Training & Certification

Courageous Companions is a leader in providing specialty service dogs for clients with PTSD as well as other disabilities acquired during service. We take on some of the most difficult and unique service dog projects and train our dogs for individual needs.

We take the situation of the family into consideration. Each case is assessed and placed in order of priority with individuals with life threatening conditions receiving the highest priority.

Selection of Dogs

We ensure that all K9s selected to train life-threatening meet the standards required by Master Trainers at MSAR.

A recent study determined that the most suitable dog breeds for this type of work are:

  • Labrador
  • Poodle
  • Golden Retriever or a mix of the above.
  • Training Methods

Training Methods

Courageous Companions uses the training services provided by MSAR, a First Nations founded K-9 training facility located in Manitoba ( A Courageous Companions Elite Service dog is a very special animal with an immense amount of training put into it. On average a dog will receive 12 – 24 months with one of our trainers. These dogs are never left alone, as they live with their trainer and other animals. One of MSAR’s master trainers, George Leonard, uses his balanced pack (an aggressive, passive, dominant and a happy-go-lucky dog) as a training tool in addition to cats, horses, cows, goats, etc.

All our dogs live in a family environment during training. They are not isolated in kennels for long periods as we believe they need to be in the working environment as much as possible to properly socialize and train for service. Our dogs live and go everywhere with our trainers.

Our training methods are based on our extensive ongoing studies to improve K-9 service performance. Our training methods are based on modern training principles.

Each dog must be specifically trained. After a lengthy interview process consultation with their medical team, we then determine the appropriate service task, program, and training method and then start training a service dog specifically for the target person’s disability.

Courageous Companions believes this is the best method of training by the proven success we have had in training our service dogs and the life changing effects the dogs had on our clients.

Training and Certifications Standards

Courageous Companions training and certification standards are among the most comprehensive; they are the most intense, difficult training that a dog can be certified to. This standard was developed as a national group effort and is among those being used to create a national certification program for Service Dogs. We exclusively utilize the services of MSAR to support our training program and service dog certification.

Click on the Training-and-Certification-Standard to download the Standard we use for the training and certification of Courageous Companions Service Dog teams.