- Assistance Dogs
Paws helping people.
MuttSchool specializes in supervised owner-training of service dogs. If you have a dog already and you think it has the potential to become an assistance dog, one of our assistance dog coaches would be happy to assess the dog's potential. We are very selective about the dogs that enter our program. Not every dog has the qualities to handle the training and tasks required of them to become an assistance dog.
We will meet with you to:
Many organizations use volunteers and prisoners to train assistance dogs. These groups tout this as a feel-good benefit to their program. At MuttSchool, you and your dog are taught by professional trainers that are educated in the most up-to-date dog training methods. Feel free to compare our credentials with any other assistance dog trainers! Plus, you personally get to know your assistance dog coaches and the other trainers working with your dog.
You are making a huge commitment both emotionally and financially when you get an assistance dog. Even if we are doing most of the training, we want you involved from the very start to create a strong bond and learn how to handle your dog when your trainer isn't around.
Other organizations have strict contracts about who owns the dog. Read the fine print carefully. Many of them "lease" the assistance dog out to you while they remain the legal owner of the dog. With MuttSchool, you are the legal owner of your dog.
MuttSchool utilizes a scientific approach to dog training using least invasive minimally aversive (LIMA) methods to train your dog. We DO NOT use training equipment that imparts pain, fear or intimidation on your dog. This gives you a dog with a desire and willingness to work for you.
It takes 1-2 years to train an assistance dog, but you will not sit around waiting for a dog. The advantage of a supervised owner-training program is that the dog lives at home with you during the training process. You both learn and grow together as a team.
Training doesn't stop at graduation. You will want to reinforce behaviors throughout your assistance dog's life or may even decide you want to train new ones. That is why we offer discounts on continuing education and retest a year after the training is complete.
MuttCare is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people by creating
mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained service and therapy dogs.
Service dogs are defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
Service dogs are selected, trained and tested to perform specific tasks that mitigate a person's disability. Service dogs are working animals. These dogs are trained for up to 2 years, have public access and function as medical equipment for their handler. They are not pets. A service dog increases a person's independence, safety, and improves the quality of life for people with disabilities.
No public access
In-home assistance dogs are a mixture between a service dog and an emotional support dog (ESA). An in-home assistance dog offers their human partner comfort and companionship like an ESA but is trained to perform tasks that are useful to their partner in the home environment. These dogs can be trained to do many of the same tasks that a Service Dog can do. However, their work is done only in the home and they are NOT trained for public access like a service dog.
No public access
Emotional Support Animals (ESA) provide a therapeutic benefit to their owner through companionship. ESAs are PETS prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder/mood disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, and other psychological and emotional conditions. A psychologist, or psychiatrist decides that the presence of a dog is needed for the mental health of the patient. These dogs ARE NOT SERVICE DOGS and have no public access rights. ESA's are only allowed to be in locations that pet dogs are allowed.
The ESA is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability. They are meant solely to provide comfort to it's owner, offer emotional stability and unconditional love.
No public access
Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection, comfort and love to a wide variety of people in facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries, hospices, shelters, schools, libraries, disaster areas and physical therapy centers. Through the unique animal-to-human bond, visitation from a therapy dog can brighten a person's day, lift spirits, reduce anxiety or stress and help motivate people through treatments.
A therapy dog visiting a facility is always accompanied by their handler. Therefore, our therapy dog program is as much for the handler to learn proper handling etiquette as it is for the dog to learn manners.
Therapy dogs do not have public access rights with the exception of being granted permission to visit the individual facilities in which they are working.