We were founded in 2003 by Annie Varnadore, as a training program for Small Breed Service Dogs
Hi, and welcome to Service Animal Mini's. This program allows you to teach your dog to do amazing tricks and to obey your every command without ever having to hit him or yell at him or use any type of negative reinforcement. The strategies you learn are the exact same methods that Hollywood producers and Professional Trainers use to teach dogs and other animals perform amazing triks and obey every single command. And the beautiful part about it is it doesn’t have to be unpleasant for your dog.
As a matter of fact, this entire system is built around having a good time and showing your dog how much you love him and care about him. I know that you love your dog just like I love my dog. And of course, we want our dogs to be responsive and we want them to obey us, but we certainly don’t want to hurt them or harm them in any way. With clicker training and with using bridge words and what you will learn from this program, you never ever have to yell at your dog or use any kind of negative reinforcement.
Using positive reinforcement like clickers and bridge words
combined with rewards over time, there is no more forcing
your dog to learn anything. Instead, your dog is going to
become very easy to work with and very eager to
please you and to obey. Dogs are born with a desire to
please. They have a natural instinct to obey as long as you set some basic ground rules for the dog which you will learn in this program. Any age dog will respond positively to these training techniques.
The public is used to seeing large breeds doing service dog work, but a toy dog performing these tasks always raises eyebrows. Comments of “Oh, she’s so cute!” or “Oh, she’s so helpful!” when they see a toy dog do many of the things a large breed service dog can do. Some people have even said " that dog can't be a service it's too small. What could it do?" Other service dog training programs overlook the amazing abilities of toy working dogs. They typically use dogs like Golden Retrievers or Shephards which have a history of even temperament, and whose size and strength make them easily adaptable to those with a wide variety of disabilities. While it is true that large dogs are needed for those requiring assistance in pulling wheelchairs, pulling heavy doors, getting up and down or maintaining balance. But not all people with disabilities require assistance of this kind. Many with mobility impairments mainly need a dog to do retrieval tasks, and a small dog may be a much better option.
A person who lives in an apartment, could find a toy service dog to be the best choice. Traveling by car or plane is definately easier with a small dog. In restaurants, they can lay in your lap or fit easily under a chair or table, and draw less attention than their large canine counterparts. Clean up after nature calls is easier, and the amount of food consumed is considerably less. Toy breeds are very effective as service dogs. But it will take people to spread the word and share the successes of those already working in the field before they are believed to be just as capeable a service animal and taken seriously. I can't wait for the day when a trip to the store draws comments of “Oh, what an awesome service amimal!” instead of “Excuse me you can't bring that dog in here!” I would not trade my Tea Cup Yorkie as my service animal for a million dollars. If we look at technology you know it is getting better when it get smaller. Can we say the same for service animals? I think so, but maybe I am a little biased!