Train Your Own Service Dog

Learn how to train your own service dog through service dog coaching with our professional trainers and certified Service Dog Coach


Sessions purchased in commitment for each phase:

  • Commitment to each 10 session Phase is discounted to a rate of 140×10=$1400
  • Additional single sessions for existing students in the service dog program are $150 each, not sold as isolated one-off sessions.
  • You can purchase each phase prior to us scheduling to secure our time together.

After all phase completion:

  • CGC and public access testing (clients with formal SDC relationship only) $150

Service Dog Coaching Questions

ADA requirement link

You may qualify if you have;

A disability defined by the ADA and an Initial application and licensed healthcare provider confirmation of ADA defined disability and continued support from your licensed health care provider for a service dog.

A dog that is at ease and comfortable when being exposed to people, places, vehicles, shopping carts, a variety of surfaces and doors, noises, moving objects, all of these things can be very stressful to many dogs and would prevent them from candidacy for service dog coaching. A dog that is worried about their own safety cannot maintain engagement with a handler or be deemed comfortable and safe in public areas. This is something not every dog is comfortable with.

A lifetime commitment and willingness to care for your dog and their health and behavior or a plan for alternative care upon retirement.

There is no national service dog official certification or registration however you do still need to abide by local, state and federal laws and dogs must be vaccinated and licensed accordingly.

Expect over 120 hours of training and 30 public access hours estimates vary between 6-18 months time to train a service dog depending on their age. We can start training in foundations as early as 12 weeks and no later than 5 years of age for service dog coaching. Dogs must have a high food motivation and be readily engaged to work for reinforcement. This training is far more advanced than a general obedience class and is very specific to a service dog.

Your training may require a combination of training faculties such as initial group classes and private sessions meeting weekly or several times a month using in person, virtual and training videos and instructions. Advancement to each service dog training phase requires assessment to graduate to the next phase.  We can have sessions virtually for many of the training sessions and phases, if unable to travel or other factors present.

Initial assessment fee $150 (approximately 45-60 min) either in person or virtually.

We make observations and perform a temperament assessment in person or virtually with videos you complete and send in advance so that we can review them prior to the meeting of the dog in different environments/exposures to ensure temperament is appropriate for service dog training.  We will ask you for specific videos of environments and situations to capture videos of which will need to be sent one week prior to the meeting to allow review time.

Important Please Read Carefully: We would love to be of help to everyone but unfortunately not all dogs are a good fit or feel at ease in public access areas and may not be suitable for public access work and may result in stress and changes in behavior.  Be fully aware that over the course of training some dogs begin to show behaviors that exclude them from public access training or testing. This is a notable risk to take into consideration before embarking on training and requires understanding of this risk. There are no guarantees of becoming a service dog and any signs of behavior that are not appropriate or unsafe in public access may inhibit this.

If the dog is a fit for service dog training there are Four Phases of Training (does not include puppy training and socialization of younger puppies this should be considered as additional time and training) If you have worked with us privately already we will tell you where to begin otherwise everyone begins at Foundations and will advance as successfully tested in each level in order.  The latter phases in training with public access in places that do not regularly allow dogs or more risk for stress should not be initiated until the dog is an adult and has had ample socialization and experiences.

1-Foundations-basic skills sit/down, place, recall from 6 feet, no pulling on leash, heel position, leave it (10 private session once a week and then client practices over the week)

2-Midlevel-stay with distractions, no pulling on leash and heel with distractions, lying under tables or at feet, leave it advanced. (10 sessions once a week and then client practices over the week)

3-Advanced- Task 1 and task 2 (if applicable), continued distraction challenges for public behaviors (variable time depending on task)

4-Public Access-practice behaving well in public places consisting of different environments, communication with store personnel and public, lying under tables at restaurants calmly for extended time, public space etiquette. (Estimated 30 hours by handler 6-10 weekly sessions with trainer and then client practices over the week)

Additionally, you will need to continue training over their life, and monitor for signs stress and behavior as well as annual check-ins with us on public access assessment.

Public Access Testing is in person and requires:

  • Training with us for a minimum of 6 months
  • Proof of disability and continued support from a licensed healthcare provider
  • Established relationship of the service dog team using positive based methods only, no corrections, no prong collars, no choke collars, no electronic shock collars.
  • A  relaxed and comfortable at ease dog who is well behaved, friendly, healthy and groomed, in control around other dogs or pets, possesses solid sit and down stay and able to lie at feet in relaxed state around public, stays at side without pulling, accepts strangers and will let another handle/lead them, able to come when called, provides a specific task that is trained to help in your disability.

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