4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Standards include the following:
Dogs/Teams that do not comply with these standards will not be certified or re-certified until they meet the standards. Follow-up or remedial training is available to teams through the Special Needs Service Dog Training Class as well as through Grad School for teams who have graduated and need refresher classes.
To maintain the quality of service dogs trained through the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Program, every certified team must re-certify annually. This re-certification must occur within 30 days before the expiration date and no later than 30 days after the expiration date on their ID and Certification Documentation. If for some reason the handler is unable to re-certify within that time period they are required to request an extension in writing. The trainers will decide whether to accept the request based on evidence provided by the student. Students who do not recertify or are not granted an extension will be required to return their 4 Paws 2 Freedom service dog patch at once.
The dogs will be tested on the Certification Benchmarks as well as the ADI Public Access Test. If the Certification Benchmarks or requirements are changed, teams are required to meet the new standards. 4 Paws 2 Freedom will give the new requirements to teams prior to the re-certification and teams can practice of learn them during the weekly Grad School or through auditing classes.
The dogs must also have an examination by their veterinarian no more than 3 months prior to the re-certification. The veterinarian must sign off that the dog is healthy enough to work as a service dog.
1. 4 Paws 2 Freedom shall provide a Course in which clients learn how to train their dog to become a service dog. The training can extend all the way from basic obedience to certification and beyond.
2. Clients will be treated with respect and dignity at all times in their dealings with the 4 Paws 2 Freedom personnel and representatives.
3. 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course includes developing the skills to use your service dog both at home and in public.
4. 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course teaches and expects appropriate service dog etiquette in public.
5. 4 Paws 2 Freedom teaches and expects the student to comply with the Professional Standards for Service Dogs in Public set out by Assistance Dog International.(see Student Handbook)
6. Client understands and agrees that professional instruction and support shall be provided by 4 Paws 2 Freedom in a weekly classroom setting. No guarantees can be offered that the Client or Client’s dog will be successful at any particular skill level. Ultimate success in the training, and graduation, lies solely with the Client and the Client’s dog.
7. 4 Paws 2 Freedom will respond to routine challenges or questions regarding training during regular class time.
8. 4 Paws 2 Freedom will respond to emergency situations/questions by email through phone at 916-966-6758 or email at email@example.com. Problems may be addressed outside of class if the instructor feels that immediate action or instruction is called for, this decision is made at the discretion of 4 Paws 2 Freedom instructors or administrators.
9. 4 Paws 2 Freedom will NOT train behaviors that encourage guarding, protecting, or searching for an enemy or threat
10. Client understands that striking their dog for any reason is grounds for immediate termination from the program.
11. Client understands that service dogs must meet high standards for good health and physical soundness to be enrolled in the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course.
12. Client agrees to maintain his/her dog at a healthy weight and to provide regular veterinary care including vaccinations for the dog. See “Health Requirements for 4P2F Service Dogs,” (page 5 of the Student Handbook).
13. Client understands and agrees that to use a service dog they must be able to meet the dog’s emotional, physical and financial needs.
14. Client understands that they must be able to provide a stable and secure living environment for their service dog
15. Client understands and agrees that dogs intended to be service dogs must be neutered or spayed prior to graduation
16. Client understands and agrees to have their dog licensed and have a microchip and an ID tag with their phone number(s).
17. Client agrees that if they can no longer take care of their service dog they will contact 4 Paws 2 Freedom before any other action is taken.
18. Client understands and agrees that should their dog show reactive behavior their dog will be required to go through rehabilitation training before they will be allowed to continue in the classes. If the rehabilitation has not reached the point where the dog is able to return to class without reactive tendencies within 3 months time, the dog will be dropped from the Course. The client may reapply to the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course with a new dog at anytime.
19. Client understands that his/her dog is a partner and must be treated with respect and kindness at all times.
20. Client understands that if he/she (or anyone in Client’s household) is reported for any type of neglect or abuse of his/her dog, 4 Paws 2 Freedom has the right and responsibility to follow up with investigation and protection of the dog; including removal of the dog from Client’s home, if necessary.
21. Client agrees to yearly team re-certification and follow-up evaluations and agrees to contact 4 Paws 2 Freedom should they need to learn new tasks or for behavioral rehabilitation in the event it is necessary.
22. Client understands and agrees that to advance to the next level of training both the client and the dog must reach the stated benchmarks for that class (See Student Handbook).
23. Client understands that completing and submitting homework each week is mandatory.
24. Clients enrolled in the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course must expresses a desire for increased independence and/or an improvement in the quality of his/her life through the use of a Service Dog.
25. If, at any time, reasonable standards for advancement to the next class level are not met the student may be dropped from the Course.
26. Client agrees to follow all rules and training suggestions provided by 4 Paws 2 Freedom.
27. Client agrees to keep their dog under control at all times when in public.
28. Client agrees to be respectful and kind to the instructors, his/her dog, and all participants, including 4 Paws 2 Freedom staff and volunteers and Pet Food Express staff and RRUFF staff and volunteers.
29. Client agrees to show up for class on time and stay for the entire class
30. Client understands and agrees that missing more than 2 classes in an 8 week period is grounds for dismissal from the Course.
31. Monthly progress reports are required on every dog and are included as part of the weekly homework assignments.
32. Client must provide names and contact information for two individuals who have agreed to provide support to the service dog team. These individuals must have access to the assistance dog program 24/7 and agree to provide an immediate and temporary home for the dog should an emergency arise.
33. Client agrees to be a regular participant in therapy/counseling with a registered Therapist or Psychologist.
34. Client must sign a consent form that allows the program or its consultant to communicate directly with the veteran’s mental health provider or treatment team
35. Client must provide written evidence that his/her family and/or support person (s) are knowledgeable regarding the application for a service dog and that they support the process, the placement of a service dog, and the follow-up of the team.
36. Client agrees to be clean and sober during training and to leave all weapons outside of the training areas.
37. The dog must be one that facilitates friendly public interaction with the veteran, as this is one of the goals of all placements.
38. The dog must meet all existing ADI standards regarding temperament and behavior and additionally exhibit:
a. tolerance to a high level of stress
b. sensitivity without anxiety
c. the ability to perceive environmental and interpersonal cues
d. the ability to complete tasks in very difficult and emotional situations
e. no reactivity, possessiveness, guarding behaviors or increased anxiety.
39. The dog must meet all existing ADI obedience, accessibility and training standards including training with visual, verbal, or environmental cues to do three visually identifiable tasks that directly mitigate the veteran’s PTSD.
40. Dogs showing any aggression will not be admitted into the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Program. Any dogs in the program who show aggression will be dropped from the Course and required to relinquish all 4 Paws 2 Freedom service dog identification. An ADI member organization will not train, place, or certify dogs with any aggressive behavior. A Service Dog may not be trained in any way for guard or protection duty. Non-aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable in appropriate situations.
41. Anyone wishing to use the 4 Paws 2 Freedom logo must first get written approval of the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Board of Directors.
42. Client agrees to abide by and honor the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Rules as found in the Student Handbook; Client understands that he/she represents 4 Paws 2 Freedom when in public and agrees to set a good example.
43. Client understands that 4 Paws 2 Freedom teaches positive reinforcement training methods.
44. Client understands that 4 Paws 2 Freedom is not responsible for boarding his/her dog, or for assisting in any way in the event of an emergency or for any reason; Client agrees to make arrangements for emergency care of his/her dog and have the plan on file at 4 Paws 2 Freedom.
45. Client understands that service dogs must re-certify every year to maintain their “Certified Service Dog” status with 4 Paws 2 Freedom. As part of the re-certification the dog will be required to pass the Public Access Test, all Benchmarks and have a signed, completed and approved Veterinary Recommendation Form dated no more than 3 months prior to the re-certification date.
46. Client understand and agrees that at any time throughout the process or after certification testing, the program can decide to discharge the dog because of temperament, health or training issues
47. Client agrees to work daily on lessons taught, complete and turn in written homework and to contact 4 Paws 2 Freedom instructors if he/she has difficulty with any particular skill or task.
48. Client understands and agrees to pay a class fee, as determined at the start of the Course in the Financial Agreement. If there is a change in the client’s ability to pay the client agrees to contact 4 Paws 2 Freedom immediately to determine if other arrangements can be made.
49. Client understands that all fees are non-refundable.
50. Client agrees that all payments due for each class shall be paid to 4 Paws 2 Freedom before Client will be allowed to move to the next section of the class.
51. Client understands that there is no requirements to fundraise to be enrolled in the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Course.
Service dogs must have a dog licensed in the city or county where they reside.