The Process

The application process can be as easy as 1, 2, 3!
 Please Note: We do not train dogs that are not chosen by our training team.  
But first:
For Pet Dogs please see our Pet Dog Training Page
    Are you thinking about adding a service dog to your life?  Start by asking yourself a few questions and doing the research.  What is my lifestyle and would a four
furring living being fit into it?  Do
some reading, a list of books can be found on our Shop and Support Sunstone Service Dogs page.  If you know anyone who works with a service dog talk to them about how the dog helps,  What are the responsibilities and the wonderful benefits.  If you would like to be connected with a classmate to talk about living with a service dog email
    Then, contact Sunstone Service Dogs and talk to the trainers. Also understand that if you choose to train your own dog you will need to attend weekend classes for 2 years. This means you get the 4th weekend off each month, but one weekend day each month must be put aside to train your dog.  Classes are fun and our 3rd class is a field trip! 2 years is a long time, please be SURE you are ready to make that commitment.  There is an option for a fully trained dog and a two week intensive placement course at the end of the dog's training with the program.  However understand that it takes 2 years to train a service dog. THERE WILL BE A WAIT while your dog is trained.  We do our best to have dogs available who have been raised by puppy raisers, however since this is done at our cost until these dogs are assigned to a client (shout out to the puppy raisers! who pay for food and toys, and give SO much of their time and love!!) The availability of these dogs will very. Most likely we will have to choose a puppy to meet your needs at 8 weeks old.
1. Fill out and return the application. Ask your doctor to fill out the scrip recommending the use of a service dog. Then have your in person interview. The interview helps us determine the kind of dog and the skills it will need to learn.
2. Think about the costs. We offer a sliding scale, for more details contact us. We make no profit from this at all. All of our workers do this for free. We also provide continued training support and advice at no charge for our clients for the life of the dog and often beyond. Apart from that a dog is a living being and needs high quality food, vet care and toys throughout their lives.   
3. Get matched with your dog and start classes!

    The breeds we work with very depending on the clients needs.  Most commonly Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, Labradoodle, St. Bernards and more.
A golden retriever next to a person holding a papioun, next to a sheperd, infront of a woman useing a power wheelchair sits a labredoodle and next to him is a black lab 
    Every dog in our program earn at least five "Special Skill Awards" to graduate.  All dogs need to pass their Canine Good Citizen (C.G.C.), Public Access Test (P.A.T.) and a working retrieve of dropped or wanted items.  The other SSA may be any skill the client needs just a few examples are: wheelchair pulling, balance work, obstacle avoidance or turning lights on and off.  On the right side of the Sunstone Service Dog vest is an area to display with patches how far the dog has come in the program.  The left side has the Sunstone Service Dogs logo and on the back is a patch that says "Service Dog in Training."   Upon graduation a vest that says "Service Dog" is awarded the team.                                       

Sunstone Service Dogs will not discriminate against any director, officer, employee, applicant or participant on the basis of, but not limited to: sex, race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, sexual preference, gender identification or national origin.