Parts of getting ready for a service dog can be started as soon as you decide you want a service dog. Educating
yourself is the best preparation you can do. Any time you spend researching, asking questions, and thinking about all
aspects of having a service dog will help you.
This website is designed as an aid to you in parts of that process. Whether you get a service dog from a provider
organization, with the help of a private trainer, or train your service dog yourself, certain areas will need to be thoroughly
explored and understood for the team to be effective.
Some of the areas included in this website correspond closely to the information taught to recipients by provider organizations
during the placement and training. If you have already learned the information before you also have the dog in hand
to deal with, this will make the whole process much easier for you.
If you complete the exercises in the following areas BEFORE you begin training with a dog, you will be much better prepared.
Some of these sections will take much longer for you to complete the exercises than others. You may
want to begin with the section on Your Goals, and plan on a calendar, over a period of time, to schedule work on the various
sections. While you may be able to finish some of the sections in one week, others, such as the Equipment Needed, and
Emergency Preparedness sections will take considerably more time.
The Equipment Needed section is inter-related to all of the other sections, and so will not be done until
you have finished all of the others.
Any part of a section that requires you to purchase equipment or supplies will need to be scheduled into
your budget, as well. You may want to refer to the CALENDAR referenced
in the Emergency Preparedness section to see an example of how this could be done.
All of this is NECESSARY preparation to get a dog. If you plan and spend the time to work on the exercises
in these sections BEFORE you get a dog, your life will be much simpler once the dog arrives.
When all homework from a particular section has been received, reviewed, and found
to be correct, a Certificate of Understanding and Completion for that section will be
issued in your name and sent to you. This will acknowledge that you have done the exercises and learned the information
in that particular section. The purpose of a Certification process here is so that you will be able to show your provider
organization or trainer that you have done preparation in specific areas and have learned the information included.
Also, for yourself, to be as thorough as possible in your own preparation.
These sections are set up in the format of an on-line learning course. Your participation, by sending the exercises
email, will help to make the course more useful and clear. Your answers to questions and suggestions will be very helpful
in determining if the information is accessible, and if the goal of this website is being met.
If you are a person visiting this site who has information, comments, stories,
opinions or other input on this topic that would be helpful and could be included on the Comments and Input page for
this topic, please email:
Education and Support for People and Service Dogs