ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with
a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals,
whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or
tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler ́s disability. Examples of work or tasks
include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks,
alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent
protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the
presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance
with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological
disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal ́s
presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks
for the purposes of this definition.
Based on the ADA Service Dogs are allowed public access when accompanied by their disabled handler, as long
as the above is met.
Certain breeds are preferred for service dog work, depending on the handler’s disabilities and needs. We generally use
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, all sizes of Poodles, and sometimes various mixes of these breeds. More
important than the breed is the dog's temperament, intelligence, and health.
It should be noted that most of our Service Dogs come from our own Labrador Breeding Program as we can insure the
history of their genetic health.
Practicing an Off-Leash Heel during Handler Training
Little Angels Trainers on field trips to local shopping
Recipients learning how to groom their dogs during Handler Training
A recipient working with his dog for the first time during Handler Training
Little Angels Program Standards
We train and place fully trained dogs with approved disabled recipients, and
also help the disabled train their own dogs to assist them. Regardless of how
we are helping the disabled party to be assisted by a dog, our training
practices are held to a high standard, such as the standards held
by Assistance Dogs International (A.D.I.).
These standards not only insure a higher level of assistance for the disabled
party, but guarantees a high quality of life for the dog, and provides safety to
others in our community.
*Be clean and well groomed.
*Eliminate in appropriate areas and only on command.
*Not solicit attention or be a distraction to the public through barking or
*Never show aggression, but be confident and friendly towards everyone and
*Perform at least 3 tasks to assist the disabled party specifically with their
*Respond to obedience commands consistently.
The disabled party has a right to:
*Be considered by application or consultation regardless of race, sex, religion
*Receive a sound education for an understanding of how to control their dog in
public and at home, command the dog to assist them, and to use the dog with
appropriate service dog etiquette in the public setting.
*Receive follow-up training when needed.
*Receive advice for questions on their dog’s medical treatment and behavior.
*Refer to Little Angels regarding public access issues and their rights.
All Little Angels Trainers understand and adhere to the highest level of
standards and ethics by:
*Communicating effectively and appropriately.
*Matching and evaluating dog and handler teams with care.
*Demonstrating their knowledge of canine behavior through humane training
methods with regard to the dog’s well being and the safety of the public and
Together we are changing lives … one dog at a time.
|Changing lives . . . one dog at a time!
Little Angels Service Dogs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization of trainers and
volunteers who work to provide highly trained dogs to assist disabled children
and adults throughout the United States.
Our dogs are trained to assist in a variety of ways to help with daily tasks and to
Most of the dogs we place are puppies that have come from our own breeding
program, and are raised and molded from birth with the specific goal of being an
Assistance Dog. Others are lucky enough to be rescued from shelters, and end
up changing the lives of others.
Each dog's training is personalized in tasks to help their individual handler.
For more information on each type of service dog we offer, please select each
of the buttons above.
|Training Your Own
Little Angels concentrates on training dogs directly in
our own program, however there are options available
for us to assist you in training your own Service Dog.
Self-Training Your Service Dog
For those of you who are interested in training your
own service dog, or training a dog for your friend or
family member, please visit our Training Seminars
page for further details.
These seminars cover everything you need to know
from selecting the perfect dog for your disability,
obedience training, public access skills, service dog
etiquette and laws, and advanced assistance tasks.
Our seminars are designed to teach in a variety of
methods for the different learning styles of each
For those who cannot travel, or would like to get a
head-start on training, we will suggest one of our
Each book is a
step-by-step guide on how to train your own service
dog. If you still have specific questions or difficulty in
any areas after reading the book we will be more than
happy to assist you via email. For book orders and
review please click here;
Service Dog Training Books
|Maley has been placed with a 9-year-old boy with
Cerebral Palsy. Maley was trained for Mobility
Assistance, and helps brace his handler for balance,
and retrieves hard-to-reach items.
|Bailey is a Seizure Alert Dog, and alerts
the mother of a 1-year-old baby before the
infant has a seizure.
It is our goal that all dogs are placed at no cost to
the disabled handler.
We understand the importance of adding a
service dog to your life. We would never want
finances to be the deciding factor. Many
applicants go into the process thinking they are
responsible for 'purchasing' their service dog.
This is not the case. Fundraising is an option for
our recipients, but is never a requirement.
Organizations nationwide spend an average of
$30,000.00-$40,000.00 on each assistance dog
trained. The average service dog graduates with
over 600 hours of training, and with that expense
also comes veterinary care, boarding, grooming
and training supplies. Because of the commitment
of all our wonderful volunteers Little Angels
spends a fraction of that, at $24,000.00 per dog.
This is an expense covered through fundraising.
Recipients are never expected to pay.
The first step is to request an application on our
'Apply for a Dog' page. If approved this is
followed by a 1-hour phone consultation which
allows us to assess your goals and see if a
Service Dog is right for you. If we agree that a
Service Dog is in your best interest you are able
to return your Agreement and $500.00 deposit.
This deposit shows your commitment to the
program. However, this is gifted back to you once
the fundraising is complete.
|One of our dogs on a socialization outing
at Sea World.
|Out of State Travel
About 80% of our recipients come to us from out of
state, so travel needs are very typical when receiving
a dog through Little Angels. If you do not live in
Southern California, travel will be necessary. You
would take a short 2-week 'vacation' to San Diego,
California for your Handler Training. Travel expenses
are the responsibility of the recipient and they will vary
Hander Training is where the disabled party (or
assistant of the disabled party) learns how to work
with the dog as a team. This generally takes 14 days,
with training every day. This is when the dog learns to
respond to the commands of the handler, and when
the handler learns how to reinforce the training that
the dog has already received. We cover practical,
day-to-day life experiences so you will feel confident
taking the dog into your care.
After the completion of Handler Training we work
together on a series of field tests, which are
administered by the trainer. After graduation, you and
your dog will be certified as a working team. A
certification card will be provided to the handler, as
well as a service vest and aluminum identification tag
for your dog, which labels him or her as a service
We have a lifetime commitment to each
recipient and each dog that we place.
Once you and your dog have graduated we maintain
contact to ensure that your dog's training and
assistance remains in tact,
that the dog remains healthy and happy,
and that the dog is improving your quality of life.
|Listen to our
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.