Can your dog be a service dog?
The right temperament is key
What do we look for?
Friendliness, confidence, trainability
Before starting any service dog training program, the first step is to make sure that your dog has the right temperament to be a service dog. It's not about how much training your dog has, it's about measuring how well your dog can handle different situations.
- How does your dog react to strangers? Does your dog want to greet everyone or are is he/she a little timid and needs time to warm up to new people? How would your dog react if a toddler came running towards him/her?
- How does your dog react when seeing another dog? Does your dog get agitated, pull on the leash and bark? Does your dog try to engage the other dog in play or simply ignore the other dog?
- How does your dog react when hearing a loud noise? Does he/she run away? When he/she startled does your dog quickly recover and investigates the source of the sound?
- How would your dog handle going into a busy mall?
- How much effort is your dog willing to make to get a small treat?
All of these questions will be important to assess how easily your dog can be trained and if your dog is safe enough to take out in public and still be able to focus on you. Some dogs are ready to jump right in, others may need a little extra help, and some would just be too overwhelmed to make a good service dog.
Although we will do our best to help you succeed and would love to have your business if your dog does not pass the assessment, we will not be able to accept your dog into our service dog training program.
Assessing your dog
Online from anywhere you live
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are following the CDC guidelines and have modified our assessment protocol in order to maintain our services while taking the necessary precautions. Until we are cleared to go back to our normal way of life, we will no longer meet in person or ask you to go to a store. Instead, we will be asking you to email us videos of you and your dog while out on a walk. We will schedule a video conference to review the videos with you and discuss your particular training needs.
It's best if you can have another person film you and your dog. We'll want to see your dog's reactions to the following situations:
Walking on a sidewalk while traffic drives by;
Walking through a park or neighborhood (1 minute);
Taking treats outside;
Response to a loud noise outside (Dropping an object on the pavement, a horn honking, car door slam);
Response to a dog in the distance (maintain a minimum of 6 feet away);
Response to seeing people in the distance (maintain a minimum of 6 feet away).
Assessing your dog's potential and your needs
Testing gives us an idea of your dogs' potential to be trained as your service dog
The assessment provides an estimation of what your dog's chances are of becoming a service dog. Passing the evaluation does not guarantee that your dog will make it all the way through the program as problem behaviors can always develop along the way, especially with younger dogs. Certain behaviors may increase or decrease with time, training and exposure to different stimuli.
The cost for the initial consultation/assessment is $90
At the time of the assessment, we'll also discuss your training needs. If your dog passes the assessment and has the right temperament to be a service dog, we'll and determine which training service will best fit your situation and discuss a program that fits your needs.
We offer different training service for your dog as your service dog. You'll find a full description of each service and pricing by clicking on the buttons below.
Find a training program
that fits your needs
Different options for different people
In-person and online
You like to learn at your own pace and have specific needs? You would love to learn how to train your dog but live too far to drive to our facility? Schedule in-person or Skype sessions with one of our certified trainers