What is the purpose of the Co-Train Instructors Academy (COTIA)?

The purpose of COTIA is to empower amateur and professional dog trainers to begin Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) training programs. COTIA provides the coaching, curriculum, experience and materials to allow you to replicate our program in your home community.

I want to train a PSD for my own personal use. Is COTIA for me?

If your only interest is in training a dog for yourself, COTIA is not the program for you. If you live in Ohio, please check out Buckeye Service Dog's Co-Train program. COTIA could be a good fit for you if you are already a dog trainer and you want to develop a program to train psychiatric service dogs.

Is Buckeye Service Dogs a member of Assistance Dogs International?

No. Assistance Dogs International only accepts non-profit organizations as members. Buckeye Service Dogs is private company and therefore not a member of Assistance Dogs International.

If I am trained through COTIA, could my program become a member of Assistance Dogs International?

That would depend upon whether your program met the criteria established by Assistance Dogs International.

How long is the COTIA course?

COTIA is two weeks long. Plan on arriving Friday, August 7, 2020 and departing at the end of the day on Friday, August 21. Weekday sessions will be 4-6 hours long, depending upon the activities of the day. There will also be homework related to the business portion of the course (development of website and marketing materials, databases, etc.)

What is the goal of COTIA?

To provide you with everything you need to go home and begin a psychiatric service dog training program at your location. We are giving you every tool we believe you will need to be successful - you bring your training expertise, people skills, and passion!

When will the first COTIA course begin?

We intend to launch COTIA in August of 2020. We are announcing it far in advance so that individuals and programs can make the necessary financial and logistical arrangements.

How much does COTIA cost?

For our innaugural August 2020 course, our tuition is $15,000 per student. An additional student from the same company or organization may attend free of charge providng that person has been associated with the organization as a staff or volunteer for no less than two years (documentation required). In subsequent COTIA sessions, our fee will be $25,000 per student. NOTE: Charitable organizations that have been in existance for more than 5 years and out of country participants may be elligible for a full or partial scholarship. Email for additional information. Other costs associated with COTIA include 2 weeks hotel lodging, meals, and transportation for your stay.

Why does COTIA cost so much?

A quick search on Google lists the average cost of a single psychiatric service dog at $20,000 to $30,000. What we are providing through COTIA is much more far-reaching - we are equipping dog trainers with the ability to select and train psychiatric dogs one-on-one or in a class setting. In addition we supply all the information materials students need to be successful in their new program. When considered in this context, our fees are extremely reasonable.

Should I bring a dog?

A portion of our curriculum is devoted to teaching service dog tasks. So, you will need a dog to teach. Ideally, we would like you to bring a service dog candidate with you. The dog you select should know basic obedience and be able to be taken out in public. When you register for COTIA we will work with you to determine if the dog you have in mind is appropriate. If you are not able to bring a dog, you may be able to use a Buckeye Service Dog trainee for the duration of the course. This opportunity is based on availability.

How is Buckeye Service Dogs related to COTIA?

Christy Talbert, owner of Buckeye Service Dogs, has been training service dogs since 1980. BSD has several programs: 1) Traditional training and placement to serve those with a variety of disabilities 2} Co-Train, which teaches individuals with psychiatric challenges how to select and train their own service dogs 3) COTIA, which empowers other dog trainers to begin programs similar to Co-Train.

Why do I have to be a dog trainer to attend COTIA?

Dog training is a discipline in itself. We cannot teach you to be a professional dog trainer in two weeks. This is why dog training experience is prerequisite to attending COTIA. We can, however, equip skilled dog trainers to train psychiatric service dogs and work with prospective clients. This is COTIA's focus.

How do I know that COTIA will be worth my time and expense?

The best way to gauge the worth of our programs is to hear from those we have impacted: Our clients and their families. Please visit our testimonial page and discover for yourself the benefits of our Co-Train program, after which our COTIA curriculum is modeled.

What is BSD's reason for offering COTIA?

I (Christy Talbert) have been training service dogs since 1980. At this writing I am 55 years old, and can say without hesitation that assisting persons with disabilities through providing service dogs has been my life's work. At this stage of my career, I want to empower others to do the same. I wish to pass on the hard-won knowledge I have acquired over the past four decades. Training trainers is a logical step in this progression. Through COTIA I hope to bring psychiatric service dogs to people all over the world who don't currently have access to them.