Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a General Member?
A General Member is welcome to attend any of our general body meetings, open exec meetings, and optional command practices! They are also able to volunteer at our social events and fundraisers. While General Members are not able to handle the leash of a SDIT, it is a great way to support the club and learn more about what it means to be a Volunteer Trainer.
To become a General Member, contact us at email@example.com to join our email list, and pay membership dues!
How can I become a Primary Volunteer Trainer (Handler) or Secondary Volunteer Trainer (Sitter)?
To become a Primary Volunteer Trainer or Secondary
Volunteer Trainer, follow these steps:
1. Go to
2. Fill out the Housing Verification Form & the Application
3. If you are approved, you will complete an online orientation and attend an in-person orientation in Xenia, OH
4. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org once you are approved to join the club, or if you have any questions!
5. Pay club dues
Image: Member, Autumn and her SDiT, America
How much are club dues?
Membership dues are $11/semester or $20/year.
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
Volunteer Trainer Specifics
- Fill out weekly and monthly forms
- Attend two obedience classes in Xenia, OH every three months
Secondary Volunteer Trainer Specifics
- Fill out monthly forms
- Attend one obedience class in Xenia, OH every three months
At orientation and obedience classes, the volunteers will learn about the rules of the program as well as work through real life scenarios in order to learn how to properly train and socialize their SDIT.
All Volunteer Trainers and Secondary Volunteer Trainers will complete an OSU-specific orientation quiz in order to learn more about the specific rules in place at Ohio State.
Do the dogs go everywhere with you?
Almost everywhere! They come with us to class, to the store, to restaurants, and sometimes work. However, there are some places we can't take the pups, such as science labs, loud concerts, OSU football games, certain hospitals, and commercial kitchens. In some situations, the dogs may be exposed to stimulation such as a rowdy crowds or loud noises that are unsafe for them, and in others, they may not be allowed due to sanitation or health reasons.
Image: Some of our members attending an OSU baseball game
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 as late as 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 a pup just for the weekend, until training starts back up on Monday!
Image: Groovy posing in Orton Hall
How much money do you spend on the dogs?
4 Paws pays for all the basic supplies such as a kennel, leash, collar, easy walk, vest, bowl, food, a couple startup toys 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 rain gear, toys, bones, paw-protection gear, etc.
Image: Cappy and Dill sharing a Nerf ring toy
Can a Service Dog in Training live in a residence hall?
Primary Volunteer Trainers are allowed to live with their dog 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.
Image: Connelly & Gordy posing in front of Ohio Stadium