Service Dog Training

A service dog helps a person with a disability lead a more independent life. According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” “Work or task” means the dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. The task performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

These dogs are specially trained for the purpose of helping their owner with balance issues, guiding the handler, alerting to sounds in the environment, and alert to a seizure. Retrieving a medication bag, retrieving a beverage to take the medication, bringing the emergency phone to the handler and panic prevention skills are all skills that we can teach your dog to perform.

Service Dog Training Foundation skills:

  • Choosing the best breed and dog breeder for your service dog needs
  • Choosing the right puppy for service dog training
  • Preventing fear and aggression, the most common reasons a dog cannot be used as a service animal

We recommend One on one Dog Training for the most effective Service Dog Training:

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Effective

Service dogs need specialized training that can’t be achieved in a group class or board and train program. Buying a completely trained service dog is expensive and not always effective. We can guide you through the process of selecting, training and utilizing your dog for this important and helpful work. 

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Adaptable

We customize our sessions to meet your dog’s training needs and assist with your needs.

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Environment Learning

We train where the dog needs to perform the behaviors. We practice in public once the dog has the skills necessary for public access work. 

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Time Efficient

Your time is valuable. You need to be able to use your service animal to help you with your disability as soon as possible. Our training programs get results quickly and use your time efficiently.

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Convenient

We schedule our sessions around your busy calendar! 

Common Service Dog Training Tasks:

  • Retrieving medication or medical supplies
  • Reminding you to take your medication
  • Alerting to a medical problem (low blood sugar, low blood pressure, fungus, etc.)
  • Locating your vehicle in a parking lot
  • Leading you to a chair
  • Blocking you from being crowded by others in busy public locations
  • Specific tasks to help mitigate your illness

Types of Service Dogs

There are several types of service or assistance dogs.

Seizure or Fainting Response Service Dogs

These dogs are trained to help alert someone that help is needed. They provide balance to help the person recover.

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs help those who are visually impaired.

Mobility Assistance Dogs

These dogs are trained to work with people who use wheelchairs or have balance issues and the dogs provide balance support. The dogs also assist with dropped items, open doors or turn on/off lights.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

These dogs help people with anxiety and deep pressure therapy. They can alert to and provide support during panic attacks and they can help with sleep issues.

 

Service Dog versus Therapy Dog

Many people confuse service dogs with therapy dogs, but they play two completely different roles that require nearly opposite characteristics.

Service dogs are one dog for one person and perform specific tasks to help that person cope with a disability. Therapy dogs are one dog for everyone—they bring cheer and comfort to hospital patients, assisted living center and nursing home residents, homeless families, and students.

Service dogs must be handler-focused, desensitized to distractions, and highly trained to do specific tasks. They should not be distracted by the public, as they should focus solely on their owner when working. For service dogs, training can last up to two years before they are placed with a client. Service dogs typically wear a vest that identifies them as a service dog and asks the public not to pet them.

Therapy dogs should be friendly and outgoing, yet calm and obedient, and socialized to a variety of people, places, and things. Therapy dogs need to be trained in basic manners and obedience, and are required to take continuing education workshops. Therapy dogs and their owners provide opportunities for petting and affection in a variety of settings on a volunteer basis.

Let's get started teaching your dog the skills necessary for this helpful work!

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Service dog training includes several phases of training:

  • Dog or Puppy Selection: Helping you choose a breeder and dog or puppy that was bred specifically for a stable temperament for service dog work
  • Basic Manners: Sit, down, stay, come, walk nicely on leash, attention
  • Manners in public: Taking the basic manners on the road and practicing them in parks and in public
  • Service dog tasks: Teach the specific tasks your dog needs to learn to do to mitigate your specific disability
  • Certifications and Team Public Access: Your dog successfully passes the Therapy dog team test. Your dog finishes public access (access to stores that serve food) training and can now be taken to restaurants and the grocery store

Complete service dog training costs between $4,000 and $10,000. Training and payment is done in phases.