First Response K9 Dog Training

We prepare our dogs to serve those who have served us during times of crisis and emergency. We support First Responders in (3) ways:

  • Partner Service Dog: This ADA accessible dog is trained to perform tasks that help strengthen the mental health and overall wellbeing of a First Responder.
  • Team Dog: This non-ADA accessible dog is trained to provide comfort and support for first response teams at their facility.
  • Buddy Dog: This non-ADA accessible dog is trained to provide comfort and support for a First Responder at home.

Our Science & Heart

During training, our dogs learn core tasks as well as tasks specific to the needs of the First Responder. Core tasks include how the dog responds to comfort their human (like applying deep pressure therapy or cuddling upon cue) and how the dog helps their human navigate crowds (like controlling spacing and interactions in public).

For First Responders, dogs may also be trained for a range of additional skills, like getting help, sweeping a room, or finding an exit. NICST works closely with clients to determine how our dogs can respond to the needs of their daily life and work. According to NICST’s industry-leading standards, all dogs are trained to reliably and accurately perform tasks to ensure the best outcomes for the client.

First Response K9 Client Training

We are dedicated to training dogs who will serve those who serve us during times of crisis and emergency. First Response workers experience high levels of stress and endless traumas in their day-to-day lives. Our First Response Canines will help these essential workers in various capacities and will be trained according to the specific needs of the first response individual or facility.


  • You must live within a 3-hour drive of our Nylabone Training Center in Concord, CA. For those living outside this area, please visit ADI to find accredited providers near you.
  • You must be a non-smoker and live in a smoke-free environment. This includes marijuana smoking and any kind of vaping.
  • You are physically capable and willing to handle and care for a large service dog.
  • You are proactively managing your holistic wellness and/or medical condition which this service dog will aid.

We teach clients about their rights and responsibilities as handlers of Service and Buddy Dogs and prepare them for day-to-day life with their dogs. We know that well-prepared clients will have the knowledge and peace of mind to thrive happily as they manage the stress and demands of their daily lives. During our comprehensive client training, our experienced trainers take clients into public places and onto transit to teach them how to handle the dogs and practice obedience in real-world situations. In this supportive community, clients receive hands-on guidance to gain the confidence they need to maintain their life-empowering partnerships.

Are you interested in partnering with a First Response K9 and meet the minimum requirements above? Please email Mark at for more information.