Enrollement for the Service Dog Foundations Course is OPEN!

Training your own service dog is exciting, amazing, and unbelievably rewarding. 

Its also confusing, difficult, and scary.

But, it's also totally doable.

All you really need are three things:

A solid understanding of learning theory and dog behavior and the ability to apply that knowledge like a pro.

Straight forward training plans and techniques that are simple, effective, and scientifically backed. 

A support system and coaches that have been there and can walk with you on this journey, help you problem solve, and keep you moving forward.

You may have one of these things. You may have none.

That's where we come in.  

My Service Dog Online Academy can provide all three.

It's a monthly membership site filled with videos, live trainings, and printable PDFs, all designed to help you train your own service dog.  As a member, you'll have access to things like:

  • The Core Curriculum: A step-by-step course showing you how to train your service dog from beginning to end. (These levels are being released as they are created)
  • Live interactive master classes and Q&A calls (plus access to previous replays)
  • Access to our ever growing resource vault / video library

This means that:

When you join My Service Dog Online, for less than the cost of a single private lesson a month with a trainer, you get those three things every owner trainer needs:

A solid understanding of learning theory.

There is a science behind dog training.  A science as real and governed by rules as physics or biology.  Training a service dog really does require that you understand that science so that you can think and train like a professional.

With our dog training foundations module, live web classes, and live Q&As you’ll learn the science behind dog training, how to take that science and think like a dog trainer, and how to actually apply all that information to your service dog. 

Straight forward training plans and techniques.

We don’t just cover the science and the theories behind dog training, we actually show you how to apply that science with step-by-step videos.  You’ll have access to our video library where we’ll be adding new videos regularly covering everything from obedience, to task training, to problem solving.

 Not only do you have the video library, but you’ll also have both our Advanced Beginnings course and our Fantastic Focus course.


A support system that gets it.

You need a coach and a community that can answer your questions and keep you moving towards that final goal: a service dog that is trustworthy, reliable, and focused.

 When you’re a member of our Academy you’ll have access to our private Facebook group where you can get support and advice, not only from each other, but from my trainers and me as well.  That’s where you can post videos and get feedback on your training, post questions, and where you’ll get to participate in our live and interactive Q&A sessions.

See what other have to say about the Academy:

What's included:

  • The Core Curriculum:  This is our full course showing you step-by-step how to train your own service dog from beginning to end.  Every lesson includes a written lesson, video examples, and downloadable pdfs.  It's the stuff every service dog team needs to know. 
  • The Resource Vault: Filled with videos on all kinds of training topics, replays of past web classes, downloadable pdfs, and more, on topics you may need but another handler may no.
  • Task Training Library: This library is constantly growing and includes info on general task training as well as mini-courses on specific tasks.
  • Private Community where you can ask questions and get feedback on your training videos. This is also where the live Q&As are held.
  • Interactive live Masterclasses, Q&A s, and webinars.


Ready to Join?

You are just two steps away:


Join the Foundations Course

The Foundations course used to be stage one of our Academy. Now it's a standalone course taking you step-by-step through the process of building a solid training foundation for you and your dog.


Apply to Join the Academy

The Academy application period opens four times a year -exclusively to Foundations students. The application process is simple and designed to make sure you and your dog are ready to join the Academy.


What exactly is in the Foundations Course?


Service dog training is a lot like building with legos. Get the right core pieces and you can put them together over and over again in new ways, building a solid foundation that leads to l success in task training, public access training, and any other training you do.

This six-week course is all about building those core lego pieces and building a strong foundation for you and your dog.

It's about building a dog-handler team (you and your dog) who can work through distractions, train new behaviors, and proof those behaviors around distractions and in new places.

Week One and Two

The first two weeks are all about three things:

  1. Your skills as a trainer: So many courses focus mostly (or only) on the dog's end of the leash. But really, your dog's success is tied directly to your skills as a trainer, and a HUGE majority of the issues our handlers come to us with are solved when we fine- tune the human end of the leash.
  2. Your dog's ability to focus: This is the top struggle most owner trainers report, and it's the single most important thing for your dog to know, because you can't teach him anything if he isn't paying attention.
  3. You and your dog's ability to engage with each other, because service dog t and handling is a team sport with you AND your dog, and engagement and focus is a two-way street.

Weeks Three and Four

Week three and four are all about training a handful of core behaviors. Behaviors that serve multiple purposes and can be used to build all kinds of new things later. We'll also use those behaviors to continue to improve you and your dog's skills, understanding of certain concepts, and ability to work together as a team.


Weeks Five and Six

Finally, the last two weeks are all about doing those five behaviors around distractions and in new places.

This means you'll leave this course as a dog handler team who can:

- Use shaping, targeting, and capturing to train new behaviors 

-Put behaviors under stimulus conrol so your dog only offers them when you cue them (no more throwing random behaviors to try and get a treat)

- Work around distractions as a team. Your dog being able to focus on you, and you being able to recognize when he starts to struggle BEFORE things really go south, and what to avoid it.

- Have a strong foundation in five core behaviors (plus a couple of extras) that p you and your dog with the skills to move seamlessly into things like heeling, task training, and public access training.

- And more!

Week Seven


Academy application period opens exclusively to Foundations students.

The application process is simple and designed to help make sure you and your dog have gained the skills needed to be successful inside the Academy. The process involves a simple questionnaire and two short video submissions showing you and your dog practicing a few of the skills you'll learn in the foundations course.

The course also includes these bonuses:

Ongoing Q&As

Twice a month we hold live Q&As via Zoom. This allows you to ask questions about the course content, get Kate’s help when you’re stuck, watch training demos and more. The replays are stored in the course community, so you can always catch the replay if you can’t join live.

Quarterly Live Trainings

Four times a year we hold live trainings for Foundations students. Sometimes they're workshops, other times they are training challenges. But every time trainings will help you dig deeper into the course content, build your skills (and your dogs) and solve common challenges.


Exclusive Community

Our off-Facebook course community is where you can ask questions and get support from other students, course alumni, and our coaches.

This is also where you can submit questions for the Q&As, find the Q&A replays, and take part in the quarterly live training events.

Have a puppy? 

Check out our Puppy Library:

The Puppy Library is a collection of resources that answer all your puppy training questions: House training play biting, and crate training, just to name a few.

Using this resource in combination with the Foundations Course and the course community will get you and your puppy off to a solid start - at home and in training sessions. And you can join the Foundations Course with the Puppy Library below.


So, what does it cost?


➡️ Six week Foundations Course (lifetime access)

➡️ Exclusive off-Facebook community

➡️ Ongoing Live Q&As (held via Zoom)

➡️ Quarterly live trainings for Foundations Students

➡️ Puppy training library

Join Now!


Two Monthly Payments

➡️ Six week Foundations Course (lifetime access)

➡️ Exclusive off-Facebook community

➡️ Ongoing Live Q&As (held via Zoom)

➡️ Quarterly live trainings for Foundations Students

➡️ Puppy training library

Join Now!

Academy FAQ

The Service Dog Training Foundations course is a pre-requisite to applying to the Academy.

The Academy application period opens four times a year, exclusively for Foundations students.

The application process is a simple questionnaire (about ten questions) and two short video submissions of you and your dog practicing a few of the skills you’ll learn inside the foundations course.

The Academy is an online, $42 per month membership site, you'll have access to it for as long as you're a member. Here's how the academy's content will be delivered to you.

Every month, you'll receive one new level every other week, giving you two weeks to work through each new level.

The content inside the resource vault and task training library will become available to you as it relates to the information inside the core curriculum. Because you and your dog will need to know certain pieces of the core curriculum in order to be successful with exercises and behaviors in the Task Training Library and Resource Vault.


While we do welcome students training therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, or looking to train a pet dog, this course is designed for service dogs and so it will guide students through the process of public access training. If you are not training a service dog, you will need to limit your training to pet friendly locations only.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal is as a dog "that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability."  This task or tasks must directly relate to their handler's disabilities.

Because the sole function of a therapy dog or an emotional support dog is to provide comfort, they are not considered service dog's under federal law in the United States.

At this time only service dogs are legally allowed to accompany their owners into public places. 

Completing this course does not automatically grant a therapy dog, emotional support dog, or pet dog service dog status under the law. Misrepresenting a service dog is illegal and it is your responsibility to understand and follow the laws in your area. 

You may find more information on the federal laws here:


Because this is a self-study program that does not require an application process, we do not offer certification at this time.  Instead, the Academy is designed to do is to be an educational program providing students with the dog training skills, training plans, and knowledge to train their dogs to a high level.

*At this time, certification is not required in the United States. Click here to learn more about the ADA and how it governs the use of service dogs.

You can join the Academy for $42 per month or $420 per year.

If your application to the Academy is denied, we’ll give you ideas on how you and your dog can improve before the next application period. Then you can spend that time taking advantage of the ongoing Q&As and quarterly workshops/challenges to get ready for the next application period.

One level in the Academy will be released to you every other week. It will take a little less than a year to work through the entire curriculum.

While there are lots of downloadable resources inside the academy (that you’ll be able to download and keep forever), the videos and lessons are not downloadable. This means you only have access to them while you are a member. Once you cancel, you’ll lose access to these lessons.

Training a service dog is a long, challenging journey and learning via an online format is not a good fit for everyone. This short application process allows us to make sure you and your dog have gained the skills necessary to be successful in the Academy.

Foundations Frequently Asked Questions

If you and/or your dog are more advanced, you’ll still need to start with the Foundations Course. This is for a few reasons. 


  • First, foundation training is always the most important type of training to revisit and return to, even if you’re a professional dog trainer and this is your fifth service dog.

  • Second, as you probably know, there is a lot of variation in how different trainers teach different skills, even among positive reinforcement trainers. But, the thing about our programs is that they are designed to be used as a system, each lesson building off the last the entire way through.  The way we teach each behavior or skill has been chosen specifically to teach not just that behavior but to teach a variety of specific skills simultaneously.

    For example, we know that one way to teach eye contact is with a lure. We purposely teach eye contact without a lure so that we are setting you, and your dog, up for success in upcoming lessons. If you haven't taught eye contact the way we teach it, you'll be more likely to struggle in upcoming lessons.

    In order for us to teach effectively using this format, we need to know that everyone has learned the same set of foundation skills, behaviors, and physical mechanics.

  • Third, if you’re struggling in any area of your dog’s training, there’s a very high chance that it is due to a hole in your dog’s foundation. Patch the hole and you're on the way to solving the problem.
  • Fourth, it is simply unethical for us to provide service dog training to students and dogs without any kind of prerequisite or application process. The Foundations Course prerequisite and application process allows us to make sure you and your dog are ready for service dog training (just as we would if we were working with you in person).

Short answer is yes, the course is suitable for dogs aof all ages and training levels.

However, if you do have a puppy under 16 weeks, you may find the Foundations Course + Puppy Library bundle useful as the foundations course does not cover puppy-specific topics like play biting and crate training.

In order to take advantage of this course, you'll need to be comfortable learning through written text and video examples, comfortable posting videos to our course community, and fluent enough with your computer (or mobile devices) to use the online course and community.

Once you purchase the course, you get to keep access to it forever. You also get to stay in the community, which means you can ask questions about the course and take advantage of the live quarterly pieces of training for as long as we have a foundations course and community.

You'll get access to one new level each week for six weeks. But don't worry about falling behind because you won't lose access to the course or its community.

To access the course content, you'll need to be connected to the internet as none of the course lessons are downloadable at this time.

Our courses are designed to work as a system, meaning each lesson is built on the lessons before it. Even if you or your dog is more advanced, you must complete each lesson in order. Otherwise, you'll miss important concepts and skills, setting you and your dog up for extra challenges.

If you work through the course in order and ask any questions in the community as challenges pop up, the lessons will build on themselves.

For Professional Trainers

Yes, however, as a professional trainer, you already know there are as many ways to train a sit as there are trainers to teach it. The thing about our programs is that they are designed to be used as a system, each lesson building off the last the entire way through.  The way we teach each behavior or skill has been chosen specifically to teach not just that behavior but to teach a variety of specific skills simultaneously.


For example, we know that one way to teach eye contact is with a lure. We purposely teach eye contact without a lure so that we are setting the student, and their dog, up for success in upcoming lessons. If a lure is suggested, and used, the student will be more likely to struggle in upcoming lessons.


For this reason, we ask that professional trainers who join refrain from offering alternative ways to teach things, leaving this up to the coaches (who are familiar with the entire curriculum). This way students who are new to training are not accidentally overwhelmed with a variety of options.

About Kate:

Why trust me to be your coach? Because I've been there.  I remember training my first service dog.  I'd already been training pet and working dogs for nearly 10 years, but I was still terrified.  

What if I messed up, what if I failed?  What if I gave it everything I had and it still wasn't enough?

But I didn't fail.  And even though that first service dog took me months longer to train than it should have, I learned a lot.

My team and I created My Service Dog Online after years of training dogs and learning from some of the best trainers in the country.  And not just service dogs.  We've trained dogs and participated in performance sports and search and rescue.  We've learned from the top behaviorists and helped solve behavior problems like aggression and fear.  

But, it was watching owner trainers struggle to train their service dogs, and watching them struggle to sort through the huge amounts of advice online coming from all corners of the dog training world, that really convinced us to this online space was needed.

We started this site because we wanted to find a way to share both the training techniques and solutions that owner trainers like you know they need AND the skills, information, and science they aren’t aware they’re missing.

"Absolutely fabulous material. Concise, clear instruction, step by step instructions, a methodology that can be incorporated in everyday life. Highly recommended."


"These videos have given me the confidence and knowledge to train my own service dog. I would be lost without such amazing insight."


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