Pine Street Assistance Dogs and Service Dogs provides an extensive range of training to lessen many physical limitations. Types of assitance includes alerting handlers with hearing impairment to ringing phones and doorbells, supporting handlers with post traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injury to be comfortable in public, to feel safe, and to diminish the occurance of stressful encounters.

About... Pine Street Dogs
What is an assistance dog?
Service dogs (sometimes referred to as assistance dogs) support people with seen or unseen disabilities in completing daily tasks. The dogs give back a sense of independence to their handlers by mitigating disabilities and in the process improving the handler's quality of life. Some service dogs can be trained to provide alerts before the handler experiences medical problems or assist them while the issue occurs (seizure). These dogs provide an extensive range of assistance to lessen many physical limitations.  They can alert handlers with hearing impairment to ringing phones and doorbells, support handlers with post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury to be comfortable in public, to feel safe, and to diminish the occurance of stressful encounters.

Why was Pine Street Assistance Dogs created?
Most individuals wait for years to get a service dog trained by a nonprofit organization. As a restult, these individuals then look into securing privately owned dogs and having them trained.  Assuming these dogs prove to be good candidates for service dogs, Pine Street Assistance Dogs will train and help you train your own dog under supervision from puppy to adult.
With Pine Street Assistance Dogs, you will be involved in every step of the process, including training in your own home, in our home with our lead ”buddy” dogs, and in public settings. Your dog’s training will be customized to your needs rather than having the dog trained in generalized disability mitigation training. And, most important, your dog will be trained to be a happy and healthy dog first and not a trained “robot”.
Pine Street Assistance Dogs is also involved with the correction of behavioral issues which develop over time in highly trained service/assistance/working dogs. Please contact us directly to discuss your particular situation.

How long does it take?
Sometimes training can take in excess of 1 year to complete after the initial 6-month puppy training stage. Every dog is different so the length of training is different for every dog. Many factors have to be taken into account including the temperament, willingness to follow instructions and level of involvement of the handler. Also of consideration is the amount and difficulty of the needed special skills and the trainability of the dog.

How much does it cost?
The cost depends on how much training is involved and the length of time the training will take. Generally starting with a 12-week-old puppy the cost will be between $8,000 and $12,000.  This does not include the breeder charge, food, veterinarian costs, toys, specialized harnesses, registration, vests etc. Special trip to the veterinarian or the groomer, pick-up of dog food, etc. can be provided at additional charge plus the cost of the service or item.

How does the training work?
The training consists of several phases: puppy training, basic obedience, public access 1, advanced obedience public access 2, disability skills, and specialized public access (airplane, extra-large vehicles, cruise ships, off-leash etc…). At the end of these training phases, you and your dog are tested prior to starting the next phase of training. The length of each phase and intensity of training will depend on you and your dog. It is very important that you continue working with your dog on a daily basis between  lessons so the dog will continue to learn from you and progress.

Does my dog have to be a certain age to start training?
We recommend that puppies start training as early as possible to ensure proper puppy development. We start them as young as 10 weeks! Older dogs can learn too! Service/assistance work can be stressful for dogs and for this reason we do not recommend starting with a dog older than 4 years old.

Is my dog guaranteed to become a service dog?
There are no guarantees with dog training. How well your dog learns and how much he/she progresses will depend on many factors such as the level of socialization, genetic predisposition, and how much time you train with your dog. Involvement in the Service Dog training program does not guarantee certification. Open communication is key so there should be no surprises if your dog is having difficulties. And if at any given time we feel your dog is developing signs that he/she is not well suited for assistance work due to behavior or lack of response with training, we will promptly inform you.

What documentation do you require for the program?
We require a letter from your licensed medical providers and a letter from your veteranian with documentation of the Rabies Certificate and DHPP to commence training, as well as general liability insurance to ensure proper coverage for you and your dog while in public places.
Every six months we will require a veterinarian health review and proof of sterilization (spayed or neutered).
For the final exam/certification your Service Dog will have to be at least 1.5 years old and exhibit appropriate mental and physical maturity, Also, the handler will have to prove his or her proficiency in the handling of the service dog.

What happens once I complete Service Dog Training Program?
We will provide you with the final service dog vest and informational ID cards which is enough for an ADA level certification.  If you wish or need to pursue an additional certification with an organization recognized by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) (for international travel for instance) Pine Street Assistance Dogs will help you to connect with an organization in your area and prepare you for the certification. For travel in the USA/Canada and for access to all public venues, you are not required to provide any additional certification other than what the ADA level certification we provide.
We still recommend that you and your dog get re-tested annually to maintain training standards and documentation, and to check for behavioral issues that might have developed.

Additional Q&A on Service Dog provided by NADOI - Click Here