Service Dog Training School International Review [2023 Upd.]

Last Updated on December, 2023

The companionship of a service dog is vital to many groups of people who suffer from various disabilities, be it physical or mental.

A properly trained service dog will share a spiritual bond with its handler. This bond is very important to ensure smooth navigation of daily life tasks of these people.

Training your own dog to become a service is the best possible way you can build a strong spiritual bond with your dog.

On that note you would have come across the Service Dog Training School International as it has a wide presence across the U.S. And now you are here wanting to know if it can actually work for you too?

Well, if that’s the case, here’s the review you were looking for. It has everything you need to know about the Service Dog Training School International, including my experience learning from it.

 Overall: 4.8/5.0
Service Dog Training School logo
4.8
Effectiveness
4.9
Ease of Training
4.7
Price
Features
  • 100% online approved
  • The training content is made available in PDF and animated videos
  • Courses can be completed within as little as 3 days to 12 weeks
  • One-on-one instructor support
  • Two-year course access from the purchase date
  • Recognized in all 50 States of the USA, Canada, E.U. & UK
Brand Information
  • Mission: Provide service dog training and education for people with disabilities.
  • Philosophy: Positive reinforcement training focus on strong dog-handler bonds.
  • Programs: Self-training, trained service dogs, and PTSD programs for veterans.
  • Accreditation: IAADP and CCPDT accredited.
Product Benefits
  • Animal behavior experts develop all courses with decades of experience
  • 100% online learning lets you progress through the course at your own pace
  • Proven results backed by excellent ratings and reviews
  • Accredited by many reputed authorities and accepted by airlines
  • Backed by a legal team ready to assist you when required

Overview of the Service Dog Training School

Service Dog Training School International (SDTSI) is THE FIRST registered online service dog training school WORLDWIDE.

SDTSI has been helping people with disabilities to train their dogs to become qualified service dogs and working dogs since its inception in 2015.

The SDTSI is one of the highest-rated online service dog training schools that has a 100% satisfaction rate.

With over 75000+ service and therapy dogs trained since its inception, the SDTSI has a trusted and loved customer base.

Service Dog Training School logo
TAILORED TO SERVICE DOGS

The SDTSI Team

The Service Dog Training School International is a team of professional guides and service dog trainers backed by veterinarians and behavioral experts with over 30 years of experience. 

The team of highly qualified and certified dog trainers at SDTSI are from the USA, Ireland, Germany, Bulgaria, and Hong Kong. 

All trainers at SDTSI have passed the Canine Behavior and Training Technician (CBTT) program.

They are either American Kennel Club-certified trainers or Canine Behavior College, UK-certified assistance dog trainers.

Bonnie Bergin Founder of Service Dog Training School

The SDTSI has you covered even on the legal aspect. Suppose you ever encounter any issues with landlords, airlines, or other accommodation requests.

In that case, the SDTSI legal team is on standby to help tackle these issues and ensure your service dog is accepted wherever you go.

Training Approach

The Service Dog Training School International provides you with the necessary knowledge and training regimen to help you train your own service dog.

The SDTSI uses a compassionate training technique to develop the deepest possible bond between the client and their dogs.

This is achieved only using force-free positive training methods.

These methods adhere to high-quality standards to ensure the safety and comfort of the dog, the owner, and the public.

a human training a dog

Since the end goal of a service dog is to effectively serve you/ the handler, the SDTSI works as an owner-self-training program, meaning you will be the main trainer in your dog training. 

Instead of letting a professional trainer take the lead, the dog handler (you) will lead the training while a certified dog trainer tutors and guides you through the training process. 

You can also get your tutor to clarify any questions you may have during the training.

The Training Courses Offered By the SDTSI

The Service Dog Training School International offers an extensive range of courses covering all the possible areas of people who need the assistance of service dogs. 

In addition to the courses, the website contains a massive amount of extremely useful and helpful information on various topics related to service dogs.

Key Features of the Courses Offered

  • 100% online approved, allowing instant study, so no unnecessary traveling is involved.
  • The training content is made available in PDF and animated videos. The video content is extremely easy-to-follow animation pictures that keep the sessions interactive and engaging. 
  • The courses can be completed within as little as 3 days to as long as 12 weeks. The duration can vary based on your dog’s character and your particular needs.
  • The course contents include everything from learning about service dog breeds, history, legalities, behavior, body, and vocal language to basic and advanced training techniques.
  • All courses by the SDTSI are developed by a team of trusted, experienced behavioral experts, including certified trainers and board-certified veterinary behaviorists with 30+ years of combined professional animal care and dog/alert dog training experience.
  • All courses are certified by the SDTSI. They are also accredited by the SDTSI, Dr. Pet MD Animal Hospital, and the Law Office of Gererd Marone PC. In addition to these accreditations, all psychiatry-related courses are accredited by the Psychiatric Service Dog Association. And they are also accepted by the Airlines.
  • One-on-one instructor support.
  • Two-year course access from the purchase date gives you plenty of time to revisit the course materials as often as you want to refresh your memory.
  • Recognized in all 50 States of the USA, Canada, E.U. & UK.

A List of Courses By SDTSI

You don’t need prior knowledge or experience in puppy or cat training to enroll in any of the courses. You and your dog or cat need the motivation to embark on a new educational journey. 

1. Intensive Service Dog Training

Intensive Service Dog Training online course

A service dog is specifically trained to perform tasks that mitigate the disability of the handler. So this course is designed for individuals who want to train their own service dog.

Or for those looking to become service dog trainers to help others start their service dog training journey.

Some of the key elements included in the course are:

  • Retrieve based tasks
  • Alert to specific sounds
  • Deposit based tasks
  • Obedience and public access manners
  • Pawing based tasks
  • Other kinds of assistance in crisis

This study qualification comprises 8 distinct modules, 18 animated videos, and 8 exams. On average, it should take up to 120 hours in total for you to complete the course.

At the end of this course, you will receive a well-behaved and certified service dog with all the training records by the SDTSI.

2. Psychiatric Service Dog Training

Psychiatric Service Dog Training online course

Psychiatric service dogs are for individuals suffering from mental illnesses or emotional trauma such as PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, flashbacks, waking up from nightmares, mental abuse, etc.

This course is ideal for those who want to train their own dog to become a service dog able to deal with psychiatric disabilities or for those who want to adopt a dog and train them for psychiatric services. 

The SDTSI highly recommends that psychiatric service dog training be done by the owner/handler guided by a professional trainer. This is mainly because of the nature of the bond that has to be developed between the dog and the handler. 

The strength of this bond determines the dog’s effectiveness in mitigating disabling symptoms. Being in contact with the dog allows the dog to learn, recognize and respond to the departures of the handler’s baseline emotional or physiological state.

This course has everything you need to know about training dogs for psychiatric disabilities. Some of the key areas covered in this course are:

  • Public access manners
  • Deep pressure therapy for a calming effect
  • Tactile stimulation to disrupt the overload
  • Crowd control, panic prevention in public
  • Aircraft training
  • Assistance in crisis

This course is a collection of 6 lessons, 15 videos, and 11 exams that will take up to 6 hours and 36 minutes to complete. 

Upon completing this course, you will have a well-mannered psychiatric service dog that will help you achieve tasks and give you control over your life.

3. Express Psychiatric Service Dog Training

Express Psychiatric Service Dog Training online course

This course is designed for those who want to obtain psychiatric dog certification quickly. Ideally, you would be a handler with a disability who has a dog that has already done service dog jobs or worked in a care home.

Or handlers who own a dog that is self-trained and well-behaved in public.

Since the course is for applicants who already have an established foundation in the specialization, this course is set to be conducted in public venues to refine all disability skills in distracting environments.

Some of the key areas covered in this course include:

  • Service dog obedience training 
  • Service dog tasks for Panic Disorder, PTSD, and Depression
  • Service dog public access manners
  • Aircraft training, airport training
  • Assistance in crisis

This course consists of 4 modules, 12 animation videos, and 4 exams that will take around 5 hours to complete. 

Upon completing this course, you will receive digital copies of the psychiatric service dog certificate and a registered dog ID. Hard copies can be obtained within 7-10 business days.

You also get a certified attorney letter, which is an excellent piece of documentation to say that you have a service animal covered under the laws.

4. Service Dog Air Travel Program

Service Dog Air Travel Program online course

This is a combo course that combines psychiatric service dog training and an air travel training program for owners who want their service dog to be able to handle all types of challenging situations.

This course will provide all the valuable tips for training your dog on both basic obedience and advanced tasks to mitigate symptoms of mental disabilities.

It will also prepare your dog for the challenges of an airport environment. Some of the essentials tasks of this course are:

  • Public access manners
  • Deep pressure therapy for a calming effect
  • Tactile stimulation to disrupt the overload
  • Crowd control, panic prevention in public
  • Airport security check manners
  • Airport/cabin relief control
  • Aircraft cabin behaviors
  • Assistance in crisis

This course consists of 9 lessons, 20 animated videos, and 9 exams that can be completed in 7 hours and 54 minutes.

Apart from gaining a well-behaved dog at the end of this course, you will clearly understand how air travel works with your service dog.

You will conveniently be able to get all the paperwork and travel documents for your dog and prepare your dog for a successful air travel. 

5. Diabetic Alert Dog Training

Diabetic Alert Dog Training online course

Rather than purchasing a Diabetic Alert Dog that can cost you around $35,000 or be on waiting lists of non-profit organizations that provide diabetic service dogs, why not train your own diabetic alert dog?

So this course is designed for people who want to train their own dog to become a diabetic alert dog. It is also suitable for individuals who want to train alert dogs to assist diabetic people.

The contents cover everything you need to know about diabetic alert dogs and training. Some of the areas covered include:

  • Diabetic alert dog breeds and history
  • Legalities
  • Behavior
  • Vocal and body language with basic and advanced scent training techniques
  • Low/high blood sugar level detection
  • Assistance in crisis
  • Nighttime alert
  • Obedience and public access manners

This program has 14 lessons, 16 videos, and 14 exams that will take around 9 hours to complete.

By the end of this program, you will possess a well-mannered diabetic alert dog ready to assist you through your diabetic journey.

6. Seizure Alert Dog Training

Seizure Alert Dog Training online course

Acquiring a seizure alert dog will either involve a hefty price tag or a waiting list that will take 2-5 years to get one for a low cost/free.

You can skip both these options for option number three, take the seizure alert dog training, and train your own dog to become one.

This step-by-step course will help you train your own seizure-alert dog. It covers all the necessary areas, including:

  • Detecting the scents of seizures
  • Assistance in crisis
  • Nighttime alert
  • Obedience and public access manners

Consisting of 13 lessons, 15 videos, and 13 exams, this course will take 8 hours and 25 minutes to finish. 

After completing the course, you will own a well-behaved seizure-alert dog who will provide you invaluable assistance and support on seizure-alert services.

It’s important to note that seizure frequency and severity vary from person to person. So even in the presence of a seizure alert dog, some seizures still may occur without warning. They are not a cure-all, although they provide invaluable assistance and support.

7. Cardiac Alert Dog Training

Cardiac Alert Dog Training online course

This course is for individuals suffering from cardiac issues who want to train their dog to become a cardiac alert dog assisting their daily life tasks. 

This course teaches the dog all the necessary skills to alert the handler during a cardiac emergency.

By learning this course, your dog will be able to recognize physiological changes such as heart rate changes, breathing rate, and other cardiovascular parameters.

Your dog will pick up on scent cues and abnormalities to alert you of any oncoming cardiac episodes.

Some of the key topics included in the course are:

  • Detect the scents of cardiac episodes
  • Assistance in cardiac emergencies
  • Nighttime alert
  • Obedience and public access manners

This is a 12-lesson course with 14 videos and 12 exams with a runtime of 9 hours and 25 minutes.

When you finish this course, your dog will become a reliable cardiac alert dog who will provide invaluable help and support, making you feel safe and secure. 

8. Service Dog Puppy Training

Service Dog Puppy Training online course

This program is a puppy foundation training for puppies of age 7 weeks to 6 months. This course will guide puppy parents to set the appropriate foundation in puppy training to become eligible service dog candidates.

Early training and bonding make future service dog training much simpler and easier.

This is a 6 module course with 6 videos and 6 exams that will take 4 hours and 32 minutes to complete. Some of the essential topics in this course include:

  • Understand your puppy’s behavior
  • Form a strong bond with your dog
  • Housebreaking
  • Obedience dog training
  • Socializing the puppy
  • Bad behavior management
  • Improve your dog’s health with the right diet
  • And much more

At the end of this course, your puppy will be well-disciplined, and you will graduate as a more confident, calm, and happier puppy parent.

9. Service Dog Public Access Test

Service Dog Public Access Test online course

The Public Access Test (PAT) is an assessment with SDTSI standards that test the suitability of a service animal to access public spaces.

This course has a video lesson and 9 test sessions. The topics covered include:

  • How service dogs should behave in public
  • How to deal with strangers and store managers
  • How to get the dog to stay under the table at a restaurant
  • And much more

The goal of this course is to ensure you own a dog who is safe and can behave well in public. And you will be able to demonstrate that you always have control over your dog.

Note: The dog has to be at least 2 years of age to take the test

10. Autism Companion Dog Training

Autism Companion Dog Training online course

Having a companion dog for autistic children is life-changing.

An autistic child owning a companion dog has many benefits, like increased social interaction, increased independence, improved sleep quality, provides sensory assistance, better safety, and the list goes on.

This course, consisting of 8 lessons, will teach how to train your dog for various tasks to assist with a range of autistic symptoms, behaviors, and issues.

After completing this course, your dog will transform into a well-trained and well-behaved companion dog providing excellent companionship, bringing independence and better social inclusivity for the autistic child and the family.

11. Therapy Dog Training

Therapy Dog Training online course

Therapy dogs are friendly dogs who can visit care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, etc., to interact with people making them feel enriched. Many people from these places find this interaction therapeutic.

Through 8 lessons, 10 videos, and 8 exams, you can teach your dog to be friendly, patient, gentle, and at ease in all situations when visiting various care facilities. Some of the essential tasks included in the course are;

  • Obedience training
  • Correct unwanted behaviors
  • Public access manners
  • Dog care
  • Dog therapy skills
  • Socialization

By the end of the program, your dog will be a qualified therapy dog ready to enrich people’s lives.

12. Emotional Support Dog Training

Emotional Support Dog Training online course

Owning an emotional support dog is extremely helpful for people suffering from mental health issues like anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism, bipolar/manic disorders, cognitive disorders, depression, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stress.

Although emotional support dogs do not require training, it is wise to ensure your dog knows its basic good manners and obedience. Hence, it is well-behaved in all places. 

This course is a collection of 9 lessons, 10 videos, and 9 exams covering everything you’ll need to learn about owning an emotional support dog: how to condition your dog to handle, how to control your dog, teach social skills, and handling them skillfully with people around. Course contents cover:

  • Positive reinforcement
  • Obedience, house manners
  • Build the best relationship with your canine partner
  • Help with emotional overload
  • Dog socialization

By completing this program, your dog will be a skilled emotional support dog with excellent behavior in public. And lead your life with confidence, productivity, freedom, and self-reliance. 

Note: The SDTSI recommends getting an ESA letter from a licensed mental health practitioner (LMHP) or a licensed clinical social worker certifying that you have an emotional or mental condition requiring an assistance animal to alleviate some symptoms.

13. Emotional Support Cat Training

Emotional Support Cat Training online course

Yes, they have cat training. And yes, you can train a cat with the correct training methods.

Just like the emotional support dog course, this course is for anyone suffering from mental health issues.

This course is a three-stage program covering many topics to unlock your cat’s potential.

Topics include reading cat body language like a professional, applying your understanding of cat behavior to train them, behavior management and treatment, and more. Some of the broad areas included are;

  • Cat obedience training
  • Bonding with owner
  • Cat emotional support

Upon completing the course, you will have a well-behaved emotional support cat that will help you lead your life with confidence, productivity, freedom, and self-reliance.

14. Canine Good Citizen Training

Canine Good Citizen Training online course

Teaching your dog to be a good citizen increases the quality of time you spend together. 

This course teaches your dog the required manners and skills to pass the canine good citizen (CGC) test. This citizenship builds a good base for any dog’s core obedience training. 

Interesting fact: Many hotels, restaurants, and vacation destinations welcome good canine citizens. Even makes you eligible for discounts/other benefits. 

The CGC is a 10-part test. To pass the test, you have to successfully pass all 10 parts. So This course covers all the base skills and applies them to challenging test exercises you’ll be tested on during the CGC test. The key areas covered in this course are:

  • Ten CGC test skills training
  • Inappropriate behavior correctness
  • Full guidance to take the CGC test

Upon completing this course, your dog will be prepared to pass the CGC test. And your dog will be an exemplary model of how dogs can be well-behaved when trained using the right methods.

Cost of Learning Through the SDTSI

Currently, the courses offered by the Service Dog Training School International are priced at $199- $998. The lowest price is puppy dog training, and the highest is the combo of intensive service dog training with the air travel certificate. 

The courses are reasonably priced for the amount of content that is made available. Besides, the number of accreditations each course holds by reputed authorities speaks for its recognized status.

And this is not something you will get from other service dog courses. When you take up the course, you can justify if every dollar spent was worth it, like it was for me.

Also, 10% of the SDTSI income goes directly to fund the work of the Psychiatric Service Dog Association in helping people with mental illness and sick, injured & cruelly treated animals.

Money Back Guarantee

The SDTSI team offers you an outstanding 14-day refund policy. This gives you enough time to go through the course and initiate training with your dog to determine whether it is working for you.

Although it is not likely on the off chance you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can claim the money back within these 14 days.

Also, SDTSI runs many discounts and promotions, which you are bound to stumble upon. So that’ll be great if you want to purchase a course at a lower cost. 

TAILORED TO SERVICE DOGS

SDTSI vs Other Training Schools

SDTSI vs Other Training Schools

What’s really interesting about the Service Dog Training School International is the extent to which they have covered all the possible avenues concerning service dogs and the surrounding requirements of owning one. 

So much so they even provide legal help to handlers and educate them on the legal and public responsibilities of owning a service dog. And this is something you’d NEVER get from other service dog training schools.

Here is a list of reasons why the SDTSI stands out compared to other training schools:

  • They maintain a healthy community of service dog owners.
  • They conduct annual checkups on graduated service dogs.
  • They are not limited to the locality. They have a team to support people on social assistance who are suffering from PTSD.
  • They help people denied assistance by non-profit service dog training organizations (who only support veterans) train their dogs to become qualified service dogs.
  • 10% of their income goes directly to fund the work of the Psychiatric Service Dog Association in helping people with mental illness and sick, injured & cruelly treated animals.
  • They help handlers understand the difference between service, therapy, and emotional support dogs.

Would I Recommend the Service Dog Training School?

YES! ABSOLUTELY! 100%!

Even if you put aside all the advantages and benefits of learning from the Service Dog Training School International that I’ve discussed throughout this review, like the accreditations, certifications, wide base recognition, legal support, convenience, and all that, there’s one advantage that other training schools couldn’t possibly beat, at least not to the extent that the SDTSI offers it.

And that’s the one-on-one certified trainer guidance.

SDTSI

The support you get from the trainer individually dedicated to you throughout the training is indispensable.

The trainer will answer all your questions and guide you through the training process. That means you gain feedback on your progress. So you know you are actually on track, moving in the right direction. 

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the training is working. At the end of the day, that’s what we all want from a service dog training course, right? And that’s exactly what I got from the SDTSI, and I’m glad I chose them from the other options I looked into.

So far, I’ve taken 2 courses by the SDTSI, the intensive service dog training, and the canine good citizen training. The Canine Good Citizen training was simple and easy since my dog had already undergone intensive service dog training. 

I was hesitant to try it because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it even with the help of a trainer. But I signed up for it anyway because I wanted to give myself a chance at trying.

And I did it. I achieved a completely transformed dog who is actively responding to all we learned through this course.

The course, although easy to follow, was comprehensive and detailed. So I’d recommend you take your time, review all the course materials, let it soak in, and take notes if necessary.

Then you can figure out a training plan based on your schedule and start training step by step. 

I’m sure you and your dog will come out as one happy team with a much stronger spiritual bond after learning through the Service Dog Training School International, just like me and my dog.

Pros & Cons

Pros

All courses are developed by animal behavior experts with decades of experience. The course content is assured, effective, and reliable.
100% online learning lets you progress through the course at your own pace without rushing your dog.
Maintaining a strong bond with your service dog is very important, and this self-training program gives you that opportunity.
Each course is guided by a certified trainer providing you individual support.
The course contents are created and structured in an easy-to-grasp manner.
Proven results backed by excellent ratings and reviews.
Accredited by many reputed authorities and accepted by airlines.
Unlimited access to course materials for two years.
Backed by a legal team ready to assist you when required.
All the courses are recognized across the US.

Cons

You have to absorb a whole lot of information on training that can sometimes be overwhelming for some first-time handlers.
If you lack patience, you may get frustrated with your dog.
Your dog will miss out on interacting with other dogs.

Social Proof

The SDTSI has been in the industry for over 7 years now, so I checked to see if I could find user reviews. And just like I expected, there were so many reviews, and the majority favored the SDTSI.

Customers have praised the SDTSI for making content easy to follow, for reliable instructor support, for effective content providing excellent results, and how it’s worth every dollar spent.

When it comes to online dog programs, you must check customer reviews to understand other customer experiences. It will help you determine if it is a reliable option for you. And the SDTSI certainly proved that it is. 

Below are a few recent reviews that you may find helpful:

Social Proof of SDTSI 1
Social Proof of SDTSI 2
Social Proof of SDTSI 3
Social Proof of SDTSI 4

Other dog training reviews:

Frequently Asked Questions

A service dog is a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks that benefit an individual with a disability, such as physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disabilities.

The SDTSI recommends training sessions of 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times daily, and the training time can vary depending on the amount of time available and how quickly the dog learns. Most customers typically require 3-4 weeks, but those with prior training experience may finish in as little as 7 days.

Yes, you need to register your service dog with SDTSI and complete the online service dog training course in order to receive a Trained Service Dog Certificate and have your dog certified by SDTSI with all the training records.

Being certified means that a dog has been trained to perform specified tasks as a service dog and that its handler has been trained in how to lead the dog in day-to-day situations like being in public places.

Yes, service dogs must be leashed, harnessed, or tethered while in public spaces.

Final Words

The Service Dog Training School International courses will provide the value it promises. I know that for a fact. And I highly recommend them.

But it’s up to you to put in the effort to train your dog. Make the best out of the course contents.

Thoroughly watching and understanding the tutorials, reading through course materials, taking up the exams and submitting for feedback, and clarifying any doubts from your individual tutor is the best way to receive active and successful results from the course.

Also, remember this for your training: Repetition, Patience, And Consistency are your keys to success!

TAILORED TO SERVICE DOGS
SDTSI
Service Dog Training School logo
Effectiveness
Ease of Training
Price

4.7

4.9

4.7

Overall Score

4.8

visa-master-amex-paypal
Pros
All courses are developed by animal behavior experts with decades of experience. The course content is assured, effective, and reliable.
Each course is guided by a certified trainer providing you individual support.
The course contents are created and structured in an easy-to-grasp manner.
All the courses are recognized across the US.
Get the BEST PRICE valid until the end of December
Cons
If you lack patience, you may get frustrated with your dog.

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Author
Lauren Klein
Lauren Klein is a freelance writer who originally comes from rural Arkansas. She has a Canis Panther Dog Breed. She loves to visit pet training schools with her pet, and give her fair share of thoughts through IPetGuides.

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