Myra Fourwinds Dog Training

People in the Twin Cities, MN area often ask me if I know someone who could help them find a service dog candidate, or help them train their own dog to be a service dog. We don't do that at Pawsitivity, but I always refer them to Myra Fourwinds at Dog Services. She is now available online, too, via Facebook, or vie mail at [email protected]

Myra also sells some great posters and brochures on both dog training and service dog training, like this one:

Marker Sound

Myra's dog-training philosophy: "I am a dog trainer. I train dogs because it is fun for me and my dogs, because it makes me happy and high, because it puts me totally present in the moment and takes me to a place where there is nothing else on my mind."

Here's an outline of her training class:

1. Raising a Puppy- Specifically related to protocols and lifestyle habits with a young puppy that will serve to be pro-active in preventing behavior problems.

2. Foundations just like with a house, is the base upon which everything is built. Just like a house, solid foundation makes all the difference in whether the progression of training will hold up. Here, we start at the beginning, systematically and methodically training the Core Element behaviors upon which everything else will be built.

The criteria for moving out of this section are: that your dog can reliably perform the Core Element behaviors on verbal cue only, in varied


I. Stand
II. Look (Eye contact)
III. Walk (Loose leash) "Let's Go"
IV. Mat
V. Down
VI. Wait (until release: “free”)
VII. Free
VIII. Target
IX, Back
X, Here
XI. Chin
XV. Off

3. Public Access skills also need to be taught and learned. Before ever going inside anywhere, the dog needs to be able to reliably perform foundation skills in a variety of environments. Then, as we branch out into the world, the skills needed to effectively negotiate that world are added. The criteria for moving out of this section is that you and your dog have completed a video of yourself and your dog successfully passing a Public access test.

4. Working in Public now gets personal. We are gradually exposing and counter-conditioning your dog to places you intend to go with your dog when they are trained. You can choose one place in each of these areas:

I. Navigation
II. Service Providers
III.Medical Facilities
IV Public Transportation
V Shopping
VI On the Job or At School
VII On Vacation

5. Task Training

1. Tug & Balance
2. Nose Nudge & Vocalization
3. Crowd Control, Physical Contact, Paw
4. Alert & Find
5. Bracing & Harness
6. Fire Alarm & Go Get Help
7. Retrieve
8. Medical Alert

6. Problem-Solving- A personalized approach.

Individual problem-solving.