The Best Service Dog Training in Mississippi

Mississippi, like all states, must follow the federal-wide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects public access for service animals. The ADA states that service animals must be able to always accompany their handler for free in public spaces, so long as the service animal isn’t a public safety risk (being aggressive or destructive).

Having a service dog with you can boost your confidence when it comes to being in public, whether you need physical assistance with your balance or you find that crowded areas exacerbate symptoms like anxiety.

Mississippi does have its own law covering public access for service dogs, called the Mississippi Support Animal Act. The Mississippi Support Animal Act only covers service dogs for physical disabilities, like vision loss and mobility. Even though this state act doesn’t cover service dogs for other purposes, the ADA still applies to the state of Mississippi, so you’ll still have legal protection.

While you aren’t required by the state of Mississippi to register your service dog, doing so can make certain situations easier to navigate. With service dog registration, you can simply show your service dog’s certification to anyone in public trying to ask intrusive questions about your service dog. When you register with US Service Animals, you also get access to our legal team who can help you navigate any sticky situations with landlords or other authority figures.

What to Look for When Choosing Service Dog Training

There are many things to take into account when you’re searching for the perfect service dog trainer! One of the most important considerations to make is how much experience your potential trainer has. A trainer with a lot of experience is going to be able to communicate effectively with both you and your pup, ensuring that lessons are consistent and that the training sticks. Making sure that the trainer has experience with service dogs is also crucial, as service dog training can be complex (especially with complicated tasks!)

Something else to take note of is whether or not the dog trainer has any breed restrictions, especially if you’re planning on training a dog whose breed tends to be targeted by these restrictions. Similarly, you should also make sure that the dog trainer trains for tasks that you’ll need your service dog to be trained for. For example, medical alert is sometimes not covered by dog trainers because it’s a more complex task.

It’s also important to consider how much time you’ll be able to devote to dog training each week. Commute time should be included in your estimations, so making sure the training facility is close to you if you’re visiting regularly is definitely a good idea. Many people don’t have the time to drive for hours one way for weekly dog training lessons, even if it is for their service dog.

Finally, wait list times should also be taken into consideration when you’re looking at service dogs. This is more pertinent to organizations that train service dogs for you, but some dog trainers do have a wait list or waiting period before you can enroll with them.

Online vs In-Person Service Dog Training

Online service dog training enables you to train your dog on your own schedule without having to take a commute into account. When you go through a virtual training program, it’s often more cost-effective than working with an in-person trainer. However, if you’re planning on training a puppy, it’s important to make sure they’re getting proper socialization, which is built into in-person training.

In addition to socialization, in-person training has the benefit of getting direct dog training pointers in real time. In-person training is particularly good for people who have never trained a dog before, especially since service dog training can be more complicated than standard obedience. However, in-person training can be more expensive and likely won’t offer the flexibility in scheduling that a video module program will.

If you’re going through an organization to be matched with a service dog, the convenience of not having to do your dog’s basic training is a factor to consider. However, using these organizations can be more costly than training the pup yourself, and will likely come with a waiting list time before you’re matched with a dog in addition to the time it takes to train a service dog (around 2 years).

Pros of Online Service Dog Training Pros of In-Person Service Dog Training
Cost-effective Socialization
Direct one on one attention Direct one on one attention (in private lessons)
Flexible scheduling  Convenience (for purchased service dogs)
No commute  Great for beginners
Can rewind lessons for maximum consistency

The Best Service Dog Training in Mississippi

Now that you know what to look for in a training program or dog trainer, here are the best service dog trainers in the state of Mississippi!

US Service Animals Online Training

US Service Animals Online Training is a totally virtual training program that you can work through at your leisure. This service dog training program is made up of 12 videos broken up into 6 lesson modules that incorporate cutting-edge techniques based on animal behavior theories.

There are no breed restrictions for the US Service Animals Online Training program, and upon graduation, you receive a certificate and an optional vest, collar, collar tag, and leash. This program covers training tasks for hearing loss, blindness, mobility issues, diabetes, and seizures.

When you train with US Service Animals, you also get access to our dog trainer, who can answer any of your questions if you get stuck!

Cost: $349

Location: Online only (6 video modules)

Certificate: Yes

1:1 Support: Yes

Equipment Provided: Clicker, plus optional service vest, collar, collar tag, and leash


Hub City Service Dogs

When you work with Hub City Service Dogs, you can have a dog evaluated to become a service dog, or they can help you pick out suitable future service dog. Their method is something they call “coaching-based training” which means that the handler is very involved in the training process. This ensures training consistency at home and that you and your service dog develop a bond if you don’t have one already.

Hub City Service Dogs trains psychiatric service dogs and diabetic alert dogs, but they can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. People who need service tasks outside of psychiatric or diabetic alert work are still encouraged to reach out to see if Hub City Service Dogs is a good fit!

Cost: $7,500-$11,500

Location: Hattiesburg, MS

Certificate: No

1:1 Support: Yes

Equipment Provided: Unspecified


The International K9 Foundation

The owner of The International K9 Foundation, Jeff McCall, has over 13 years of dog training experience, including military dog training. He works mainly with veterans looking to train service dogs for PTSD, but applicants are encouraged to contact him if they have other needs. The International K9 Foundation prides itself on not having any breed restrictions.

The International K9 Foundation offer an in-person program as well as a virtual one, for those who don’t live close enough to their physical location. The cost of either of these programs isn’t listed; applicants should reach out for more details.

Cost: Unspecified

Location: Summit, MS, or online

Certificate: Unspecified

1:1 Support: Yes

Equipment Provided: No


Canine Coaching with Chris

Canine Coaching with Chris is led by Chris Lamy, who has over 12 years of experience training dogs. 5 of these years include training military dogs, which requires a disciplined approach. His service dog training program can take as little as three weeks, starting with work individually before taking the lessons to public places to train for distractions.

Chris tailors the training to your individual needs when it comes to service dog tasks, so all applicants are encouraged to reach out. Canine Coaching with Chris doesn’t appear to have any breed restrictions.

Cost: $2400

Location: Long Beach, MS

Certificate: Yes

1:1 Support: Yes

Equipment Provided: No