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Service Dog Training in Grand Rapids


Dog Training Elite West Michigan Near You

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Over the past decade there has been a rise in the number of people with Emotional Support Animals. This has caused some confusion around what it means to have a service, emotional support or therapy animal . Here, we explain briefly the differences between each of these animals, the training required for each different type, and debunk some common myths. Read on to learn the differences between each type of animal, which one might be right for you or your loved one, and how Dog Training Elite West Michigan can help.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan offers top rated autism service dog training near you in Grand Rapids.


Not all training packages may be available at our Dog Training Elite West Michigan location, please reference our pricing page for complete information on services offered.


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In-Home Dog Trainers Near You in Grand Rapids

Dog Training Elite West Michigan is proud to have professional autism service dog trainers near you in Grand Rapids.

ESA vs. Therapy vs. Service Animals: What's the Difference?


Service animals are animals that have been trained to assist individuals with tasks specific to their needs.

  • Redirecting attention when an individual is beginning to feel overstimulated
  • Reminding owners to take medication
  • Waking someone who is having a nightmare

Service dogs are valued in the mental health, health care and disability community and are protected under ADA laws which allow owners to take their service dog with them everywhere they go. Dog Training Elite West Michigan trains dogs to serve individuals with autism, diabetes and PTSD.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan trains autism service dogs to benefit and assist children with autism. Autism service dogs can be trained to track their child in case of wandering and redirect a child’s behavior when they are starting to become overwhelmed.

PTSD service dogs help ground owners to reality, especially in public settings. These service dogs can also be trained to recognize signs of a panic attack and regulate emotional responses through pressure.

Diabetic service dogs can alert their owners to their low blood sugar and provide stability, safety and support.

Visit our individual web pages to understand more about the differences and benefits of autism service dogs, PTSD services dogs and diabetic service dogs.

Although all dog owners may feel the emotional benefits of owning a dog, the dog needs to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness such as anxiety or depression to legally be considered an ESA. Emotional Support dogs can be of any age and any breed whereas service dogs usually begin training as puppies.

In addition to being prescribed by a mental health professional, owners may wish for their dog to undergo more specific training. If you are looking for emotional support dog training in your local area, Dog Training Elite West Michigan has you covered.

The professional dog trainers of Dog Training Elite West Michigan are experienced with training various types of therapy animals. Trainers work with a dog’s natural temperament to ensure a strong, loving bond between dog and owner. Training can be personalized to fit the needs of the owner.

It is important to note that Emotional Support Animals are meant for just that - emotional support. Dogs trained to assist with specific tasks that may be associated with a disability are service animals. Training a dog to be an Emotional Support Animal or a therapy dog is less intensive than training to be a service animal.

Therapy Animals are very similar to Emotional Support Animals, except that they are often used to bolster the mental health and wellbeing of a community, as opposed to just an individual. Therapy dogs are often seen serving in hospitals, rehabilitation or care centers with their owners.

Owners who feel their dog may be a good fit for this kind of community service can have them receive top-notch training from Dog Training Elite West Michigan.

The most important thing to note as a difference between Emotional Support Animals, Therapy and Service dogs, is service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act which states service animals must be able to accompany their owners wherever they go. Emotional Support and Therapy animals do not have the same protections and public establishments may have their own rules about ESA and therapy dogs.

Whether you’re ready to get a new lease on life with the help of a service dog, or strengthen the existing bond with your dog, Dog Training Elite West Michigan has the experience and resources you need.

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 West Michigan 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.

Personalized

We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.

Environment Specific

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

Supportive

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

Involved

We work with all members of the household.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 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!

We hired Carrie to train our 3 year old chocolate lab Brody. She has done an amazing job! She took the time to get to know our family and worked with us on creating a customized plan that fit our needs. Our dog has responded really well to the training. He is listening better, not jumping as much and is learning to heel. We appreciate Carrie’s hard work and dedication, you can tell she truly loves what she does. We still have a few more training sessions to go and are excited to continue to see the great progress.
— Kristin Howarth
Posted June 8th 2024
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Dog Training Elite, specifically our trainer Carrie, has provided amazing customer service, dependability, solutions, and empowerment 100% of the time. Carrie has been working with us and our dog Panchito for the last month or so and all I can say is, “wow!” Her experience, wisdom, and patience shows every session. Our anxious and nervous rescue pup has come so far so fast. Although this is a costly service, the mental sanity that is provided with her direction and guidance is priceless. Every day still has its challenges, but we see improvements day after day with Panchito. His confidence has risen and anxiety is melting away. I would 100% recommend DTE to others and would happily call upon their services again if needed.
— Mitch Mileski
Posted March 23rd 2024
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Our dog Echo and our family had an amazing experience with Dog Training Elite. Carrie's expertise and dedication to helping Echo learn and grow were truly impressive. She took the time to understand Echo's unique needs and tailored the training sessions to suit her and us perfectly. Under Carrie's guidance, Echo made significant progress in her puppy training. I highly recommend Dog Training Elite and Carrie to anyone looking for exceptional dog training services."
— Meghan Arnson
Posted March 19th 2024
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Wallace, my nine month old English Cream Golden Retriever, and I just completed all of our individual obedience classes with Carrie. Her reassurance and patience is exactly what I need and has helped me learn how best to communicate and guide Wallace. We are excited to continue working with Carrie as Wallace moves into training to become my service dog. It has been worth every penny and I know will change my life forever.
— Josie Van Dam
Posted February 14th 2024
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Wallace, my nine month old English Cream Golden Retriever, and I just completed all of our individual obedience classes with Carrie. Her reassurance and patience is exactly what I need and has helped me learn how best to communicate and guide Wallace. We are excited to continue working with Carrie as Wallace moves into training to become my service dog. Worth every penny!
— Josie Van Dam
Posted February 14th 2024
google
I cannot say enough good things about Dog Training Elite. They have taken our puppy who we recently rescued who was ‘skidish’, food deprived, neglected and locked in a cage for the first 7 months of her life and given her confidence, hope, and inspiration to want to please her humans. It is so sweet to see how happy it makes her to know what is expected of her and the pride she has for her learned obedience. This company is so special. You can see the love and compassion they have for their dogs and their humans! I have and will continue to recommend them to anyone who wants to form a special connection with their dog through this training that only this company could have provided for us!!
— Angela Toms
Posted February 2nd 2024
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I am beyond happy with Dog Training Elite West Michigan! My expectations have been met and by far exceeded with this training style. We have 3 dogs, 2 that we “trained” with “traditional” treat based systems and when there’s not treats, there’s no obedience. This style of training is fantastic! Not only does your fur baby learn, you do as well. The bond that you get to have with this style of training is amazing. For anyone that is skeptical or thinks that this isn’t worth the time or money, YOU’RE WRONG! Best money I have ever spent! Not only do you get the expertise with the package you pick, you get care, compassion and understanding to help you through with what you’re trying to accomplish with your dog. After only 4 in home trainings, my family took our fur baby to a crowded, loud, and rambunctious atmosphere, and our pup did amazing. So much so that a ton of people came up to us and complimented how well our pup was doing! The best feeling ever is to be able to take your fur baby with you and not have to worry about anything! There is not enough space or time to say how amazing this company is. Carrie, the owner, takes her time, helps you understand the training, but also tailors each lesson to suit you and your dogs style. Our fur baby has so much confidence, pride and self affirmation, which she has gained through this training process! 10 out of 10 would recommend to anyone who has a dog that wants help with training!!!!!!!
— Drew John
Posted February 2nd 2024
facebook
I am beyond happy with Dog Training Elite West Michigan! My expectations have been met and by far exceeded with this training. We have 3 dogs, 2 that we “trained” with “traditional” treat based systems and when there’s not treats, there’s no obedience. This training is fantastic! Not only does your fur baby learn, you do as well. The bond that you get to have with this training is amazing. For anyone that is skeptical or thinks that this isn’t worth the time or money, YOU’RE WRONG! Best money I have ever spent! Not only do you get the expertise with the package you pick, you get care, compassion and understanding to help you through with what you’re trying to accomplish with your dog. After only 4 in home trainings, my family took our fur baby to a crowded, loud, and rambunctious atmosphere, and our pup did amazing. So much so that a ton of people came up to us and complimented how well our pup was doing! The best feeling ever is to be able to take your fur baby with you and not have to worry about anything! There is not enough space or time to say how amazing this company is. Carrie, the owner, takes her time, helps you understand the training, but also tailors each lesson to suit you and your dogs style. Our fur baby has so much confidence, pride and self affirmation, which she has gained through this training process! 10 out of 10 would recommend to anyone who has a dog that wants help with training!!!!!!!
— Andrew Tompkins
Posted February 2nd 2024
google
I cannot say enough good things about Dog Training Elite. They have taken our puppy who we recently rescued who was ‘skidish’, food deprived, neglected and locked in a cage for the first 7 months of her life and given her confidence, hope, and inspiration to want to please her humans. It is so sweet to see how happy it makes her to know what is expected of her and the pride she has for her learned obedience. This company is so special. You can see the love and compassion they have for their dogs and their humans! I have and will continue to recommend them to anyone who wants to form a special connection with their dog through this training that only this company could have provided for us!!
— Angela Tompkins
Posted February 2nd 2024
google
DTE has been a godsend for our family. Carrie helped transform our stubborn rambunctious Samoyed into an obedient wonderful dog. No more pulling on the leash during walks and less reactivity. She has continued to improve over the course of our training. We would highly recommend DTE!
— Thomas Eusebio
Posted October 28th 2023
google
Carrie and Jessica are AMAZING to work with and know what they are doing. You can tell they love what they do and it came out in the success of our dog Scout. He is a much happier dog which shows when he’s called and comes running to us, the smile on his face says it all. If you are questioning if this is worth it…trust me when I say IT IS!!!. Thank you to Dog Training Elite West Michigan for everything you have helped us with. We will be forever grateful. We have a new dog and new friends 💙 Bob and Kelly
— Kelly Gagnon
Posted September 8th 2023
google
We have a rather rambunctious chocolate lab puppy. We’ve done other puppy training classes but he would only behave when food was being given as rewards. And he was harder and harder to walk the bigger he got. He was jumping on people and just overwhelming. We’ve had five private classes and already a new lab puppy lives with us. Things are so much better and will just keep getting better. We took him to the beach for the first time yesterday. He was very excited but recall was solid and he didn’t jump on anyone! He loves swimming. What a great investment! Highly recommend to anyone who wants a well behaved dog.
— Heather Ryan
Posted August 13th 2023
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The. Change in our dogs behavior is night and day. I once again love having a puppy in the house!
— Heather Ryan
Posted August 9th 2023
google
Love the program and staff. It is clear they enjoy what they do and care deeply for their human and dog clients alike. I would recommend them if you have any interest in learning to train your dog to be safe, obedient, and polite.
— Melissa Powell-Sheppard
Posted August 9th 2023
google
My pup willow just finished her training and she has never been happier! She is more obedient, and is improving daily. I’d recommend DTE to anyone, even if your dog is well behaved!
— Hannah Wallace
Posted August 9th 2023
google
This was an incredible learning experience for our entire family. It has completely changed our dog and makes life more calm around the house. I would recommend them to everyone!
— Jen Hekkema
Posted August 6th 2023
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Carrie and Jessica are the best! Good boy Jackson is now Very Good Boy Jackson! Invest your time after each class…you will be rewarded.
— Ted Adornato
Posted July 17th 2023
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Carrie is awesome! She cares about the outcome of your training program and wants to be sure your dog AND you have a positive experience. It seems half of dog training is also training the human! We have a 7 year old Australian Shepherd who did absolutely phenomenal with his e-collar training. Carrie truly cares about your dogs' level of obedience and will treat you as one of your own.
— Donald Castro-Conde
Posted July 12th 2023
google
Carrie is an amazing trainer! We’ve received so many complaints about our dog’s behavior since starting DTE. I would highly recommend the program for anyone who is looking for a caring trainer and program that works with both your dog and you!
— Jonathan Seyferth
Posted June 2nd 2023
google
Carrie is amazing! We have owned a few dogs in our lifetime, but chose to reach out to her with our new puppy while she was still in the beginning phases of her training. Carrie is really responsive over email and text, and walks you through pricing and whatever program you choose. She also breaks down her philosophy and makes sure that everyone in the home is comfortable with her training methods before she starts. Carrie is also just so fun to work with and really makes you understand how to correct bad behavior and bond with your dog. I would highly recommend her to any dog lover who is looking to teach their pup good behaviors!
— Hannah McGowan
Posted April 21st 2023
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