Assistance Dogs

What types of Assistance Dogs

are trained by Support Dogs, Inc.?

Support Dogs was founded on training assistance dogs for people who needed assistance with mobility-related tasks. Today, Support Dogs trains a variety of assistance dogs to meet several segments of the population. Click here to download an Assistance Dog Program brochure.

Service Dogs - These dogs are trained to complete mobility-related tasks for someone with a physical disability. The dogs are trained to open doors, retrieve dropped and distant objects, help with undressing, carry bags, rises to counters, as well as a variety of other mobility-related tasks. Support Dogs places service dogs with adults and children (over 6 years of age). The video below shows one example of what a service dog is trained to do.

To see more videos of what our service dogs are trained to do, click here.

Animal Assisted Therapy Dog - This dog is trained and placed with an individual who is an employee of the facility in which the dog will work. Typically, the dog is used as a therapeutic tool by the handler, helping to initiate a response from the residents, patients, or clients of the facility. These dogs have exceptional patience and temperament for working around all types of individuals.

Hearing Dogs - These dogs are trained and placed with someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing. The dog can alert to sounds in the environment, such as a door knock, smoke alarm, alarm clock, or a name call. All applicants for a Hearing Dog must be 18 years of age and older. The video below shows examples of what a hearing dog is trained to do for a client.

Psychiatric Service Dogs - These dogs are trained to help military veterans suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These dogs are trained not only to be very confident and obedient in any environment, they act as a grounding mechanism for their client.  All applicants for a Psychiatric Service Dog must be 18 years of age and older.

Court Room Dogs - These dogs are placed with individuals who work with children and adults who have been mentally, physically, and/or sexually abused.  The dogs are used as part of the forensic interview process to help gather information from the victim.  If necessary, the dog will accompany the victim to court of testimony is needed. 


Applying For An Assistance Dog


Items to Consider Before Requesting The Assistance Dog Application Packet:

  • Due to the nature of all of our placements and the importance of the continuity of training, no hired care giver will be permitted to be the sole handler of, or the responsible party for, the dog for any certified team.
  • If you are applying for a Service Dog for mobility needs, you will not be permitted to have more than two dogs in your household.  If you are applying for a Hearing Dog or a Psychiatric Service Dog, Support Dogs will not consider a placement if there are any dogs in the household.
  • Anyone applying for an Assistance Dog that lives more than 150 miles from the Support Dogs facility will agree to return to Support Dogs every three years for a personal evaluation of the team’s performance, physical examination, and recertification.
  • Every Service Dog for mobility needs, Youth Service Dog, and Hearing Dog placed must perform three mitigating tasks for the applicant that they are not able to perform themselves, or have trouble performing, because of their disability.
  • All applicants, whether a first time applicant or an applicant applying for a successor canine, will be required to attend a two week Team Training session as part of the placement process of receiving a new dog.

 *Please keep in mind that during the application and Team Training process, Support Dogs does reserve the right to delay or terminate the placement if the organization feels it is unable to make a successful placement.

 **If you are a military veteran, a scholarship fund called the DAVID Fund has been set up to cover the costs of the application and equipment fees.  Please indicate on the application if you would like to access these funds.

To begin the application process, please contact the office at (314) 997-2325 or via email at