Dogs On Command, Canine Training Academy

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Service Dog Training For Special Needs

On Command Canine Training Center Raises, Trains
& Places Purposely Selected Purebred Service Dogs

Providing Service Dogs throughout the United States

On Command Canine Training Center is committed to changing the lives of adults and children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for both adults and children, and assistance to their families. 

Costs for Service Dogs

Cost: $15,000.00. 
$7500.00 due at contract signing.
$7500.00 due when the service dog is placed in the home with the service dog user.

• Upon completion of training, On Command service dogs are required to be re-certified annually with On Command to maintain their skills and public access proficiency

On Command Canine Training Academy does evaluate and accept dogs into the Service dog program from individuals that have already purchased a dog to be trained as a service dog. 

All dogs must be evaluated by On Command prior to being accepted into the service dog program. 

Training fee: $5,500.00
Boarding fee if required: $600.00 per month

Autism Service Dogs

Autism Service Dogs have proven to be an asset for children diagnosed with autism and their families. These dogs provide a social “bridge” for children who are often excluded by others because of their behavior or lack of social interaction. These well-trained autism service dogs can also provide comfort as well as calm children who suffer from autism. A child with Autism who run away and hide can also be quickly and easily found by autism service dogs that are trained to locate them. These are just a few of the advantages of having a trained service dog to assist a child with Autism.

Service Dog

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that affects the way a child sees and interacts with the rest of the world. It affects sensory, memory, motor and postural control. Social and communication skills may be compromised leading to social isolation both within the family and with other people. Many children with Autism display a tendency to bolt in open spaces making going to a mall or a restaurant almost impossible. Many children with Autism also experience difficulty sleeping and often suffer from insomnia.

Children with autism are often misunderstood because they process information in a different way. They deal with facts, not concepts, which can be a problem for parents and teachers. Because information is processed in a very detailed oriented way, the child will sort through both major and minor stimuli, a car driving by, the smell of their clothing, or the sound of a dog barking to make a decision. Too many details can cause them to become overstimulated and confused by everyday situations.


There are countless benefits of owning an autism service dog for children and families affected by autism. These dogs are faithful companions that assist these children and families with activities of daily living as well as increasing the safety of the child and reducing the stress level of their family. Other advantages of having an Autism Service Dog include:

Increased social interaction – assistance dogs have been proven to improve social skills and social interaction for many children affected by autism. These dogs are naturally interesting which often draws the attention of a child with Autism as well as others.

Redirection of repetitive behaviors – dogs can be taught to nudge a child that is performing repetitive behaviors; this touch is often all that is required to redirect the child from these behaviors.

Improved independence – autism service dogs can provide independence by allowing the child to walk with the dog as opposed to constantly holding the hand of a parent or adult. These highly skilled dogs can assist the child while under the direction of the adult.

Increased vocabulary – children with autism are often noticed to have an increase in vocabulary after being paired with an assistance dog. The children seem to be more comfortable in speaking with the dog which transfers to more verbal interaction with people.

Improved quality of sleep – assistance dogs provide a certain level of comfort that can often improve a child’s ability to sleep more throughout the night.

An overall calmer environment – when performing everyday tasks, children feel less pressure working with a dog as opposed to their peers. The tactile experience of having a dog as a companion has also been proven to provide calming effects. Children with Autism who work with dogs have been documented to feel less anger and experience fewer acts of aggression compared to the time before receiving an autism service dog.

Recovery of lost children quickly – these autism service dogs are taught to track the child in the event that they bolt or become missing. These dogs are capable of locating the child in a variety of environments and terrain. This ability to locate the child quickly can greatly reduce the risk of serious harm. Some dogs can also be trained to rescue a child from water.

If you are considering an autism service dog for your child, but have questions about autism service dogs or what they do, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

Seizure Response Service Dog

On Command trains Seizure Response dogs that are unique for each adult or child. Most agencies will not work with children, especially very young children. At On Command, we have no minimum age requirement and believe fully in early intervention.

 There are two types of dogs trained to help with seizure disorders; Seizure Response Dogs and Seizure Alert Dogs. Our training falls into the second category and we refer to them as Seizure Response Dogs.

Most of the calls On Command receives on a daily basis are in regard to Seizure Response Dogs are from the parents of children who have seizures. This led us to develop a program geared toward the placement of service dogs trained to provide a level of emotional support above and beyond what could be achieved with the addition of a family pet as well as training the dog to alert parents to seizures when they occur if not even beforehand. This program has proven to be very successful.

While children are not mature enough to participate in the intensive training process needed for the successful placement of a Seizure Response Dog, parents of children with seizures can use a Seizure Response Dog as a tool in helping keep their child safe and the benefits of having a dog as a companion and friend are priceless.

Family With Service Dog

The Seizure Service Dog can do the following:

• Provide a measure of comfort for the child
• Provide a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures, such as blood tests
• Be used during a therapy session to enlist the child’s participation
• Alert parents at night that their child is having a seizure.

In addition, children with seizures may be afraid of being alone, sleeping in their own beds, and engaging in activities because they might have a seizure. In these instances, dogs can give the children a little courage while helping them maintain their independence.

In addition to providing emotional support in various medical environments, Seizure Response Dogs can bring with them miracles that arise when service dogs are provided to children with disabilities. Sometimes the child who has extensive seizures must wear a helmet to protect from falls when playing on the playground, or while playing with the neighborhood kids, or during school recess. These circumstances can, and often do, lead to isolation. The children who lack understanding of the child’s “difference” from them often avoid the child who experiences seizures. Even young children that have friends may find themselves left behind by their peers as they get older if the seizures limit their activities or result in cognitive delays.

However, there are few children who don’t like dogs, and the miracles that occur when children with disabilities enter the playgrounds with their service dogs are amazing. The service dog breaks the ice. Children will come to pet the dog, and in doing so there is an opportunity to get to know the child and understand the associated disability rather than avoiding the unknown.

Seizure Response Dogs are true service dogs and are allowed to go everywhere the recipient child goes as long as an adult team member is with them (someone trained to handle the dog for the child). These dogs are task trained.

All Seizure Response Dogs at On Command are trained to meet the specific needs of the person.

Some seizure medications cause issues with balance and the dogs are trained, if needed, to help the child or adult during these times by walking beside them with a harness they can hold to help stabilize themselves. During the interview and acceptance phase, other tasks that may benefit the adult or child may also be identified and planned into the training process.

Some of our parents have reported that their children have fewer seizures since their dogs entered their homes. This is believed to be the result of a reduction in the stress level the children have due to the comfort they find in their new companions.

While it still does not guarantee that our trained seizure response dogs will pre-alert, the ability greatly increases it if used in conjunction with a skill trained.

Dog and Boy


Fetal alcohol spectrum (FASD) is a life-long birth defect that occurs when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Children who are born addicted to street drugs or who were exposed to drugs prenatally present very much like kids with FASD. This “hidden disability” leaves an individual with neurological, behavioral, and emotional impairments. Up to 97% of children prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs will also fight mental illness. In addition, they are predisposed to substance abuse later in life. Most people don’t know that FASD and prenatal drug exposure are the leading preventable causes of intellectual impairment. And while more and more people have become aware of the number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the prevalence of FASD is equal to or greater than autism. In the United States, nearly one out of every hundred live births are affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.

About 3.4 of every 1000 infants born in a hospital in 2009 suffered from drug withdrawal due to prenatal drug exposure. Some studies show the number of babies born addicted to drugs has doubled in the past 5 years! At the rate in 2009, that is 13,539 infants a year, and double that would be 2 drug addicted children born every hour in the USA.

What is the FASD/DE Assistance Dog trained to do?

FASD, Autism, ADHD, drug exposure, and many other similar neurologically-based disabilities have similar patterns of behavior, and as such the FASD/DE Assistance Dog is trained in many of the same tasks as the Autism Assistance Dog.

Sensory Overload

We can train the dogs in Behavior disruption and interruption with the goal being to stop a particular behavior and replace the behavior with interaction with the dog. Using this set of unique commands, the parents or adult handler can ask the dog to interact with the child to assist in areas like sensory overload, repetitive behaviors, or interrupting compulsive thought patterns.


Like the Autism Assistance Dog, dogs for children with FASD or drug exposure prenatally often present a safety factor in the home. They may be impulsive and bolt or wander away when in public or may leave the house without telling anyone where they are going. With the Tethering system which joins the three unit team, parent/caregiver, dog, and child, the child is no longer able to bolt away or wander when out in public, and the parents can relax and enjoy the outing. If the tether is undone so the child can play at the playground, or once in the home and the child would “disappear”; the dog can be trained to the specific scent of the child. With scent specific training the dog is able to find them anywhere, even in a crowded mall! 

Social Lubrication

Similar to the ways in which an assistance dog assists an individual with Autism, FASD/DE Assistance Dogs provide support in a variety of environments, which result in improved communication and social skills. This is referred to as social lubrication.

The term “social lubrication” describes the phenomena where the presence of animals increased social interaction between people. Scientists suggested that the attractiveness of a child’s dog to other children may, as a secondary gain, enhance the attractiveness of the child as a friend or playmate. A dog can act as a social bridge between the disabled child and the typical child.


An FASD/DE Assistance Dog’s presence offers a calming influence. Like children who are affected by ADHD, many children experiencing fetal alcohol or drug exposure have difficulty sitting still, staying at the table, or focusing. They may get easily frustrated or become highly anxious, and the dog can provide a calming presence. The Behavior disruption commands can be used in this situation to teach the child to self-regulate using the dog rather than escalating out of control.

Increased Independence

An important role of the assistance dog is giving the child more self-confidence, which promotes independence. For children who also have attachment issues or fear of abandonment, the unconditional companionship offered by the child’s assistance dog is very healing. Often children with disabilities are generally dependent and may feel powerless due to their disability. The experience of some control over their assistance dog may provide a sense of mastery and self-assurance.


Children living with brain damage or psychiatric disabilities may have difficulty in creating intimacy with others. Trust is a big issue for those with attachment disorders. An FASD/DE Assistance Dog becomes a form of “grounding” for a child with fetal alcohol or drug exposure. The dogs serve as an emotional and sometimes physical anchor for a child who lives in a world that feels disorienting and confusing. When unexpected change or transitions easily offset the emotional balance of a child, the consistency of an assistance dog’s behavior helps that child be more able to cope with the unexpected. 


Children living with fetal alcohol and drug exposure, like children with autism, may have difficulty in putting themselves “in other people’s shoes.” Taking care of a service dog offers a chance to develop nurturance and practice people skills. These children may also have issues interpreting the facial expression of others, reading body language, or understanding behaviors so the opportunity to evoke compassion is critical. Developing empathy also pertains to a child’s sense of self and the feelings and emotional investment in something other than themselves.

A Special Bond

Though the child may have issues socially with people, who are quite complicated; the relationship with a dog is simple. There are no hidden agendas, no confusing facial expression or voice tones, and the body language of the dog is straightforward. Humans are often seen as always “wanting something” the child may not be willing or able to do. The dog never wants anything but love, affection, and play, which make bonding and relationship building less complex. It is possible for the dog to become a stepping stone to understanding people.

Diabetic Alert Dogs

There are many tools to use in dealing with diabetes, and the Diabetic Alert Dog is one more tool to add to the toolbox used to help families deal with who has diabetes.

With the use of a Diabetic Alert Dog, an Adult or Child can gain the independence they need. Here at On Command, we place Diabetic Alert Dogs with adults and children who have insulin-dependent Type 1 Diabetes. 

As with all medical alert dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as the insulin levels increase or drop. When an adult or child is experiencing a high or low, their body is releasing chemicals that change their typical scent.

An On Command Dog with the right training in scent-based work is able to respond to those chemical changes, at the onset of the changes long before any adverse medical reactions occur, by alerting the parents or caregivers or you personally to the change at its onset. This allows parents and/or child or you personally time to check the blood sugar level and take the appropriate action.

Training Diabetic Alert Dogs for children means that we must train a dog that is unique in its ability to meet the needs of both the child with diabetes and the child’s family. 

The same is true for the adults.

Dog and Child on Floor

Hearing Ear Dog

• Dogs learn to respond to verbal and hand signals and are taught to work for toys and affection.
• They are trained to make physical contact and lead their teammates to the source of the sound.
• For people with hearing impairment, the absence of sound can be life-threatening!

A fire breaks out during the night and the fire alarms, placed to save lives, are useless to the person with a hearing impairment. Most likely they would not wake up in time to escape the flames. Now, picture the same scene above, only this time the person with a hearing impairment has a Signal/Hearing Ear Dog. The alarm sounds and the dog springs into action. Quickly the dog awakes the person, pulling at their night clothes.

The person wakes up, smells the smoke, and the dog leads them to the door as they escape safely!

In addition to the actual signaling of sounds, Signal/Hearing Ear Dogs provide many emotional benefits as well. They give their owners a sense of freedom and renewed self-esteem.

For children, they can ease the frustration, pain, and anger that often accompany a hearing disability. They also feel safer when they are alone with their hearing dogs.

The dogs are able to alert their owners to the presence of intruders. This gives their owners a higher sense of security.

The Signal/Hearing Ear Dog provides its owner with a constant companion and a special bond of friendship.

They are less likely to feel lonely and isolated from a world designed with only the hearing in mind.

• The Signal/Hearing Ear Dog can become a bridge providing more opportunities to socialize while out and about in a “hearing” world. 

• People with hearing impairments and utilize a Signal/Hearing Ear Dog, report that they feel better equipped to function in a hearing world. 

• Signal/Hearing Ear Dogs are trained to alert their owners to a variety of different sounds.

• When the dog hears any of the noises they are trained to recognize, they get their owners attention and lead them to the sound.

On Command dogs are trained to work in any situation.

• Someone knocking at the door
• Doorbells
• Alarm clock
• Telephone / Texting
• Smoke Detectors
• Car horns
• Someone calling their owner’s name
• Police and emergency vehicle sirens

Mobility Assistance Dog

Mobility Assistance Dogs increase the independence of a person who uses a wheelchair, has trouble standing, and/or with ambulating. They perform tasks such as retrieving dropped items and opening doors.

Service Dogs

These dogs are valuable assets for the person returning to the workforce or school.

Some Things Mobility Service Dogs Provide are:

• Open Doors
• Retrieve dropped items
• Bring the phone
• Turn lights on and off
• Carry items in a dog backpack
• Get a parent in the home
• Open doors in the home
• Hit open doors buttons in public
• Hit the elevator buttons
• Assist with undressing by pulling on clothing
• Open drawers and cabinets
• Provide emotional and spiritual support
• Pulling a wheelchair chair up inclines and ramps, and for short distances.

Who Benefits From The Use Of A Mobility Assistance Dog?

Mobility Assistance Dogs can benefit children and adults with a variety of disabilities, including but not limited to:

• Spinal cord injury
• Brain injury
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Arthritis
• Spina Bifida
• Cerebral Palsy
• Balance problems (Ataxia)

Multipurpose Assistance Dog

Many of the families who come to On Command do so asking if we can help their child who may have a disability not addressed by any of the service dog agencies they have located. 

While some children, for example, who have only the diagnosis of Autism, fit clearly into a specific type of service dog. Many of our families have children with multiple issues, or diagnoses that do not seem to be addressed directly in the typical service dog categories, for example, Down’s Syndrome, Fragile X, Apraxia, ADHD, a variety of mental health diagnosis, life-threatening medical illnesses such as cancer, and medically frail children…to name a very few.

Our children may have both Autism and a seizure disorder, or seizures and mobility issues. They may be children born with birth defects and require repeated surgeries and/or hospital stays.

We have been helping a growing number of children with disabilities related to premature birth.

Here at On Command, we welcome families who may not fit the typical service dog concept and specialize in cutting-edge placements and creative solutions for unconventional placements. 

Do you think your child would benefit from a dog trained specifically to meet his or her needs but you have not found an agency which seems to train what you need? You have come to the right place!

At On Command we understand and cater to the unique needs of each child. 

Dog With Multiple Children

 Service Dogs for Families with More Than One Child Who Has A Disability

At On Command we have worked with many families who have more than one child in the family who might benefit from a dog.

While in some situations, we place more than one dog over time, many families can benefit from one dog dually trained to mitigate the disability of more than one child within the home. 

For example, we have placed dogs with families who have more than one child on the Autism Spectrum or families with one child who has mobility issues and another with a Seizure disorder.

If you need a dog specially trained to help more than one member of your family we are willing to work with you.

Veteran Service Dogs

The service dogs will be trained to meet each individual veteran’s specific needs which could include:

Service Dog With Veteran

• Balance work
• Stand and brace
• Helping to pull a manual wheelchair
• Turning lights on and off
• Opening household doors
• Pushing buttons to open automatic doors in public
• Retrieving dropped items
• Retrieving a phone in an emergency or other command items • Retrieving items from shelves and counters
• Paying a cashier
• Carrying items in a backpack
• Hearing ear/Signal work
• SHIPAR – Interruption of Self Harm
• Any other skill that can help the individual live a more independent life

Veterans who are interested in this program, which meet the qualifications, can contact Heartland Canines for Veterans @ to apply.

On Command Canine Training Center

Specializing in Autism, Psychiatric, Mobility assistance, hearing problems, diabetes,
and seizure response service dogs.


Client Testimony

"So I have been waiting to do this for a bit. To make sure I have the best perspective to describe what Sadie, our new service dog, has truly done to change the quality of our lives.

One sees the fb stories, website claims, and the local news about how much of an impact a properly trained service animal can have on a child with autism and their family. It's heartwarming and inspiring to watch but the skeptic in us wonders if that is real?!? Can they REALLY do what they claim and will it make that much of a difference in our lives? Will one superbly trained dog translate into a needed and necessary tool to help protect, guide, and potentiate our child's abilities? And most importantly, how do we weave that into our real lives? Family functions, attending school, social interactions, and even simple trips to the grocery store become dreaded obstacles when they should be easy, if not celebrated. When your child runs from the doors of a toy store that he asked to go to, into the parking lot in fear, and is almost hit by a car, then you gain a new perspective. Something needs to change. There has to be something out there, in this day and age, that can make a real difference. Not only in the life of the child but in that of the family struggling to meet their needs.

We found it! The one thing, the one therapy, above all the many others we have tried that has had the greatest impact on our lives... Sadie... Our service dog. She is everything that we were hoping for, and more! She has not only exponentially improved upon the simple things, she has given us hope... Hope that our child can live a happy, fulfilled, and safe life. Her ability to connect with him when no one else can, calm him in his most trying times, and be a constant state of protection when we don't know how else to do it makes her the most powerful tool in our arsenal. She is everything we hoped for and more.

'On Command Canine Training' has given us this new lease on life. Made what was once impossible, POSSIBLE! They are the real deal! Tim, Joshua, and everyone we have encountered during our journey have come through on every promise made. So if you are in need, or in question, of what a service animal can do to make a difference in your life... DO NOT hesitate...This is where you want to be... These are the people that can help you. My only regret is that we didn't seek them out sooner. They have changed our lives for the better and, I am confident, that feeling will continue for years to come. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you 'On Command,' for being everything you promised.

Most grateful,
Amy, Dan, Luke, and Leo"

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