Certification Process

Earn Your Path to Independence!

Certification Process

The ultimate goal of enrolling in the TOP DOG training program is to achieve certification and proudly display the TOP DOG emblem that signifies you are a working service dog team.  Certified teams have the legal right to enter public buildings and ride public transportation.

The TOP DOG Certification test is only given in Tucson.  Each owner-dog-team must pass a rigorous test to demonstrate their skills and the strength of their bond – the ability of each owner to control their dog in public and ultimately the usefulness of each dog to its owner.

All applicants will receive a copy of the certification test ahead of time, so they will know exactly what’s expected of them before taking the test.  Although we will do everything in our power to prepare you for testing, we cannot guarantee you will achieve certification.

Please understand certification is not something you buy.  It is something you earn. 


Out-of-State Certification

The TOP DOG Certification test is only given in Tucson.  Dogs must be a minimum of 40 pounds. You must come to Tucson and be prepared to stay 4 to 5 days, so that you and your dog have time to acclimate to our community, before taking the TOP DOG Certification test.  You must provide for your own transportation, lodging and meals. The certification process includes several hours of daily instruction and observation for 3 to 4 days prior to testing, so that we can evaluate your readiness and skills.

The Process

There are two ways to begin the certification process.

After successfully completing our Service Dogs Online training program, you and your dog should be ready to take the certification test.  As one of our graduates you may apply for certification. The fee is $175 (US) to register for the TOP DOG Certification test, of which $75 is non-refundable

If you and your dog are already a good working team, but did not enroll in any TOP DOG training program, you may also take the certification test.  In this case, you may apply and must pay a fee of $350 (US) to register for the TOP DOG Certification test, of which $175 is non-refundable.

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