finding the right dog

What you WANT in a Service Dog candidate:


  loves people and enjoys new experiences

Has the ability to calm

– can be active and busy but is happy to settle at your feet when you sit down

Wants to be with you

Dog enjoys your company and follows you around.

Adult size is best between 25 and 80 pounds

Dogs smaller that 25 pounds are harder to train and tend to get stepped on.  Dogs larger than 80 pound are so big they can limit your access to places.  

Eager to please

Dog wants to make you happy

you do not want:

Timid, shy, jumpy

Service dogs go into many new situations as part of their work.  A dog who is fearful of sounds, sights and new experiences  will not make it as a service dog.

Submissive or excitement urinates

Puppies or dogs who submissive urinate or excitement urinate will not be accepted into the program.  Not all dogs outgrow this behavior.  And you cannot take a dog into public places who urinates when excited or worried. 

Does not like kids

Even if you don't have children, they will still approach and touch your dog without your consent.  Your dog must be good with kids when this occurs.

Is obsessed with chasing cats or kills cats

Dogs with high prey drive do not do well in service dog work.

Aggressive or Dog Reactive

All service dogs must be free of aggression. To people, new objects, other animals or in new situations.

Not healthy

Service work is stressful and not all dogs are cut out for it.  This is not the time to choose a dog who  has a disability itself or is old or not healthy.