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4 Paws for Ability's volunteer trainers foster and socialize our service dogs in training.

Volunteer trainers raise service dogs in training in their home until they are ready to be placed as a service dog. They help with manners, public access work, and basic training.

Becoming a volunteer trainer is rewarding and requires no prior experience. 4 Paws for Ability covers the costs of veterinary care, basic supplies, and dog food. Volunteers can participate for a flexible period, but many serve for a year or more.

Type of Volunteer Trainers:

Primary Handler

A primary handler is an individual, family, or student who lives on or off campus, caring for, training, and socializing a service dog in training dog that they have been paired with.

Secondary Handler

A secondary handler is an individual, family, or university student who provides short-term assistance to primary handlers by caring for, training, and socializing dogs in our program for hours at a time up to a couple weeks. Secondary handlers are not paired with a specific dog, and may work with multiple service dogs in training.

Weekend/Weeknight Handler

A weekend handler cares for and trains an assigned service dog in training in their home on weekends and evenings while the dog is in advanced training and working with a professional trainer during the work week. The service dog in training can be picked up each evening and returned in the morning and/or can go home with the volunteer each weekend. 

General Requirements:

-Must be located within three (3) hours of 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, OH
-Must be at least 18 years of age
-Must complete an online training course and an in-person orientation process
-Must have reliable transportation to travel to 4 Paws for Ability for scheduled appointments and supply pickups at least monthly.

Quick Links:

Click to become a volunteer.
View our volunteer opportunities.
Browse career opportunities at 4 Paws for Ability.