about the k9pad team



Instructors are responsible for leading group lessons, private lessons, and writing training plans. They are responsible for supporting the entire training team such as mentoring and assisting puppy raisers, trainers, and other Instructors. As with all of our positions, this is a volunteer position.

Instructors should have achieved a certification within the field or show equivalent knowledge. Examples of certifications are IAABC (CDBC or ACDBC), CPDT-KA/CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, Fenzi trainer titles, etc.  It is recommended that Instructors have trained achievements such as titling their dogs or can demonstrate their abilities. Instructors have good people skills, love assisting other members of the training team, experience teaching lessons, writing lesson plans, and sourcing relevant educational material for the training team. Instructors do not need experience with Service Dogs, but must be willing to learn K9PAD techniques and protocols.  Instructors are expected to learn about the disabilities that we assist with and be comfortable working with clients with a variety of disabilities. 

Depending on experience and requirements of the program, you may be responsible for a few hours a month to a couple of lessons a week. This is based on what we need at the time and the availability of all of our Training Team.

You may contact us at Admin@K9PAD.org to inquire about becoming a K9PAD Instructor.



K9PAD Trainers have a Service Dog in Training live with them for the final phases of training. They are expected to have experience with training a wide variety of tasks, and be able to follow instructions. Trainers do not need Service Dog experience but must be open to learning.

If you are interested in becoming a Trainer with K9PAD but cannot make a 24/7 commitment for a few months, there may be positions where you take a Service Dog in Training for a couple of weeks at a time or for a few days a week.  Contact us for more information.

 You may contact us at Admin@K9PAD.org to inquire about becoming a K9PAD Trainer. 



Puppy Raisers are such an integral part of our entire organization. Puppy Raisers take a K9PAD puppy for about 12-18 months to teach them life skills, obedience, manners, socialization, public access, and other foundation skills. They attend 2-4 lessons a month with our Instructors to learn the necessary skills to teach their puppies. Most of the supplies and equipment are provided. We will provide food, necessary vet costs, crate, some toys and supplies. Puppy Raisers are responsible to giving their puppy a wonderful home, attending lessons and outings, and teaching their puppy to grow into a confident and stable dog that has the best chance at success as a Service Dog. 

You don't need experience to be a puppy raiser.  A commitment and positive attitude is what we expect.  We will show you what you need to know!

 You may contact us at Admin@K9PAD.org to inquire about becoming a K9PAD Puppy Raiser. 


Our training methodologies

Clicker Training

We train our dogs with Clicker Training. You don't need to be an expert, we'll show all you need to know!

Science-Based Training

Two of our Instructors are certified through the IAABC. They are constantly learning and expanding their education.

Happy and Confident Dogs

We want all of our Service Dogs to enjoy working. Much of our training is play-based.  If the dog doesn't enjoy working, they may be suitable for a career change.

Positive Reinforcement

We train using LIMA, with our focus on positive reinforcement.  We teach the dog what we expect and don't punish if they get it "wrong".  


When you join K9PAD, you join a team! We all love to assist each other.  Between our lessons and support network, you'll always have the support you need.


We want our program to raise and train great Service Dogs, but also to be a fun activity for all of those involved! We hold workshops, outings, and other fun activities for all volunteers to get to know each other.