The Application Process

To Get Your Service Dog

PLEASE NOTE:  You must be a veteran, active military, or a first responder to enter our program.

  1. To began the process submit an online pre-application to obtain and train a service dog from NSSD, or to train your own pet dog to become a service dog.  Within two weeks, you will receive an email or phone call  to discuss your pre-application.
  2. Fill out and submit a complete client application and all related forms and required documents.
  3. After receipt of full application, an in-person interview with the Next Step Service Dogs Training Director will be scheduled.
  4. Pet dogs and NSSD dogs undergo temperament testing for service suitability and for the best match for you, the client.
  5. Once forms are approved and the dog is selected, a NSSD home visit will occur, then you’ll attend a phase one class.
  6. Training begins after completion of phase one.


  • A non-refundable client application fee of $150 is required at the time of submitting an application.
  • Service dog training is at no charge to active military, veterans or first responders.
  • After the service dog is certified with the client, the client takes full responsibility for the well being of the dog and all future dog-related expenses.
  • Transfer of ownership is one year after certification.

Dogs suitable for NSSD training:

  • Age is between 1.5 years old and 3 years old.
  • We do not consider bully breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rotweillers or Mastiffs.
  • Naturally calm and not easily distracted.
  • Friendly to people and other animals.
  • Has a Canine Good Citizen Test Certificate or proof of basic obedience class.