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Certification is not required by ADA Law. That being said, if you come to us and want your dog to be Service Dog, you will be held at our high standards of what a service dog should be, and this is a lot harder than it sounds. If you "finish" with us, you will have to take my certification test. Over the years I've been doing this, I have passed only a handful. Positive Paws is strict when it comes to this test, and we expect only the best from you and your dog. We do require 120 hours of public access hours.

We personally the public access test is too easy to be a "end of the line test". It is a great starter for Obedience and public manners, but we like to see even more refinement in our dogs.

This is an owner trained program.


These classes are specially for teaching your dog his/her job. Most of these are 4 weeks long and focus on one specific task or skill. The first 4 weeks simply gets you started. Once the first stage is mastered you move up a level for another 4 weeks until your dog is up to a full service dog level skill that can be performed in public on cue reliably. You will likely need to pause between classes to practice for several weeks on your own before moving to the next class. These classes are only meant to get you started, you must train at home using the skills you learn in class to perfect the task. Classes are broken up in to "Retrieving", "Bracing", "Hearing Alert", "General Alerting", and "Wheelchair Assist". Many of these tasks will require 4-6 months of training to become "service dog level".

Positive Paw's "Canine Helper's" Service Dogs are custom-trained to assist people with physical and/or mental disabilities. Service Dogs can enhance a person’s independence by helping with tasks such as pulling a wheelchair, opening doors, turning light switches on/off, or picking up objects as small as a dime. If a client falls, the dog can even act as a brace to help them up. Other tasks include distracting a person from a thought, waking a person from a nightmare, alerting and/or responding to a person before, during, or after a seizure, alerting to fatigue, panic attacks, P.T.S.D etc.

Positive Paw's has trained Service Dogs to assist people with Autism, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Rheumatoid arthritis, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries, and many other conditions affecting a person’s mobility or strength.

In addition to performing tasks related to a physical disability, a Positive Paw's Dog can be trained to assist with tasks related to a seizure disorder or hearing loss.


  • You must be 14 years or older
  • Have a physical disability, debilitating chronic illness, neurological disorder or mental or   otherwise. affecting one or more limbs
    • If the dog is also trained for seizure tasks, an individual must have a minimum of one seizure per month
    • If the dog is also trained for hearing tasks, an individual must have a minimum of 30% bilateral hearing loss and be 18 years or older
  • Be physically and cognitively capable of participating in the training process, up to one hour a day
  • Be able to independently command and handle their Assistance Dog
  • Be able to meet the emotional, physical and financial needs of the Assistance Dog
  • Be in a stable home environment
  • Actively improve their quality of life and pursue independence with their Assistance Dog
  • Live in an area serviced by Positive Paw's
  • Provide a letter from a physician with recommendations for a Service Dog.
  • Agree to an evaluation of both you and your dog
  • Complete 120 hours of public access work.

Positive Paw's will evaluate your dog and determine if he or she is a good candidate for our Service Dog program. If we find that he or she is not a candidate, then we will make every reasonable effort to find a candidate that can be trained for your specific needs.