I want to…
Train the dog I already own as a service dog
Find the right dog to train as a service dog
Learn about working as a service dog trainer
or pet trainer
Train Your Pet as a Service Dog
Do you have a dog you want to train as a service dog for yourself, your child, or your partner? Whether you have an adult dog who lights up your life or are eagerly anticipating a new puppy, we can help you train your own service dog.
Puppies & New Dogs
For a fantastic foundation, start your puppy in PEARL (Puppy Engaged, Attentive, Relaxed & Learning), level one of our Dogs In Service Certification (DISC) program. In the DISC program, you and your pup will train on foundations for manners, tasks, and public access. These unique online classes, just for service dog owner-trainers, cover special material beyond what’s included in a typical puppy kindergarten or a basic obedience class. Train live, on Zoom, with a service dog trainer and up to four other service dog teams. Pass assessments at each level to earn your team’s Pearl Disc, Bronze Disc, and Silver Disc. Then “go for the gold” with public access and earn platinum by completing task training. Maintain your dog as a Diamond Dog with yearly recertification.
Advanced Training for Service Dogs
Does your adult dog already have extensive manners training? Is your dog ready for private public access or task training lessons? Or would you simply like the personalized support of one-on-one coaching? For private training support – including owner coaching (online by Zoom or in person in the Pioneer Valley), day training, or board-and-train – learn the details of our training program or fill out the Owned Dog Intake form to get started with a service dog consultation.
Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), In-Home Service Animals, and Pets for Disabled Handlers
Are you a clinician, therapist, or educator, who would like to bring your dog to work with you as a comfort dog or animal-assisted therapy aid? Most of the general characteristics needed for a therapy dog are the same as those listed in our video for a public access service dog. If your dog loves meeting new people and would be confident and happy in your workplace or volunteering locale, we can help you train your therapy dog with private or group classes, such as our fun online Helping Hounds classes.
If you have a disability, but your dog is not a good fit for public access training, or if you’re looking for pet training that’s adapted for your disability, we can help. We have particular expertise with training dogs from a power wheelchair or mobility scooter. Many people with depression or anxiety-related conditions (such as PTSD, ASD/autism, generalized anxiety, etc.), find that just having a pet dog in the home improves their functioning. Our DISC courses, Helping Hounds classes, and private training services will help you bring out the best in your emotional support animal (ESA), in-home only service animal, or companion dog. Whether online or in Western Mass., our specialized training will reduce stress and help you and your dog to live your best lives joyously together, regardless of where you go.
Get all the details about our training program to train your dog as your service, therapy, or emotional support animal.
DISC Program(Dogs In Service Certification)
Foundations in manners, obedience, tasks, and public access
Builds top-notch training and handling skills for owner-trainers
First three levels – PEARL (Puppy & Foundations); Bronze (Basics); Silver (Intermediate) – are a series of 10 week online levels courses
Pass assessment after each course to level up to the next course
Switch to private training for Gold (Public Access), Platinum (Tasks), and Diamond (yearly recertification after graduation)
Pearl course, including assessment fee, is two payments of $195
“Today was Runa’s first day in class (in that big auditorium) and she did soooo well. Training with At Your Service has been life changing. Alex and Sharon are incredibly patient and non-judgmental. They are my models! They provide guidance and a safety net. It’s been rewarding and fun!”
– Kiran Asher & Robert Redick
Kiran snuggles with Runa (therapy dog at University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
Help Finding a Dog to Train
Get priceless pre-adoption expertise. Start with our “Find the Right Service Dog” webinar kit. Learn critical details about temperament and personality, health, structure, breed, fundraising, how to evaluate rescue and breeder sites, and more. This two-part webinar recording and package of helpful materials will equip you on what to look for in a SDiT candidate.
After the webinar, meet with a service dog trainer to learn how to find that special dog that has the temperament to enjoy working in public. Selecting dogs for service careers requires time, effort – and expertise. Our pre-adoption package gives you the tools you need to find your canine candidate. We’ll get to know you and your needs to guide you down the right path – and help you avoid common roadblocks. Join our clients who are overjoyed with their results – living with that special, truly “right” dog.
"How to Find Your Future Service Dog,” two-part workshop and materials, $135
Private consultation, written recommendations, and up to five hours of follow-up search support, $400 + $300 deposit* on future training
Sharon helped us decide on the breed of dog we wanted, age, and whether to go through a rescue or breeder. After the consult, Sharon’s ongoing support was so valuable as we searched for our new family member. I felt so confident knowing what questions to ask and what to expect for responses, as well as red flags to watch out for. We welcomed our new puppy last week and I’ve utilized the client portal’s many helpful videos, articles, and handouts several times for tips on house training, socialization, and beginning training. – Amy Deacon
Cookie, the newest member of the Deacon family
Mentorship & Consulting for Pet Professionals
Whether you’re an experienced professional dog trainer or want to become a dog trainer, we can help you reach your goals:
- Are you a pet trainer who is working with a service dog or a disabled client? Our Pet Professional Consulting services will give you greater insight and confidence, boosting your expertise to give your clients excellent results.
- Are you a dog trainer or aspiring trainer who wants to get your client communication skills, dog training prowess, or business acumen to an even higher level? Our accessible, online mentorship program gives you individualized instruction and support, along with a “backstage pass” into a successful pet and service dog training business. No matter where you’re located, you’ll be able to observe, study, and get answers about the nitty-gritty of working in this rewarding field.
Helping owners train their own service dogs is a specialized field that is as challenging as it is fulfilling. Learn what you need to know about…
- applicable disability rights laws and terms
- dog behavior and temperament assessment
- training and coaching for public access
- identifying and training appropriate tasks
- coaching clients whose physical or mental disabilities affect training, communication, or learning
- coaching clients through service dog career change or retirement
Mentoring & Consultingfor Professional Dog Trainers
Mentorship Course - Learn how to run a successful dog training business and the intricacies of service dog training. $200 per month
On-tap Consulting - Expert advice and materials for your service dog cases. $140 per hour or $370 for 3 sessions
Tandem Consultation - 2-hour consultation with you and your service dog client; extensive support & materials before and after for great progress. $450
Truly my own pace
I’ve gained a deeper understanding of dog behavior and the ins and outs on how to approach client questions and solve dog behavior problems. The mentorship is both easy-going and jam-packed, which allows me to truly go at my own pace. I like the organization of the materials and the opportunity to connect with Sharon and other mentees. Even though we are doing it via Zoom, it feels like we are all in class together. There’s a lot of support, exploration, fun, and insight. – D.M.
D. trains Bohnji on cue discrimination in a mentorship meeting