Service Dog Training

Holdfast K9 is an approved Alberta Government Qualified Service Dog Training Organization


Service Dog Training Overview

  • 10 months of training to pass the AB Service Dog Test.
  • Primary focus is on PTSD Service Dogs.
  • Other types of medical service dog training available upon request and approval.
  • The handler trains their own dog with Holdfast K9 Guidance.
  • 2-hour Weekly public training sessions.
  • Full or Monthly payment plans available.

What is the Holdfast K9 Owner Trained Service Dog Program

  • Holdfast K9 is a government approved service dog training organization.
  • This is a 10-month program where the handler trains their own service dog with weekly guidance from Holdfast K9.
  • Total of approx. 100 hours of training with a certified service dog trainer with an additional of 140 hours of at home advanced training.
  • Each training session will be in a public setting and prepare the dog and handler to pass the AB Service Dog Test.

How To Apply

The candidate must complete an intake application with Holdfast K9 and be approved for the program. Application includes the following documentation.

  1. Holdfast K9 Application.
  2. Medical Recommendation for a Service Dog.
  3. Veterinary Requirements for a Service Dog.
  4. Owner Trained Service Dog Program Agreement.
  5. $25 Application fee (nonrefundable).

Program Details

The handler must be capable of working a group and be prepared to train with their dog in public.

During the following 4 phases of training, the handler must provide their own equipment (collar, leash, vest, and treats). Holdfast K9 has structured its fee schedule to lower the financial risk of the dog handler. The steps to our program are as follows.

Phase 1 – Application ($25)

Holdfast K9 will not start any training or assessments until paperwork is received and proof of disability is given.


Phase 2 – Dog Assessment for Service Dog Work ($75)

An initial assessment must be done of the dog for service dog work. This assessment is done in a public setting and covers temperament only (not obedience) and takes approx.1 hour to complete. The dog must be a minimum of six months of age to be assessed.


Phase 3 – 4 Week Probation ($400)

If the team passes its assessment, they begin a 4-week (4 x1 hour training sessions) probation period where the dog and handler are further evaluated for the handler’s ability to manage a dog and the dog’s temperament and trainability.

  • Any issues with the dog or the handler’s ability to manage a dog will be identified during this probation.
  • This is to reduce the financial commitment ($500 only) to the handler should future training not be advisable.


Phase 4 – Training ($4,500)

If the dog and handler passes its probation and they wish to continue training with Holdfast K9, a separate agreement will be signed outlining payment options for the remaining 10 months. Training will consist of weekly 2-hour training sessions (4 weeks a month total) for a total of 10 months. This training will be focused on imprinting the required medical tasks in the dog as well as advanced obedience. Upon conclusion of the training Holdfast K9 will administer a practice Public Access Test (PAT) to ensure the team is ready for provincial testing.


Note*** If the team fails the practice Public Access Test further training can be scheduled at the same monthly rate until the dog is ready for testing.


Cost (Fee Schedule)

The cost for the Holdfast K9 Owner Trained Service Dog program includes an obedience manual and is as follows.

  1. $25 - Application Fee
  2. $75 – Dog Assessment for Service Dog Work
  3. $400 – 4 Week Probation Period
  4. $4,500 – Training – Monthly cost for10 months of training is $450 per month.
    • An agreement will be done for payment options.
    • If further training is required after 10 months, it can be scheduled at the same monthly rate agreed upon in the original agreement.

Are you ready to have a conversation?