Service dogs for
- Emotional Support
Empowering people with special needs
Taking Applications for 2019
All dogs in our service dog training program are tested numerous times, and
meet or exceed the minimum standards set forth by Assistance Dogs International.
Training a service or therapy dog is time consuming, and involves numerous professionals' input for months if not longer. Therefore, a well trained service dog is not cheap to obtain - in order to continue training more dogs for people with special needs, we have to charge a fee for the dogs we train. The fee varies regarding the training level of the service dog. If you want to find out what the cost for a service dog trained to meet your needs is, please fill out an application and tell us as much as possible about your needs and circumstances.
We understand that coming up with thousands of dollars to get a service dog to assist you is often not easy. We provide support in your fundraising efforts the best we can - in many cases, a crowfunding effort has raised the funds for a service dog. Donations from family, friends, church members, and even total strangers have paid off and helped families to cover the cost of the service dog. Here are a few crowfunding websites so that you can take a look and get information on how this works. We also provide payment plans for the duration of the training of your service dog.
All dogs graduating from our service dog training are tested and meet or exceed the Amercan Kennel Club's Urban Canine Good Citizen training and testing standards as set forth by AKC UCGC
The dogs in our service dog program are all born right here in our facilities. Each parent is carefully evaluated, with attention to temperament to assure that we produce the best possible puppies for our training program. All puppies are evaluated and tested carefully before chosen to the training program.
Information about ADA Standards for Service Dogs
How long does it take to train a Service Dog?
There is no set time for training an adult service dog once they have completed their early socialization, but service dog programs will have very clear training plans for every dog. In general, adult dogs will undergo specific training (obedience, task work etc) for 1-2 hours a day for a period of around 6 months before they are matched with their future owner. Some dogs can take a bit longer than that, depending on the maturity of the service dog.
Why shouldn't a Service or Therapy Dog be protective?
An Assistance Dogs job is to make a disabled individual more able, not to protect them. The dog's presence by itself is a natural deterrent. Because disabled people take their Assistance Dogs into public places, and many are not able to physically restrain their dogs, the Assistance Dog must be safe for the public. Many dogs, especially working breeds, will sense their owner's disability and their vulnerability. These dogs can learn on their own to protect at inappropriate times. This can be compounded by an individual who doesn't recognize that they are unconsciously encouraging this behavior.
The puppies are tested and evaluated for their temperament, intelligence and drive, and the puppies that make it into our service dog training program start basic obedience training at 12 weeks. By that time, we assign the recepient family for each specific puppy, and by the time the puppy graduates from the basic obedience training, our professionals will have tailored a detailed training program for that puppy, based on the specific needs of the recepient.
Recommended reading for people who consider obtaining a service or therapy dog:
Working Like a Dog - The Service Dog Guidebook
by Marcie Davis.
This book is available on Amazon for approximately $7.00 (paperback) and provides plenty of information regarding owning a service dog.
Recommended reading for children
Raising a Hero by Laura Numeroff
This is a great book for the youngest people with special needs whose family is considering obtaining a service or therapy dog. Its available on Amazon for approximately $18.00 (hardcover)