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Service Dog Training

Specialized training for pups
who assist and support.

Service Dog Training at Happy Pup Manor

What is a Service Dog?

There are 3 types of dogs with jobs – Emotional Support Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Service Dogs, and each one has a slightly different role to play in assisting people.

  • Emotional Support Dog – Provides comfort to their owner

    Chart showing dog training options for service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs, which are all programs offered by the puppy training and dog boarding specialists at Happy Pup Manor.

    • Provides comfort for their owner
    • Can go on the plane with you
    • Can go into any housing – even if animals are not allowed
    • There is no age requirement for an ESA
    • Does NOT have public access rights
    • Should complete Happy Pup Manor’s 4-week obedience program
  • Therapy Dog – Provides comfort to others
    • Well-trained animals who provide comfort to someone else
    • Visit hospitals, kids read to them, etc.
    • Must be at least 1 year old
    • Must be tested by an evaluator for a specific therapy program
    • Does NOT have public access rights
    • Should complete Happy Pup Manor’s 8-week obedience program and then needs to be certified by the locations where it will provide therapy
  • Service Dog – Performs tasks to enable their owner to live a more full and independent lifestyle
    • Trained to perform one or more tasks aiding a disability
    • Tasks that require bracing require OFA, which cannot be given before 18 months
    • Do have public access rights
    • Having a fake Service Dog is a felony offense

How does Happy Pup Manor’s Service Dog Program Work?

Every dog can be a great pet, but not every dog can be a Therapy or Service Dog. Accordingly, we have to evaluate every Service Dog candidate for their ability to adapt to new situations and handle the things that working in everyday life might throw at them.

We require all Service Dog candidates to go through an examination with our training team – based on this, we will recommend whether a 28-day obedience program is required or if your pup can proceed directly into learning service dog behaviors. Not all pups will have the right temperament to reliably perform service dog tasks and that’s OK – they can still live great, happy lives as a family member without service duties. The required obedience level for a service dog is high and a majority of candidates are enrolled in 28-day obedience or outright disqualified to be a service dog.

For most service dog candidates, the next step is training through our standard 28-day obedience program. This gives us enough time to make observations of the pup’s temperament in a variety of settings. At the end of four weeks of training, we will make a determination as to whether a pup has the innate capabilities to move forward as an Emotional Support Dog, Therapy Dog, or Service Dog. Dogs being considered for our Service Dog Program must complete their obedience training at Happy Pup Manor so that we can have confidence in the final outcome of their training.

If a dog is confirmed to be ready for Service Dog training, we can then enroll them in an 8-12 week program custom-tailored to your goals. Training for a Service Dog is customized to the tasks needed – we typically need 8-12 weeks to train a dog to perform the needed set of tasks.

How Old Does My Puppy Have to Be for Service Dog Training?

We can start training puppies for Service Dog work by putting them in our 28-day obedience program.

If training is maintained by the pup’s family, we will then begin the Service Dog curriculum at 9 months old. If the needed tasks require pressure on the dog’s body, e.g, bracing, then we need to wait for the dog’s body to be declared sound in an OFA test, which cannot be administered until the pup is 18 months old.

Why Choose Service Dog Training at Happy Pup Manor?

Happy Pup Manor has an extensive network of breeders in the Doodle and Retriever lines and can work with them to select a puppy who will be likely to succeed in Service Dog training. Our breed expertise then ensures that our time with the pup will be able to bring out their best abilities, and our Service Dog Training Manager has a decade of experience in Service Dog training.

By allowing your pup to live with our family, we are co-training your Service Dog to live as a pet in the setting where it will work while learning work tasks from specialized trainers.

Contact Happy Pup Manor Today

To learn more about our Service Dog training programs, please contact Happy Pup Manor by phone or email to be connected directly to a team member who can answer your questions and discuss training options based on your needs.


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