Frequenty asked questions

What role could I play in the club?

There are three general roles that you can play in the club, each requiring a different level of involvement: 1. Primary Volunteer Trainer

  • Completes application, online orientation, and in-person orientation in Xenia, OH
  • Full-time foster parent of a Service Dog in Training
  • Responsible for housing the dog, fulfilling weekly socialization & training hours and logging them in biweekly reports, assurring the safety and well-being of the dog
  • Agrees to be responsible for driving the dog to and from 4 Paws main facilty in Xenia, OH for monthly obedience classes, occassional vet appointments, etc.
  • Attends biweekly OSU 4 Paws club meetings
  • Participates in fundraisers, events, etc.
2. Secondary Volunteer Trainer
  • Completes application, online orientation, and in-person orientation in Xenia, OH
  • Part-time "sitter" for the Service Dogs in Training
  • Handles a dog for X amount of hours per week on a schedule, and/or as-needed
  • When actively handling a dog, responsible for the dogs safety and well-being, and agreeing to follow the same rules as Primaries
  • Attends obedience class once every 3 months at 4 Paws main facility in Xenia, OH
  • Attends biweekly OSU 4 Paws club meetings
  • Participates in fundraisers, events, etc.
3. General Body Member
  • Attends monthly OSU 4 Paws club meetings
  • Does not have to complete any application or orientation
  • Does not handle the dogs
  • Participates in fundraisers, events, etc.

What kind of training do Volunteer Trainers complete?

All Volunteer Trainers and Secondary Volunteer Trainers must do the following:

  1. Complete an online orientation
  2. Attend an in-person orientation in Xenia, OH led by 4 Paws Staff
  3. Attend obedience classes in Xenia, OH
    • Primaries: 1x per month
    • Secondaries: 1x per 3 month
At orientation and obedience classes, the volunteers will learn about the rules of the program, and practice real-life scenarios in order to learn how to properly train and socialize the SDiTs.

Do the dogs go everywhere with you?

Almost everywhere! They come with us to classes, the supermarket, restaurants, and sometimes work. However, there are some places we do not take the pups for safety reasons, such as science labs, OSU football games, commercial kitchens, and loud concerts. In some situations, the dogs may be exposed to a stimulation such as a rowdy crowd or strong fumes that are unsafe for them; and in others they may not be permitted due to sanitation reasons. All outings that our dogs go on are intended to provide them with positive socialization to further their training!

How long do you have the dogs for?

It depends! Sometimes, an experienced handler will have a dog from as early as 8 weeks to over a year old. Other times, handlers will have dogs that are older, around 5-6 months old and have been through either the prison program or another foster home. Sometimes, a pup just needs a home for a few weeks! For example, if dogs need to work on a particular issue (such as being scared of elevators), the trainers may send them back out to us for a bit to get the issue resolved. Lastly, though it isn't a part of the college program, 4 Paws is always looking for weekend fosters to hang with an Advanced Training dog just for the weekend, until their training at the 4 Paws facility in Xenia, OH starts back up on Monday!

How much money do you spend on the dogs?

4 Paws pays for all the basic supplies such as a kennel, gear, bowls, kibble, and veterinary care. Handlers are in charge of providing treats for training and socialization purposes. Any additional costs you may spend is completely voluntary, however most handlers will buy more items such as toys, bones, paw-protection gear, etc. An awesome part of the club is that you can earn a bunch of free stuff for your pup simply by completing miscellaneous tasks thorughout the semester & cashing in your 'prize points' (e.g., submitting photos from fun socializations, attending specific events, participating in a fundraiser).

Can a SDiT live in a residence hall?

Primary Volunteer Trainers are allowed to house an SDiT if they live in a residence hall! These are the only individuals who can bring their dog into their residence hall. Sitters and co-handlers are not allowed to take any dog into any residence hall.