Service Dog Program

Signal Service Dogs (SSD) will provide an affordable and unique way for anyone, 14 years or older, suffering from a debilitating disability (mental and/or physical) that are of able body and mind, to have a service dog that will perform tasks specific to them and their needs.

Each dog is trained to perform specific tasks that assist in light mobility, the management of psychiatric conditions including PTSD, depression, anxiety, OCD, disassociation and more. Examples of tasks a dog may perform; Interrupting panic attacks or harmful behaviours, applying deep pressure therapy, waking from a night terror, body blocking, bracing when dizzy and more.

The program itself, is a 15 week Co-Train Course that will equip qualified clients with the knowledge and skills to train their own service Dogs. There will be in class sessions, as well as, outings to such places as; Hardware store, Supermarket, Mall, Park, or Restaurant to practice what is learned in class and apply it to real world scenarios.

This follows the same model that Buckeye Service Dogs (BSD) in Ohio has used successfully since 2016. I have been personally trained by the owner Christy Talbert and just graduated from BSD’s Co-Train Instructors Academy.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Co-Train program?

  • 14 years or older.

  • A letter from health professional stating your diagnosis and need for a service dog.  

  • Submit an application

  • Have an assessment appointment to determine if you are a good candidate for the program.​

  • Dog must pass an evaluation to be accepted.

  • If you do not have an acceptable dog, SSD will provide the instruction and guidance to help select the right dog for you and the services you require. (*Do Not adopt a dog without consultation)

  • You must live in the St. John's area and/or be willing to travel weekly for 15 weeks to participate in Co-Train classes.

  • Unless other arrangements are made in advance, the program fee must be paid in full at the beginning of the course.

Buckeye Service Dogs Co-Train Program

Video from Buckeye Service Dogs

 

What are the benefits of Co-Train?

FEE REDUCTION.  The average cost of a psychiatric service dog trained by Buckeye Service Dogs in Ohio is $20,000 USD.  Because Co-Train clients will house their own dogs, do the majority of the training, the program can be offered for $5000.  

Other Benefits:

  • First program of it's kind to be offered in Newfoundland.

  • If the client’s pet passes our evaluation, it can be trained to become a service dog.

  • If the participant does not have a suitable dog, SSD will provide the instruction and guidance to help select the right dog. (Please do not choose a dog without consultation)

  • Clients experience a satisfaction and sense of empowerment as they train their own dogs.

  • A safe and supportive environment, surrounded by people with similar disabilities and challenges.

  • A support person (friend or family) is welcome to be part of the process.

  • Upon graduation, Co-Train students will receive a diploma from SSD stating you have completed the class and your dog meets the legal criteria for a service dog.

  • Graduates will be invited to all SSD public outings and events. During these outings you can receive ongoing instruction or follow-up help with your dog.  You will also enjoy meeting other clients, socializing and swapping dog stories.


What are Psychiatric Service Dogs?
These dogs are trained to perform specific tasks that assist in the management of severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD and more.

What does a psychiatric service dog do

Video from Buckeye Service Dogs

If you're thinking about getting a service dog, or perhaps trying to help someone you know, we've put together the perfect guide for you on “Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Service Dog”.

Co-Train Service Dog Application

Apply here online