I have been training service dogs since 2005. I place fully trained custom service dogs with families all over the United States to fit their needs and lifestyle, and also assist families all over San Luis Obispo county train their own service dogs. I work closely with you to come up with a training plan that both works with your needs and your budget. Fully trained service dogs from most organizations cost between $15,000-$30,000. This price makes receiving a fully trained service dog unattainable for most people. This is why I have come up with a business model that aims to reduce the cost of fully trained service dogs and chosen to help owners train their own service dogs when it is appropriate.
Service dogs must pass the ADI Public Access Test and are task trained to assist an individual with their disability. Individuals who want assistance from Central Coast Dog Services in obtaining a fully trained service dog or helping train their own must have proof of a documented disability. Service dogs are given public access where pets, therapy dogs and emotional support animals are not allowed and have the highest training standard of those groups. Therapy dogs are dogs trained to serve a larger group or community and are only allowed in places that have given permission to the handler and their dog ahead of time. Emotional support animals are allowed to go on airplanes and live in residences that have a "no pets" polity but are not specially trained in any way and do not have public access rights to go into places that aren't pet friendly. If interested in a service dog or therapy dog, please fill out the Service Dog Recipient Application on this page or the Therapy Dog Recipient Application on the Therapy Dogs page. If you are wanting an ESA or a pet, please visit our Adoptable Dogs page and fill out the application there. Email all applications to email@example.com.
Our biggest goal when placing service dogs with people is making sure that the dog and the individual are a great match. We make sure that the dog is willing and able to help with the disability need, but we also look at lifestyle, activity level, and personality of the dog AND the recipient! Every dog and person is different, and we do our very best to match you with the best dog for you. Because of this, we ask recipients to describe yourself and your life as accurately as possible and understand that we do not let people pick out their dog from our available program dogs. While we train service dogs for a wide variety of disabilities, we do not train service dogs for visual impairments.
If you are wanting a fully trained service dog from me, the first step is to fill out the CCDS Recipient Application in the link further down on this page and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your application and then schedule a phone interview to get a better sense of your needs and what dog would be best for you. During the phone interview we will also give you a specific quote for the total cost of the service dog, which includes the cost of a CCDS trainer traveling to your hometown for placement. When we have a dog available that has passed its ADI Public Access Test and meets your needs, we will contact you. From there, we require a 50% deposit on the dog before custom training the dog to your needs, as well as our service dog contract signed.
Once matched with a dog, you will be regularly updated on the progress of their training and we will schedule their placement date. The final 50% of the dog's cost is due at the time of placement. A CCDS trainer will travel to your hometown and do training with you and your new service dog for about a week to ensure that everyone is transitioning smoothly and becoming a solid service dog team.
The cost of fully trained service dogs from Central Coast Dog Services is between $6,000-$12,000 based on the type of dog required, the amount of tasks required for the service dog to perform, and travel cost of placing a dog if the placement is not local.
Finding the right dog for the job is essential! Most service dog organizations start with puppies, spend two years training and socializing that puppy and waiting for the dog to mature enough all without knowing if that dog will even make it as a service dog. This two year investment into a dog significantly increases the cost of a fully trained service dog for applicants since organizations have to charge enough to cover the cost of the person's dog AND the expense of the dogs that didn't make it.
For this reason, Central Coast Dog Services rarely ever starts with puppies in our service dog training program. Instead, we prefer to use 1-3yr old dogs from shelters, rescues, and owner surrender situations that are confident, friendly, healthy and want a job! By starting out with older dogs, we are able to really get a sense of the dog's temperament and are not waiting for the dog to mature before being able to start more advanced training and task work. This significantly decreases the amount of time a dog spends in our program and keeps costs lower for applicants.
When a service dog candidate enters our program, we spend 1-2 months evaluating that dog in different public settings and starting to work on public access skills. These skills include loose leash walking, sit, down, stay, come, leave it, potty training, and ignoring distractions. Only about one third of the dogs that enter our program have what it takes to make it past this step in our program.
We have volunteer puppy raisers that will foster our dogs for several months if the dog needs more maturity or socialization time in public. Our puppy raisers take our dogs to work, school, and on errands with them to set them up for success in service dog life. We couldn't do what we do without them!!
Once the service dog in training is able to pass the ADI Public Access Test and is mature enough, we begin reviewing our applications and matching the dog with a person.
Each dog and each person is different, and we pride ourselves on being able to match each applicant with the perfect dog for their personality, needs and lifestyle. This ensures long-term success as a service dog team. Our team spends lots of time getting to know our applicants through applications, phone calls, video chat, and in-person meetings when location allows. Once one of our dogs passes the ADI Public Access Test and seems to be the right fit for you we schedule a phone call to review everything and be absolutely certain it is the right match.
When a match has been made we begin custom training the service dog to your needs. The task training phase of our program takes 2-4 months depending on the dog and the amount of tasks needed. Applicants matched with a dog will receive regular updates every 1-2 weeks on the progress of your dog and begin making plans for one of our trainers to travel to your home town for placement.
We have learned over the years that doing the service dog placement in the recipient's home town is a very important step in making sure that the new service dog team is successful. Taking a week or two off of work, school, or away from family to travel and get a service dog can be a massive challenge for recipients that do not live locally. In an effort to make receiving a service dog as accessible as possible, we send one of our trainers directly to you wherever you are in the country.
One of our trainers will spend 7-10 days with you in your hometown teaching you how to handle your new service dog and integrating the dog into your home and lifestyle. We will shadow you throughout your daily routine and make sure everyone feels confident as a new team.
Even after placement, we are just a text, email or phone call away if additional support is needed.
Clifford is a fully trained mobility assistance service dog living in Willoughby, Ohio. Clifford's tasks include picking up dropped objects, opening handicap doors, pushing crosswalk buttons, walking next to wheelchairs and crutches, and picking up Anna's crutches when she drops them. He was placed in July, 2020.
Odin is a fully trained peanut allergy detection service dog living in Grants Pass, Oregon. Odin's owner is severely allergic to peanuts, so Odin searches rooms and public spaces for any trace of peanuts to keep David safe and out of the hospital. Odin graduated as a fully trained service dog in August, 2017.
Daisy is a fully trained psychiatric and medical response service dog living in Wasilla, Alaska. Daisy's owner has severe anxiety resulting in panic attacks and fainting. Daisy is trained to interrupt signs of anxiety to prevent panic attacks, and to give her owner deep pressure therapy if she faints. She was placed in January, 2020.
All of our service dogs are required to pass the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test in addition to being task trained. This test is the standard for service dog behavior when out in public. Here we have Marley being put through the entire test in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA.
A downloadable PDF of the ADI Public Access Test can be found further down on this page.
Lucy is being trained as a mobility assistance and psychiatric service dog for Elise. Lucy is learning to open doors, pick up dropped objects, provide balance assistance as needed, block people from getting too close to Elise and give her deep pressure therapy when her legs experience tremors. These two are working so hard as a team! Below is a link to Elise's GoFundMe account: