About The Dog Knowledge Service Dog Foundation

Several years ago, The Dog Knowledge, Charlotte, NC's premier dog training facility began receiving requests to train service dogs. As certified dog trainers, taught to train all dog sports, competitive obedience, pet obedience, behavior modification, etc. we created a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and began giving of our time and energy to assist those in need of a trained service dog. The cost of obtaining a trained service dog can be anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 and many training facilities funded with grant money have a 2-3 year wait to obtain a dog. We also began hearing about service dog scams where trainers told unknowing clients that they could train their personal dog to be a service dog. Even worse, trainers told owners that they could train an 8 week old puppy to be a service dog. As ethical dog trainers, The Dog Knowledge trainers realized the need to create some type of standards to service dog certification without infringing on the service dog access rights won by those with disabilities in the last 20 years. Our service dog program, The Dog Knowledge Service Dog Foundation is a non-profit established to assist in obtaining dogs suitable for service dog training, training those dogs as well as training an individual's companion dog to perform a variety of services such as diabetic alert dog, peanut detection dog, PTSD dog, etc. The training required to train a mobility assistance dog differs greatly from many of the other service dog tasks. Mobility assistance dogs become a disabled individual's hands and feet and require much of the same ardent training required by seeing eye dogs as they are typically confined to working with an individual who is wheel chair bound. They pick up items that are dropped; they open and close cabinets and doors; they turn on lights; they stand rigid and become a brace in the event of a fall; they sound an alert in the event of an emergency. But whatever the service requirements of a service dog are, that dog must exhibit calmness, non-aggressive, stable temperament in any and all situations. For that reason, many times we unfortunately are not able to train the family pet dog to suddenly learn to detect peanuts for a child born with peanut allergies. For all the work that is required to train a service, you can well imagine our frustration when we see so called "phony service dogs." Dogs that have absolutely no obedience, questionable temperament and in some cases dog or human aggression toward strangers. In an effort to bring legitimacy and safety to this unregulated industry that treads on civil liberties The Dog Knowledge Service Dog Foundation has adopted certain standards that we require to certify a service dog.