Several years ago, The Dog Knowledge, Charlotte, NC's premier dog training facility began receiving requests to train therapy and service dogs. As certified dog trainers, taught to train all dog sports, pet obedience, etc. we began giving of our time and energy to assist those wanting to train their dog as a therapy dog or who were in need of a trained service dog.
The cost of obtaining a trained service dog can be anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 and many training facilities funded with grant money have a 2-3 year wait to obtain a dog. We also began hearing about service dog scams where trainers told unknowing clients that they could train their personal dog to be a service dog. Even worse, trainers told owners that they could train an 8 week old puppy to be a service dog. As ethical dog trainers, The Dog Knowledge trainers realized the need to create some type of standards to service dog certification without infringing on the service dog access rights won by those with disabilities in the last 20 years.
In answer to a need, The Dog Knowledge created our service dog program, THE DOG KNOWLEDGE SERVICE DOG FOUNDATION (formerly known as Dogs Doing Good) a non-profit established to assist in obtaining dogs suitable for service dog training, training those dogs as well as training an individual's companion dog to perform a variety of services such as diabetic alert dog, peanut detection dog, PTSD dog, mobility assistance dog, hearing impaired assistance dog, etc.
For all the work that is required to train a service, you can well imagine our frustration when we see so called "phony service dogs." Dogs that have absolutely no obedience, questionable temperament and in some cases dog or human aggression toward strangers. In an effort to bring legitimacy and safety to this unregulated industry that treads on civil liberties THE DOG KNOWLEDGE SERVICE DOG FOUNDATION has adopted certain standards that we require to certify a service dog.
To find out what it takes to train your dog to be a therapy dog...