Our Approach: Our Service Dog Training Program is about more than just training dogs. Through our collaboration with Peggy Moran’s School for Dogs, LLC, we offer Peggy’s comprehensive, science and learning-theory based program. Over the course of 52-weeks, enrolled students participate in either an entirely online or a hybrid online/in-person program that teaches Veterans to train their own Service Dogs. AVSDA students learn how to build a partnership with a dog by better understanding how learning happens and how behavior changes are encouraged. We do not teach dogs to obey, but rather to cooperate and offer behavior as team players who learn to read and respond to situations and their handlers’ needs without the use of “commands”. We use no punishment, force, shaming, or frightening to achieve our team-building goals. We use gentle equipment that never causes fear or pain. Our teaching methods for dogs are humane and reward based, utilizing a variety of positive reinforcers including food, play, touch, encouragement, and affection.