If you are seeking to become a part of the FSDS SD training program to train a dog for your needs, DO NOT obtain your own dog first and apply second. Though there are many dogs who make excellent and loving pets, they lack the right temperament for service work. There are also some breed restrictions that apply per insurance regulations.
Shelter dogs come with unknown medical history. Though they are often wonderful animals and certainly deserving of a good home, they are unsuited for FSDS program participation due to unknown history. Training a service dog is an expensive and labor intensive process, and it is our experience that too many dogs have had to either wash out of training, or retire shortly after graduation due to the development of medical problems. We duly note that though there is no way to guarantee a dog will not develop problems, the FSDS does all in our power to decrease this risk.
The FSDS will obtain suitable dogs from a reputable breeder and provide the dog for training.