Training Service Dog tasks

There are a lot of different skills that apply to Service Dog work.  Different disabilities require different trained tasks.  Here is a list of tasks and how to train them.  I will add more soon.

Nose Press

Here I’m teaching the nose press or touch.  This will come in useful for a number of skills later on. 

Nose Press to an object

To teach nose press to an object, you can either start with a nose press to your hand and then transfer it to an object or you can start with the object, and use the same technique that is described with a nose press to your hand.

Paw touch for light

Paw touch is taught to use in many tasks.  Turning on and turning off lights, opening doors, and interrupting various human behaviors,

Place and Settle

I’m combining place and settle because if you send your dog to his place you will want him to settle. You’ll need to use settle whenever you put your dog in a down stay in public.    


You will use tuck mostly in public or visiting someone’s house.  You want to make your service dog inconspicuous and this is a good way to keep your dog out of the way.  Plus, he’ll feel more secure.  

Brace, Stand-stay 

Brace is used for balance and for help getting up.  A larger breed of dog is most suited for this task.  Good structure is a must.  

Block & Cover

Block are used keep people and crowds at a distance.  The dog will stand in front of you to block or behind you to cover and protect you from people getting to close that may create a panic attack.  

Still Behavior / Wait & Stay

A good stay and settle is needed when in public.  Even in your house you don’t want a rambunctous dog running around, potentially tripping you or jumping up on you and knocking you over.  


You not only want your dog to stay, you want him to settle because he may have to stay in place for long periods of time. 

Search for Allergens

An allergy alert dog will help their owners go to restaurants or even on a walk and not worry about having an attack.  


Retrieve is important for many tasks.  Picking up dropped object, bringing you medicine, bring you your cellphone.  


Tug comes in handy for all sorts of activities.  Help you take off socks or clothes.  Opening doors to cabinets.  Pulling you out of bed or out of a chair or wheelchair. 

Chest Press

Chest press is for comfort and to assuage panic attacks.  Good for PTSD and anything anxiety related.

Nuzzling & Pawing

Nuzzling and pawing can stop unwanted behavior from the owner or alert the owner to a potential problem.  Used like the nose touch but usually more insistent.