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Buckeye Service Dogs and Me

Recommendation from Christy Talbert owner of Buckeye Service Dogs

My name is Christy Talbert and I have been training service dogs for persons with disabilities since 1980. I am the owner and founder of Buckeye Service Dogs (BSD). BSD provides dogs to assist persons with a wide range of disabilities including mobility impairments, seizure disorders, and psychiatric challenges.

Over the past three years, I have spent more than three months mentoring Natasha in service dog training in both Newfoundland and the USA. The goal of this process has been to equip Tash, (who is already an accomplished dog trainer), to begin a psychiatric service dog training program in Canada, modeled after my own Co-Train program.

At this writing Tash is completing her third mentoring session with me – a two month stay at my home near Columbus, Ohio.

Because we have worked and lived together closely (periodically) over the past three years, I can say without hesitation that I believe Natasha is uniquely qualified to bring Psychiatric Service Dog training to Newfoundland. As a dog trainer and student of dog behavior, she is exemplary. She has a wonderful understanding of dogs and a firm but gentle and fair approach, which she acquired when she co- founded and volunteered for Sit With Me rescue in Ottawa, Ontario.

Tash has also experienced deeply painful life events which resulted serious struggles with depression, PTSD and anxiety. Because of these challenges, she is able to relate as peers to others who are undergoing paralyzing emotional pain. This makes her ideally suited to serve those needing psychiatric service dogs as both an instructor and a peer.

In her training with me, I have found Tash open and eager to learn. She has dove into every project or meeting with compassion, creativity, enthusiasm, and hope. She has interacted wonderfully with all of my clients, regardless of their age, type of disability, or emotional challenges.

On a more personal note, Tash has become a close friend through this process and I can say without hesitation that she has the moral and ethical standards to be upright in her dealings with her clients. If I were in need of a psychiatric service dog, knowing what I know about Tash, I would not hesitate to entrust her with my patronage. In short, I believe Natasha was made to do this, and am blessed to be part of her development as a psychiatric service dog trainer.

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Izzy of Buckeye Service Dogs and I doing a training session

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Do you wonder if the dog you have is service dog material? Do you want to train your own service dog?

Buckeye Service Dogs receives calls daily from people wanting to train their own service dog.  Perhaps the biggest barrier to success for these individuals is finding the right dog!  Most dogs selected by individuals who want to train their own dogs just aren’t appropriate for the work.  Sadly, many professional dog trainers also unknowingly select poor candidates and then charge their clients thousands for unsuitable dogs.


So, Christy Talbert has written the book Unicorn Wanted! A Practical Guide to Service Dog Selection to address the overwhelming need for reliable information.  If you want to select and train your own dog, this booklet will be an invaluable tool. If you are considering purchasing a trained service dog, this information will help you judge whether the dog you are being offered is up to the task. If you want to train service dogs professionally, this book will help you select the best dogs for your clients. You will learn which breeds work best and why; what temperament a dog should have for service work; and how to handle your search and evaluation from first contact with a dog owner or rescue through the dog’s first month in your home.


Christy Talbert has 35 years of experience selecting service dogs and has worked with more than 250 teams.

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