All the dogs used in Lodestar's program are carefully evaluated and hand selected by professional Lodestar dog trainer, and President, Melissa Schroeder.  We believe that just as every child deserves a second chance at life, so do the dogs we train. For this reason. all of our dogs selected to be trained in the program are rescued from shelters. We do not utilize a breeding program or "breeding stock" dogs.  Upon completing an in-home interview, Melissa will look for a dog that matches your child's specific needs. Once a dog is matched training commences in three phases.

Phase I: Upon meeting the dog, and agreeing to the dog match, the client will take the dog home and start  teaching the dog basic obedience skills. socialization, and manners. Each client will be assigned a Lodestar dog trainer to help guide them through this training process, making regular in-home visits. It is very important that client's learn the skill set needed to be dog handlers at the same time the dog is learning the skills to be a service dog. By having the clients take a hands on approach to the training they are not only learning valuable skills but are bonding closely with the dog and starting to form a partnership from day one. The goal of this new team is to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen's Test.

Phase II: Once the client has passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen's test, the Lodestar trainer assigned to the client will then start the service dog portion of the training. A schedule will then be set up between the client and trainer for drop off and pick up of the dog for training. Most training days occur over the weekend so that drop off is on a Friday and pickup is on a Monday. The client will be required to meet Lodestar staff in Findlay, OH for training transportation. Service dog training typically takes 3-4 months, however, it could be longer depending on how fast the dog learns and how well the client reinforces the training when the dog is not with the trainer. Before training is complete, a training dog must complete a Lodestar placement Evaulation and a Public Access Certification Test. 


Phase III. Once service dog training is completed the client will be required to travel to Findlay, OH for a total of days for placement training. During placement training the client will learn how to become a successful working service dog team. Training days are flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs of each client. After 6 days have been completed, the Lodestar trainer will then travel to the client's home environment for 3 more additional days to help the new service dog team adjust to traveling in their home environment. The new service dog team must pass a Public Access Certification Test before they are officially certified as a service dog team.


If you feel you have a dog you may want to donate to the training program, or to learn more about requirements for dogs in training please visit our Dog Donation page. 

If you would like to follow specific dogs in training during the training process please follow us on Facebook!


Connect With Us!