How to Teach Service Dog Skills to Your Dog
Pets & Animals 

How to Teach Service Dog Skills to Your Dog

Service dogs are trained to perform a variety of tasks for their people.

The full version of this Service Dog video is available in my member section:

In this video, I offer some tips for a viewer who is in need of teaching her dog some basics skills since she will be having surgery soon.

The skills I show in this video involve the basics of retrieving an object and delivering it to hand as well as picking up a dropped object.

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21 Thoughts to “How to Teach Service Dog Skills to Your Dog”

  1. Shana Karlsen

    Can u teach a dog to have a softer mouth? I say “gentle” and it works with some dogs not others.
    I love this new training. So glad u introduced it. Can u make it a regular thing?
    Literally, start from square one and do a lot of closeups
    Thank you so much for the information,

  2. marvona


  3. Josephine Law

    I’m wondering if mixed breeds can do the jobs that purebred dogs such as Labradors, GRs, beagles are traditionally used for, smell for bombs and drugs? I know that purebred dogs are assessed from a young age to see if they have the temperament for a particular job, and also that they are chosen bcuz of the innate characteristics and abilities they possess that makes them especially suitable for certain jobs. But I wonder if these could also exists in mixed breeds / mongrels too? I would like your (Robert and other viewers) comments?

  4. MashaT22

    @RobertCabral Is there a way to teach more consistency with a soft mouth? My service dog (black Lab) has a nice soft mouth but once in a while he grabs an item like a plastic bottle and bites down a little before putting it in the garbage (not like taking a huge chomp, but just a little bite down that would barely leave a mark, if any). He’s a power chewer when he plays with his own toys that are hard like Benebones (and extremely gentle on dolls and soft toys), so it’s probably very hard to resist biting on a plastic bottle that he knows is getting tossed anyway. For that reason, I don’t let him retrieve my iPhone because I worry that he shouldn’t accidentally break the screen. Any ideas?

    Thanks for educating people that teaching a few useful tasks is not the same thing as a having service dog. The fact is, unless someone has a documented medical disability that a trained service dog could mitigate with at least two types of tasks, it’s against the law to let a dog do public access work. People also don’t realize what’s involved. My service dog had 2.5 years of formal training, obedience, and socialization from the time he was 8 weeks before I got him from his org, and since he came home with me, he has gotten training and reinforcement every day since I’ve taken him home in June 2017. Putting pet dogs into public places, no matter how well behaved they may be at home, can quickly endanger the public, that dog and perhaps others, and the owner. Being in public is very different than being at home. I hope the US government will make a national license for service dogs like other countries (such as some Canadian provinces), and in order to get that license, require service teams to take public access exams. It would be easy for owner-trained dogs to go to approved proctors (private trainers could get certified to become proctors), and Assistance Dogs International ( vetted orgs like the one where my dog came from ( could continue administering and proctoring exams. Any disabled handler with a legit SD, whether trained at an organization, by a private dog trainer, or being owner-trained, usually agrees that national licensing the only way to stop the problem of fakes in this country where people can just slap a vest on a dog, and buy a fake looking license (when there’s actually no such thing). There’s rumors that it may happen in the next 5-10 years. I hope that’s correct. So anyway, thanks for making that clear to people! I’d love to talk more about this subject!

  5. katpis

    Wow amazing!!! Robert you and goofy are awesome!!! So inspiring

  6. Suzie B

    Another amazing video

  7. Michael Schwartz

    We hate the fake use of service dogs because it makes it hard for those of us with real ones.

  8. Michael Schwartz

    I have a real service dog CHEVERLY. Love the video.!!!! Love it. We do similar training with shopping karts at the store..

  9. debra dowling

    Goofy is awesome, he’s way smarter than the average bear.

  10. Captain & Company

    Hi, great advice as always. Could you possibly do a video on how to train your own guide dog? As I’m in the UK and waiting times are forever getting longer. I’m thinking of a German shepherd to train. Many thanks.

  11. Lisa Ann Miller

    EXCELLENT explanations & examples!

  12. BJ Bumblebee

    I couldn’t find my glasses because of memory problems and was talking to myself out loud. Sherman found them and brought them to me. He knew I needed them. no luring, no treats. This morning we worked on bringing me my shoes. He does commands without treats or lures now.

  13. Zino A

    Wow amazing 👍👍

  14. shreks other daughters

    Robert, My working line has what your called a soft mouth. Loki, will play but I watch him close he regrips and if your not careful he will get you not on purpose though.Great video kudos to Goofy.

  15. Kat Sim

    Im still trying to get my dog to do larger objects. Being somewhat vision impaired, if I drop something small I cant see it and she will even find and pick up a tiny screw and hand it to me, but wont pick up the tv remote or my keys.

  16. Brosev the Dog

    Awesome!! Thanks for sharing 👍

  17. D Rob's Dog Pack

    Great video man! 💯💯

  18. William Torres

    My basic program really involves a lot of advanced obedience. I incorporate real world/practical skills for the dog to perform during the owners daily routine. Train for everything before it happens.

  19. Jaylon Soares

    Your amazing 😎😎😎. Wait is this possible to train pitbulls and bullies like this

  20. jen haberkam

    Thanks guys!

  21. Sasha Kazmar

    Both you and Goofy are simply amazing!

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