Service Dog Application Process


Determine if program is the right fit for candidate


Please click on the link below to complete and submit the online application form. For veterans,we will need a copy of your DD 214 at the interview

Submit application above

After we receive your application we will send  through email a Daily Dog Journal (along with instructions).  We ask you to take the next 7 consecutive days completing it.  Then submit the document to our admissions department for review.  

The 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Training program requires you to commit time each day to logging your progress and practicing with your dog.   This exercise will help you determine if your life and schedule will permit you to succeed with this daily routine during the 9+ months of the course.

Obtaining a dog if you do not have one

 If you already have a dog you would like to train, please click on the link below to determine if your dog has what it takes to be a service dog.  

If you do not have a dog  or you feel like the dog you have will not meet the requirements then it is time to look for the partner than can help you with your PTSD.  Please click on the link below and DOWNLOAD this information and show it to the rescue/ shelter/breeder so they know what you are looking for.  It is important to let the rescue/shelter/breeder know that you are looking for a service dog (NOT A PET).  If the dog you choose ends up not being who you need, you will need to return it.   If they have questions about this they are welcome to contact us.

We are available to assist you with this process.  Please contact us at 916-966-6758 or email us at (or click on "CONTACT" at the bottom of this page), and one of our trainers will contact you. 

 Finding the best dog to become your service dog is very important.  Note that for many people choosing an adult dog from a rescue/shelter organization may require bringing home several dogs before they find the right fit.  It is important that you are prepared to return the dog if they are not a good fit.  Dogs in shelter or rescue environments can behave very differently when you meet them than they do once they are comfortable in your home. You will  likely see a change in the dog after about 48 - 72 hours of being in your home. Sometimes the behaviors are better after they are comfortable, other times they are not.   At this time, review the list of behaviors from FINDING THE RIGHT DOG to determine if this dog has what it takes!   If you are not sure, or if you have questions, please contact us.  PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP if the first dog you bring home does not work out.  The right dog is out their waiting for you to find them!

Remember... This is not a Pet!  The dog must be able to work and do a job that requires them to be in new situations and surrounding, and not all dogs have this particular gift.

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Health Requirements

All Service Dogs must be in Excellent health in order to become Certified through 4 Paws 2 Freedom.  

Dogs that have disabilities will not be able to participate in our Service Dog Program.  Working dogs need their bodies to be in top condition to perform their best and to help you.

veterinary recommendation

To be admitted into the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Program your veterinarian must complete the Veterinary Recommendation and agree that your dog is healthy enough to be a working dog. 

The Veterinary Recommendation is a physical exam.  It does not require xrays or blood work other than the heartworm test unless the veterinarian feels there is a problem. 

Please DOWNLOAD the Veterinary Recommendation below.  Schedule a physical exam for your dog and give the Veterinary Recommendation to your veterinarian to complete.  Please bring this with you to the Group Evaluation or the Interview.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. 

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Group evaluation

The 2nd Tuesday of each month, from 2-3pm we offer a group evaluation for applicants and their dogs. This takes place at our location in Rancho Cordova. You and your dog are required to attend this before we schedule the interview.

The group evaluation lets our training staff see how your dog works around other dogs and in a new situation. And we get to know you a little better and answer any training questions you might have.  


During the one hour interview we will determine what tasks you would like your service dog to do to assist you.  We will discuss your needs and start the enrollment process.

Acceptance or denial to program

After the Interview your file will go to our Admissions department who will review it.  A letter of acceptance or denial will be sent to you.  We offer many classes at various locations throughout the year.  Based largely on your input, our Admissions department will determine which class will be the best fit for you and you will be given the schedule for the class you are enrolled in.

Depending on the wait for your class to begin, we may send you to one of our weekly obedience classes in the interim. There is no charge for you to take this extra class.  

Your success is our goal

We do not want you to ever feel like you are in this alone.  Our staff is here to help you.  If you have questions, please contact us.