Before you sign up for one of our teaching programs, you will need the following:

Dog training experience

Service dog training requires good training skills. At the Center for the Study of Medical Assistance Canines, we provide you with all the teaching about service dogs. We do not teach basic training and obedience skills. Before you apply, you must have previous training experience, preferably with positive reinforcement methods. If you’re in the US, a CPDT-KA, KPA VSA, IAABC, or equivalent will be recommended. If you are not certified or live outside of the US and cannot get certified, we’ll assess your skills before enrolling you in our program.

For a list of recommended pet dog training schools, click here:

Access to at least one dog for a minimum of 6 months

You will need at least one dog to practice with and train as a service dog. Service dogs are trained over a period of at least 6 months. Our training modules include practical hands-on training. 

Your dog should be in good health, at least 6 months old and no more than 7 years old. 

It’s best if your dog has some clicker training experience but not necessary.

Service dog trainer school

Time to practice and study

At least 5-6 hours a week to commit to training and studying. In order to learn our training methods, you’ll need to practice with your dog as we move along. Some behaviors are complex and will require troubleshooting as you move along. 

For the online courses you will need

  • Access to a computer ( PC or Mac).
  • A video camera to record your training for assignments sessions (i.e. your smartphone on a stand or holder)
  • A good internet connection

You will need to be familiar with how your PC or Mac works for downloading and uploading material. We can’t help you with individual tech support.  You’ll need to know how to retrieve and edit video from your camera or phone and upload them when you have video assignments.