Service animals can be life changing, providing much-needed freedom to their handlers. Similarly to a wheelchair or portable oxygen, service animals allow their handlers to participate fully in society by mitigating effects of a disability.
There are two common ways service dogs are trained:
- By an organization, where they are raised from birth and trained to a very high level before being placed in a home
- By an individual, who trains their own dog with the guidance of a trainer
Both of these methods are effective, and both are completely legal and legitimate ways to obtain a service dog.
When Hounds Fly is now offering coaching services for handler-trained service dogs. This means, we will guide you through the training process with your own dog over a series of private lessons.
Self-training a service animal can be a daunting task. Our services are for individuals who:
- Live with a disability and would benefit from a dog who can perform assistance tasks.
- Have an understanding of a service animal as medical equipment, and not simply a pet that can be brought anywhere.
- Can be open and honest about their disability, limitations, and needs. We don’t need to know every detail, but a good understanding is essential for us to be able to help you.
- Have time, energy, and funds to train their own dog on a regular basis with guidance (this is not a board-and-train).
- Have a physically and mentally sound dog we can evaluate, or are in the process of acquiring a prospect.
Unfortunately, there are some service tasks that are beyond our capabilities. We are sorry to say that we cannot help you if you require a dog trained for high-level, high-risk tasks such as anaphylaxis alert, seizure alert, or guiding a fully blind individual.
- Watch our Introduction to Service Dogs webinar, which will answer your most pressing questions!
- Speak with your doctor, and obtain a letter stating your need for an assistance dog. This letter is legally required if your dog will be used in public.
- Fill out the form below when you’re ready to start. We will reach out to you within 24 hours to gather more information about your specific needs and situation.
- Book, pay for, and attend your initial assessment meeting. Cost: $100+HST for the hour.
- Book your training schedule. This, and the payment schedule, is determined and explained at your assessment meeting. The webinar in Step 1 will give you a good idea of what to expect.
- Attend your lessons, and train, train, train!
- Book and attend your exit test. This is a mock Public Access test, designed to assess skill level and readiness.
Introduction to Service Dogs Webinar:Application for Service Dog Initial Assessment