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.

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

Group Manners Dog Training Class

For service dog training with your current dog, we begin with group basic manners dog training class. During class, your dog will learn to ignore distractions and listen to you.

For help in selecting a breed, breeder, puppy, or rescue organization to find a service dog prospect, schedule your free phone consultation.

Therapy Dog Training Class

The next phase of service dog training is teaching your dog the skills necessary to pass the Therapy Dog test.  During therapy dog training class, your dog will learn the next level of cooperation with you around distractions such as ignoring people, dogs, toys and food and choosing to listen to you.

Service Dog training

After completing the classes necessary for your dog to successfully ignore other dogs, other people, toys and food in hopes that you’ll invite them to do something for you, the last phase of service dog training is teaching your dog the skills necessary to mitigate your disability. This training is done one on one based on the skills your dog needs to learn. These sessions max out at $130 per session.

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

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

Not near Charlotte for Service Dog Training?

I recommend


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 and Canine Good Citizen test: Sit, down, stay, come, walk nicely on leash, attention, and ignoring other dogs. Read more about the CGC test here and check out our canine good citizen class near me.
  • Manners in public and Therapy dog training: The next phase towards service dog certification is therapy dog training certification near me. Therapy dog training ensures that your dog is trained and can listen around other dogs, children and a variety of people. Here are the test requirements for  therapy dog training near me. Therapy dog training also ensures that your dog can listen in a wide variety of environements which is a key component of service dog training.
  • Service dog tasks: Once your dog has completed the canine good citizen test and the therapy dog training test, now we can proceed with teach your dog the specific tasks your dog needs to learn to do to mitigate your specific disability.
  • Certifications and Team Public Access: Once your dog several skills to offset your disability, then your dog can begin wearing a Service dog in training vest and can continue practicing their skills in establishments that allow all dogs (such as home improvement stores). Once your dog finishes public access training and demonstrates that they can do the taught skills to offset your disability, then your dog can begin going to and practicing in stores that sell food (such as walmart, target, etc.). Once your trainer has accessed your dog’s reliability in public locations where there is food, then your certification letter will be signed and your dog will officially be a service dog.

Complete service dog training takes between 6 and 18 months of training. We typically utilize a combination of in home training, group classes and online training classes. The total cost is between $4,000 and $10,000 depending on how much training the owner is able to do on their own. Training and payment is done in phases.

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!

Get started with service dog training by teaching your dog to listen to you regardless of distractions with one of our group dog training classes.