Service Dog Training

Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for their handler to alleviate a disability (or disabilities) the handler has. Training a service dog is very intense for both the dog and the handler, and the risk of washing out of training is high. This process takes approximately two years to complete and completion is not guaranteed.

Before being accepted into the service dog training program several requirements must be met. The first is your dog being evaluated for suitability. If your dog is evaluated as being unsuitable for public access but could still benefit you at home, you may be accepted for at-home training only. The second step is providing medical documentation that verifies you qualify for a service dog. The last step is signing a lengthy letter of agreement outlining the rules of the program and signifying that you understand the laws and regulations regarding a service dog in training. You can download a watermarked copy of that agreement here.

Once accepted into the program, you and your dog will begin working towards your “diplomas.” These are NOT certifications or legal documents, they only state that you have completed certain program requirements for each level. Please see the chart below for an explanation of each diploma.

NOTE: It is illegal to pass off a pet as a service dog. While service dogs are granted public access with their disabled handler, service dogs that are still in training are NOT. Therapy dogs and emotional support animals are NOT service dogs and have NO public access rights. We will not allow our services to be used to pass off pets as service animals. For more information on common US laws pertaining to service dogs, click here.

If you are interested in service dog training, please fill out this form and we will get back to you.

Program Diploma Requirements

Associate’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree PhD
  • Community Canine or Pet Dog Ambassador 3 title
  • Paw and mouth targets
  • Start task training foundation
  • Urban Canine Good Citizen or Pet Dog Ambassador 4 title
  • 80% accurate with 2 tasks at home for at least 2 months
  • Starting some PA with trainer (physical or virtual)Completed 100 PA hours
  • 80% accurate with 2 tasks in 10 different locations
  • 80% accurate with 3 tasks at home
  • MUST obtain vet approval for mobility tasks
  • Completed 100 PS hours
  • ‣ 40 hours of acclimating and foundation skills training (being unobtrusive in public)
    ⁃ Leash manners, settle in various places, standing in line, walking through large crowds, etc.

    ‣ 60 hours of skills and task training
    ⁃ Generalizing tasks to more locations with more distractions
    ‣ Must include at least 1 location from each of the following:
    ⁃ Grocery store
    ⁃ Shopping mall
    ⁃ Public park/outdoor venue
    ⁃ Restaurant/cafe
    ⁃ Pet-friendly location
    ‣ Begins with a max of 3 outings in a 7 day period for a max of 2 hours
    ⁃ Will allow more and longer sessions as progress is noted
    ⁃ Watching for team confidence, dog’s ability to focus and perform tasks
    ‣ Dog must be able to perform tasks without treats or treat containers being seen, but dog is reinforced for performing tasks
  • 80% accurate with 3 tasks in 10 different location
  • Passed written test
  • Passed graduation visits