Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training

In the Owner-Assisted Service Dog Training program in Las Cruces, New Mexico, qualified clients will train their own dog as a service dog under the direction of Four Paws and a Wake Up staff and experienced trainers.

Unlike other dog training programs, this program focuses on the owner's needs and the commands and skills the owner needs to mitigate their disability.

Requirements

  • Individuals must have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • The disability must be documented by a medical doctor or psychiatrist.

  • Veterans must provide a DD-214 and the VA rating decision letter.

  • A Medical Information Form will be sent to your primary physician as part of the application process.

  • Individuals and their dogs must have completed the Four Paws Basic Obedience Class.

  • Individuals must be willing and able to commit to attending 60-minute classes 1 day a week for 10 to 12 months depending on the skills needed and the dedication of the individual.

  • Must continue training for at least 20 minutes a day when not in class.

  • Must be willing to participate in scheduled outings in the community. 

What is Owner-Assisted Training?

  • The owner of the dog does the training under the guidance and direction of Four Paws and a Wake Up staff following a curriculum of training. 

  • Individual uses their own dog.

  • The dog must be at least 6 months old and the owner must have had the dog for at least 6 months.

  • The individual does the training under our direction.

  • The Individual and dog have an established bond.

  • The individual is engaged in the process.

  • Skills essential for the individual are taught.

  • Training is accomplished within 10 to 12  months depending on the skills needed.

  • Standards are maintained for a quality-trained dog.

  • No training experience is needed.

  • This service is fee-based.

How Does OAT Work?

  • OAT is a fee-based training curriculum that considers the needs of the person and their disability, the dog they have, and the skills that are needed. 

  • The individual submits an application to enroll in the OAT program.

  • Our team reviews the application and conducts a consultation with the person and their dog. 

  • After the assessment of the dog, our team will determine if the dog is suitable to begin service dog work, customize a training plan, and set a date to begin training classes. 

  • Classes are in a small group format. 

  • Our full training package includes a minimum of 40 hours of guided training, detailed training plans, accompanied public outings, and coaching. 

  • After a final assessment, you will receive a letter attesting to the training achieved, a service dog identification card, and a vest for the service dog.