Canines for Service teaching how to train service dogs

Folks attend Canines for Service open house in Wilmington (Photo: Sarah Johnson/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Canines for Service is launching a trainer program to teach people how to train service dogs.

The program will provide classroom and hands-on experience to teach people how to train service dogs, covering everything from selecting a shelter dog to partnering the service dog with a client, according to a news release.

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The 18-month long program guides students with their assigned service dogs through basic, intermediate, and advanced training.

Students will learn about basic health and grooming of the service dogs in training, socialization training and state and federal access laws. The program modules also cover working with clients and teaching others how to train a service dog.  It is a comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare someone to work in the service dog training industry.

“Canines for Service continues to grow and teaching others all-encompassing skills for training service dogs is essential as the demand for service dogs increase”, says Rick Hairston, President and CEO of Canines for Service.   “There are many short seminars and programs offered on various topics of service dog training and only one multi-year curriculum on the west coast.  The CFS Trainer Program provides for an educational need that has not been met in the service dog industry.”

Since 2008 Canines for Service has been teaching others the essentials of service dog training.   The training curriculum was approved by the Southern Conferences of Community Colleges when operating in the Camp Lejeune Brig.  From 2010 to 2015 the curriculum was approved as a United States Department of Labor Apprenticeship program.  The launch of the CFS Trainer Program provides for a vocational job training in a tuition based program.

Enrollment is now open for the July 2017 class of students. Each class will be limited  to maximize the experience for each student.  Veterans may be recommended and sponsored by a Veterans organization.

For more information, call (910) 362-8181 or visit