How do I know the service dog is well trained?
Updated: Jan 8, 2018
The first thing to require is credentials. The trainer will have been professionally trained themselves. Training dogs is much more complex that having a dog and teaching it to sit and lay down on command. So ask the person that has trained the dog where they went to school and ask to see the proof. Good dog trainers are usually certified and members of more than one organization related to the well-being of dogs and the teaching processes required to be a professional.
If the trainer is qualified then it is time to witness the trained dog. Ask to see in person all the commands the dog has been taught. Many will have videos of the dog doing a couple dozen tasks but seeing it in-person is critical because you want to know the dog is able and willing to perform on every day not just some days.
Lastly, the dog trainer should be willing to help transition the dog into your home environment. This can take 2-3 weeks, with a couple hours per visit, about 2-3 times weekly. This will also allow the receipient/new dog owner to learn the commands and capabilities of the dog.