Our trainers at our Lead Dog Service Dog Program raise and train service dogs to assist children and adults with disabilities to become more independent. We began training dogs more than 20 years ago and we are dedicated with a vision of training dogs to assist people to live full, independent lives in the community. Today, we have placed more than 50 service dogs with individuals all over North America.
We do things quite a bit differently than most service dog organizations. You will not find long, multi-year waiting lists and we include you in the training process from the first day. We only place approximately 5-10 service dogs each year. Our program is part of Alaska Dog Works based in south central Alaska.
Alaska Dog Works makes sure that each of our dogs are healthy and has the right temperament to be a service dog. We use specially bred dogs that come from trusted breeders that we know personally. Each dog receives an in-depth health screening, is neutered or spayed before final placement, and undergoes a rigorous training program. Before being placed with a partner, the dog must display excellent manners at home and in public and perform a variety of specific behaviors and tasks on cue. Each dog is specifically trained to meet the needs of their partners. A service dog can open and close doors, retrieve various items, pull a manual wheel chair, do balance work, turn on and off light switches, and even answer the door. We also provide service dogs with people with autism, psychiatric disabilities and PTSD for members of our military. These dogs may learn tasks such as alerting to symptoms of anxiety, interrupting repetitive behavior, and providing pressure for some one with autism.
Service dogs can be trained to support men, women and children with a variety of disabilities. They can assist with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, stroke and similar disabilities. Some dogs can be trained to support individuals with psychiatric disorders and children with autism, as well as PTSD. Each dog is specially trained depending on the needs of the person receiving the dog.
To apply for a service dog, please complete our formal application process. Once you are accepted we will begin the process of finding the right dog for you and your needs. We will work with you every step of the way for the working life of your dog. We provide follow-up sessions on a regular and as-needed basis, and all of working service dogs must pass a bi-annual recertification test. We make every effort to ensure that our dogs continue to do the job they were trained to do.
The actual cost of training and placing a service dog is over $20,000. However, we only require individuals to pay a $8,5000 fee for service. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to members and veterans of our military and our past clients have found funding in a variety of ways in the community. We do things differently than most service dog organizations. First we are not a non-profit. Through the years we decided we wanted to spend the our time training dogs and working with our clients, not grant writing and fundraising. There are many creative ways to help individuals with the cost of their service dogs, from crowdfunding, to spaghetti dinners and more. Find out more about the cost of our training program [here].
Come Train with Us!
Alaska Dog Works trains and provides service dogs, through our Lead Dog Service Dog Program to assist children and adults to become more independent.
Alaska Dog Works trains service dogs for mobility, psychiatric, autistic, and PTSD (for our military veterans only), in-home service dogs, companions and facility dogs. Each dog is specially trained for specific tasks.
At Alaska Dog Works we pride ourselves in training some of the finest service dogs in the country through our Lead Dog Service Dog Program. We provide highly trained dogs to perform a multitude of tasks that allow greater personal freedom and independence. We serve clients primarily in Alaska but we have worked with people all over North America. We are based in Willow in beautiful south central Alaska.