The Program

Program Overview

IDEA Service Dogs believes that a disabled person and their service dog have a higher success rate when the dog is raised and trained in the home of the student. The dog is both an assistant to the student and part of the family. Consistency among family members plus the support of the entire family is a great advantage.

Once the puppy is placed in the home, the student and puppy, and perhaps a co-handler, progress through the IDEA program as a team under the guidance of experienced trainers.

Our two-year program is structured like a traditional school year from September through June for two consecutive years. The coursework includes:

Student Requirements

Our students must have good computer and technology skills as we utilize many modern training tools including video and internet resources.

Another family member or friend may act as a co-handler/trainer for the team if desired. One co-trainer maximum is permitted per student.

The team must be able to provide their own transportation to classes and field trips. Occasional field trips may require small entrance fees, such as to theaters, museums and other public locations.

Puppy Selection Assistance

IDEA will assist in selecting an appropriate puppy for the student’s needs including:

Note: A student may apply with a dog they already own, however our staff must evaluate the dog for suitability prior to acceptance. The dog’s pedigree, age, health history and other factors may be of consideration.

Training Methods and Topics

Our staff will address all topics of puppy-raising, positive and science-based training techniques and philosophies, canine healthcare and nutrition, historical issues related to canines and dog training, selection of assistance and training equipment, problem-solving methods, and issues related to mastering the special skills desired for improvement of activities of daily living for the student. Professional trainers will also guide the team on legal and access issues in both state and federal situations as related to their service dog.

Advantages of IDEA Service Dogs Approach

Milestones to Graduation

The student team must accomplish the following milestones in order to graduate from the IDEA Service Dogs program:

Program Fees*

Initial start-up fee:

A one-time initial fee of $300 is assessed to help cover puppy evaluation, both proprietary and published training materials, and selected initial equipment.

Monthly fees:

A small monthly fee of $50 is also assessed for each month that classes are held. 

Students are responsible for the purchase of their puppy and the costs of its care. 

* While we strive to keep our fees low, they may occasionally increase to keep pace with costs.