Apply for a Service or Hearing Dog
We are NOT currently accepting applications for Service Dogs and Hearing Dogs.
To keep the wait time for a dog under two years, we must occasionally close applications. Our application process should reopen in late summer 2014.
Thank you for your interest in applying to Service Dogs, Inc. for a Hearing Dog or Service Dog. Our goal is to provide you with excellent service.
We DO Train Dogs to Assist With:
A severe loss of hearing or mobility
We DO NOT Train Dogs to Assist With:
Children (younger than 18)
Protection / Guarding
Visual impairment / blindness
We also DO NOT train:
A dog you already own
We accept applications during certain times of the year. This allows us to maintain a training cycle so that we can keep recipients’ wait time for a dog as short as possible.
We custom train each Hearing and Service Dog to the specific recipient’s needs.
Hearing Dogs alert their deaf partners by touch to get their attention, then lead them to a variety of important everyday sounds, including the:
- Doorbell or door knock
- Smoke alarm
- Alarm clock
- Oven timer
- Someone calling your name
- Baby’s cry
- Other requested sounds, if possible
We teach them to respond to spoken cues and hand gestures.
Service Dogs assist mobility challenged individuals by:
- Opening/closing doors, drawers, cabinets and refrigerators
- Retrieving dropped items
- Fetching out of reach manual wheelchairs
- Turning lights and ceiling fans on and off
- Getting help
- Moving paralyzed limbs, e.g. legs up onto bed, arm up onto armrest of wheelchair
- Customized tasks such as assistance with clothing and specialized equipment
- May pull a manual wheelchair brief distances
- Other customized behaviors, if possible
Your Time Involved
Application process: 3 to 6 months
Waiting list for dog: up to 2 years – Wait time depends on Service Dogs, Inc. finding a dog that suits your needs and living environment
Applicant Orientation Day – 1 day
- Learn what it’s really like to have a Hearing or Service Dog
- Hands on training sessions with dogs – see and feel what it’s like
- Presentations by SDI staff
- One-on-one Interview
Matching – Up to 1/2 day
- Catch us up on your specific goals and needs with your Hearing or Service Dog
- Meet one or more dogs we think might be suitable for you
Team Training – 5 days (Monday – Friday)
- Learn to work with your new dog with other recipients in a class setting – Lecture and hands-one training sessions with your dog!
In-Home Training – 13 weeks
- After Team Training, we will move your new Hearing or Service Dog into your home
- One of our Trainers will schedule a weekly training session with you
- You and your new Hearing or Service Dog will work with your Trainer in your home, and eventually in public locations
- Eventually, your Trainer will only work with you every other week
- You are responsible for training with your dog daily between visits by your Trainer
- In your home – tests you and your dog working as a team on sound alerts (Hearing Dogs) or service behaviors (Service Dog) in the home
- In public – We used the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test
- We will re-certify you and your dog at 3 months, 6 months and annually after that
- We provide follow up for you throughout the lifetime of your dog
Service Dogs, Inc. prohibits discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including genetic characteristics, pregnancy, sexual orientation, citizenship status, military service status, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws.