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The Decision is Yours

With a service dog, you will never be alone. A service dog by your side is a constant, whether it is a quick trip to the grocery store or an evening out to dinner; the service dog will be by your side. If you are reading this then you are considering that a service dog may be right for you. But there are considerations. 

  • A service dog requires continual training and the use of skills.  

  • A service dog requires regular visits to the veterinarian, food, training, toys, attention, exercise, and bedding.

  • A service dog is another presence in the household. They must be accepted in the home as a member of the family.

Patience and Commitment

Beginning the journey to train your own dog will take patience, commitment, consistency, and repetition. Your dog may have had very little training and may need time to develop a routine and learn his or her place in the home.  It will be your job and responsibility to train and care for your service dog.

Like you and the members of your household, your dog will need time to adapt to its new role in the home. Training your dog is a commitment and it does not happen overnight.  Patience is the tool you’ll need for success

Why train your own dog as your service dog

  • You already have a dog and do not want to add an extra dog to your household. 

  • You want to avoid the long wait times to get a fully trained service dog. 

  • You would love to learn how to train your dog as your service dog.

  • Your dog already helps you naturally and you would like to take his training further so he can be your service dog.

  • The costs to purchase a fully trained service dog is prohibitive.


Joining our group classes is the most cost-efficient way to get the service dog that you need. Our classes cater to dog owners who wish to train their dogs to assist them  with a disability.


Four Paws NC does not relax our standards just because you will be the trainer.   Our curriculum takes about a year to complete and makes sure your dog is appropriate for service dog work before beginning training,  works with you to teach basic and advanced obedience skills to ensure the dog's good behavior in public, shares balanced training techniques, and teaches you disability-specific skills. Various assessments are done as training progresses including Canine Good Citizen, Public Access Test, and Skills Assessment test after completion of the classes.

How do we train?

Our methods are positive and effective

Our training methods are based on developing a positive and strong relationship between you and your dog.  We do not use choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars. You will learn to effectively teach your dog through positive reinforcement methods. 


Why?  Simply put, it works.  With nearly 30 years of training dogs, the key has been the relationship with the dog.  It develops trust and confidence with the handler and wants to work for the person. 

Is there a guarantee? 

Not every dog is suitable for service work

Four Paws NC cannot guarantee every owner-assisted training dog will be successful.  There are many variables to consider.  We are committed to delivering consistent training instruction and guidance to each enrollee.

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