Service Dog Training

Service dogs are defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act and are dogs that are specifically trained to help people with disabilities.

 

I help people with disabilities train their own dog to assist them as a service dog.  I will be happy to help you train a mobility assistance dog or a psychiatric service dog.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Training - ESA’s are not the same thing as service animals and are not allowed places pets are not permitted, but are currently allowed on the cabin of a plane and in some types of no-pet housing. We can help ESA’s be calm for air travel and teach good manners if they are living in no-pet housing.

We can provide Phone Consultations, so you can receive guidance to select a dog for service work, an ESA or learn about service dog training.

Pricing:

  • Initial Phone Consultation: $75

  • In Person Evaluation of Dog: $90

  • Preliminary Training: varies

  • Private Lessons: varies

Service dog training is a lengthy process and can take up to several years to complete. 

Not all dogs are suitable for service dog training, even after completion of their preliminary training.

Before we get started, here are some basic requirements:

Requirements for the Owner:

  • Age requirements - Owner should be 18 years old or older or have a dedicated handler to work with them that is 18 years or older.

  • Able to attend training lessons for 1.5 years or longer.  We do offer day training or board and train options for part of the training.

  • Able to commit daily time to practicing with your dog between appointments.

  • Have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Aware that you may end up with a dog that can only help at home or in places pets are allowed. Up to 50% of service dog candidates in programs are not able to complete training and work in places pets are not permitted.

  • Be willing to wait until I evaluate your dog’s suitability and help you train your dog's fundamental skills before putting service dog identification on your dog, and before taking your dog to places pets are not permitted.

  • Have support from your licensed healthcare provider for use of a service dog.

Requirements for the Dog:

  1. Have no history of aggression towards dogs, people or other animals

  2. Be easily trainable. Each dog is assessed as an individual but some breeds  are more likely to exhibit characteristics suitable for service work than others, such as a Labrador or Golden Retriever.

  3. Have no history of any serious behavioral problems like fear or separation anxiety

  4. Be under the age of 4 and physically healthy.

Our Process:

Step 1: We begin with a 30-45 minute phone appointment where we discuss your needs, identify tasks that would be helpful to train, review your dog’s behavioral history, educate you on reputable service dog informational resources, and give you some training recommendations. FEE $75.00

Step 2: We conduct a 60 minute in-person evaluation of your dog. This is where we look at how your dog responds to some minor stressors and in a new situation to see if it is appropriate to begin training him or her for service work. FEE $90.00

Step 3: Training for service work if your dog is suitable. This process usually takes 1 – 2 years but can take longer. Process includes group classes, day training, private training, board and train. 

a) The dog will need basic obedience training working up to a Canine Good Citizen Title.  If they can not be a good citizen, they will not be a good candidate for a service dog.  We offer Levels training to get to this point if they need it.  The fee for this is $275 to $475 for 2 to 6 months.

b) Once they have the basic ground work, we can start with the service dog training.  We offer that in either Day Training, Board and Train or private lessons.  After a certain point, all the work will be in private lessons.  A Day Training package is $550 for 8 sessions.  A Board and Train package is $530 for 5 days.  A private training package is $520 for 6 sessions.

Step 4: Follow up support. Ongoing brush up training throughout your service dog’s working career.

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10401 Green Rd. Bealton, VA 22712 | 540-439-7297