Serving  Charlotte & Surrounding Areas

Tel: 704-561-1916 ​

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© 2019 by Love in the Lead

Service Dog Program

Rebecca trains and places Service Dogs and Guide Dogs for non-profit organizations and for private clients. The Service Dog Training Program services both the United States & Canada.

The program offers training for the following types of Service Dogs:

  • Psychiatric Service Dogs

  • Mobility Service Dogs

  • Seizure Response Service Dogs

  • Guide Dogs for the blind

Benefits of our Service Dog Training Program:

  • Customized training programs

  • Ability to choose your own dog

  • Full ownership of the dog

  • No long waitlist to begin training

  • Private, one-on-one instruction

  • Licensed and certified instructor

  • Program follows industry standards

  • Lifetime support for the team

Service Dog Training Process:

Step 1: Formal Application

Step 2: Phone Consultation

Step 3: Service Dog Selection  

Step 4: Formal Training Begins

Step 5: Placement/Team Training

Step 6: Team Certifications 

Service Dog Selection

Most Service Dogs are bred specifically for service work, but some Service Dogs come from private breeders, rescues/shelters, or are personal pet dogs prior to their formal training. It takes a unique temperament to work safely and effectively as a Service Dog, therefore Service Dog selection is a vital part of the process and should be done by a qualified professional. Rebecca has professional relationships with several accomplished breeders in North Carolina, and is available for Service Dog selection for people interested in purchasing a dog for service work. 

For those interested in using a personal dog for service work, Rebecca requires that the dog undergo a formal temperament assessment prior to training. For distance clients, this can be done via video submission, or by a qualified local dog trainer. 

Service Dog Formal Training

Formal training typically takes three to six months depending on the type of Service Dog, the tasks that need to be preformed, the dog's training history, and the level of owner/handler involvement. Rebecca's training follows industry standards, which require that dogs receive at least 120 hours of formal training. Dogs typically undergo formal training through a board & train program, but for local clients, a combination of private lessons and board and train is also available.


Once a dog has been identified as a possible Service Dog candidate, the dog enters a formal board and train program where they live in Rebecca's home and receive several training sessions per day. Dogs are worked in a variety of environments, and are trained both on and off-leash, around intense distractions, and receive extensive Public Access Training. 


Clients are also involved in the dog's formal training process, and receive weekly video updates of their dog's training, as well as monthly phone consultations.

Service Dog Placement

After formal training, dogs are placed with their owner/handler and are given private one-on-one instruction in their home environment. Placement training typically lasts 5-7 days. After the placement training has concluded, new Service Dog teams undergo formal testing which follows industry standards.


Typical costs for a trained Service Dog, placement of that dog, and team certification are between $10-20k. Costs vary depending on the cost of the dog (puppy versus started service dog), type of training required, and location (distance versus local client). 

Typical Cost Breakdown:

Purchase of Puppy: $1-3k


Started Service Dog: $8-15k


Private lessons: $120 per lesson (local clients only)


Board & Train: $3,300 per month


Placement/Delivery: Included for local clients. Travel fees apply for distance clients.


Team Certifications: Included-AKC CGC & CGCA, & PAT Test. Retests are $100 per test.

If you are interested in private Service Dog Training, or have questions regarding Service Dog selection, training, placement or cost, please email Rebecca directly at