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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” Disabilities include mental or physical impairments that affect an individual’s ability to perform one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, etc.). Service dogs are trained to guide and assist such individuals so that they can lead happier, healthier lives.

Because service dogs play such a key role in the life of disabled individuals, they are protected by the law. Places of residence, employment, and commercial facilities cannot discriminate against disabled individuals with service animals. If you are wondering how to get a service dog, you can either purchase a fully trained dog or purchase a service puppy and train it.

Dog Training Elite is proud to have some of the highest rated service dog trainers near you.
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Is A Service Dog The Same As A Therapy Dog?


Many types of working dogs increase the quality of life for their handlers. The three main categories of working dogs are service animal, therapy animal, and emotional support animal. Each category covers different areas of support and different levels of protection under the law.

  • Service Animal

    As mentioned above, service animals assist individuals with disabilities. Depending on the person’s needs, the service animal learns how to perform certain tasks. Guide dogs, for example, help blind individuals safely navigate their environment. Seizure response dogs respond to their handlers when the individual is having a seizure. Service animals are highly trained and specialized, and they are also offered the most protection under the law compared to therapy or emotional support animals.

    Dogs are not the only kinds of service animals - miniature horses, pigs, and monkeys are often trained to support individuals with disabilities!

  • Therapy Animal

    Therapy dogs provide comfort and improve the mental well-being of individuals in hospitals, hospice care, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, and more. These dogs must have a friendly, calm demeanor and be comfortable when handled by strangers. Therapy dogs are not trained to perform specific tasks, but they must be obedient and well-mannered. Therapy animals are permitted in some areas where pets are not, but they have fewer protections than service animals. All therapy dogs must be certified before they can offer their services to the community.

  • Emotional Support Animal

    Emotional support dogs relieve loneliness, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of mental health disorders. They provide comfort to their handlers, but they are not trained to perform specific tasks. Most emotional support animals are sensitive to the emotional changes of their handler and will stay close by at all times. Emotional support animals are not protected by the ADA, but residential buildings must permit emotional support animals.

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 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 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

Dog Training Elite is proud to have the highest rated service dog training programs near you.

What Can Service Dogs Do?


Service dogs are a great help to disabled individuals thanks to their incredible ability to perform highly specialized tasks, like opening doors, switching lights on and off, assisting with balance and stability, guiding, pulling wheelchairs, answering phones and making calls, finding objects or places, unloading and loading items, clearing rooms, finding help, and many more. Service dogs improve the lives of disabled individuals by increasing their autonomy.

Individuals with certain diseases and disorders can benefit from a highly trained service dog. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and they can detect the chemical changes associated with oncoming seizures and increases in blood pressure. Alert service dogs alert their handler to these situations to prevent a life-threatening emergency. Alert dogs also help those with extreme allergies detect potential allergens in food.

Disabled or epileptic individuals are more prone to emergencies than the average person. Service dogs are trained to alert their handler to a potential emergency, and alert surrounding individuals to an active emergency. Service dogs can also call for help on pre-programmed phones.

Service dogs trained to assist handlers with severe anxiety or depression will perform specific tasks that reduce the potential for panic attacks or self-harm attempts. Such tasks include deep-pressure therapy, tactile stimulation, alerting, clearing rooms, blocking strangers from approaching, and more. Service dogs trained to assist those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have greatly improved the lives of many veterans .

Service dogs also make a big impact on the lives of children with autism. Children with autism are often prone to meltdowns, have trouble communicating, and are quick to run off or become easily lost. Service dogs prevent and mediate all of these behaviors to provide a higher quality of life for children with autism and their families.

As autism is a spectrum disorder, each child has varying needs of assistance. Autism service dogs perform the following tasks:

  • Tracking
    Children with autism often wander away, and a parent’s worst fear is turning their back for just a moment and then discovering their child is gone. Autism service dogs will track the child if this ever happens.
  • Tethering
    This task minimizes wandering, which is common in public settings. The child is tethered to the service dog’s leash or harness, preventing him or her from wandering away.
  • Behavior Interruption
    Repetitive and ritualistic behaviors are typical of autistic children, as are meltdowns when the child becomes overstimulated. Autism service dogs recognize these negative behaviors and redirect the child’s attention when they start. A simple paw or nudge is all it takes to prevent a meltdown.

From physically assisting disabled individuals to reducing the symptoms of mental illness, service dogs are incredible companions. If you want to get a service dog, please contact us for more information!

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!

It has been a great experience working with dog training elite (especially Trevor). Roman (my doberman) used try to pull me down the street when we took him for a walk. Now I can run with him and he stays right beside me. I can even walk him without a leash and he stays right at my side. All their staff have been great to work with!
— alejo sanchez
Posted May 21st 2022
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My sweet mini Golden Doodle, Sadie, had 5 in home training sessions with 4 different Elite trainers.They were all fantastic! My dog and I learned Come, Sit, Place, Down, Heel and Off. This is magic! Sadie loved the learning and I was relieved to be guided into being a calm and consistent dog Mama. We practice every day and I love the ease this approach has brought into our lives. I highly recommend Dog Training Elite. Sadie and I can’t wait for the group classes.
— Theresa Holleran
Posted May 21st 2022
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The team at DTE Denver all really value the relationship between dogs and their owners!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 17th 2022
google
DTE is great! They really helped to work on my dogs leash aggression. Very knowledgeable and can tell they love dogs!
— Katie Petri
Posted May 14th 2022
google
We had a great experience with Dog Training Elite. We worked mostly with Salena and our puppy loved her. Trainings were effective and they gave us all the tools to reinforce everything she learned. They were awesome to work with and our puppy learned so much.
— Sara James
Posted May 9th 2022
google
DTE has completely changed our family dynamics with our puppy Ned. We were hesitant about using an e-collar at first, but after completing the training we would do it all over again. We wanted Ned to be trained well enough so that we could take him everywhere we go without added stress. Walks are more enjoyable without him pulling to get ahead, no more table surfing, and he actively listens to us on the first command. Highly recommend DTE, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. They answered all of our questions and explained every aspect of the training. Jason was great to work with!
— Ellen Claire Tipp
Posted May 6th 2022
google
We have had such a great experience with Dog Training Elite. We've had three different trainers work with our very anxious 2 year old boxer. When we started we couldn't safely walk him. We have now walked to a park full of kids, scooters, and people and he held a down! Money well spent!
— Jodi Parker
Posted May 5th 2022
google
DTE was recommended by a friend who was using them. After letting her know my pup was having issues playing with other dogs, she let me know how effective they have been with their dogs. I was hesitant because of the price point, but these are skills my pup will use for the rest of her life, so I decided to take the chance. Having them come for individualized sessions and teaching was key for me. But then the follow up of group classes would be the deal sealer. Communication before and after the sessions was/is a bit lacking, but if you really needed to be in touch, someone would get back to you quickly...within the day. I look forward to continuing the training with her 16 group classes! I gave a 4 at this point because we're really only a quarter of the way through the training.
— Valerie Silberman
Posted May 5th 2022
google
Snowie has learned so much! We loved the in home training as well as the group classes! Evan was so awesome with her!
— Jamie Bryan
Posted April 30th 2022
google
Colleen was amazing! She walked us through training our 3 Brittany’s. There is a remarkable positive improvement in both their demeanor and behavior. Two of them are rescues that endured previous abuse. Colleen helped us work through their fears and insecurity.
— Maureen Evans
Posted April 28th 2022
google
We have been in training since Jan 2022. It is amazing how with the right tools your dog will shine. We have a golden lab, hes 7 months old, he is being trained for a service dog for my grandson. Matt and his trainers have been awesome with him. He is doing things that are amazing to watch. When you see a puppy turn into an obedient dog its a wonderful feeling. We are in the adolescent stage so yes it gets rough but so worth it when he shows off and does an awesome job. I see our experience going forward to be hard work but Matt and all of his trainers will be right by our side as we get to our goal. Thank you guys so much for taking care of our future worker!
— Bobbie Schoonover
Posted April 28th 2022
google
We have an Australian English Shepherd Mix who was incredibly aggressive to the point we couldn't have guests over to our house. DTE worked with her and by the end was letting the trainers give her belly rubs. We really couldn't believe it. At the beginning of the program that never would have happened. We had reservations in the beginning about using an ECollar, however, our dog now wags her tail and gets excited when we grab it from the counter. She truly is a different dog and I can't recommend DTE enough!
— Megan Newcomer
Posted April 26th 2022
google
Evan, with Dog Training Elite, is THE BEST! I recently moved to Utah and wanted to continue training with my 3-year-old GSD. She was still having some reactivity issues that I couldn't get to the root of. During our consult, Evan pointed out behaviors that both myself and my girl were doing that created miscommunication between us. After 5 sessions, we solidified her obedience and established clear communication between both her and myself. I'm confident as her leader and love that she checks and frequently! Evan introduced a new training tool that works for both her and I! Her reactivity has greatly improved from where it was. Sessions with Evan were fun, safe, and he always explained the 'why's' behind what we were doing. The group classes are amazing and have challenged us to grow as a team, continuing to build on what we learned during training! Everyone at DTE has been fantastic! My girl is calmer, more confident, and our relationship is even stronger all thanks to Evan and DTE!
— Sarah Ann
Posted April 25th 2022
google
Dog Training Elite is absolutely amazing. It has been a wonderful experience from the very start. All of the trainers are incredibly knowledgeable and willing to help with anything we need. In just a few months, we've seen a major transformation with our rambunctious 2-year old Aussie/Lab mix, Maho, thanks to everyone at Dog Training Elite. We are so appreciative and happy we sought out help from this organization!
— Whitney Sayre
Posted April 22nd 2022
google
If you’re reading this review, you’re probably wondering if elite dog training is going to be worth it for you. So let me share my story to help you make your decision.. Two months ago I decided to bring home a lab puppy: Mocha. This was my first dog ever. It was not an impulsive decision- I had done my research and had given it much thought and preparation. I was ready. But, oh boy, was I wrong about that. I was so not prepared for what came next! Weeks of sleepless nights (The little ball of fuzzy cuteness turned into a relentless all night barking machine after dark) Potty training. Crate training. Off! Don’t bite people! And then the walks.. Mocha was an uncontrollable force of nature, even at 10 weeks old, to the point of literally choking herself. I tried all the YouTube videos. Bought half of Amazon’s collars, leashes and devices that promised miracles. Nothing worked. Three weeks into this I realized I needed help. And this is when I found Elite Dog Training. I signed up for the Gold package with the 5 in house training sessions and hands down this was the best decision I ever made (after getting this cute puppy in the first place). Evan did all 5 sessions and he was absolutely amazing. Mocha adores him. She’ll do just about anything to hear him say “Yes!” Each session was partially her learning something new and partially training me on how to continue teaching her. It was magic! I didn’t realize how easy this was going to be. After only 2 sessions my life had already gotten significantly better. After 4 sessions , random people stopped me on walks to ask me how I got my puppy so well behaved. We just completed the 5th in house session and I have a really happy puppy, who is very proud of herself for having learned these things. After Evan left, she came over to show me again what she had just learned - wagging her little tail while she did every command without hesitation, her little puppy face lighting up knowing she got them all right. So..Today, when the doorbell rings, she goes to her “place” and sits down. When we walk around the neighborhood she heels and walks beside me - and then when we get to the park she can “break” and run on a longer leash and go do fun dog stuff . In the dog park she can run off leash and play with other dogs and when I call “here!” , she stops whatever she is doing, comes running and sits in front of me. She sits and lays down when asked to. We can walk past people and most dogs without her going ballistic (even when the other dogs are out of control) Being in training was also helping her to understand other things in her routine. So although not part of her training, she stopped barking during the night and she can be by herself for a couple of hours without barking up the neighborhood. And oh yeah …She figured out what drop it! means (must have for lab puppies that literally pick every piece of trash on the street). … Did I mention that she’s not even 5 months old yet ? So yeah… it was more than worth it! Every pet owner needs Evan in their lives. We can’t wait to get started on our 6 months of group training!
— Gudrun Bonte
Posted April 7th 2022
google
Charmone really knows her stuff! She is a professional and gets the desired results!
— Jasmine Garland
Posted April 4th 2022
google
All the people working in the San Antonio facilities were amazing! I highly recommend this group to anyone in need of dog training and already have!
— Jacquelyn Davis
Posted March 31st 2022
google
DTE was a blessing to myself and my dog! They have great communication skills and our meeting reminders were really helpful for my schedule! All of the trainers had a great amount of patience and Thor is a new dog! I can't wait to join them for group classes!
— Lauren Griswold
Posted March 31st 2022
google
Such a great training experience!! They take the time to come into your home and assess your dog and their needs. Evan Sutton was the best trainer and so patient with my pup. I would recommend to all my friends!
— Brittney Pearson
Posted March 22nd 2022
google
We signed up with DTE and honestly I wasn’t sure how effective they would be. My dog Bo is so anxious and aggressive I never thought we would be able to fully enjoy him. We were assigned Evan and I can’t begin to tell you just how amazing of a person Evan is. Evan connected with Bo and helped him do things I never thought possible. The pic of him next to Evans dog was the first time I have ever had my dog next to another animal that he wasn’t trying to kill. Evan is incredible, kind, caring, and I would recommend him a million times over! Thanks Evan and Bo is such a happier animal because of you. Well worth the money!!!!!
— Erek Winnett
Posted March 18th 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite, 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 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 - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
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Dog Training Elite is the top professional service dog training company in your local area.

How Do I Get A Service Dog?


If you are wondering how to get a service dog, there are a couple of different approaches. Some service dogs are purchased outright, fully trained. Or a compatible dog is selected and trained from an early age. Training a dog from the start is the best option, especially for those with specialized needs.

Training a dog to perform service responsibilities must start from day one. Only certain breeds are suited to service work, and breeders put a lot of time into raising puppies to be service animals. Once you have purchased a service puppy, additional training is necessary to prepare your puppy for life as a service dog. This is a complicated process that involves various steps. Dog Training Elite makes getting a service dog easier with our service dog training program .

Our talented trainers can help select puppies that are prepared for a life of service from well-respected breeders. When these puppies enter the service dog training program they are closely monitored for behavior and temperament and can be fully obedience trained by the age of six months. These puppies undergo extensive socialization and additional training to ensure they are well-suited for service and therapy needs including specialized service training alongside the new handler.

This program is ideal for handlers who want to take part in the developmental years and extensive training of their service puppy.

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