The Four Paws and a Wake Up Service Dog Application and Matching Process
Our Service Dog Program
Service Dogs for Veterans who have a permanent service-connected disability for which Veterans Administration has documented related to mobility, service-related post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury
Service Dogs for individuals with mobility disabilities (limited availability)
Please note that Four Paws and a Wake Up does not train seizure alert dogs, guide dogs for the blind, diabetes alert dogs, dogs for people with Alzheimer's, emotional support, or psychiatric dogs for non-Veterans. Four Paws and a Wake Up does not train dogs that are already owned by individuals. Contact Assistance Dogs International for information about other organizations who may be able to help.
Cost of Obtaining a Service Dog
Many people ask us about the cost of obtaining a Service Dog. Thanks to generous donors and funding from grants, there is no charge for clients who are eligible for our services for receiving a Service Dog. Clients will need to pay for annual dog supplies such as food and veterinary services that can average $1,000-$2,000 a year.
Four Paws and a Wake Up-NC
Service Dogs for Veterans
Meeting the Needs of Those Who Served
Whether the Veteran served in Vietnam Nam or was recently discharged, Four Paws and a Wake Up has you covered. There are 18 million Veterans in the United States of which 1.4 million have a Veterans Administration rating 70% of higher. Are you one of these Veterans?
Veterans wanted a service dog from Four Paws and a Wake Up must have a Veterans Administration Rating Decision identifying their disabilities and overall rating and complete an application for a service dog.
Training & Behavior
Four Paws and a Wake Up has you covered. Our team has the talent, skill, and time to train a service dog in the skills you need. Training includes an ongoing assessment of behavior, basic obedience skills including successful completion of an AKC Canines Good Citizen (CGC) certificate, positioning skills, retrieval skills, balance and support, deep tissue therapy, and a grouping of specialty skills to have your back when venturing into the public.
Four Paws and a Wake Up uses reward based training methodology. Head-halter collars, similar to a horse brindle, are used for training and control. Commands and skills are taught through repetitive action training. All service dogs in training are given down-time to rest and play and are acclimated into a home to complete advance training before being partnered with their Veteran.
We Train the Service Dog, Then We Train You
Four Paws and a Wake Up all service dogs partnered are trained by our organization. When the service dog is nearing completion of training, a review of the approved applicants is done to ensure the best possible match considering the applicants needs, life style, family members and children and if there are other animals in the home. Once matched a training time is arranged and the Veterans comes to our location to learn how to work with their new service dog.
Characteristics of a Service Dog
For a dog to be a service dog it must be trained to perform specific tasks on cue for the benefit of the person with a disability (such as picking up objects from the ground, getting help, alerting to people approaching from behind, etc.). Spontaneous behavior that a dog occasionally exhibits like licking or barking does not qualify as a trained task even if they have beneficial results for their person.
In addition to the skills, they need to assist a person with a disability, service dogs must also meet certain social and behavior standards when in public:
The dogs should not show aggressive behaviors towards people or other animals when in public.
The dog should not solicit food or petting from other people.
The dog should walk calmly on a leash and stay focused on the handler.
The dog should not urinate or defecate indoors.
The dog should not sniff merchandise or people or intrude into other people's space.
The dog should not vocalize or bark in public places.
Dogs trained for protection cannot be considered for service work.