Assistance Dogs Trainer

The Ability Center (ACT) is a non-profit Center for Independent Living. Our mission is to advocate, educate, partner, and provide services supporting people with disabilities to thrive within their community. The Assistance Dogs program uses science-driven training techniques that empower dogs to engage in the learning process to achieve high quality results. The Assistance Dogs (AD) Trainer works as a collaborative member of the training team, assisting with programs that meet ADI standards.

ACT is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and do not discriminate. The Ability Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Schedule and teach training classes for selected section(s) of the dog training curriculum utilizing set lesson plans.
• Conduct public access testing on dogs in training, document results in database system.
• Provide engagement and support to the online canine training classrooms.
• Schedule private, one-on-one lessons with volunteers needing additional training.
• Assist with training protocols for various levels of the training process, including the prison training program as scheduled.
• Evaluate and set goals for each dog you are training monthly and review them with Director.
• Provide weekly reflections and feedback for the curriculum and lesson plans.
• Identify and communicate behavioral/training concerns with foster dogs to the Director.
• Correspond with fosters/volunteers via email, phone calls and the online classroom.
• Maintain training logs, record dog’s progress, and enter into database system weekly.
• Ensure all appropriate vaccines and preventatives are given to dogs in your classes.
• Attend appropriate dog training seminars/workshops, as required.
• Participate in fundraising, community awareness, and outreach events as needed.
• Travel required using personal and/or company vehicle.

Qualifications: Minimum of a high school diploma/equivalent. Prefer associates degree or formal training/education in dog training practices. Must have at least 1-3 years dog handling/training experience, preferably with service animals. Desire someone with a love of dogs and the ability to interact with diverse individuals including members of the disabled community and prison population. Prefer knowledge of dog obedience skills, service dog tasks, canine development, and understand dog health/behaviors. Knowledge of canine temperament assessment tool preferred. Be able to provide guidance and direction to volunteers as needed. Must have the desire and ability to develop a teaching/training plan and instruct people how to train dogs. Proficient with various modes of technology (e.g., web-based video conferencing, email, Microsoft programs). Will adhere to Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Standards once trained. Valid driver’s license is required.

Essential Physical Demands: The employee is frequently required to stand, bend, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl and perform a variety of physical motions with his or her hands, arms, shoulders, legs to properly test, transport and train dogs. The employee is often on her or his feet and is often required to walk; escort visitors or volunteers in or around the kennel, play yards and training areas; climb and balance; go up and down stairs; and utilize elevators. The employee must be able to manipulate and use all equipment and tools necessary to care for and transport dogs, including leashes, medicines, locking medicines, balance harnesses, wheelchairs, and clickers used for training. The employee may lift and move up to 50 pounds with assistance, and frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Must be able to travel throughout the Assistance Dogs service area using personal vehicle.

Please visit the Careers page of our website to apply or fax resume to 419-885-5005