The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs have unique employment opportunities for Service Dog Apprentice Instructors, located at our Smithtown, NY Campus.

Position Summary

Under the direct guidance of the Program Education Manager (or qualified Service Dog Instructor), apprentices are responsible for training “class ready” service dogs and for instructing clients in the use of those dogs, resulting in safe and effective dog teams.  Apprentices must progress through three years of educational and practical course work and will have their skills assessed via quizzes, quality assurance testing on their dogs and final written, practical and oral exams. This program exceeds the educational requirements of Assistance Dogs International.

Key Position Requirements

  • Familiarity with working with dogs with positive reinforcement training methods.  
  • Capable of safely handling a variety of large dog breeds, weighing up to 85 pounds with varying strength and manageability including walking a minimum of 2 miles per day.  Must be able to withstand repetitive bending, stooping, kneeling and squatting.
  • Prefer two or more years of college level courses in animal husbandry, physical education, psychology, teaching or allied fields.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.  Includes communicating via voicemail, email along with effectively using Microsoft Office, spreadsheets and database applications.  Possess excellent time management and organizational skills. 
  • Have authorization to work in the United States.  Have a valid driver’s license in good standing and be able to drive car or van or bus throughout the U.S.  Must have or obtain passport for international travel as required.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently and in a team environment.

Visual Acuity: 

Near acuity and accommodation are required for ability to see and read
dog’s reaction to environment and distractions, ability to watch student give commands, ability to read forms, documentation and computer screen.

Hearing Ability:

Ability to interact with dog, trainers, students and volunteers either in an informal way or giving formal instruction through seminar and training exercises.  Ability to hear above traffic and other outside noise.  

Compensation Package

We offer competitive wages, a comprehensive benefits program which includes an outstanding 403(b) plan, tuition reimbursement and generous paid time off (subject to eligibility).

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying, please contact us by forwarding your resume and cover letter to