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More Info on Working Dogs

(Long- Term Training)

Thank you for your interest in our Working Dog Training Program!  

There are a few things we like you to know, "before" you start the big and long journey of training a Working Dog!

For Service Dogs:

We can only estimate, when there is a spot available, unless you are lucky and can start with us immediately!  Students already in training, will be finished first!  The training per dog is a fairly long time, things can come up from illnesses, to unwanted behaviors of a dog, to vacation time etc..  


Before we start training, we will do a comprehensive Consultation, and Evaluation of your dog!  (Early Evaluation/ Consultation: $61/ hour + tax; will be refunded as training time at the start of the actual training!)  

Please do understand, that not every dog has the temperament, physical ability, and size to perform the work as a Service Dog!  We have to deny any aggressive behavior or fearfulness!  And we do not take small dogs in general for this job for different reasons! 

Service Dogs are not Guard Dogs! Service Dogs are not Pets!  You will be a Team; your dog is your best friend and partner!  Legally, he is a medical device.

We require a Service Dog vest, or an Emotional Support Dog vest, a Halti (head halter), and a 6 foot leash!  (Head halters are not necessary for training Therapy Dogs, vests are optional!)  RCWDR does not pay for any training equipment!  It is the responsibility of every owner to provide the right and functional tools for the job! 

Please understand, that this kind of training is very specialized, and will take daily practice with your dog, as well as attending weekly training sessions by appointments.  The public access and skill training has to meet ADA standards, and therefore, we have the right to terminate the training at any time, if our curriculum and/or training advise will not be followed.  

We do not allow children under 10 years to attend the private sessions in public, unless later during training, if the dog is trained for a particular child!  Please understand that children can be very distracting to a dog, plus the handler needs to put her/his whole concentration and focus on their dog!  For in- home sessions, we are highly recommending to have a babysitter available for your own benefit!  We do not allow a minor child at a training session without a parent present! 

The training will be performed at the client's residence (Albuquerque/ Rio Rancho/ Bernalillo area only!) and in public.  Public Access training is mainly on the NW side of Albuquerque (Cottonwood area f.e.).  

We do require that every client provides a daily structure for their dog, which will be taught first. By providing leadership, behavior problems and stress will be prevented.  The structure is also necessary for a dog to perform his/ her skills most effectively. 


The hourly Working Dog training is only on week- days, except Fridays!  No evening appointments and no week- end appointments are available for Working Dogs!  (We also have a weekly Behavior Rehabilitation schedule, and are closed on certain days!)  Therefore, please inform us about what time of the day you like to do training, before we start, so we can let you know up front, if those requested times will be available for you.  

RCWDR does not train Seeing- Eye Dogs!!!

If you cannot start training with us immediately, and cannot find another service dog trainer at this time, we recommend you take your puppy or dog to an obedience class(es) in the mean- time.  Please understand, that the Service Dog training might be easier that way, but does not change the fact that you still have to go through our curriculum, and most likely not have a shorter training time with us.  We do a very tailored training to your individual needs for your disability, which will not be addressed in regular obedience classes.  The cues you have already learned will be taught in different context for service dog training, not to mention, that you and your dog will, and have to learn a lot more! 

Please take your vaccinated dog out for socialization, as long it is safe, positive, and stress- free! To say it in a very few words it means, take him/her to different safe places that allow pets, only for a short period of time, but as often as you can!  

If you have a puppy, and he/ she has not had all DPP shots, keep him/ her only at your residence, and socialize the pup to different noises; objects like hair blowers, vacuum cleaners etc.; vaccinated and friendly pets; people at your house!  Do have guests wash their hands, before petting the puppy!  If you have to go outside your home, do carry your puppy!!!  Do not have the pup walking around on the floor!  


Take a puppy only out in public if he/she had already all their DPP shots (if not sure, please ask your Vet!!!).  Puppies usually get their Rabies vaccine with 6 months!  Therefore, we recommend to take your puppy only in stores in the city!  No dog parks, and no hiking trails in rural areas/ forest etc.!!! Unfortunately, there is no such thing as being a 100% safe.  What we have suggested is a good balance to have a healthy pup, and also have it socialized to avoid fear. A socialized dog is necessary to become a Service Dog, any Working Dog, and even just a well- balanced regular pet!  

Have your puppy handled daily from different people by petting ears, mouth, and feet etc. so it gets used to the human touch!

Socialization, by the way, does not mean that your dog has to be physical interacting with every person and dog.  It means, the dog is around people, pets, objects, and noises, and has no fear! Think about yourself, if you go to a party, you do not hug and kiss everybody at the party, but you are still social, and have a good time!:)

Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs etc.:

For all other Working Dogs the information above applies, except that they will be learning different skills for their jobs (we do train small dogs for this), and it will take less training time in general.  Please ask us for more detailed information for your specific situation!  

We hope this information was helpful to you!  

Kirsten Ralph


Note: We do reserve the right to change our business schedule, prices, and opening hours! 

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