About Us

Training Methods

Little Angels Service Dogs stands on the firm belief that training should be a dog-
friendly experience. Positive motivation is used at every opportunity. Training should
be fun for trainer, handler and dog. If one becomes frustrated then the training
session should stop. Firm, but fair reinforcement is added only when the dog
understands what behavior is wanted, but chooses not to follow through. This
creates a dog who responds consistently to commands in all situations. When you
call your dog, he should come to you with tail and head held high, happy to be by
your side – not slinking towards you with his tail between his legs.

Some trainers would like to command a dog with treats and praise alone – but this
creates a dog who will respond only if the treat or praise is more positive than
anything else that he would rather be doing. For example, if you asked your dog to
“sit” and “stay” at the park, he may respond well just to get the praise you have to
offer him – but if he likes chasing cats, and one just happens to run across the street,
he is faced with an immediate decision. Your dog is thinking, “Which is better –
chasing that cat all over town with my tongue lolling out the side of my mouth and
having the time of my life . . . or getting a taste of that treat in my master’s hand?” For
most dogs it would be chasing the cat. He then breaks away from you and darts
across the street after the cat – where he has a high chance of getting hit by a car. . . .
But if he had been through training that involved positive as well as negative
reinforcement, he has two reasons to do what you tell him, and a negative and a
positive usually outweigh the positive alone.

Dogs come from a social structure with a strong hierarchy. It would be unnatural for
your dog to view life neutrally, without care of who is the alpha – who is to be
dominant or submissive. If you do not take the lead, and become the alpha of your
“pack”, your dog will either be insecure, or take that position himself. The latter can
turn into a potentially dangerous situation.

With Little Angels, all commands are initially taught with positive motivation only. The
dog is lured into certain positions, such as “sit” or “down”, then is rewarded with
either treats, a favorite toy, or verbal and physical praise. Only once the dog responds
consistently to the positive, but chooses not to act, is the correction added.

Determining what level of negative reinforcement a dog needs is a very delicate task
and should be approached with care. Some dogs will submit to authority with just a
simple “no” in a firm and low voice – but with most dogs a quick tug on the leash is all
that is needed.

Dogs, just like people, go through different stages in their lifetime. Because of this
Little Angels stands behind any dog they have trained, whether it is a service dog or a
pet, and will always encourage owners and recipients to advise us of any needed
training in the future so that we can remedy the issues.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of trainers out there who prefer to "get the job done
quickly” and are too hard on the dog. This creates an animal who responds out of
fear, rather than one who is well-rounded with both positive motivation and low-level
negative reinforcement.

You do NOT need to be a heavy-handed-tyrant for your dog to
obey. You very simply need to be the leader. When you issue a
command the response is absolute. You do not give your dog a
choice by asking him to do it. You tell him that he will do it. After
all, it is a command . . . not a request.

Extreme training techniques should be reserved for extreme, life-threatening behavior
problems, such as aggression, or car chasing. If you believe that a trainer has been
too hard on your dog – please don’t look the other way – act! Ask the trainer why they
are using the aggressive techniques, and if it doesn’t seem right to you, then act on
your instincts and seek out another trainer.

Little Angels Service Dogs is a charitable, non-profit 501c3 corporation
that reaches across all of the United States partnering service dogs with the disabled.
Our charitable goals also reach out to the local community of San Diego,
students how to become skilled service dog trainers to assist even more people
throughout the world
It is the goal of Little Angels that service
dogs be placed at little to no cost to the
disabled handler.

Little Angels is a 501c3 non-profit
organization, and all donations are tax
deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Little Angels relies fully on the generosity
of time given by our volunteers, and those
who wish to contribute financially so that
recipients do not have to pay to receive a
service dog.
Little Angels Service Dogs is a collaboration of professionals and volunteers who
share a common goal to see the lives of the disabled changed by the help service
dogs can offer.

Director, Katie Gonzalez
Little Angels 'Honey'
and her bonded
Cheetah Companion
Fosters and Volunteers
The Rohmer Family, V. Hall, J. Fritz, P. Harris, The Schrader Family, The Tico Family, The
Long Family,The Saenz Family, A. Messenger, Y. Armendariz, K. Thayer, M. Ferraro, M.
Perkins, C. Wilkins, L. WIlkins, K. Bradshaw, The Hobson Family, K. Nelson, The Amador
Family, The Beltran Family, S. Dieterle, C. Ervin, M. Freeborn, The Nichols Family, The
Chapman Family, The Harris Family, The Gores Family..
Stacey Z, Stacy M, Amy B, Ida D,
Dana F, Steve Z, Dina M, Anna P, Debbie C, Brian O, Terri S, Liza S, Janet E, Dannielle S,
Breanna H, Angie M, Cynthia F, Lesa R, Rebekah S, Alex B, Jessica V, Dannielle C, Vicky H,
Judy F, P Harris, Mark L, Yvonne A, Kristin T, Maureen F, Morgan P, Cory W, Kathy B, Katie
N, Laura A, Sophia D, Michelle F, Karen G, Kimberly R, Martha S, Lori F, Judy M, Gary L,
Nancy F, Patrick S,  Kionte S,
Katie oversees the Kennel Manager, Kennel Staff, Head Trainer, Secondary
Trainers, Groomer, Breeding Fosters, and Fundraising Coordinator. Responsible
for follow-up care for recipients and dogs throughout each dog's lifetime through
personal contact, maintenance reports and recertification. Coordination of
adoptions for dogs who do not graduate. Webmaster, updating website and
media review. Review applications and decline/accept recipients with review
from board and trainers when applicable. Review of medical procedures and
routine care of dogs and coordination with trainers and Kennel Manager.
Scheduling of medical care and spay-neuter of dogs. Coordination of recipient's
visit to San Diego for Handler Training. Screening for apprentices. Conducts
apprenticeship lectures and programs with classroom instruction for seminars.
Handler Training with recipients, shared duty with trainers. Email
correspondence and phone calls. Supply orders, kennel overhead and financial
responsibilities, supplies and bill pay. Human Resources and payroll
administration and coordination. Founder of Little Angels Dog Training and Little
Angels Service Dogs. Brings professional business owner experience, dog
breeding and animal husbandry experience, veterinary experience, kennel
management experience, and over 16 years of service dog training experience to
the board. Professionally certified dog trainer and American Kennel Club CGC
evaluator. Voting Board member.
Reports to Board of Directors.

Savannah oversees all trainers, volunteers, puppy raisers, fosters,
and apprentices. Lead dog trainer. Lead in Handler Training. Conducts
private lessons and follows up with further training and management.
Guides the training of dogs through fosters. Coordination of dog's
career paths based on propensity and personality observation.
Temperament testing of dogs in shelters, in private lessons, and at
the ranch. Obedience training, public access skills, socialization and
task training and coordination. Training chart and roster manager.
Coordination of training supplies with Director. Coordination and
instructor of apprenticeship and volunteer field trips and assessment
of dogs during field trips. Administrator of vaccines. Brings over 5
years of professional service dog training experience. Certified Dog
Trainer, American Kennel Club CGC evaluator, and Voting Board
Reports to Director.

Carlen guides volunteers and anyone interested in raising funds to
complete fundraising successfully and legally according to IRS
standards for 501c3 nonprofit organizations. Coordination of Little
Angels fundraising events. Foster home inspections, foster screening,
adoption/rescue research. Return voice mails and emails for program
inquiries. Responsible for recruiting foster homes, and screening
applicants for the volunteer program. Brings professional fundraising
and managerial experience.
Reports to Director.

Jojo directs kennel cleaning and daily care of dogs in specialized
training. Coordination of kennel supplies with Director. Landscaping
oversight and responsibilities. Construction maintenance,
construction of new kennels, fencing and irrigation.
On and off site Temperament Testing.
Reports to Director.

Judy is one of our dog trainers and works with dogs at the ranch, on
field trips and during handler training sessions. She grooms dogs on a
regular basis to keep up with those who can't resist a good roll in the
mud out at the ranch. Judy is a social media expert, taking wonderful
photos and updating our FB and Twitter pages to delight our followers
worldwide. Judy is also a professional comedian and thus brings us
comedic relief in the most desperate of times.
Reports to Head Trainer.

Kellen is one of our trainers and works with the dogs at the ranch, and
with recipients during handler training sessions and on field trips. She
also handles meet n' greets for dogs available for adoption, to help
find them their forever home, and provides detailed instruction to the
future owners so they know how to reinforce their dog's training. She
is also a dedicated worker on our kennel maintenance team. No dog
has ever had better room service or more love. She takes pride in
every detail and it shows!
Reports to Head Trainer.

Gary is one of our Fundraising Coordinators. He is a well-known radio
personality and spokesperson, and is kind enough to create videos
and professional voice overs for Little Angels. His enthusiasm for
helping the disabled through service dogs has helped hundreds over
the years.

Valerie is the Little Angels Administrative Secretary and helps with
our heavy email volume by answering questions, providing
applications for apprenticeship, seminars, fosters, and donated dogs.
Valerie is also a certified trainer through Little Angels and assists by
temperament testing adoptable dogs.
Reports to Director.

Mark is a trainer for Little Angels and assists by training dogs at the
ranch, in his home, and on field trips. Mark also assists with
temperament testing. It is a pleasure to say that Mark is also helping
Southern California residents with his skills in service dog training
within his own business as a private dog trainer, helping to provide
more disabled individuals with the assistance they need.
Reports to the Director.

Amelia is the Board Secretary for Little Angels and accurately records
minutes and administrates for board meetings. She brings
professional business owner experience, previous board experience
and 501c3 experience. Amelia has been involved with Little Angels for
over ten years, watching it grow from a sole-proprietorship as Little
Angels Dog Training to the non-profit organization of Little Angels
Service Dogs, and has witnessed all those who have been helped
through the program, understanding the importance of continued
success in our communities nation wide.
Voting Board Member.

Stephanie reviews all financial statements, bill payments and receipts
to confirm all expenses are reasonable, incurred, related and
necessary. Brings professional business owner experience, and is a
family member of a Little Angels Service Dog Recipient, and thus
experienced with the recipient and training process.
Voting Board Member.

Crystal brings professional legal experience, and is a prior Little
Angels Service Dog Trainer, thus being aware of our beginnings,
where we've come from, and our initial goals moving forward. As a
trainer she is familiar with all that goes into training service dogs, and
is aware of how important the proper placement of a dog with the right
recipient is for the success of the team.
Voting Board Member.

Steve brings professional leadership experience, and is a dedicated
construction volunteer and foster for Little Angels, and is thus aware
of the energy that goes into every little detail of Little Angels, from the
floor boards and up. His family has successfully fostered countless
dogs through our program, being a vital part of their graduation
process and placement with disabled recipients.
Voting Board Member.

Alvaro brings professional managerial and Federal security
experience, and is a dedicated volunteer for Little Angels. His security
expertise goes a long way to keep our dogs and staff safe and
monitored. He has been an integral part to the success of the
organization, and continues to volunteer his energy and efforts on a
weekly basis to ensure the longevity of the program, at great personal
sacrifice. Whenever there is a fence that needs mending, a dog who
needs emergency vetting, or a car that needs repairing, he is there to
give his all.
Voting Board Member.
Little Angels Service Dogs
PO Box 219
Jamul, CA 91935
Our physical address will be given to you at the time
of your appointment.

Phone: 800-528-9550


Tax ID 27-3515067
Head Trainer, and Board
Member, Savannah S.
and Service Dog Nanuk
Fundraising Coordinator,
Carlen H.
& her pet dog, Jackie
Kennel Manager, Jojo
& SD in training, Bart
Trainer, and Social Media
Judy M.
& SD's in training
Bart and Dyson
Trainer, Kellen D.
& SD in training, Oliver
Fundraising Coordinator,
Gary L.
at work in his studio.
Administrative Secretary,
Valerie W.
& her pet dogs
Riley and Bo
Trainer, Mark H.
& pet dog Cooper
Board Secretary,
Amelia B.
Board Member,
Alvaro G.
Board Member,
Crystal E.
& her pet dog Mack
Board Treasurer,
Stephanie F.
Board Member,
Steve Z.
Little Angels Service Dogs
PO Box 219
Jamul, CA 91935
Our physical address will be given to you at the time
of your appointment.

Phone: 800-528-9550


Tax ID 27-3515067