Service Dog Training

After my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac 4 years ago I started the journey to train a dog to become a gluten detection service dog. I had been a trainer for over 10 years at the point but I had never ventured into service dog training. I found Dawn Scheu of Willow Service Dogs LLC. and worked with her to train our first gluten detection dog. I went on to intern with Dawn and now specialize in scent based service dog tasks. It is my passion to help people who are in need of a service dog. 

Through working with Dawn and her internship program I have watched and helped countless service dog teams go from pet owners with puppies to service dog handlers and service dogs. All through virtual lessons. Virtual Service Dog training allowed me to train my dog in Germany with a trainer in Michigan. This means I know exactly how you will feel and how to help you learn. The fact is there are very few trainers in the world that are capable of training gluten/allergen detection to the high level it needs to be trained to keep handlers safe from cross contamination, training virtually means you can have access to me from anywhere in the world. 

How does it work?

After an initial consult where we will discuss your needs, goals and training experience. Based on our conversation I will make a recommendation for a training plan.

All service dog training is done on a monthly subscription basis. We meet virtually for 1 hour either once or twice a week. I will guide you in training your dog and use my personal dogs to demonstrate when necessary. You are free to message me or send me videos between our meetings if you have any questions or concerns. 

All service dog's that graduate the program will need to pass both a public access assessment and skill/task assessment. I use O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. titles for this, each team will be evaluated by an O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. evaluator (not me) to ensure the assessment is unbiased.


Monthly Plans

  • Weekly 1 hour sessions -

    • 220.00 Euro/ 270 USD

  • Twice weekly 1 hour lessons -

    • 400.00 Euro/ 490 USD

Private lessons at your home 

are available in the following areas on certain days:

Patch Barracks

Kelley Barracks

Panzer Barracks

Robinson Barracks

Stuttgart , Germany


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Melissa has a way with animals. She also has a way with people. I brought my enthusiastic Corgi puppy to her for training and she instantly showed us how patient, clear and thorough she is with both people and their animals. Positive reinforcement doesn’t only work with puppies. In order to continue the lessons at home I had to pay close attention to her instructions. I also had to build my confidence (to show my puppy that I knew what I was doing). We still have work to do and I will continue to reach out to Melissa for training.

— Rachel H. (Roger, Corgi)

 © Melissa Cushman Dog Training