Frequently Asked Questions

  • APPLICATION PROCRESS?
  • Who is eligible to apply for a service dog?
    Veterans of the US Military who fought in overseas combat and now suffers from a disability related to their wartime service.
  • I’ve heard service dogs are costly.. How much do you charge veterans? Zero dollars and Zero cents. Thank you for your service.
  • After I apply for a dog, what is the next step?
    You will be contacted by our Veteran Coordinator to review your application and then will be referred to our Behavior Specialist who will set up an interview. Once that is completed your full application will be reviewed and if you meet the requirements an appointment will be set up to discuss our program along with wait times, expectations, and follow through.
  • What is the wait time to get a dog? It will vary from month to month depending on a few different things such as how many dogs do we have in the program and how many veterans have been approved to receive one. We get the dogs at 8 weeks old and they graduate when they are between 1 and a half and 2 years old. so typically, the wait time can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. You will be well informed of everything.
  • If I am approved, when can I start working with a dog?The dogs are in foster care getting basic obedience training for the first year. After that, they may start to get paired with veterans. Getting paired with a dog usually isn’t a one day ordeal. You may want to meet all the different dogs in the program to see which one is the best fit for you. So after they have passed basic obedience evaluations at the 1 year mark, getting paired is a possibility. Once you have found your match, you will get to work with him or her in training sessions weekly to begin to form that bond. After a few months of that your personal situation will be evaluated to devise a plan of overnight and weekend stays with the dog in your home so we can gradually form the relationship without putting too much stress on either on of you.
  • GENERAL QUESTIONS?
  • Where are you located and where do you work out of? We are located in Philadelphia, PA. When it comes to training, we understand that public anxiety is a big problem for our veterans. That is why, ideally, we would like to initially come to your home for initial meets and initial training, and work our way up into more public settings like parks and markets- only at your pace though. For certain training sessions, we will ask you to come to different training facilities so we can have several of our dogs train at once but we promise not to put you in an uncomfortable situation.
  • If you don’t charge the veterans, where does the money come from to fund the program? That’s a great question! We hold an annual “Beef & Bark” in the fall- basically a beef and beer fundraiser with different raffles and attractions. Throughout the year we hold smaller fundraisers and appear at different events. We sell t shirts and bumper stickers. We may have the help of generous donors and sponsors. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a full or partial sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page! We are frequently on the radio, news, and in the eye of the public so there is definitely a potential for some positive advertisement in the community in partnering with us!
  • Where do you get your dogs?Ideally, we like to use dogs from a reputable breeder with decades of proven service dogs produced. These have the best success rate since we know where they come from. As alternatives, we will evaluate rescue dogs and dogs already in the homes of veterans, but please note that this is not the preferred method. You should not buy a puppy and expect we will automatically train them for service. They have to be evaluated for many different things. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about your own dog or a shelter dog- we can help determine if the pup is eligible.
  • PUPPY RAISER FAMILY QUESTIONS?
    All families must commit to attending an orientation class prior to the puppy’s arrival. The puppy raiser family and pup must also participate in weekly training classes.

    • How long will the  puppy live with their puppy raiser family?
      The family will commit to fostering for up to 18 months.
    • Can the puppy raiser family take the puppy along on outings?
      Yes. The puppy needs to be comfortable in a variety of settings, meeting new people, and encountering different environments. The puppy will wear the Service Dog In Training vest at all times in public settings.
    • Can I raise a puppy if I already have a dog in my home? 
      Yes. The Director of Training will evaluate and assess the other dog and home environment to ensure a match.
    • When does the puppy start training school? 
      The puppy will begin socialization, training, and field trips right away.
    • What’s involved with training my puppy?
      You will be given all of the education and tools needed to participate in the training of your service dog in training.  We have weekly training classes with the Director of Training.  You will take your dog everywhere with you for all types of socialization which will be discussed during orientation and during weekly classes.
    • What happens when the foster family goes on vacation?
      Puppies will stay at Alpha Bravo Canine if you are not able to take them with you on vacation.

    Please email ServiceDogs@AlphaBravoCanine.org to set up an interview.