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Service or Therapy Dog Training

Do you offer training for Service Dogs or Therapy Dogs?

Our Family Dog series of classes will give you a good start at basic skills needed to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. The CGC is a nice stair step into Therapy Dog testing and shows that the dog's handler/owner is responsible and really cares about having a dog that is well prepared to go into therapy dog work. Living with Dogs holds the Canine Good Citizen test about twice a year in spring and fall. Check our Class List for more information about Family Dog classes and the Canine Good Citizen Test. If you are interested in more information about therapy dog preparation and certification visit Furry Friends or Therapy Dogs International

What is a Service Dog?

Service dog is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the individual´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens or low blood sugar, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.


Service dogs are well trained and given federal legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Service dogs should be very well trained and should never be disruptive. A dog who does not behave in a public setting may be asked to leave the premises immediately, the law does not protect a poorly behaved dog. Once you have done basic obedience training, you can begin to pursue service dog training. Specialized trainers for the different types of disabilities can help you train a service dog, contact us and we can refer you to them.

What is a Therapy Dog?

Therapy dogs are dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are dogs who are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability.

It is unethical to attempt to pass off a therapy dog as a service dog for purposes such as flying on a plane or being admitted to a grocery store or a restaurant.

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