NEW HORIZONS SERVICE DOGS, INC.
WEEKEND RAISER ORIENTATION
Thank you for bringing a New Horizons (NH) Service Dog into your home! You are providing a valuable service that
is greatly appreciated.
Goals of Weekend Raising
The dog you are bringing home is just a few months away from being placed with a client. He came from either a
puppy raiser’s home or from one of our prison programs; and is at our New Horizons facility for advanced training.
The goal of weekend raising the dog while in advanced training is to give him continued socialization and home
What to Expect
This dog has been trained for service since early puppyhood. He knows over 80 commands and should display
good manners. If he resists your commands or displays bad manners, it could be because he is stressed by being
with unfamiliar people in an unknown environment. Remember that you are new to the dog. He doesn’t know or trust
you yet. Be patient, kind and understanding. Pet him frequently, play games such as fetch, and always speak to
him in a pleasant voice. Do not reprimand him, rather, remain positive and try to distract the dog by doing
something he will enjoy: petting, playing ball, going for a walk, etc.
1. Leashing: The NH Service Dog should ALWAYS be on a leash and under your control at all times when outside
2. Dog Proofing: be sure the dog does not have access to dangers, such as: foods that are toxic to dogs (grapes,
chocolates); plants that are poisonous; medicines; cleansers; etc. Also be sure to watch that he doesn’t try to chew
electrical wires or other household items.
3. Public Access: ADA and state laws ensure your right “to be accompanied by a specially trained dog in housing,
all public accommodations, and on all common carriers.” The dog must wear a vest and must be in the direct
custody of the disabled individual or a trainer. You are considered a weekend raiser/trainer. Keep safety in mind
whenever taking the dog out in public: watch your environment, not your dog in order to see possible hazards to
address; be careful going through doors or into elevators – be sure the dog is safely with you and not caught in the
threshold; and be sure your hand is on the leash BEFORE allowing the dog to exit your vehicle or home. Always
place the NHSDI vest on the dog when out in public
Caring for the Dog
Food: our dogs are fed one time in the morning
Water: the dog should have access to clean water at all times
Exercise: give him as much exercise as possible (but dog parks are not recommended)
Elimination: the NH Service Dog is taught to eliminate on command with the words “Busy”. Take him out at least
every 4 hours during the day. He should last the night without going out. Remember to bring bags with you on
walks to pick up after the dog.
Supplies Provided: _______Bookmarks ____________ Brochures
_____leash _____collar _____vest Please return with dog.
_____food – please feed this amount: __________________________________
When giving a command, SMILE and say the command in a happy, positive voice. Always reward a command
obeyed with a “Yes!”, followed by treats, petting or praise. If your dog is distracted, use treats to help him pay
attention to you. Corrections should be minimal – use the least amount of correction that stops the bad behavior,
then redirect the dog to a more positive behavior. Do not yank on the leash to get your dog’s attention or give a
GOOD GIRL/BOY. A reward for a behavior successfully completed, always follows ‘yes’.
NO………………… Stops serious, unwanted behaviors
RELEASE………… Lets the dog know that any stay exercise is over
THAT’S IT………… Lets the dog know he’s on the right track and should keep trying (like saying: “warmer,
UH-UH…………. A non-confrontational sound that marks the exact moment the dog fails to do a task or displays
undesirable behavior, thereby not earning a reward.
YES……………….. Marks the exact moment of success for a given behavior, and a reward is coming.
Call the dog’s name and say “come”, reward with “Yes!” then “Good boy!” when he comes. Always have good
things for the dog when he comes to you: treats, petting, praise, play, etc. - be exciting to come to and the dog will
want to come to you when called. Never call the dog to you to reprimand.
Dress is the command used when placing the collar or vest on the dog. If the dog resists, give him a treat at the
same time as placing the collar or vest.
Call the dog’s name and say “sit”, reward when his rear hits the ground.
Call the dog’s name and say “down”, reward when the dog goes into a prone position. If the dog resists, try from the
sit position, or point to the ground. “Down” does not mean “off”. Say “off” when you want the dog to get off a bed or
furniture; OR if he jumps on someone, pull the leash down while saying “off”.
“Heel” is when the dog is on your left side with his head by your left leg facing the same direction as you. Place the
dog in the “Heel” position to ready him to walk. Say “Let’s Go” when you begin walking. Walk the dog on a loose –
not tight – leash. The dog should NEVER be at the end of a tight leash. If he pulls, you need to correct the pull by
stopping, backing up or turning around and going the opposite direction.
Use “leave it” when you want the dog not to focus on something, such as: a cat or another dog, or things he’s
sniffing on the ground. Say “leave it” and pop and release the leash. Say “good boy” when he leaves the thing
alone. The dog should NEVER eat anything off the floor or ground.
“Go in” tells the dog to crawl under something, such as under a table or desk.
Make a friend
The dog should wait to be greeted – he should never approach a person without permission. He should be in a
seated position whenever greeting someone. Say “make a friend”, and he should automatically sit. If he doesn’t,
say his name and command him to “sit”. After sitting politely for petting, reward him.
“Load” tells the dog to load into a vehicle. Once he loads, praise him, then secure his leash inside the car.
“Wait” instructs the dog not to cross a threshold (door, gate, etc.), OR to NOT jump out of a car. As you open the
car door, command the dog to “Wait”. Be sure your hands are on the leash before you tell him “okay” to leave your
Thank you again. In the case of an emergency, please call 386-456-0408.
New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc.
1590 Laurel Park Court
Orange City, FL 32763
Thank you for taking a dog home for the weekend. Please fill out the following evaluation form to let us know how
the dog behaved. Your assessment is very important to us, and will help in the overall training process.
Please fill out the evaluation completely and return it to New Horizons when returning your weekend dog to us.
Good Needs Attention Notes
Good Fair Poor
Weekend Raiser/Evaluator Name (PRINT) _______________________________
NHSD representative _______________________________________________
Date Dog Received _________________________________________________
Date Dog Returned_________________________________________________