Service Dog Training in Des Moines

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Service Dog Training Near You

What makes a dog a service dog? Who can have a service dog, and why? We answer all these questions and more, as well as explain what sets Dog Training Elite Des Moines apart from any other dog training service.

Dog Training Elite Des Moines offers top rated service dog training near you in Des Moines.

Dog Training Elite Des Moines is proud to have professional service dog trainers near you in Des Moines.

Service Dog Training FAQs

Service dogs are dogs that have been specially trained to assist their handler or owner with specific tasks. Dog Training Elite Des Moines trains dogs to assist people with epilepsy, diabetes, PTSD, autism, and various mental illnesses.

Service dogs are for any individual dealing with a disability that lowers their quality of life. For example, someone who suffers from epilepsy may avoid going out in public due to a fear of falling or other consequences related to seizures. This may inhibit their independence and sense of well-being.

In addition to improving the lives of individuals, service dogs can bring a sense of security to families, such as families with autistic children. Children with autism can often feel isolated and a service dog becomes a 24/7 companion to share experiences with, connect with and love. They can also help children reintegrate into society and connect with others.

Families who have children with autism experience a decrease in stress as they are more able to engage socially in public settings and experience less anxiety at home. A service dog increases safety and has a calming presence that can minimize emotional outbursts, allowing the family to feel more secure and a child with autism to better participate in family activities.

Service dogs are for all individuals or families that are experiencing a decrease in quality of life due to disability.

Service dog training begins with puppies. Dog Training Elite Des Moines’s service puppy training program works with breeders to adopt puppies that are fully obedience trained by six months and are ready to undergo extensive socialization and additional training to ensure they are well-suited for service and therapy needs.

Then, Dog Training Elite Des Moines places puppies with families or individuals. Further specialized service training takes place alongside the new handler. It generally takes 1-2 years for a service dog to become fully trained.

Service dog training focuses on two main areas: public access behaviors, and how to “do work or perform tasks” that assist with a disability.

Public access behaviors refer to how a service dog acts in public - well-trained service dogs remain calm in public situations and in turn help their handlers to stay calm, and are attuned to any other handler needs.

As for “do work or perform tasks,” the ADA requires that service dogs be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability.

For example, to assist handlers with PTSD, Dog Training Elite Des Moines trains dogs to de-escalate anxiety, wake handlers experiencing night terrors, and so on.

The ADA does not require special certification for service animals. State and local government agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry. Mandatory registration of service animals in the city of residence is also not permissible under the ADA.

However, service animals are not exempt from local animal control or public health requirements, such as vaccinations, or local dog licensing and registration requirements.

Dog Training Elite Des Moines sets itself apart from other dog training methods by focusing on positive reinforcement with a personalized, in-home approach. This method empowers owners and handlers to be an integral part of the process for sustained dog obedience and service training. For service dogs especially, it is important that handlers be present and involved every step of the way.

The positive reinforcement approach, also referred to as “Classical Conditioning” or the “Pavlovian” model has shown to be more effective with longer lasting results than any other training method.

Dog Training Elite Des Moines does not use punishments or shock collars to break bad habits. Instead, Dog Training Elite Des Moines pairs positive reinforcement training with a vibration electronic collar. An electronic collar is not a shock collar and does not harm the dog. It is used to gain the dog’s attention, similar to a tug on a leash. It is never used as a punishment for bad behavior.

Another unique aspect of training with Dog Training Elite Des Moines is that while most dog training programs train dogs at their own facilities, Dog Training Elite Des Moines specializes in in-home training, customizing training to the dog, its owners and its environment for long-lasting success.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Training takes time, commitment and balance and Dog Training Elite Des Moines is there every step of the way. With Dog Training Elite Des Moines, dogs will learn the highest level of obedience, even in the face of the toughest level of distractions. The positive-reinforcement method focuses on encouraging good behavior through ongoing praise, creating a dog that wants to please from the inside out and creating deep-rooted, sustained obedience as well as a strong bond between dog and owner.

Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.

Dog Training Elite Des Moines is the top company near you that uses professional positive dog training methods.
Empowering Owners

We empower owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.


We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.

Environment Specific

We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).


We support owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").


We work with all members of the household.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 15 min/day follow-up practice.

Continued Training

Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.

Lifetime Investment

We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.

Satisfaction Ratings

Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

See Our Pricing

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

I have had the best experience training Milo from day one. I'm a first time pup owner and wanted a well behaved dog that I could take anywhere with no worries. We have gotten so much more than this from Dog Training Elite Des Moines! At the beginning, they gave Milo and I extra care coming to our home to work one-on-one. This helped make huge advances in his training. We switched to group classes where he's learned how to be a well behaved pup with other dogs and people around. Milo and I enjoyed our experience so much, I looked into Therapy Dog Training. About a year and a half later, Milo is getting ready to test to become certified. It is all thanks to the care, time, and continued personalized focus Jack, Cannady, and Morgan have provided us. I could not speak more highly! Would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for dog training!!
— Sarah Meyer
Posted October 2nd 2022
Morgan was amazing and very thorough with us. She made sure we felt comfortable with training before she left. Also they make themselves available anytime we need them.
— April Page
Posted September 13th 2022
Jack has trained by dog since she was a puppy and made an incredible difference in her obedience and her overall demeanor. Jack is patient and a natural at what he does. He talks through the entire process and thoroughly explains the training technique, each step of the way. Jack and Cannady are both very professional and attentive to you and your animals needs. My puppy is now a certified therapy dog and I couldn't have done it without Jack and Cannady! They are the best!
— Rebecca Schroeder
Posted September 6th 2022
Great trainers who are flexible in training. I am in a wheelchair and am training a service dog and Dog Training Elite was extremely helpful modifying the training and even had a trainer work one on one with my dog in group since I couldn’t train in the grass. Very happy with the training my service dog is getting.
— Tom Ostwald
Posted August 24th 2022
I have enjoyed working with Dog Training Elite. They are very knowledgeable, and have given us the tools to best train our dog. We have seen huge improvements with our dog over the last 4 months.
— Brittni Pierce
Posted August 24th 2022
They did a fantastic job with my baby bella during the day stay program. The transformation from crazy puppy to well-trained dog was incredible. Some behaviors that were difficult for us, like jumping on people, and walking on a leash. Pickup and drop off were seamless and they did a thorough job of explaining the process in the beginning and an excellent tutorial of how to keep up the training at the end of the training session, and we have a blast at the group sessions that you receive after, just a great atmosphere and great people
— Rob Sirfus
Posted August 18th 2022
Awesome program and I highly recommend DTE. The results are well worth the investment! Must get the VA teamed with the program.
— Brett Hora
Posted August 18th 2022
My pup, Fergus and I started with DTE Des Moines not quite a year ago. I had started on his basic obedience on my own, but unlike other dogs I’ve trained, I needed this one to be a cardiac alert service dog for myself. I was not willing to train with punishment rather than positive reinforcement and refused other trainers because of the use of inhumane shock collars as correction. DTE uses an e-collar that vibrates to get the dogs attention, but never to punish. Ever. I put the collar on myself more than once and adjusted the vibrations to know exactly how it feels. It does not hurt the dog in any way, so I moved forward. Fergus is a mix of 2 breeds that are not known for having good sniffers, as needed for cardiac alert training, but our trainer said, “I’ll never give up on a dog. Fergus might be able to do it , and we can try if you want to put in the time and move forward”. Wow! Complete honesty at the risk of losing a potential client! So, 10 months ago we started scent training while also teaching what he needs to know to be capable in any public setting. It turns out his nose is good enough! I’m so grateful that DTE Des Moines believes in all dogs and their potential, while giving us the knowledge to work with our dogs daily to build trust and the skills needed to help those of us who need them. They are knowledgeable, patient, kind, encouraging and put a lot of thought into which approaches to take with each unique team to be as successful as possible. Whether you need simple obedience or more advanced work, I can’t recommend them highly enough. You can tell they love what they do, and they do it well! DTE Des Moines, thank you for believing in me and Fergus. We are incredibly grateful!
— Heidi Katzenbach
Posted July 29th 2022
DTE Des Moines has given us the tools to work with our now 8 month old Golden Doodle and enjoy walks, outings, visitors to the house, and other dogs with a well behaved pup. The trainers are extremely knowledgeable and very patient teaching pet owners the techniques. My husband and I signed our pup up for one week training in the office at DTE, Jack came to our home a few weeks later to help us fix some challenges we were having with the heel command, and now we are enjoying the group classes. All we’ve gained through their training has been more than I thought possible and well worth the investment. I recommend DTE Des Moines to everyone I know wanting to work on behaviors with their dog.
— Nancy Walker
Posted June 25th 2022
Cannady and Jack are extremely personable and passionate about helping people improve their relationships with their dogs through quality training that works! They have been fantastic to work with and I wish I could give 10 stars!
— Kyle Christie
Posted May 11th 2022
We are having great success with our puppy, Opie after working with the DTE team. He is learning commands quickly and loves working with the trainers. Opie can be a bit stubborn and I really appreciate all the tips and details the trainers give us to work with this trait. You can tell the DTE staff really cares about the dogs they work with and helping you succeed!
— Brookann Barkley
Posted October 28th 2021
I am just getting started with training for my puppy. I have started the puppy training and very happy so far!
— Rebecca Hopkins
Posted October 12th 2021
We contacted DTE DSM because we were lost with our puppies disobedience and poor behavior. From our free evaluation to our 4 private at home personal lessons, we were given our dog back. She is now a well behaved, confident and happy member of out pack. I don't know who learned more, Rizzo or my daughter and I. We still have our 4 group sessions band I can't wait to see what comes of them. This service was truly the best use of money. I cannot recommend this group higher. Kathryn, Jack and Cannady have given us back our pet with all the tools necessary to enjoy her to the fullest extent. Thank you DTE...Bill Sexton
— William Sexton
Posted August 9th 2021
My beautiful 4 year old dog has been struggling with reactivity for the past year and a half-humans and other dogs. We enlisted another very prominent trainer in Des Moines prior to Elite and truly felt that we were a hopeless case after. The previous trainer was expensive and we had several sessions that each ended with “I don’t know what’s wrong with him.” We were heartbroken. Then we found Elite, and after only three sessions, our boy has been improving 100x over! The trainers have given us clear techniques and instructions and actually LISTEN to our concerns! I literally tear up just thinking about how much more confident I am in my boy now, and only after 3 sessions! No more reactivity on walks and he is already catching on quickly to other commands! I will update this review as we go along, but am SO SO incredibly happy we found these trainers!! Worth every cent!!!
— Kelsey Weltzin
Posted August 3rd 2021
After a few failed efforts at training, DTE finally had a system that worked for me and my easily-distracted, tuggy lab. They are professional and a pleasure to work with.
— June Keith
Posted July 26th 2021
Jack and Kathryn are excellent trainers. Every week they work with our dog Jeter and he is learning so much. I’m so glad we found them. Highly recommend
— Amy Goos
Posted July 26th 2021
From the initial consultation I knew Clary was in good hands for the SD program. Everything was explained very clearly and thorough, and they really care about helping you. I’m excited to get her started in the next couple months!
— Madison Arrasmith
Posted July 7th 2021
When I hired them I thought my dog was a 50/50 chance of being trainable...they are AMAZING!! I believe we have only had 6 sessions and my dog can now go on walks off her leash and be around other dogs without any problems. She was a psychopath before her training with them! We had her on a tow chain in our living room because she would run around our house and destroy EVERYTHING! This dog literally ate a part of my floor and time she even ate a hole in my mattress and I was only gone for aprx 2 minutes! But after only 2 sessions with Jack she was able to be in our house free roaming....she would sit and stay close by more destructive behaviour at all! There's Soo much more I could y but seriously they are the best I could have asked for!
— Bri Jay
Posted June 24th 2021
I would highly recommend Jack and Cannady if you’re looking to get your dog trained. In only a few short sessions with them, our dog Roger was much more controllable. We went from a next to impossible dog to take on walks to a dog that now walks without a leash. The concepts are very simple to learn and with daily trainings, everyone in my house is able to work with Roger.
— Zach Shimp
Posted June 14th 2021
I could not be more impressed with this company and it’s ability to both train and educate clients and their pups! Cannady’s aptitude to listen compassionately to my concerns and her connection with my dog are unmatched; paired with Jack’s professionalism and attention / deep care for the work he does with animals- I am absolutely floored. I saw changes in my dog’s behavior within a week of my first training session, which was absolutely shocking to me. After trying both medication to ease my dog’s severe separation anxiety and another training company for her dog to dog aggression, I was not sure what to expect when starting with DTE.. but these two have supplied me with the tools I need to comfortably go on walks again with my dog and leave her alone in my home without worry. With that, Jack has been nothing but attentive and adaptive to my schedule and happily answers any & all questions I have about my dog and the mechanics of their training method. I 10/10 recommend these two and DTE Des Moines as a whole. You guys are the best!
— Natalie Shimp
Posted June 10th 2021

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite Des Moines, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite Des Moines work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

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Dog Training Elite Des Moines - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
Dog Training Elite Des Moines - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Dog Training Elite Des Moines - AKC Community Canine
Dog Training Elite Des Moines - PRTA Pro
Dog Training Elite Des Moines - IACP Member
Dog Training Elite Des Moines - AKC Member