Service Dog Testing

Service Dog Testing

Service dog testing is for people who want to evaluate if a dog they presently own or are considering acquiring could be suitable for service dog work. This service is pretty unique! Google it and see how rare it is. Most service dog trainers only want to work with hand-selected puppies, because it is easier. In contrast, we have the skill, experience, and background to transform any dog that passes the test into a service dog. If your dog is suitable, we can train it for you. As a result, we have a rigorous testing process to evaluate your dog.

The first set of tests we perform are general service dog tests. They assess the general ability of the dog to function as a service dog at home and in public. The second set of tests are service task-specific and vary depending on the service dog tasks you want us to train.

Examples of General Tests:

  • Evaluating the dog’s reaction to new noises. Does the dog startle? How does the dog react? How strong is the reaction? And so on. Sound response is an important part of testing.
  • Testing recovery from startling noises. How fast does the dog recover? Does the dog require help to recover? And so on.
  • Evaluating the dog’s drive. Does the dog lure? Does the dog have persistence? How well does the dog handle frustration? And so on.
  • Assessing learning aptitude. How fast does the dog learn? Is the dog interested in figuring things out? And so on. The ability to learn is a very important part of service dog testing.
  • Testing problem-solving skills. How well can the dog think? Does the dog investigate alternative options for task completion when running into obstacles? And so on.

Examples of Task-Specific Service Dog Tests:

  • Strength: Is the dog strong enough for a potential mobility task?
  • Health: Does the overall health or joint health of the dog allow for a specific stability task?
  • Scent Detection: Is the dog’s nose working well enough for required alerts? Evaluating this skill is essential in most service dog tests.
  • Visual Acuity: Can the dog pick up on required visual cues?
  • And so on.

Finally, take a look at The Giant List of Service Dog Tasks we train.


Services and Area

We are located in Southern California and train service dogs nationwide. Hence, Total K9 Focus currently offers local service dog training in several areas. Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. In addition, we offer our service dog board and train program and all virtual training services nationwide.

Are you looking to get your own service dog? You came to the right place! We are experienced service dog trainers. Consequently, we can help you with any service dog request. For many of our clients, we train a service dog from puppyhood. However, we also evaluate the service dog potential of existing pets or rescue dogs. Our flagship product is our board and train program. In addition, we offer owner-trained service dog support. Further, provide virtual service dog training worldwide.

Further, we can add tasks to an existing service dog you already have. Or help you solve a tasking, training, or behavioral challenge you may face with your current service dog. We offer several service dog financing options to make it possible for you. We recommend you start by reading our article on what makes a good service dog. Next, review the Service Dog Consultation page to understand the high-level process. Finally, once you're ready to move forward, please use our service dog contact form to schedule your free consultation.