Service Animal Trainer Instructor
Honu Services

Bethesda, Maryland

This job has expired.

Bethesda, MD

Experienced service dog trainer needed - train service dogs and help Veterans!

4S-Silversword has an immediate opening for an experienced service dog trainer at our Bethesda, Maryland program location. If you are a passionate, experienced Service Animal Training Instructor with great people skills, this just might be your dream job!

4S-Silversword is utilizing a highly effective service Dog Training model :In short, active duty Service Members and Military Veterans with combat related injuries are engaged to help train Golden Retrievers and Labradors to be service dogs. By learning to train service dogs, these Warrior Trainers are given a chance to develop practical skills such as patience, positive reinforcement, emotional regulation, and effective communication skills, while simultaneously helping to prepare the dog to assist a fellow injured Veteran in the future. These service dogs learn up to 90 commands during a comprehensive, two-year training process. After those two years of training, the dogs are professionally matched with a disabled Veteran who has mobility impairments or psychological injuries.

As a 4S-Silversword Dog Trainer Instructor, you will provide one-on-one instruction and teach small group classes to these Warrior Trainers, and clinical staff. For the current opening, all the work will occur at a Government military medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland and the area proximate to the facility where this unique program is offered as compliment to clinical treatment programs.

This position requires significant dog training experience, a year of service dog training experiences, as well as experience working with individuals with mental health or traumatic brain injury symptomology. (Please see the details below)

This is a job that will truly make a difference in the world, and in the lives of the individual Veterans and Service Members we work with every day.

What the job involves:

  • Train Golden Retrievers and Labradors to be service dogs, from puppyhood to final placement, through various onsite and field activities.
  • Provide one-on-one instruction and teach small group classes on service dog training to Warrior Trainers recovering from both the hidden and visible wounds of war (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other psychological health or physical injuries).
  • Monitor and evaluate the dogs as they progress through training and socialization stages.
  • Track and enter important data, and complete required forms and reports in a timely manner.
  • Maintain a clean, safe environment for the dogs and humans at the program sites.
  • Comply with or exceed Assistance Dog International minimum standards and ethics.
  • Participate in staff meetings, professional development and community activities as directed.
  • Other duties as assigned
Job Requirements:


Required Experience, Skills, Background:
  • Minimum of one (1) year working experience as a service dog trainer.
  • Completion of a service dog training program of no less than 6-12 months, or a combination of education and work experience in the field of service dog training for a minimum of 18 months.
  • Demonstrated experience working with individuals with mental health and/or TBI symptoms, an understanding of symptomology related to TBI and PTS/PTSD, and experience working in a healthcare environment.
  • Comfort in leading one-to-one or group training sessions.
  • Detail oriented and demonstrably strong work ethic - this can be demanding work.
  • Friendly, calm, mature, patient, and professional demeanor with excellent communication skills.
  • Desire to work with Veterans and the knowledge, skills, and ability to effectively interact and work with Veterans who have experienced combat trauma and/or psychological health or physical injuries.
  • Must possess a state motor vehicle license enabling operation of Government Owned Vehicles for the purpose of transporting rehabilitation patients and or staff as mission requires
  • Speak, read and write in fluent English.
  • Possess current two (2) year Basic Life Support certification approved by the American Heart Association.
  • The ability to work independently with minimal supervision - you must learn quickly.
  • Ability to prioritize work tasks - organization skills and time management are critical.
  • Ability to instruct people with a variety of backgrounds and skill levels in the training methodology and best practices for service dog training.
  • Knowledge of, and ability to implement, effective training methods, problem solving and instruction for all phases of training (puppy through graduate training).
  • Ability to learn and manage a variety of administrative processes.
  • Basic computer skills and competency in Microsoft Office applications in order to maintain dog records, training charts, puppy evaluations, etc. Salesforce experience is a plus.
  • Must be eligible for DoD security clearance and be eligible to physically work at a DOD facility (live scan finger printing, TB tests, no felony convictions, etc.).
  • The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 40-50 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.
Physical requirements: The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands to handle or feel, and talk/hear. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Please note: 4S-Silversword Software and Services LLC reserves the right to change or modify job duties and assignments at any time. The above job description is not all encompassing. Positions functions and qualifications may vary depending on business needs. 4S-Silversword Software and Services LLC is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants based on race, color, creed, religion, medical condition, legally protected genetic information, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or Vietnam era, or other eligible veteran status or legally protected characteristics.

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