Service Dogs

 
Service Dog Program: Call for More Details & Individual Prices

Your dog will be trained to the individual needs of the client's disabilities. This will involve several more months of training beyond our 16 Week Foundational Puppy Training Program. Most service dogs are 6-10 months when they leave Phase I of our program. 
 
If you are needing a trained service dog, you will need to submit your online application.
Once that has been approved, we will set up a phone conference to determine if we can meet your specific need.  
 
 
Our primary focus is:
  • PTSD Dogs
  • Emotional Support
  • Comfort Dogs
  • Diabetic Alert Dogs
  • Epilepsy Alert Dogs
  • Autism Support Dogs
  • Basic Service Dogs trained specifically to assist the needs of our special needs clients, primarily children.

Our SERVICE DOG PROGRAM has three Phases:

Phase I - Initial Consult with Trainer to determine qualification. Once accepted, we will match you with a puppy and they will begin The 16-week Foundational Puppy Program. This is generally for puppies 2-6 months of age and takes approximately 4 months to complete. This is a prerequisite to beginning Phase II.

Phase II - This is generally for puppies 6 -10 months of age and takes approximately 4 months to complete. This is a prerequisite to beginning Phase III.  

Phase III - This is generally for puppies 10 -14 months of age and takes approximately 4 months to complete. 

We ONLY TRAIN Phase 1 Service Dogs at this Time  

We DO NOT Train Phase 2 OR Phase 3 Service Dogs at this time - This will be done by a trainer that YOU, the client hire in your local area. 

For more information about our Doodle Prep School or Service Dog program, Please Contact our Prep School Coordinator at info@smeraglia.com  
 
Service Dog Training Plan:

At each phase we need to meet both the training objectives and the developmental/age requirements:

  • 7wks:  Temp Test is done to screen for candidate

  • PHASE 1 ( puppy raising/foundation training)= Our Smeraglia Prep School Trainers will train Phase 1 Service Dogs Only.

  • Initial Consult with Trainer to determine qualification. Once accepted, we will match you with a puppy and they will begin The 16-week Foundational Puppy Program. This is generally for puppies 2-6 months of age and takes approximately 4 months to complete. This is a prerequisite to beginning Phase II.
    • Vaccinations completed to state regulations

    • preliminary health screenings completed

    • microchipped

    • spayed/neutered

    • Socialization

      • initially in home environments (until good and vaccinations to a safe point)

      • 2nd in calmer/easy environments

      • 3rd in dog allowed environments in general

    • checked for behavioral disqualifiers

      • aggressiveness, fearfulness

      • lack of desire for work

    • preliminary obedience training completed

      • without removing later needed behaviors

      • normal basic obedience commands

      • manners good

      • house behavior good

      • crate trained

      • potty trained

      • foundation commands for later service behaviors

  • Phase 2 (maintain training/socialization, maturing)= We DO NOT TRAIN Phase 2 Service Dogs at this Time - This will be done by a trainer that YOU, the client hire in your local area.

    • This phase is all about waiting. Be careful not to push beyond current capabilities.  It is better to take longer than to push and create a problem.

    • We are waiting for physical and emotional maturity.  We are also wanting for as much foundation training to be completed as possible during this time.

    • During Phase 1, the training reached a point that we are no longer really working on new behaviors.  We are only practicing and adding difficulty to the behaviors already done.  

    • This is also the age to socialize as much as possible and introduce to as much as possible that will be needed later.

      • cars and riding in cars

      • different surface to walk on

      • varying weather conditions for potty

      • stairs, elevators, escalators

      • etc.

  • Phase 3 (Service Training)= We DO NOT Train Phase 3 Service Dogs at this time - This will be done by a trainer that YOU, the client hire in your local area.

  • Training Standards

These are intended to be minimum standards for all assistance dog programs. All programs are encouraged to work at levels above the minimums.

  1. The service dog must respond to commands (basic obedience and skilled tasks) from the client 90% of the time on the first ask in all public and home environments.

  2. The service dog should demonstrate basic obedience skills by responding to voice and/or hand signals for sitting, staying in place, lying down, walking in a controlled position near the client and coming to the client when called.

  3. The service dog must meet all of the standards as laid out in the minimum standards for Assistance Dogs in Public and should be equally well behaved in the home.

  4. The service dog must be trained to perform at least 3 tasks to mitigate the client’s disability or one alert behavior.

  5. The client must be provided with enough instruction to be able to meet the ADI Minimum Standards for Assistance Dogs in Public. The client must be able to demonstrate:

  • That their dog can perform at least 3 tasks.

  • Knowledge of acceptable training techniques.

  • An understanding of canine care and health.

  • The ability to maintain training, problem solve and continue to train/add new skills (as required) with their service dog.

  • Knowledge of local access laws and appropriate public behavior.

  • The assistance dog program must document monthly follow ups with clients for the first 6 months following placement. Personal contact will be done by qualified staff or program volunteer within 12 months of graduation and annually thereafter.

  • Identification of the service dog will be accomplished with the laminated ID card with a photo(s) and names of the dog and partner. In public, the dog must wear a cape, harness, backpack, or another similar piece of equipment or clothing with a logo that is clear and easy to read and identifiable as assistance dogs.

  • The program staff must demonstrate knowledge of the client’s disabilities in relation to the services they provide. The program shall make available to staff and volunteers educational material on different disabilities.

  • The client must abide by the ADI Minimum Standards of Assistance Dog Partners.

  • Prior to placement, every service dog must meet the ADI Standards and Ethics Regarding Dogs, be spayed/neutered and have current vaccination certificates as determined by their veterinarian and applicable laws and be microchipped. It is the program’s responsibility to inform the client of any special health or maintenance care requirements for each dog. 

  • Service/Assistant Dogs in Public

    There are guidelines on the public appropriateness, behavior, and training expected of a dog working in public places.

    These are intended to be minimum standards for all assistance dog programs. All programs are encouraged to work at levels above the minimums.

    1. Public appropriateness

    • The dog is clean, well-groomed and does not have an offensive odor.

    • The dog does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.

    2. Behavior

    • The dog does not solicit attention, visitor annoys any member of the general public.

    • The dog does not disrupt the normal course of business.

    • The dog does not vocalize unnecessarily, i.e. barking, growling or whining.

    • Dog shows no aggression towards people or other animals.

    • The dog does not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.

    3. Training

    • The dog is specifically trained to perform 3 or more tasks to mitigate aspects of the client’s disability.

    • Dog works calmly and quietly on the harness, leash or another tether.

    • The dog is able to perform its tasks in public.

    • The dog must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.

    • The dog is trained to urinate and defecate on command.

    • The dog stays within 24″ of its handler at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires it to be working at a greater distance.