Rover Academy

Patriot Rovers Program


Training service dogs takes time. Patriot Rovers’ professional staff has over 35 years experience in canine behavioral training. They work with our Rovers and train them to do a variety of obedience and service dog tasks. Then we implement the owner-trainer model. Soldiers attend Rover Academy to bond with their assigned service dog and to  learn about dog care and animal behavior.  Classes will be held on-site, in the hotel meeting room and in public settings such as stores and restaurants. Classes are held daily and each handler and dog team has homework nightly practicing different service tasks. Training for soldiers consists of classroom, hands on application, and homework. The course is pass or fail. You must complete the course and keep up with your homework assignments to receive your course completion certificate and receive your dog. This course requires time and dedication to complete. Our goal is to produce exceptional Psychiatric Service Dog handlers and dogs.

Description of Training Training is first performed on a basic level, and then moves to customized training focused on socialization and the performance of specific tasks.  Nearly 400 hours is 421226_488699394488688_515479659_ninvested
in each dog and soldier.  We train all dogs to perform specific tasks pursuant to the final ruling released in March 2011, under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).  These tasks include, but are not limited to, brace, get help, lights, doors, pull, dress, retrieve, reverse – all standard Service Dog tasks. Additional Psychiatric Service Dog tasks include tactile stimulation, alerting, interrupting, stabilizing, calming, waking, initiate activity, initiate interpersonal interaction, and the creation of personal space.  Non-task functions of Psychiatric Service Dogs include providing a constant 24-hour reassuring, unconditional love and companionship.  They also occupy the mind of the Veteran, helping direct their focus on something other than depression, or re-living horrible memories due to traumatic events experienced during deployment.  The Veteran is required to train extensively alongside the dog before we can release them into their care, on Graduation Day.

All Puppies begin with general training including training and certification as  AKC Star Puppy and AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC).


Handler Training Curriculum:
 Dog Behaviors,
, Pack Structure, 
Behavior Modification,

 AKC Star Puppy and CGC Test Items; 
Public Access Test Items; 
Obedience for Service Dog; 
Physical and Psychiatric Disabilities; 
Disabilities that qualify for a Service Dog; 
Symptoms for each Disability
; Service Dog Tasks for each Symptom
; Laws Regarding Service Dogs; 
Advanced Service Dog Obedience Training; Psychiatric Service Dog Tasks

; Public Application of Advanced Obedience and Service Tasks

Final Testing before certification as a Patriot Rover Psychiatric Service Dog includes: Testing on Advanced Obedience, AKC Star Puppy and CGCA, Public Access, and Service Tasks



Task Testing

Public Access Testing