Dog Trainer Requirements

The primary purpose of Life Saver Dogs is to help people with disabilities get a service dog for their ADA-qualifying disabilities. This requires professional, highly-qualified dog trainers with the appropriate experience. Since the dog training industry lacks universal standards, the requirements for any dog trainer to contract with Life Saver Dogs are as follows:

Dog Trainer Qualifications

All dog trainers must meet all of the following qualifications to become an approved Life Saver Dogs trainer.

  • A minimum of 5 years working experience as a professional dog trainer with a wide range of dog breeds and temperaments.
  • Experience with training service dogs.
  • Sound understanding of learning science.
  • Sound understanding of play-based and relationship-based training approaches.
  • Sound understanding of appropriate use and application of training tools (e.g. wide collars, retractable leashes, prong collar, e-collars, slip leads, food, toys, etc.)
  • Sound understanding of drive control.
  • Sound understanding of building motivation.
  • Demonstrated care about animal welfare.

Trainer Assessment

Any dog trainer applicant will be evaluated by the president and vice president of the board or their qualified designates. Evaluations can consist of written applications, references, demonstration of skill and qualification in person or on video, or any other test the evaluators deem necessary for each candidate.

Trial Period

Any selected service dog trainer will work under the close supervision of Life Saver Dogs approved training companies for up to 2 years. At that stage, new trainers will either be approved and offered to work as independent contractors for Life Saver Dogs or offered employment or contractor status at approved training companies or terminated.