Four Paws and a Wake Up NC is ONLY offering Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training! It is a fee-based program for Veterans and others in the greater Wilmington NC region. Learn more about Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training.
Please note that Four Paws and a Wake Up does not train seizure-alert dogs, autism support, guide dogs for the blind, hearing, diabetes-alert, Alzheimer's or dementia, emotional support, or psychiatric.
Contact Assistance Dogs International for information about other organizations that may be able to help.
Service Dogs for Veterans
Four Paws and a Wake Up NC is ONLY offering Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training! It is a fee-based program for Veterans and others in the greater Wilmington NC region.
Learn more about Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training.
If you live west of the Mississippi River, please check our sister location, Four Paws and a Wake Up in Las Cruces, NM.
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. Owner-Assisted 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.
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.