The NEADS Service Dog Application and Matching Process

Being matched with a NEADS Service Dog can be a life changing partnership. These partnerships come together through our unique matching process, which relies on an exceptional attention to details of both client circumstances and canine capabilities.

Most NEADS dogs are purpose-bred for temperament, health and personality traits best suited for service dog work. They are trained for 14 to 16 months, during which time we identify which dog has the skills and temperament for which applicant. On the client side, we believe the more we can understand about a prospective client’s lifestyle and expectations, the better we can pair them with a Service Dog that meets their needs. This happens through a multi-step application process.

By truly understanding the dog and the needs of each client, and by working closely with the pair once the match is made, our process ensures a successful and lasting partnership.

The Application and Matching Process

Applying for a Service Dog for physical disabilities or hearing, a child with autism or other developmental disabilities, or an Assistance Dog for the Classroom, Hospital, Courthouse, Ministry, or Therapeutic Settings includes the following steps.

Our Service Dog program for Veterans with PTSD has been designed to meet your unique needs and follows a different application process. Learn more here.

To determine if NEADS is the right Service Dog organization for you, each application begins with a Pre-Qualifying Questionnaire that will take just a few minutes and is completed on our website.

Take the Pre-Qualifying Questionnaire here.


NEADS Service Dog Programs

Service Dogs assist adults and children by picking up dropped items, turning light switches on and off, tugging doors open, and much more.

Service Dogs for Hearing alert people who have hearing loss to sounds such as a door knock, alarm clock, traffic, their name being called, and other sounds.

Service Dogs for Veterans matches Service Dogs with US veterans from any conflict who have a permanent physical disability, are deaf, or who suffer from profound hearing loss.

The Trauma Assistance Dog program (TAD) is designed for veterans from all eras who carry a diagnosis of PTSD from trauma that occurred during active duty.*

Service Dogs for Children with Autism or other Developmental Disabilities assist children ages 8-16 with socialization, fine and gross motor skills, and behavioral skills.

Assistance Dogs for the Classroom, Ministry, Hospital, Courthouse and Therapeutic settings are trained to work calmly and steadfastly in many situations, and are integrated into the practices of professionals who work with special needs students, patients and others in the community.