Partner Education

It is commonly accepted that partners that enjoy their service dogs the most are the partners that work with and continue to train their dogs. These teams develop a strong bond, work well together, and are able to mature in their working relationship if the partner's physical condition deteriorates.

In order to nurture and encourage a continuing bond and strong working relationship, Saint Francis has a Partner Training Program in which interested partners receive regular follow-up training. Partners are taught to maintain the dog's foundation training and work on improving existing task work and adding new tasks to the dog's repertoire.

Classes are held quarterly in Roanoke by Saint Francis trainers. Partners can contact trainers ahead of time with requests to work on specific issues. In addition, Saint Francis trainers are available to work with partners on an individual basis.

Teams must pass the Saint Francis certification test after the six month probation period. The team must return to Roanoke one year later for a re-certification and every two years after that for re-certification for the working life of the dog.

Saint Francis offers follow up support for Facility Dogs as well. These dogs are certified and re-certified in their working environment and Saint Francis trainers are available to support the working teams.
For questions or additional information about applying for a Saint Francis Service Dog contact Cabell Youell at or call 540.342.DOGS (3647).

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