The Program

Program Overview

IDEA Service Dogs believes that a person with a disability 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 program takes approximately eighteen to twenty-four months. The coursework includes:

Student Requirements

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

A family member or friend is encouraged to act as a co-handler/trainer for the team. 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 topics such as puppy-raising, positive and science-based training techniques, canine healthcare and nutrition and selection of training and assistance equipment. We will provide guidance for our students about legal access issues and encourage them to educate the public about service dogs. Each student’s will learn how to teach and maintain the specials skills their dogs will use to improve their daily living.

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 costs of dog purchase and care. 

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