Handi-Dogs, Inc. helps people train their own dog to be their service dog. The training, which includes both group classes and 1-on-1 field trips, includes teaching the dog basic obedience, appropriate out-in-public behaviors, and assistance tasks individualized to match each student's disability. We also offer in-home task training for those who would like their dog just to assist them at home.
Taking your dog with you everywhere you go sounds wonderful, but in reality it involves a lot of hard work, patience, and understanding of the laws involved.
Step 1 -Decide what you want a service dog to do for you:
The ADA requires that a service dog be trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate your disability. What tasks could a dog do for you that would mitigate your disability? (Providing comfort or companionship is not considered a service task and does not qualify for reasonable accomodation).
For more information on what reasonable accomodation means, and how service dogs should behave in public, go to our Regulations page.
Step 2 - Getting an appropriate dog:
Is your dog appropriate for service work, or do you need to find a dog? Your dog may be the most wonderful, smart, loving companion at home, but a service dog must be able to handle situations that most dogs find very stressful or frightening. Choosing a Dog
Eligibility for Handi-Dogs:
- Person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, including physical impairment, diabetes, hearing impairment, and psychiatric disorders;
- Caregiver/Family member of a child with a disability;
- Statement from a physician required in order to verify disability.
- Will be assessed for appropriate temperament before acceptance;
- Must be physically sound and capable of performing the tasks asked of it;
- Must have proof of health and required vaccinations;
- Must be spayed/neutered.
- Classes are held in 10-week sessions. The number of sessions required depends on how consistently you train with your dog. Expect 6-8 ten-week sessions (1-2 years) to achieve certification.
- Participants attend a 1 hour class once a week, and practice daily at home.
- Class placement is dependent on your dog's individual needs after evaluation.
- There is a non-refundable $35 application/testing fee. (Due to a special funding opportunity, the testing fee is $15 through 12/31/13).
- The cost for each 10-week session is $200 - $300, depending on course level.
Download in PDF format. All forms & $35 fee are required before application will be processed:
Program Information - updated for classes beginning April, 2013
Service Dog Program Application
Winter Session 2014: January 6 -March 15
Spring Session 2014: March 31 - June 7
In-Home Assistance Training
For those who would like train their dog just to assist them at home (for example, retrieving, diabetic alert, hearing alert, etc.) we offer in-home training sessions for $50/hour. Please contact us for more information.