Upgrade training for service dogs

Upgrade an owner-managed dog's training to meet service dog training standards before getting a qualification assessment.

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Owner-trained  service dogs must pass the Service Dog Qualification Assessment to qualify for public access rights This includes service dogs that are:

  • owner-trained
  • privately trained
  • acquired from a school not recognized by the Government of Alberta

A dog and their handler can become a qualified service dog team and get rights to access public spaces if they pass the Qualification Assessment. Prior to the assessment, owner-managed dogs can access additional training to help them meet requirements.

Types of upgrade training available

There are several options for training from Alberta’s approved service dog organizations that align with the Alberta Training Standard. Costs of upgrade training may be subsidized.

Training is optional, but is encouraged if a service dog owner is applying to have their dog qualified.

Advanced training

Some service dog organizations offer 6-month graduate programs for advanced training:

  • service dog teams graduating from these programs are pre-qualified under the Service Dogs Act
  • enrolment in these programs may be limited and costs vary

Public access training

Alberta’s approved service dog organizations that offer training may also offer various programs to assist with upgrade training:

  • interested persons should contact these organizations directly for details
  • enrolment may be limited and costs vary

Pre-assessment preparation

These approved trainers may also offer trials for service dog teams who want to practice the assessment exercises:

  • these trials will not affect the actual assessment
  • service dog teams doing a trial assessment must still pass the Qualification Assessment to be considered qualified in Alberta
  • enrolment may be limited and costs vary

Find training

For information on training programs, contact the Service Dog Assessment Team.


Connect with the Service Dog Assessment Team:

Phone: 780-427-9136
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

Government of Alberta, Guide and Service Dogs
Civil Society and Community Initiatives Branch
Seniors, Community and Social Services
Forestry Building
4th Floor, 9920 108 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2M4