Questions to Ask

As part of our mission, NICST promotes ethical standards for the service dog industry. Currently, no measurements for accuracy and reliability are required from all service dog providers. To help you find a service dog, we’ve compiled a list of questions based on our standards and those of Assistance Dogs International (ADI).

10 Questions to ask prospective trainers or organizations:

  • What is your experience training Service Dogs? Inquire about licensed credentials, state qualifications, and past employers/programs.
  • What is your understanding of/experience with Type 1 Diabetes? (Or First Responders? My medical condition?)
  • What is your experience training service dogs that assist people like me? For Type 1 Diabetics, can you provide evidence of measurable outcomes that show the dog’s rate of alert for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia?
  • What is the dog’s background? Find out information about the dog’s origins, health, and training.
  • How has the dog been trained? In scent detection and for overall emotional and physical well-being? What is your philosophy for training?
  • How will I be trained with the dog? What do you need to know about my history, my lifestyle, and the management of my medical condition?
  • Have you trained this Service Dog to meet the standards of ADA and ADI?
  • What can I reasonably expect from your Service Dog? What are the limitations of this dog?
  • What happens if I have a problem with the dog? Do you provide support if a behavioral problem or serious issue occurs?
  • And do you provide regular trainings after placing the dog?