K9 Handler 



 Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada 

Ira Smith
               Ira Smith - CFI  AGI
Safety  Representative -FAA
Evaluator / Instructor - AKC
National Tester / Observer - Alliance of Therapy Dogs
Provider Member International Association of Assistance Dog Partners
.......Training Dogs Since 1974

"best trainer in the Las Vegas area"

 “Thank you so much for your training for Michael McGee my Pug companion.  He has gone from a perfect pet to a close to perfect Service Dog.  Just a few more commands until his certification.  I searched High and Low to find a trainer qualified to train a Service Dog.  Ira Smith has trained Michael and also this human (yes, owners also get trained to the correct way to work the dog and acquire the skills necessary) I am proud to take Michael everywhere I go.  His behavior is awesome and Ira has capitalized on Michael's willingness to please in a profound way.  If you are looking for a  fabulous and certified trainer look no further.  You found him.”
Cynthia G. - Henderson

Service Dogs of Southern Nevada

Service Dogs      

A Service Dog is a special type of working dog that is trained to help a disabled individual complete work or tasks directly related to their disability. By definition they must be able to do something for the person that they cannot do for themselves. The dog is also extensively trained for many fundamental obedience commands as well as behavior modifications to  pass a Public Access Certification Test (PACT). After all Training hours are satisfied along with successful achievement of each Phase, the dog will be an ADA CERTIFIED SERVICE DOG. This certification is supplied and affirmed by the entity or company providing the actual training time involved.   Unfortunately there is no legal national type certification regulations for service dogs in this country. Beware of 'on-line' and  'NON-Existing' fake service dog companies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act   §35.104 defines Service Dogs as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal who is trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. The dog must be trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  For example, some dogs are trained to pull wheelchairs, others are taught to alert to the sounds of the telephone, oven timers, alarm clocks, smoke alarms, and even a baby's cry.

The K-9 Handler®  trains many dogs for Veterans (and others) with PTSD, Mobility & Balance (Ataxia) issues and for others with Psychiatric issues as well. Service dogs are not considered pets by law  

Certification and Vests:

The two questions most often asked of the Service Dog Central community are:
1. Where do I get a service dog vest?
2. How do I get my dog certified as a service dog?

Sadly, we are aware that the vast majority of people asking these two questions are actually wanting to find a way to pass their personal pet off as a service dog so they can take it on a plane, keep it in "no pets" housing, or avoid pet fees from hotels or landlords.

Aside from what this can do to legitimate teams that consist of a person with a disability and a highly trained dog that assists them in doing the sorts of things those pet owners take for granted being able to do, there are reasons not to do it for the sake of both the pet, and the pet owner.

There are criminal penalties for falsely claiming a pet as a service animal. These penalties can range from a small fine, to one over $1,000 or a few days in jail up to a year in jail, depending on how the offense is committed and where. In some cases, the dog is confiscated and the owner may have a lengthy court battle to get the dog back.

Now the short answer to the big two questions.

1. If you don't already know where to get a vest, then odds are you shouldn't be getting one anyway. There's a lot more to a service dog than the outfit it wears. It typically takes 18-24 months to fully train a service dog. While individuals are permitted to train their own service dog, that doesn't mean they are automatically capable. If you do not already have experience doing advanced training with working dogs, then you do not have sufficient experience to train a service dog on your own. You need to hire a pro, and that pro can direct you to dog supply resources. If you are determined to fake, then you can find fake vests in dozens of places on the internet with a very basic search and don't need to be asking us.

2. Other then companies that train and certify their work, there is no legitimate service dog certification or registration in the United States. Some ADA programs (like The K-9 Handler & Service Dogs of Southern Nevada) will certify the dogs they train by specific testing including PACT. Those ‘certificates’ are the only ones that actually mean anything, and they only mean anything if you have to go to court and prove your dog is an actual Service Dog. They are not required, they are merely useful documentation for the dog's training, which could be substantiated by other means. You don't need ID cards for public access, or housing, or flying, or anything else. All other certificates, registration, and ID is fake. The intent is to fool the public into thinking the dog is official, when there is no official documentation for service dogs. Most often, these products are used by scammers, so when you see them, it is a screaming red flag that the dog is not a legitimate service dog.

Therapy Dogs

These are dogs which are trained to help and comfort people other than their owner. Those they help and comfort may or may not be disabled. They can teach, lift spirits, assist with physical and emotional rehabilitation and more. The K-9 Handler® trains and prepares your dog and you for the National registration program. When a therapy team is ready we will arrange membership testing and required visits through Alliance of Therapy Dogs®

Emotional Support Animals

These animals are an important type of working dog which provides a calming influence and comfort to their owner. They are not Service Dogs, but are covered under the Fair Housing Act and may be allowed to fly in-cabin. You must also have a doctor/medical letter recommending an Emotional Supprt Dog. 


Dog Obedience Training & Individual Instruction

Dogs are trained in Fundamental Obedience to a maximum proficiency level. On and off leash obedience can be taught including sit, stay, down, heel, re-call, release, place, off, stop plus more. This includes both verbal, foot and hand commands. We work the dogs and train owners to continue working obedience with their dog during the training period. We establish bonding, proficiency, respect and control. Your dog will learn and obey from the first lesson.

Behavior Problems

Many dogs have behavior problems due to their home and public environments. Many times, these challenges can be handled easily by "speaking the dog's language" and learning to communicate with your animal. Behavior problems are addressed as they are recognized and controlled or assesed accordingly. Some behavior problems are psychiatric and have no relation to obedience training.

Socialization Challenges

Socialization of any kind only benefits dogs if they find it enjoyable. Teaching your adult dog appropriate behavior and protecting them from unwanted contact will go a long way in building a trusting relationship.


Basic to Advanced training and certification for Search Dogs; Specific disability ADA Service Dogs, National Therapy Dog Teams, and Emotional support dogs.

There is NO licensing or Federal registration of any Service or Assistance Dogs in the USA. There are National Registrations for Therapy Dogs.  BEWARE OF COMPANIES ON-LINE OFFERING 'Registration' or 'Certification' for ANY Working Dogs. ALL of these companies ONLY register your dog with themselves !! And they certainly don't train or even see your dog. They only take your money for a FALSE credential. They are BOGUS and representing your dog as a service, therapy or ES dog this way is illegal. The fact that your dog has a vest and a card does not make him/her a LEGAL Service or Therapy Dog. Use a bonifide Licensed & Certified company to train for certification and available registration.


We Are


socialization of any kind only benefits dogs if they find it enjoyable.  Teaching your adult dog appropriate behavior and protecting her from unwanted contact will go a long way in building a trusting relationship