Program Options

Please take the time to carefully review options and requirements for participation in the AVSDA program:

AVSDA offers two options specific to the dog you train:

  1. Enter with your own dog, provided your dog meets admission criteria; we can also help you select an appropriate service dog candidate from a local breeder or rescue group.

  2. Apply to foster, train, and (provided you meet all criteria), adopt an AVSDA dog.

AVSDA offers two year-long training tracks to help you train your own service dog:

  1. Complete the entire program online, as a distance student.

  2. Complete the program through both online and in-person components.

    • In-person components include a combination of any or all of these options:

        1. Weekly group training (student must reside within 50 miles of Manteno, Illinois).

        2. In-person private lessons (student must reside within 50 miles of Manteno, Illinois).

        3. Two, 3-day, immersive training retreats. AVSDA provides lodging and regular meals for the enrolled student; student is responsible for own transportation and any other expenses.

AVSDA funds admitted students:

  1. Tuition is paid for entirely by AVSDA.

  2. Lodging and regular meals during two, 3-day, retreats are paid for by AVSDA.

  3. AVSDA pays for surgical neutering of AVSDA foster dogs at an AVSDA veterinary hospital.

AVSDA does NOT pay for:

  1. Dog care, food, maintenance, grooming, and veterinary well and emergency expenses are the responsibility of the student.

AVSDA has an attendance policy:

  1. Classes meet weekly for 52 weeks.

  • Every enrolled student is required to attend weekly online and/ or in-person group lessons.

  • Every enrolled student is required to participate in weekly online or in-person private lessons.

  • Every enrolled student is required to complete weekly assignments and submit online course materials.

  1. Students with excused absences may make up missing course work and lessons.

  2. Students with unexcused absences may be required to leave the program.