Service Dog Training Seminars

Little Angels is offering a series of 2-day and 1-day seminars, which are designed for those
who wish to train their own service dog, or to train a dog for a friend or family member.


Certification is granted to the handler/dog teams who attend all 3 seminars, over a period of
6 months or longer, and successfully pass the written test and field test demonstrating their
ability to work safely in a public setting, with the dog mitigating the disabilities of the

Participants should wait at least 2 months between each seminar to allow adequate time to
work with their dog on the material covered. Seminars are designed to instruct with a variety
of learning methods to best assist each participant. Seminars include lecture, video,
demonstration, reading, testing, small groups, open discussion, hands-on practice, and
personalized instruction.

Little Angels Service Dogs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Seminars have an associated
fee (listed below) which covers costs associated with the rental of the meeting spaces and
hotels, and travel and lodging of trainers and speakers. The individual travel and lodging
expenses are the responsibility of each participant/family. Additional family members may
attend at a discounted rate of $100.00 per approved person.
Service Dog Training 101 (Seminar 1)
This weekend seminar will cover:
*Determining if a service dog is right for you.
*Determining the tasks a dog can assist with to mitigate your disability.
*Selecting the perfect dog to match your personality, home environment, family dynamics,
and disability.
*Details on selecting dogs from breeders versus rescues, breed, size, coat type, etc.
*Temperament testing, and health screenings for a long and healthy working life.
*Determining if a dog you already own will be suitable.
*Managing other animals already in the household.
*Maintenance and training supplies.
*Potty training for service dogs.
*Teaching house manners, behavior modification for potential problem behaviors, and
recognizing behavioral traits that would keep a dog from having public access.
*Proper service dog socialization and safety in the public setting.
*Service Dog Etiquette.
*Beginning obedience training for heel, sit, down, stay, come, watch me, touch, and name
*An understanding of the American’s with Disabilities Act with regard to public access with a
service dog.

This seminar is for humans only. Dogs are welcomed and encouraged in advanced seminars.

Advanced Obedience and Assistance Tasks (Seminar 2)
This weekend seminar will cover:
*Assessment of dogs for safety in the public setting. Dogs who display any concerning
behaviors should be used for in-home assistance, without public access, if they are safe
within the home.
*Advanced obedience, and management for the public setting.
*Personal vehicle and public transportation management and training.
*Training to stay under tables/desks.
*Advanced Retrieval for out of reach items, and objects by name.
*Opening and closing doors.
*Operation of light switches and elevator buttons.
*Dialing an assistance dog telephone.
*Dialing an assistance dog alarm.
*Bracing for balance.
*Assistance with tethering for Autism.
*Search for Autism.
*Deep pressure therapy.
*Non-protective boundary control.
*Understanding how dogs alert to seizures.
*Medical Alert – this can be used to get the attention of someone else in the home for
assistance, to alert the handler in advance of a seizure or during a seizure, to alert to drops or
rises in blood sugar for diabetes, interrupt destructive behaviors, and to interrupt panic
attacks, anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares.

This seminar is designed to be taken with the dog in training.

Public Access (Seminar 3)
The fee includes certification and an official Little Angels vest for those who successfully
pass both the written and field test, demonstrating the handler’s understanding of federal
laws, public safety, responsible dog handling and ownership, as well as the dog’s ability to
respond consistently to commands, mitigate the disability, and display safe behaviors and
temperament in the public setting.

This one-day seminar will include lecture and practice time under the guidance and
instruction of your trainer(s), a written test, a field test for public access, and visits to three
different public locations with the guidance and instruction of your trainer(s).

Recertification is required 12 months after initial certification and then again once a year. This
is a world wide requirement of ADI as well as LASD. Recertification is available in San Diego
at any Seminar 3 for the regular fee and includes a new vest, ID card and Certificate. Or you
can choose to be tested in your area by contracting and paying for the time of an AKC CGC
evaluator to do the retesting for you. This evaluator must work in conjunction with LASD for a
new certificate to be issued by LASD.

*Please email for more details on each class.

San Diego, CA

2017 Dates

Title                     Service Dog Training 101 (Seminar 1)
Date                     January 28th and 29th, 2017
Time                    9:00am-5:00pm both days
Location             San Diego, CA
Fee                       $235.00 ($100.00 for each additional family member)

Title                     Advanced Obedience and Assistance Tasks (Seminar 2)
Date                     April 29th and 30th, 2017
Time                    9:00AM-5:00PM both days
Location             San Diego, CA
Fee                       $310.00 ($100.00 for each additional family member)
Prerequisite       Seminar 1

Title                       Clicker Clinic
Date                      May 1st, 2017
Time                     9:00AM-5:00PM
Location              San Diego, CA
Fee                        Included with Seminar 2
Prerequisite       Seminar 2

Title                       Public Access (Seminar 3)
Date                      July 22nd, 2017
Time                      9:00AM-5:00PM
Location               San Diego, CA
Fee                         $385.00 (No additional fee for family members to attend)
Prerequisites      Seminars 1 and 2

2017/2018 Dates

Title                     Service Dog Training 101 (Seminar 1)
Date                     June 10th and 11th, 2017
Time                    9:00am-5:00pm both days
Location             San Diego, CA
Fee                       $235.00 ($100.00 for each additional family member)

Title                     Advanced Obedience and Assistance Tasks (Seminar 2)
Date                     September 9th and 10th, 2017
Time                    9:00AM-5:00PM both days
Location             San Diego, CA
Fee                       $310.00 ($100.00 for each additional family member)
Prerequisite       Seminar 1

Title                      Clicker Clinic
Date                     September 11th, 2017
Time                     9:00AM-5:00PM
Location              San Diego, CA
Fee                        Included with Seminar 2
Prerequisite       Seminar 2

Title                       Public Access (Seminar 3)
Date                       February 10th, 2018
Time                      9:00AM-5:00PM
Location               San Diego, CA
Fee                         $385.00 (No additional fee for family members to attend)
Prerequisites      Seminars 1 and 2

Applicants have a right to be considered regardless of sex, race, religion or creed.


Two years ago, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy.  My first reaction was
anger. Extreme anger.  As a working mother of two, married to a cop, I didn’t have time for
this!  My seizures-both simple-partial and tonic clonic- occur mainly in the late evening or
at night; not at all convenient with my husband working Law Enforcement shifts!  Lights-
and-sirens trips to the ER in an ambulance became common.  My life—and worse, the
life of my family,-- went into a tailspin.

My seizures meant I couldn’t be left alone after 3 in the afternoon.  I couldn’t drive. My
children were always worried I would ‘drop’. Although I continued my job of teaching
Advanced Placement high school classes, I taught under the constant fear that a seizure
would interrupt the day’s lesson.  And, as a strong and independent woman, I suddenly felt
crippled.  I couldn’t go on the long distance runs I so love.  I couldn’t even take an
unsupervised bath!  (That last one really stung; a bath—with the whole works of candles
and bubbles and soft music is my go-to Mommy relaxation method.  Having my husband
‘supervise’ me pretty much ruined the entire vibe.)  The lack of independence chafed and
the amount of wife-and-mommy-guilt was suffocating.   

We moved closer into town so that friends and family could help.  My amazing husband
left his job as a cop and took a financial advisor position that allows him to be home at
night.  My wonderful doctors at the Stanford Epilepsy Clinic prescribed medication that
reduced the frequency and severity of my seizures.  My daughters learned how to
recognize a seizure and whom to call. I changed my diet, gave up baths and took up
yoga. In short, we ‘worked the problem’.  

But, like so many people living with Epilepsy, I wanted more. I wanted the  independence
to live my life without the fear of a seizure clouding every moment.  More importantly, I
wanted to just be a wife, a mother, and a teacher without everyone constantly worrying
about my health.  My research led me to seizure-alert dogs, which led me to Little Angels
Service Dogs.  Here was the answer to all of our prayers!   After communicating with Little
Angels, my husband and I decided to take the self-training seminars.  Although we were a
bit nervous (I’ve had dogs all my life, but never trained any of them to do much more than
sit and not chew on my shoes), we felt confident after seminar 1 that, with Little Angels’
support, we could do this!

We began our search by contacting all of the local shelters and explaining what we were
looking for.  After two weeks, the Humane Society called: they had an 18 month old
chocolate lab whom they thought would be perfect.  Our whole family—my husband, our
two daughters, and our feisty miniature schnauzer, went to the shelter.  Two hours later, we
brought Dante—a gorgeous chocolate lab who temperament tested very well—home.  We
began training immediately, following the Little Angel’s Training Guide.

It was surprisingly easy.  It takes a lot of time, discipline, patience, and a healthy sense of
humor to train him and keep him trained.  I emailed A LOT of questions to Little Angels,
joined  a local doggy obedience group,  and worked with the local K9 cops.  Primarily, I
was the one who had to be trained as a handler! Once I understood MY job, Dante pretty
much breathed a big doggy sigh of ‘finally’ and settled right into his new life as my
constant companion.

Now, 6 months later, Dante is my full service dog.  He accompanies us to all of our
activities, which means he attends lots of gymnastics meets, dance competitions, and
family get-togethers.  More importantly, he watches over me when my husband isn’t there
to ‘alert’ me to my early seizure activity.  He performs his full sequence of tasks: pawing at
me to alert me to a seizure about 10-15 minutes before the seizure occurs.  He then
“braces” so that I can get down to the floor (vital for those of us with tonic-clonic seizures as
falls are extremely dangerous). Finally, he brings me my emergency pack with my
medication and a pre-paid cell phone to call my husband. Then Dante  lays on my lap to
apply deep pressure therapy.  And he does all of this consistently.  Although he weighs in
at a solid 95 pounds, Dante truly is my “Little Angel”.  

I am so thankful for Little Angels Service Dogs!  Our lives have returned to ‘normal’; a
new, improved, wonderful normal!  While the seizure activity remains, the constant fear
and worry of an impending seizure is gone.  I can do all of the things with my family and
job that I love; I’m free to be the wife, mother, teacher, and friend whom I want to be!  And, I
have my independence back.  Yesterday, Dante and I went for a five mile run. Alone.  
And then I took a bath.  A long, glorious, candle scented, kid-and-husband-free bath while
Dante kept watch on the floor by the tub.  Heaven.  

Katharine and Dante

At the age of 15 I suffered a traumatic brain injury on my 3rd day of high school playing in
a volleyball match. Due to this brain injury I have developed seizures, migraines, anxiety,
PTSD, crowd phobia and depression. The summer prior to my accident I had trained my
black lab pet as a therapy dog to visit in hospitals and schools in my community.  When I
began having seizures she naturally began alerting me and my parents to an upcoming
seizure although at first we didn't realize this is what she was doing.  As my seizures
became increasingly more frequent I was scared to go anywhere for fear of having a
seizure and not being aware. Abby transitioned into my service dog after a little more
public access training and started attending school with me - she was the first service dog
at my high school and provided great comfort, bracing and a barrier in the crowded halls
and even alerting teachers of a pending seizure if I didn't respond to her alert
immediately.  As I began to think about college I knew that Abby would need to retire and I
would need a new service dog due to her age.  

I found Little Angels when looking online for seizure response dogs.  After much research
I decided their program was the best one on the west coast if not the entire US and I
requested an application. After completing the application and having lengthy
conversations with Katie, my family and I decided that the Little Angels Seminars and
Self Training Program would be the best fit for us. I live in Washington State, but we were
willing to travel to San Diego to ensure the success and support in training a new medical
alert service dog.  Since day one Katie and the Little Angels staff have been extremely
helpful and a great resource for all of my questions! At the first seminar we learned in
detail about service dogs, how to pick a dog, how to determine what task a SD could help
me with, basic obedience, potty training and much more. Even though I had a service
dog, she was a pet first so there was so much I didn't know about selecting a dog,
temperament testing, etc.  

After leaving seminar one the hunt for the 'perfect' dog began. My family and I really
wanted to rescue a dog from a shelter but after having no luck for three months we
purchased a hypoallergenic 9 month old Australian Labradoodle from a breeder in
Oregon. My mom thought a non-shedding dog would be the best in a college
environment.  I had contacted many breeders in three states asking if they had an older
dog that would be available for service work.  This breeder kept my information and when
she decided she did not want to keep this dog for breeding because his hips weren't
excellent (only good) she gave me a call as she thought he had a good temperament for
service dog work.  Bringing home a puppy was anything but easy! For weeks Blazer peed
every time he got excited, he chewed a lot of things, dug up plants in the yard, and was
just full on puppy! Blazer and I began obedience classes at the beginning of November
and by the end of the month he had passed his Canine Good Citizens test. Blazer was a
fast learner and picked up on new tasks easily. During Little Angels seminar two I learned
all about task training with Blazer in tow. Katie, Kellen, and Dana were very helpful with
suggesting new ways of training and tips and tricks to keep Blazer interested. Blazer
began attending high school everyday with me after completing seminar two as a "service
dog in training". Abby transitioned back to a therapy dog at my high school and began
working in special needs classes.  Each day I came and went with both dogs!  It took
Blazer about a week to adjust and figure everything out at school but now he is a pro.
During our third trip to Little Angels he and I passed our certification test and he now goes
everywhere with me.  Blazer now knows how to alert to my seizures, dial an assistance dog
phone, preform deep pressure therapy, brace, retrieve his vest (which contains an
emergency phone), and most of all brings me the confidence I need to be independent.

Most people believe dogs can't be trained to alert to a seizure, Little Angels not only
believes, but teaches the technique.  My seizures are mostly controlled by medication,
but when I do have them, Blazer has alerted every time.  The confidence I have to leave
the security of home and go to college with Blazer gives new meaning to the word
independence.  He is truly my “little angel”!

Grace Meno and Blazer

Private Instruction

Many would like to receive private instruction to assist with the training of their own service dog, as opposed to
receiving group instruction through our seminars, or by receiving a dog already completely trained for them.
Unfortunately, there are many private trainers who take advantage of the fact that there is a high monetary value
attached to service dogs, and the fact that many are desperate to receive the help they can offer. Many people are
hindered by dogs who are not fully trained, and by those trainers who charge exorbitant fees, preying on those who
would pay anything to help a sick family member or those who so desperately need the assistance. Before hiring a
private trainer complete a background check, or seek referral from an accredited organization you trust, and always
be sure to ask for a written contract regarding your training arrangements with the private trainer. Little Angels
Service Dogs
does not offer private lessons or instruction, however, we can refer you to private trainers in the San
Diego area who are familiar with the training of service dogs and have similar standards to that of our organization.

The following trainer assists through private lessons or boarding school.