Service Dog Prep

Service Puppy 2

Program Overview

Puppy Steps For Success

Building on the Puppy Steps Training Program, our Service Dog Prep course is focused on preparing your companion for a life of service to you or your family.  

This course is specially formatted to prepare a puppy for service work, public access and further training to assist their owner with a disability and to generally educate their owner and the public about the rights and responsibilities of service dog handlers in the state of Utah and nationwide.


Program Details and Eligibility

The right puppy for the job

The Puppy Steps Training Service Dog Prep course is a program specifically designed to help your puppy achieve a variety of standards associated with service work.  We created our own program so that we could attend to the varying needs of our clients. 

As a guideline, with the exception of age and handler participation requirements, our Service Dog Prep course prepares your puppy to meet or exceed the standards required to pass:

  • Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test
  • AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification
  • Intermountain Therapy Animals Training Evaluation

Puppies who graduate from the our Service Prep program achieve several standards which are in addition to the test items included in the aforementioned programs. Training standards are the same as those required to graduate from the Puppy Steps Training program, with the following additional tasks:

In a public setting, the puppy must complete the following:

  1. Load and unload in and out of a car while remaining in control & focused on handler
  2. Holds a sit-stay or down-stay and allows petting from at least one adult and one child
  3. Allows someone other than a trainer to pick up and handle ears, face, legs and feet and be brushed calmly without fear or aggression
  4. Sit or stand calmly while handler stops to greet a stranger walking a dog. Puppy must remain in control and show no more than casual interest in the other dog.
  5. Walks through a crowd (at least 3 people) while maintaining a loose leash and attention on handler.
  6. Sits or stands calmly with a stranger while handler walks out of sight for at least 3 minutes.
  7. Remains calm while at least 2 loud distractions occur within 10 feet, such as the clattering of a dropped item, a loud noise, approach of cart or equipment or starting of a motor.


The right temperament is critical to the success of your puppy's life as a service dog. In order to qualify for this program, your puppy must display no signs of aggression or excessive fearfulness towards people or other dogs or puppies while enrolled in our foundations course.

If you are currently searching for a puppy, we'd be happy to discuss puppy selection tips and other helpful information to help you find a the best candidate.


Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

 An emotional support animal or ESA is an animal whose purpose is to provide emotional comfort and support in a home setting. An ESA, which may be recommended by a physician or psychiatrist, has legal protection under the fair housing act, but does not have legal rights to public access and, therefore, would not require training in the PSSP program. 

Because our Service Prep Program is in extremely high demand, we aim to provide our services to those who can most benefit from a service companion.  In order to do so, we require clients who wish to enroll their puppy in this program to attest to Puppy Steps Training or provide evidence, that a documented disability does exist and can be mitigated with the use of a service dog.


Additional Options for Unqualified Candidates

If you, or the family member for whom you are seeking a companion for do not meet these requirements, but still want to pursue the higher level of training this program provides for your companion, check out our Enhanced Skills Boot Camp.  This program provides the similar core training, without the public access components.

Graduation from our Service Prep Program does not certify or register any dog or puppy to be a service animal, as no such registration or certification is required by law or exists under the jurisdiction of federal law. It does, however, prepare the dog to continue in their training to perform a service role as defined in Titles II & III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and meet the handler’s legal obligation to maintain control of the dog in all public places.

Upon completion, the owner will be provided a certificate identifying the puppy as having completed the training standards of our Service Prep Program and, as long as the puppy continues training in individual service tasks, is considered to be a legal service dog.

Puppy owners must acknowledges that the dog’s legal classification of a service animal is dependent on the ability of the dog & handler to demonstrate a specific task which is directly related to the person’s disability and not from any kind of certification or registration. This certification, as any other service dog certification, is to clarify the rights of the Disabled Person under the ADA, prove the owner’s due diligence toward proper training as well as provide evidence of the dog’s high level of obedience training in a public dog in training and entitled to protection according to state laws, which, in the state of Utah is the same protection as that of a fully trained service

Want more detailed info?

Download our free program brochure!  We cover the course, and talk about how to get registered.

Additional Options

Learn About Our Other Training Programs

Puppy Steps | Refresher Training


Many of our clients like to pre-plan for a follow-up training after their new puppy has had time to acclimate to their new home.

We offer special discounted rates to proactive pet parents when you purchase a 2 or 3 week boot camp in conjunction with your foundations course.

Puppy Steps Training | PST Program


This program was designed specifically to help your puppy lay the groundwork for a happy and successful life.  Our program includes:

  • Socialization
  • Manners
  • Obedience
  • Crate/House Training
  • Leash Work
Puppy Steps Training | Enhanced Skills


Looking to build on the foundations course and start off ahead of the game?  Utilizing a Boot Camp as an Enhanced Skills Course is similar to our service prep course, but without a public access component. 

We'll take your puppy's manners, obedience and leash work to the next level.

Let's Talk!

Are you curious to explore how our program can effectively address your concerns and cater to your training needs?

Complete the form on the right or contact us today!