support. If you are a current client and would like to access this resource, let us know by sending an email to info@minddog.org.au.

THE PROCESS

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