Our Program FAQ's

Autism Dog Quinn

How long does it take to train a service dog?

Our puppies are raised by volunteer puppy raisers until they are approximately 18 months old. Then, the dogs enter 4-8 months of advanced training and task work, before beginning Team Training with their handler. 

Are the students taught to properly care for their dog?

Yes! Our teams are taught everything there is to know about their new Lifeline, and how to are for the dog. Sessions during Team Training cover everything from animal health, (coat, nails, teeth, ears, eyes, general health, etc), how to teach new behaviors, public access etiquette and skills, and much more.

Medical Assistance Dog Aero the Rottweiler

Why are dogs dropped from the program, or "Career-Changed"?

Dogs may leave the program whenever issues that affect their ability to be a good and safe LIfeline arise. Behavior issues, health concerns, or other health and behavior issues are some of the reasons why a dog may be career-changed. Career-changed dogs are placed up for adoption to companion homes, or move onto another line of work. 

What type of training methods do you use?

LAD utilizes clicker/marker training with all of our dogs. Clicker training is a training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it. This clear form of communication combined with positive reinforcement is an effective, safe, and humane way to teach any animal any behavior that it is physically and mentally capable of doing. 

Autism Dog Snipe

What are your trainers' qualifications?

Our senior trainers are all required to sit and pass the CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) exam and receive said certification, at a minimum. All of our trainers attend multiple training and behavior seminars per year. 

What commands do the dogs learn?

Our dogs learn dozens of different commands and behaviors. A dog's exact command list will vary depending on their partner's needs. However, during training with their puppy raiser, all dogs learn the following as a minimum: 

sit, down, stay, wait, heel, side, back, stand, on, off, take, drop, out, leave it, paws up, under, settle, chill, and more.