Service Dog Training

Service Dogs are legally defined as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability…The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handlers disability” (ADA rev. September, 2010).

CCH Service Dog Training Programs are designed to assist individuals (or their families) to train their own service dog while upholding the high standards necessary to produce effective service dog teams.

The CCH Training Model for dogs that will be working with individuals with special needs is based on a continuum of skill development. Success is defined by the individual accomplishments of each team to achieve their potential. Some dogs will progress to specific skill levels to work in public, while other dogs will be performing their job in a more private function within family homes. All partnerships are valued at CCH and given the opportunity for continued growth and support. We honor each team’s accomplishments while maintaining high standards of practice for dogs that will be working in public areas.  All Service Dog candidates are enrolled in the School for Professional Canine Partners to learn the skills necessary to fulfill their job role.

About Using Pet Dogs as Service Dogs:  Without special preparation and training to work in public areas, pet dogs can suffer life changing stress AND it is against U.S. federal law.  If you have a desire to use your pet dog as a service dog, the following information will help you make important decisions.

Learn More about service dogs and taking your dog into public.

Learn More about legally keeping your dog in a rental home.

Task Training

CCH offers task training according to the type of work the dog will be doing and not based on disabilities. We train tasks (dog jobs) for Medical Response (including responding to physical and psychiatric symptoms) and Physical Assistance (including performing physical tasks to assist with physical and psychiatric symptoms).

Medical Response –  Dog performs trained task until help arrives or patient recovers from symptoms


  • Summoning help by pushing an alert button
  • Retrieving medication, phone, or alert device
  • Providing balance support for dizzy episodes (large dogs only)
  • Circling and positioning near the handler to create greater physical space from others
  • Physical pressure from the dog on the individual to relieve pain or anxiety

Physical Assistance – Dog performs trained task that improves independence


  • Assisted walking to provide physical stability
  • Pulling a manual wheel chair (large dogs only)
  • Retrieving and/or carry items to improve independence
  • Performing manual tasks to operate doors, drawers, lights, and/or switches
  • Physical guide during psychiatric or medical symptoms


CCH does not provide service dog training for visual guiding, sound alert, allergy detection, blood sugar monitoring, pre-seizure detection, personal protection, and/or any task that may put a dog or individual at risk of injury.