VMF’s Canine Training Philosophy is based on a positive training approach with a Relationship Centered focus. Our philosophy is based on building a trusting relationship and bond between our raisers, sitters, trainers and our Service Dogs in Training. We use positive reinforcement, interactive games, structure, consistency, proven and safe scientific training techniques, excellent timing, and understanding that each dog is unique. To better understand and guide our dogs on a path to success we tailor our training program to optimize each dog’s individual strengths, genetic make-up and natural desires. Our philosophy follows the scientific behavioral principles of operant conditioning and classical conditioning. Reward-based training is and always will be a key foundational element of our training. Beyond our teaching methods and styles, we teach the importance of physical and mental stimulation and body language interpretation to our raisers and sitters.

On a quarterly basis we conduct a pre-placement class series for new and potential raisers and sitters.  This series of informal classes covers the basics of puppy raising and sitting for VMF, VMF’s training philosophy and methods, and is conducted at VMF’s Canine Training and Veteran Support Center in Dulles, Virginia.