At Lovedog, we believe in harnessing dogs desire to work, their amazing love and devotion, and their intelligence. Training and certifying properly trained service dogs takes a ton of love, time, passion, consistency, ability and skill. Our team at Lovedog offers those things and more. Our founder and President, Rick Bailey, has been training working dogs for the last 10 years as a professional dog trainer. He and our dedicated team provide elite training programs for service dogs and their owners.
Having any disability can be very difficult to say the least but working through the challenges of your disability alone can make it ever harder. By introducing a working service dog into your life, you can increase your confidence, do things you weren’t able to do, reduce stress whether it be mental or physical stress on your body, increase freedoms in life that you want and deserve and truly alter your life for the better. Assistance dogs have been helping people for a long time and these dogs have proven how amazing they are and what they can truly do to better the lives of people in need.
At Lovedog, we train service dogs in the following areas: Psychiatric service dogs and mobility assistance dogs. (Any inquiries outside of these parameters may be referred to other companies in the area that specialize in training service dogs for your needs).
Our company would love the opportunity to help you become a part of a team with the right service dog. Having a working service dog is truly about being a team and working together. Many of our graduates say that is one of the best parts about having a service animal. Please take the time to read about our program criteria to see if owning a service dog is right for you and if we are a good fit for each other. Once you have read through the following information and you have an interest in potentially enrolling in our service dog-training program, please use our contact us form. We will email you to set up a phone consultation within 24-48 hours.
Lovedog requires the following criteria to be followed to train and assist in certifying service dogs/assistance dogs for our clients:
- A letter of recommendation to the client directly indicating the need for a trained serviced dog/assistance dog. This letter must come from a licensed medical professional and the letter should also state the medical reasoning for this need.
- A 1-hour (minimum) phone consultation is required prior to enrollment to discuss your needs and goals and for our company to explain the process and the program outline.
- One of our dog trainers must evaluate your dog should you elect to enroll an existing pet that you own. Your dog must pass our behavioral evaluation and service dog testing criteria in order to be accepted into our service dog-training program. If you don’t have a dog chosen yet, Lovedog will assist in the process of acquiring a dog for you that will fit your needs specifically. Our company does not begin the process of acquiring a dog until our client has committed to the program by signing the training agreement and fulfilling the financial portion of that contract. Our team of dog trainers will help you find a dog that has a suitable temperament, age, size and potential abilities. We may do so by rescuing the dog from a local shelter, humane society, breed specific rescue or hand picked breeders that follow excellent breeding practices.
- If our clients are outside of the Treasure Coast, Lovedog does require that the client pay all travel and consulting expenses related to their dog and his/her training. We may also require our client to travel to Vero Beach and stay for a period of time to complete handler training. In certain cases we will provide the handling training to you at your location as well.
- Our dogs in training will have a minimum of 120 hours of hands on instruction over a period of a minimum of 6 months. No less than 30 of these hours will be devoted to outings in public settings to condition the dog to respond obediently in all environments. The majority of our dogs go through a 1-2 year service dog training program.
- We will not pass any dogs exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people or other animals.
- Service dogs are not pets, they are working animals that must be trained to be highly obedient and perform their trained task. For this reason, our service dogs are also not allowed to solicit food, attention or petting from other people while working. They may not sniff merchandise, people or dogs while working. The dog must accept loud noises, lights, strange sights, unusual footing and all other real life distractions. Service dogs are not allowed to urinate or defecate in public unless given permission by their handler in the appropriate place.
- At Lovedog we will train a vocal response (bark command) to be used as an alerting tool only when needed to meet the clients needs in a service dog and this behavior is a non-aggressive cue. We do not train or certify service dogs for personal protection or guard dog work.
- All graduating service dogs/assistance dogs will be trained to perform tasks on command (verbal, hand or other specific cue) for the benefit of their disabled handler.
- All service dogs in our program must pass a CGC (Canine Good Citizen Test), the ADA Public Access Test and a specific task related test. Lovedog also requires our clients/handlers to pass a verbal or written (depending on client) test on service dog laws, dog handling commands and cues, speaking with the public about their dog and basic medical care for their dog.