How do I apply?
First, read each of the requirements below. If you meet the requirements, send an application request email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How long does service dog training take?
On average, it takes about a year to train an adult dog to become a service dog. That includes basic obedience training on your part, prior to service dog training.
What if I already have a dog I want to be my service dog?
Great! On your application, please indicate you have a dog you want to train to be your service dog. We will contact you regarding evaluation of your dog. Most dogs need basic and intermediate obedience training, which we do not provide. You will need to take your dog to group classes (or a private trainer if you're unable to attend group classes) for obedience training. At your dog's evaluation, we'll provide you with a list of commands and hand signals you'll need to learn prior to starting service dog training.
Your dog must meet these requirements:
Can we have other dogs in the house?
Yes. However, pack dynamics can greatly influence training outcomes. Keep in mind that choosing a dog to join an established pack can take quite a while. **A pack constitutes two or more dogs.
What paperwork do I get when my dog is certified?
Service dogs do not get certified. Any certification process for service dogs is fraudulent. Upon completion of service dog training, you and your dog will receive a certificate of training completion, based on the standards set forth by the ADA and our program.
How much does training cost?
There is no cost for service dog training for the veteran. Donations and grants cover the cost of service dog training.
Do I need a letter from my psychologist?
No, but you need to meet the following requirements:
Does the VA cover my costs or training?
No, we are not affiliated with the VA, nor any other service dog training organization or entity.
Where are your dogs from?
The dogs training in our program come from a variety of sources: Rescue groups that pull from county shelters, prison dog training programs, breeders of merit, and friends of the veteran. Some veterans come to us with their own dog for training.
Should I look for a dog on my own?
In general, if you don’t already have a dog with whom you’ve bonded, don’t go out to get a dog. Let us help you choose a dog who already shows propensity for service work, who meets the requirements for our program. On your application, be sure to indicate that you request assistance finding a dog to work with.
Where do we train?
We train in public places in and around Gainesville and Ocala. You must meet the following requirements:
Requirements for veterans and dogs prior to enrollment in Service Dogs for Patriots training program:
** REVIEW THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS AND FAQ PRIOR TO APPLYING
Service Dogs for Patriots is the only service dog training organization in North Central Florida that pairs a former shelter dog with a veteran battling PTSD and trains them together as a team from start to finish, resulting in a fully trained PTSD Service Dog.
Men and women serve for a variety of reasons, but one thing is common among them all, they all volunteered to risk their lives to save another. When they return home after their military service they feel a loneliness, a need that was met during their service, the need of a battle buddy, someone willing to lay it all on the line for them every day. Sometimes our nation’s warriors feel forgotten. It is up to our local community to come together and show them that we haven’t forgotten and that we will fight alongside them, that they are not alone.
We at Service Dogs for Patriots recognize this need and seek to help through the use of a PTSD service dog. We pair a veteran with a former shelter dog, unless a dog is already owned and is capable of providing the required service. The veteran starts receiving help from day one as he or she takes part in the training process. During military service soldiers have a mission and that unique camaraderie is built during the training required to accomplish that mission. These shelter dogs need the veterans just as the veterans need them. They train together, forming a special bond and working toward a common goal. The dog learns the needs of the veteran and what to do to help, whether it be waking up the veteran from a bad dream or giving a warning when someone is walking up from behind. The list of what these dogs offer is extensive. They work together to save each other’s lives.