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Academy Trained

Service Dogs

See if you can benefit from one of our highly-skilled service dogs.

To get started, please review our minimum eligibility requirements.


  1. Have been under the regular care of at least 1 physician for a minimum of 1 year for your condition(s).

  2. Taking all appropriate measures to monitor and mitigate your condition(s), yet still be experiencing difficulty.

  3. Be 18 years or older OR have the support of a legal guardian.  

  4. Be physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of handling a medium/large breed dog.

  5. Able to be financially responsible for the service dog after placement from SSDI.

  6. Live in a smoke-free environment

  7. Able to give a dog a minimum of 40 minutes of aerobic exercise daily.

  8. Have read the following pages on our website to learn more about us: 

Learn more about our Academy Trained Service Dogs



  1. Academy dogs are owned by SSDI in perpetuity.

  2. Academy dogs live with SSDI fosters and trainers during their training.

  3. Academy dogs are matched with clients at SSDI’s sole discretion.

  4. Academy dogs must be cared for following SSDI standards.

  5. Academy dogs are donated free of charge, however maintenance costs apply (~$300/month) 



An Academy Trained service dog from SSDI means that SSDI obtains, trains and matches our own dogs with clients in need. ​


In this option SSDI retains ownership of the dog in perpetuity. This option is recommended for clients who are not able to be a part of the training process.  


All Academy dogs are placed for a trial period of at least 6 months to ensure the dog can effectively mitigate aspects of the handler's disability and can adapt to the client's daily routine. During the 6 month trial period these clients must complete our Handler Training Program, Service Dog Training Program with the dog, and Team Training. All teams must pass SSDI's Public Access Test at the end of the 6 month trial period.

Please take a look at our application process. (applications currently closed Apr 2023)


  1. Read and complete our Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  2. Request Academy Dog Information (below)

  3. Submit an Application

  4. Receive an Application Assessment from us

  5. Have a Phone Interview

  6. Complete Phase 0 with our trainers

  7. Receive a Determination Letter

  8. Wait for Match!

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