A Not For Profit, 501(c)3 Organization created to provide dog training services for Veterans with a service related mental health diagnosis who wish to train their own service dog or emotional support dog.
Assistance Dog / Service Dog - Team Training
Emotional Support Dog - Team Training
Basic Dog Training Skills toward a Well Behaved Companion Dog
Serving Veterans with a service related mental health diagnosis.
Official Service Dog Team Registration documentation and ID provided at completion of program. Recertification testing will be necessary to keep STAND WITH ME registration documents current.
STAND WITH ME is a program designed for Veterans with a mental health diagnosis who wish to train their own dog to become their Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog.
We also provide assistance in obtaining a canine candidate for the program if you do not already own a dog.
All accepted applicants will begin by completing a five week basic training course as part of the screening process.
Application process includes request for scholarship funding.
A service dog is a member of a team. You will be the leader of that team. STAND WITH ME provides you with the training you will need to become your dog’s leader, trainer, teammate.
Our owner/trainer program helps to create the necessary bond between human and canine for both to become effective members of a service dog team.
It is our hope that the process of going through our program will have a profoundly positive impact on quality of life for both you and your dog. The process of developing a working team relationship with a dog is a therapeutic experience.
This is a long term commitment. Very likely a minimum of one year of focused work.
STAND WITH ME will provide skills teaching and coaching, support and encouragement. Training a dog is a long term project that is not always easy, but is almost always very rewarding and uplifting.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PERSON
Must be able to have a dog where you live.
Must live within 60 minutes of Binghamton NY area.
Must have resources to care for a dog. (financial, physical, emotional, cognitive)
Must have reliable transportation to attend training program and provide care for a dog. (veterinary care, exercise, training practice in social settings, etc)
Must be able to commit to weekly training sessions for up to one year (possibly longer).
Must be in active therapy for your diagnosed condition throughout the training program.
Must have a written letter from your doctor or therapist stating their support of your decision to train your own service dog or emotional support dog.
Must be willing and able to keep your dog clean and well groomed at all times
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOG
Under five years of age (unless application is made for an exception)
Spayed or Neutered
Up to date with vaccinations
Must continue to use approved flea and tick prevention for duration of program and permanently thereafter
Socially tolerant dog…..relaxed in the company of people and non-aggressive toward other animals…..Must be free of a bite history……Absolutely no aggression is acceptable in a service dog candidate.
Service/Assistance dog candidates must be size appropriate. Very large breeds become a social barrier rather than a neutral social bridge. Very large dogs are unable to comfortably fit into the public spaces where service dogs are allowed under the ADA, in order to accompany their person at all times. (ADA-Americans With Disabilities Act) Size is not as critical for emotional support dogs who are not eligible for “Public Access” under the ADA. Emotional support dogs are considered “reasonable accommodation” under the FHA. (Federal Housing Act)
Young puppies are welcome to join the program. Beginning as young as possible is encouraged. Please be aware that the more serious training of a dog is best started at age 5-8 months so puppy owners may have to commit to a longer time period to complete the program. If you have a young pup, apply right away. Early socialization and training is very valuable for service dog candidates.
“STAND WITH ME, Assistance Dog Team Training graduates shall be an example of excellence in our community. The plan is for you and your dog to open doors for those who will be following in your footsteps.”