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Types of Service Dog Training

We use positive-reinforcement

methods to teach the behaviors that are necessary for dogs working in public settings, and to train the specific tasks you need from the canine partner in your life.

Service dogs increase freedom and independence by providing assistance in everyday life. Service dogs can improve the lives of people with a wide range of

disabilities, whether physical, neurological, or psychiatric. We train service dogs to mitigate symptoms of many disabilities such as: autism, anxiety disorders, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, hearing impairment, multiple sclerosis (MS), narcolepsy, post-traumatic stress

(PTS or PTSD), severe allergies, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). We also often customize tasks for a specific client’s needs.


​To learn more about the process and cost of personal service dog training, please visit our

Frequently Asked Questions.

Compass Key provides personalized training for service dog teams based on individual needs. Our trainers have experience working with children, adults, and families training their own dogs to create successful dog/handler teams. We specialize in a personalized approach that focuses on how your partnership with your service dog will help you overcome the challenges you face in your home and in public.

The following are examples of the most common disability skills we teach:



- To people approaching

- As a response to your name or someone trying to get your attention

- For specific sounds, such as alarms, ring tones, sirens, or vehicles backing up

- For specific smells, such as smoke or gas

- Go seek help from someone else when you are having a medical emergency

- Press a medical alert button for designated

emergency contact

- Wake-up alerts



- Allergens /  triggering odors

- Low blood sugar levels

- The presence or absence of people in a designated area or location



- Act as a positional buffer – behind, in front, looking the opposite way, or circling

- Turn on and off lights, including turning on the light for you before you enter a room

- Open and hold doors

- Provide bracing for you to stand up or steady yourself

- Tug or hold clothing, socks and shoes to assist with dressing and undressing

- Pull to assist manual wheelchair propulsion

- Target away from walking out into a street or other dangerous areas


- Get personal items and bring to you, such as keys or cell phones

- Carry items for you

- Deliver payment to store clerk or receive and carry merchandise for you

- Open and close doors, cabinets, drawers or appliances to bring you something from inside

- Bring medication to you at a designated time


- Apply or receive deep pressure therapeutically

- Cuddle on cue

- Interrupt repetitive movements or compulsive behaviors

- Lead to uncrowded area or place to sit down

- Respond to an anxiety or panic attack

- Interrupt nightmares or night terrors

- Offer a signal that allows you to politely excuse yourself from the company of others

Training Your Own Dog

Compass Key recognizes that there are  many great organizations that provide service dogs to those in need.  Sadly, the number of applicants for those organizations far outnumber the dogs that are ready for placement.  This often creates very long wait times for individuals to receive their service dogs. 

There are many people who have, or are willing to find, a dog that could be trained as a service dog to fill a need with their family. Compass Key creates a personalized training plan to teach your privately owned dog all the necessary skills to mitigate your or your loved one's disability. We also help teach the people who benefit from this assistance, so the dogs can be used to their fullest potential.  

To learn more about the process and cost of personal service dog training, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

Giving a Hand

Training Options

Board & Train

Read more about our different training options

Dog Search

Compass Key specializes in training privately owned dogs for service dog work.  Since not all of our clients own a dog with the right temperament and trainability for training, we periodically have dogs available for purchase that have already been taught foundational skills.

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