Specialty Service Dogs

What is the specialty service dog program?

Like PTSD Service dogs, training such a highly specialized service dog takes time. As a formal process, our service dogs begin their training as early as 8 weeks old. We say full service dog teams training takes 18 months with their respective beneficiary, but really that depends on the dog and its partner. Before our dogs meet their new life partner, they live with our foster families. They learn far more than basic obedience. By the time our service dogs meet their beneficiary, they are already exposed to a variety of different scenarios. Each dog goes through approximately 2000 to 2500 hours of training. We often get asked what the dogs are trained to do but tasks vary from beneficiary and there is no cookie cutter recipe. Tasks include but are not limited to as turning on lights, opening and closing doors and drawers,retrieving dropped objects, pressure therapy, detecting and responding to a crisis situation, etc. Ultimately, the service dogs will assist their beneficiary not just with anxiety alerts, but also with the whole healing process, providing constant companionship that supports the journey to recovery. Our specialty service dogs usually help people with severe anxiety and or depression.

Eligibility Criteria for the Specialty Service Dog Program

  • Must be capable of housing the service dog with an adequate living space and be able to finance it’s regular care for the next 10 years;
  • Have a valid diagnosis for your depression/anxiety;
  • Have a valid medical report confirming your disability (Please download the medical report and have a recommendation from your doctor;
  • Must have an interest in dogs;
  • Must be capable of providing the physical needs of a service dog such as exercise;
  • Must have a fenced yard or a private space where the service dog can be off leash;
  • Must not have any other dogs at home.

Meeting all the criteria does not guarantee acceptance of the program. The eligibility of a person is also subject to a thorough analysis of the application by the admissions department.

Applying for a Specialty Service Dog

The application process is rigorous. If you feel you are a good candidate for our program, we do invite you to apply. If you would like to know the application process, please consult our programs page located on the menu.