Service Dog

Owner Trained Service Dog Program

Nine Realms Canine Training works one on one with individuals that are seeking guidance training their own dogs for service work. At Nine Realms Canine Training we believe that if an individual needs a Service Dog, they should not be limited by the high cost of a fully trained dog. This is why Nine Realms offers an affordable Owner Trained Service Dog Program.

Those wanting to join the program must have a disability that qualifies them for a Service Dog. Individuals may train a dog they already own, if it passes evaluations, or may work with Nine Realms to select a dog. Dogs that you already own must go through an evaluation before being allowed into the program to ensure the dog is suited for service work. Evaluation cost is $85 for roughly an hour of testing at a pet friendly location. The evaluation does not guarantee that the dog will become a Service Dog. The evaluation weeds out dogs not suited for service work from the beginning. Dogs that enter training may still wash out (fail) later on for many reasons. Frequently the dog demonstrates that he does not enjoy the work, is nervous in public locations, or does not have the desire to task for his handler. Dogs that have human aggression, dog aggression, major anxiety, are nervous in new locations, or have major behavioral issues will not be considered for the program. These are behaviors that can be addressed by Nine Realms or Method K9 but will never make a good Service Dog.

The Owner Trained Program is set up for owners to learn how to train their own service dog with weekly guidance from Nine Realms. There are many disabilities that prevent owners from effectively training their own Service Dog. This is not a statement saying it cannot be done but a professional warning based on my extensive experience teaching handlers to train their own Service Dogs. Please email and discuss with Karin if training your own Service Dog is the best option for you.

Training starts in the home or pet friendly locations, working on obedience and tasks, and then moves to public access training, with permission from several locations. Handlers and dogs train several times a month, working on obedience, tasks, and public access until the dog is a fully trained service dog. All dogs must pass all three Canine Good Citizen Tests, the Nine Realms’ Public Access Test, a Task Proficiency Test, and then are certified through the American Society of Canine Trainers. This ensures that the dogs leaving the program are highly trained, prepared, and skilled for their future careers. Please note that certification is not required per ADA law for Service Dogs, as well as the CGC tests. Nine Realms holds its handlers and dogs to higher levels of standards and thus requires each team to meet these standards before passing the program.

Training is on a contract and lasts until the dog is fully trained for service work. The length of the contract depends on the age and skill of the dog but is a minimum of four months. Nine Realms decides when the dog is fully trained and won’t allow dogs into the working world before they are fully prepared. Please note: Do not contact and ask us how long it will take your dog or how much it will cost. That question will not be answered until the evaluation has occurred. Each dog is different. We do not know how fast or slow a dog will learn until we start training.


Monthly training specials offered for Service Dogs and those desiring to train consistently on a particular task, command, sport, tracking, personal protection, detection, etc. for several months. The program costs $325 a month plus travel costs of $1.00 per mile round trip. Monthly training includes four private lessons per month, unlimited phone and email support, lesson plans, and videos.

Owners commit to monthly training at the above rate for a minimum of four months. The rate is only given to those that commit for four months or more. Owners must schedule and attend the four lessons per month to get the rate.

Those wishing to do service dog training, but not the four times a month package, may purchase private lessons at their leisure.

Those wishing to train more than four times per month may purchase additional lessons at $75/hr. That rate is only available for those taking more than four lessons per month.

Half hour lessons are available to service dog clients on the monthly program. This is in addtion too the monthly rate or in substitution to once clients have completed the four month manditory commitment. This option is great for those that need more fine tuning in one area, a quick review, or have limited time.

Half Hour: $50

Below are some of the types of Service Dogs Nine Realms trains for:

Diabetic Alert Service Dogs

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Mobility Service Dogs

Hearing Alert Service Dogs

Cardiac Alert Service Dogs

Medical Alert Service Dogs

PTSD Service Dogs

Autism Assistance Dogs

Allergen Detection Service Dogs (This is a new area of training and we cannot make guarantees at this time.)

We do not train Guide Dogs.

Currently we do not offer fully trained Service Dogs. We do offer selective board and trains for current Owner Train Program clients. Please contact.

Nine Realms does offer limited online training for Service Dog training. Please understand that the level of training will not match the level of in person training as Karin is not present to see minute behaviors in the dog and handling of the dog. It is also difficult to work on public access training via online training. This service costs $75/hr session regardless of how many lessons you purchase.

Clients wishing to owner train with guidance from Nine Realms’ Master Trainer Karin Wagemann are highly encouraged to call or email for more information and a sample of the training contract.

Service Dog Board and Train

For those that are not able to train their own dog (either due to disability, time, or training skill) board and train is an option. Starting with a board and train for a young puppy to ensure the proper socialization and exposure, owners will then continue with private training lessons, another board and train around 8 months of age, and then between a year and a year and half. Owners enroll the dog in several board and trains of various lengths depending on the dog’s needs, age, and training, and continue training between the board and trains with private lessons (the owner train program). This is the method recommended as it ensures that a trainer is giving your service dog a solid foundation. However, Nine Realms understands that not all those in need of a service dog can afford board and trains, which is why we offer the Owner Train Program.

The Service Dog Board and Train Program is not currently available to all clients as we are in the middle of building a new facility. For now, only current clients are offered this opportunity.

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