Currently Available Dogs
Please review the Disability Skill Set information and Dog Purchase FAQ below for additional information about purchasing a dog from Compass Key.
No dogs are currently available at this time. Please check back again on a later date!
Disability Skills Taught
When we initially intake a dog for training with the intent of selling that dog in the future, we select a specific "Disability Skill Set" to be taught to that particular dog. By the time a dog is listed for sale on our website, the "Disability Skill Set" has already been chosen. Please review our FAQ below if you have interest in changing or adding to the Disability Skill Set indicated for a dog. Information about the Disability Skills Sets can be found here: Disability Skills Training List
Dogs Donated or Available for Compass Key to Purchase
The structure of Compass Key is largely dedicated to personal one-on-one training with a client and their dog. Periodically trainers are available to intake a dog into their home for long-term training and eventual sale to a new owner. Because of our limited availability with this option, our selection process to intake a dog is very thorough so we can best optimize our results in training and selling a dog. If you have a dog that you are interested in donating or selling to Compass Key for purchase, please first review our acquisition process here: Dog Intake Process
Frequently asked questions
What does the cost of the dog represent?
The cost of the dog represents all expenses (acquisition, food, veterinarian bills, toys, and other supplies), training for several months with a trainer, special testing conducted by a non-primary trainer, and most importantly, lessons with the new handler (3 virtual lessons while dog is still in training, 5 in person lessons, 5 lessons for ownership transfer training, and 2 lessons after the transfer has been completed). The cost of the Meet & Greet ($300) is deducted in our final price of the dog.
Is the price of the dog negotiable?
No, the cost of the dog is already discounted and does not represent the amount of time and effort the trainer has invested. Consider that the cost of a 4-week Board and Train Program is $4,500 and the average time that a dog listed for sale has spent with a trainer is 4-6 months (plus with dog sales we have the cost of all supplies, acquisition, veterinarian visits, etc.).
Do you have a payment plan or financing available so I can pay for the dog over time?
Compass Key does not have a payment plan available as we are not in the financing business. However, we recommend PayPal Credit as a financing option. They offer loans up to six months with no interest.
How do you select which dogs to acquire for dog training/selling purposes?
Currently, we are only capable of intaking dogs that we have determined to have an optimal success rate of completing our program, with easy transportation to/from a trainer’s location for assessment and pick-up. If a trainer has availability and interest with intaking a dog, the breeder/seller is first interviewed to determine if they meet our standards. We also require that a copy of OFA or PennHip reports on the dog (or generational reports if the dog is under 4 months old) are provided. If dog is current on all vaccination records, the trainer will schedule a thorough assessment and temperament test in person with the dog to determine if he/she is a good fit for our program.
I like this program, but I want a specific breed of dog and would like the training customized to fit my needs.
This dog sale program is intended to optimize the success that a specific dog will be sold. For this reason, we do not take special requests for specific breeds and disability skills. We look at our client base as a whole to determine what breeds and what disability skills are most requested at any specific time. This helps us have greater success to sell a dog quickly so we have availability to intake the next dog. Even if a client promises to put a deposit on a dog as soon as we intake and start training, if that client changes their mind later in the process Compass Key would have possession of a dog with a lower likelihood of being sold quickly (which hinders our availability to continue intaking dogs). We do understand that many clients want this customized training and use of a specific breed. We are able to accommodate these wishes with our Board & Train program. We are happy to help you select a dog and use our Board & Train program (many clients use this long-term – sometimes throughout puppy stage or throughout the adolescence stage). Please see our Service Dog Training FAQ for more information.
I understand that I can’t change or customize the skills, but would you be able to add additional skills to the training process after I put the deposit down?
Dogs available for purchase were acquired to be trained for a specific skill set or sets (see our Dog Sales: Disability Skills Training list). The dog was initially selected for training to fall within that designated set list. However, if you would like to add an entire set list to the dog’s training, that may be an option depending on the trainer and the dog’s capability. In many situations, this may not be an option. If you add an entire set list, the cost of the dog will change – likely by a few thousand dollars depending on the set list. To add just a few customized skills to the dog’s training, the most effective and cost efficient route is to purchase the dog as is, and following ownership transfer the continuing lessons can include adding any skills/behaviors that you would like customized to fit your needs. Compass Key does not start any physical support training where pressure is applied on a dog until the dog is fully matured, has certified x-rays, and approval from a veterinarian.
How do I know the dog is really trained?
We take our comprehensive training process very seriously. The primary trainer of the dog is not the same person as the tester. We require that a non-primary trainer on our staff tests the dog on Phase 1: Basic Obedience, Phase 2: Advanced Obedience (including temperament test), Phase 3: Disability Skills (aside from spay/neuter requirement), and an introduction to Phase 4: Public Access Training of our Service Dog Training Program prior to the transfer of dog’s ownership. During your Initial Consultation and Evaluation, you will receive a program book that outlines the requirements of every dog/handler team in our program. Please note that the primary trainer is the “handler” of the dog through testing. This means that the handler is highly experienced and is a professional. You will need to have many lessons and practice with the dog regularly before he/she responds to you the same way. Our testing/training process with the dog and the primary trainer are the exact same as what we require of all clients and their dogs.
We will not officially test dogs through Phase 4: Public Access Training for multiple reasons, but we will ensure that they have been introduced to public environments. The majority of dogs available for purchase are not fully matured. One of the requirements of our Phase 4: Public Access Training checklist is that the dog is at least 1 year old and fully matured. While Phase 3: Disability Skills requires that all dogs are introduced to the foundation of disability skills, Phase 4: Public Access Training requires that the dog’s disability skills are both refined and can be accomplished with no coaxing in public. Expecting a young un-matured dog to complete refined disability skills in public is unrealistic and while the dog will be taught to understand disability skills at time of purchase, they will not be refined and ready-to-work in public.
Dogs are not sold as certified service dogs. Once transferred to the new owner, the handler/dog team will need to test out of each phase together prior to becoming a certified team.
How does the dog purchase process work?
- Client has an Initial Consultation and Evaluation (see our FAQs on Service Dog Training). This may be done in person or virtually.
If both the client and the trainer believe that an available dog may be a good match for each other, the client will need to submit an Application for the dog.
If the Application is approved, a “Meet and Greet” is scheduled ($300 plus any applicable travel charges). During this time, you will learn more about the dog and the trainer will review the exercise, care, and practice requirements of the dog. This Meet and Greet is highly recommended to be completed in-person, but may be completed virtually if necessary. If the Meet and Greet is not completed at the client’s home, we will need to complete a virtual (Facetime or Skype) review of the premises where the dog will be kept.
Following the Meet and Greet, client and trainer will both determine if this dog is a good fit. There is no guarantee that the trainer will believe the dog is a good match for you, even if you strongly desire to purchase the dog. Our goal is to match a dog and a client that will work well together.
If client and trainer decide to move forward, the initial client paperwork (letter of medical necessity and completed Service Dog Overview Agreement) will need to be completed prior to putting a deposit on the dog.
A Deposit Agreement is required to be signed and a deposit of $5,500 will need to be received by Compass Key.
Please see the dog’s approximate availability date. We estimate that all dogs will remain with Compass Key for several months following our initial acquisition. You may put a deposit (“hold”) on the dog several months before the approximate availability date.
The purchaser must complete a minimum of 3 virtual lessons and a minimum of 5 private lessons (in-person). The cost of these 10 lessons are included in the $5,500 deposit. If travel charges are required and/or if additional lessons are needed, those costs will be invoiced separately and payment will be due upon receipt of the invoice. (While we strongly encourage the 5 private lessons be completed prior to transfer training, you may complete the 5 private lessons (in-person) at the same time as transfer training).
When the dog is ready for their final testing with a non-primary trainer, the official ownership transfer date will be scheduled within 2 weeks of the testing date. If you are unavailable for the dog to come into your home within those 2 weeks, ownership will still transfer (balance paid, and Ownership Transfer Agreement signed) at the 2-week mark. Additional days will be invoiced as Maintenance Boarding.
Transfer training will take place at your home (travel charges may apply) and includes 5 hours of training typically over a two-day period (2.5 hours one day/evening and 2.5 hours the next day). Trainer will keep the dog with them at their hotel overnight in between the two days of transfer training.
We strongly recommend scheduling 2 lessons weekly for the first 2 weeks the dog is in your home and weekly lessons for at least 4-6 weeks. Once the dog is settled in more, lessons should continue at minimum twice each month.
What is the deposit for?
The deposit is to officially put a “hold” on the dog. The dog will be available to purchase for anyone until someone has submitted the full deposit amount of $5,500. Partial deposits are not accepted to “hold” the dog.
What if it doesn’t work out (I change my mind, dog doesn’t progress in training, etc.), but I already have a deposit on the dog?
We understand! This does happen occasionally.
If Compass Key determines that the dog is not progressing with training or otherwise becomes unsuitable to be a service dog, the full deposit amount will be returned. The Initial Consultation and Evaluation charge and Meet and Greet charges are not refundable. If we have another dog available for purchase, now or in the future, you are welcome to place a deposit on a new dog.
If, for any reason, you decide to not move forward with purchasing a dog that you have already placed a deposit on, partial deposit refunds may be available depending on when the deposit was submitted, how many handler pre-ownership transfer lessons have been completed, and when the dog was intended to be transferred to you for ownership.
What guarantees do you have on the dog?
We guarantee that we have tested the dog in all areas of Phases 1-3 (aside from spay/neuter requirement if dog is under 1 year old or otherwise not recommended to be sterilized yet), and an introduction to Phase 4 (dogs under 1 year old and not fully matured cannot test through Phase 4) of our Service Dog Training Program. That does not mean the dog is perfect, is robotic in any of the cues/behaviors, or will perform 100% of the time.
We guarantee that we have had various health clearances performed by a veterinarian. Before Compass Key lists a dog for sale, we have a completed Veterinarian Health Check Form on file and dog is current on age-appropriate vaccinations recommended by the veterinarian. Please note that we require a new Veterinarian Health Check Form annually on file, so, after ownership of the dog is transferred we will need a new form on file annually. This Veterinarian Health Check Form does not mean that the dog is guaranteed to be cleared of any future diseases, illnesses, or injuries.
Why do I need lessons with the dog when he/she isn’t even mine yet?
We want to be sure you are prepared when you do own the dog! It is important for the handler of the dog to be consistent and patient. Your trainer will teach you how to work with this individual dog.
How often will you provide updates on the dog’s progress while he/she is still in training?
Training updates will be in the form of lessons (either in-person or virtual) with you. We recommend a minimum of one lesson every 3-4 weeks while the dog is still residing with the trainer.
What is transfer training?
The final step before the dog comes to live in their new home! Transfer training will take place at your home (travel charges may apply) once the dog has completed testing and training requirements and is ready for ownership transfer. It includes 5 hours of training which is typically completed over a two-day period (2.5 hours one day/evening and 2.5 hours the next day). The trainer will keep the dog with them at their hotel overnight in between the two days of transfer training.
Will the dog stay at my house at all during the training or transfer process?
Transfer Training will always take place in your home. We strongly recommend that the private lessons completed before the dog’s ownership transfer also take place in your home. The dog will remain with the trainer (sleeping, hotel stays, etc.) until the dog is officially transferred into your ownership.
How long will you keep the dog? Why is there only an approximate availability date? When will I know the exact date a dog will be availability for ownership transfer?
The average time a dog will remain with a trainer is 6 months, depending on age, maturity, and previous training. When we list a dog for sale, we typically have just acquired him/her. The approximate availability date is 6 months from Compass Key’s acquisition date for a new puppy, and usually less for an adult or foundationally trained dog. We will not have a more precise availability date until the dog/handler team have tested through Phase 3: Disability Skills (aside from spay/neuter requirement), and starting their introduction to Phase 4: Public Access (typically this is 4-8 weeks before the listed approximate availability date). The approximate availability date is an estimate. Sometimes the trainer will have additional time to devote and have the capacity to intensely work on cues/behaviors causing this availability date to be sooner. Sometimes the trainer will not have the capacity to intensely work with the dog and/or the dog is struggling to learn some cues/behaviors causing the availability date to be later. In either instance, it will not affect the cost of the dog.
I really want this dog right now. I don’t care that he/she hasn’t completed training or that I haven’t had any lessons yet. How much will the dog cost if I just take ownership now?
These dogs are only sold within the parameters set forth under “How does the dog purchase process work?” Another option that may work for you is selecting a dog of your choice for training and using Compass Key trainers for an extended Board & Train program.
The dog has spent so much time with the trainer, will he/she ever bond with me the same way?
Bonding with a dog takes time! The trainer will always have a bond with the dog and the dog is likely to recognize them and get very excited for years to come! We recommend spending a lot of time during the first few weeks playing, going for walks, practicing the cues and giving rewards for cues the dog especially enjoys performing. If at all possible, we also recommend that the dog does not leave your side for the first week (stock up on groceries/errands as much as possible before the dog comes to your home to stay) – If you go downstairs, so does the dog. If you go in the bathroom, so does the dog. If you go to the kitchen, so does the dog. All of this helps with bonding.
If the dog is really trained, do I really need to practice and exercise with him/her daily?
Yes. Yes. Yes! Even service dogs that have been working for years still need practice and exercise. This is a crucial step in the ongoing training for your dog. Consider the dog similar to a college graduate – he/she has had a lot of education and training, but now needs to go out in the real world and be put to work. This takes more then just the education and training, it takes daily practice too! They will not be perfect on their first day on the job working with a new person.
If the dog is really trained, why do I need to have even more lessons after I own him/her?
Practicing is fantastic! But, what if we could show you a way to do it better, more effective, and a way that the dog improves with each response? Our lessons are geared towards teaching YOU how to work with your dog more effectively.
If the dog has already passed through phases in the Service Dog Training Program, why do we need to do it again?
Our program is designed for a team (handler/dog) to complete together. A huge aspect of this is making sure the handler knows how to, well, handle the dog! We want to put you in real-life scenarios that you will likely come across while working with your dog. We want to show you how to work through those scenarios in a way that your dog responds to you. Passing through each phase of our program does just this. It will take you and your dog through various situations so you are well-prepared when those situations happen again in real life.
This dog is going to be a perfect robot once I get him/her into my home …. right?!
NO! Dogs are imperfect beings. It is never our intention to make them perfect. We want them to be dogs. We want them to have fun. And of course, we want them to be well-behaved and able to provide assistance to those in need. The top few reasons a dog is not listening:
1. Not enough exercise. They are bored! The amount of exercise (running) needed differs with each dog. Some dogs need several hours of exercise daily to work to their fullest potential.
2. Not enough attention and/or bonding time. Spend some time just taking a slow walk with your dog, or laying down petting him/her.
3. Not enough (or, sometimes too much!) practice. We recommend 5-7 sessions daily of about 5 minutes each for most dogs.
4. Adolescence. Yes, even dogs go through adolescence! Most dogs go through adolescence between about 4 months to about 14 months (sometimes starting younger, and sometimes lasting until a bit older). A dog’s adolescence period can be trying. There will be times that they act as if they have forgotten literally everything they know. Remain patient! They have not forgotten everything, so continue with numbers 1-3 above!
After the ownership transfer, what if I decide I no longer want the dog?
We hope this never happens but understand that sometimes clients will have a change of heart. Compass Key maintains a “first right of refusal” in our Ownership Transfer Agreement. If you decide that you no longer want to keep the dog, please contact Compass key first to determine if we have availability to intake the dog again in the future.