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Our Process

1

Preliminary Application

Complete our service dog application.

2

Chat with the Team

Talk with a member of our team about whether a dog from PSDF is right for you.

3

Round 2 Application

Complete our second round application to tell us more about you and your lifestyle.

4

Interview

Virtual home interview and meet and greet with some of the PSDF team.

5

Documentation

Members of your care team fill out a form verifying your eligibility for a service dog.

6

Fundraising

After being accepted to our program, we ask that you begin fundraising a portion of the cost of your service dog to offset the expenses incurred by the organization. Our accepted handlers are expected to raise a minimum of $25,000 toward the cost of their dog. As we grow our program and receive more funding, we hope to bring this cost down. 

7

Dog Selection

Once a dog that is the right fit for your needs passes preliminary behavioral, health, and training testing clients have the opportunity to meet their potential dog and make sure that they are the perfect fit.

8

Individualized Training

Once selected, the dog will spend the next several months to a year refining their skills and learning individualized tasks for their handler.  

9

Placement

One of our trainers will travel to you when the dog is ready for placement. Most of our dogs go to their handlers around two years old, however, if they are doing weight-bearing mobility tasks, their placement will not be until closer to 2.5 years old to allow for structural development. Placement is between one and two weeks long.

Lifetime of Support

10

Our staff is available to our clients as needed for virtual and in-person check-ins as needed throughout the working life of the team. 

Precision's ethics start from day one with our program puppies. Most of our puppies are from breeders. All of our puppies come from parents who have had an echocardiogram (cardiac examination), elbow and hip radiographs,  yearly eye exams, and genetic testing, per the recommendation of the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals. We prioritize temperament and look for breeders who are producing well-rounded, proven puppies. Before deciding to add a puppy to our program, we temperament test each puppy in the litter using the Volhard Aptitude Test. 

 

Each puppy goes to a “puppy raiser” foster home around 8-12 weeks of age where they start learning about the world. During their puppy-raising stage, our program puppies are trained using positive reinforcement methods outlined in our puppy-raising manual. This is where they learn obedience cues, impulse control, leash walking, and other foundational skills. They are safely exposed to sounds, smells, and sights that are developmentally appropriate for their ages. 

 

PSDF pays for all veterinary care for our raisers including vaccinations, well and sick visits, monthly flea-tick and heartworm preventatives, and high-quality food. Our puppies are kept safe by strollers and backpacks provided by Precision until the dogs are fully vaccinated to protect them from dangers such as canine parvovirus. We do this to ensure our puppies are safely, yet adequately socialized during their critical socialization period. 

 

Around one year old, our puppies return to headquarters. They have their hips and elbows examined through radiographs performed by a board-certified veterinary orthopedic specialist, their eyes examined by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, and each dog receives an echo-cardiogram from a board-certified veterinary cardiologist.  

 

Our dogs are kept intact until 18-24 months old as per the most recent research on canine health and development. Females go through at least one heat cycle before they are spayed. 

 

If the dog passes all of their preliminary health testing, they enter formal training with a qualified PSDF trainer. Each dog is required to pass a 3rd party evaluation for stability and earn their Canine Good Citizen and Canine Good Citizen Urban titles in order to progress in our program. If all requirements are met, we fly the dog out to meet their potential future handler. We believe strongly in the handler’s input on their service dog during matching. Our waitlist prioritizes handler choices, but suitability for the tasks and handler do sometimes override priority. 

Our dogs are in formal training until around two years old when we can confidently know that they are prepared for everything and they know their tasks without any question. Mobility training will extend a service dog’s training time as joints do not close for weight-bearing tasks until 2 years old. Dogs performing any mobility tasks have been approved by a veterinary orthopedic specialist to do so and are also required to be in high-quality harnesses approved by Precision and our orthopedic specialist.

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