Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a Volunteer Trainer (Handler) or a Secondary Volunteer Trainer (Sitter)?

Follow these steps:

1. Go to and fill out the Application and Housing Verification forms

2. Once you are approved, complete the online orientation and attend an in-person orientation in Xenia, OH.

3. Contact us at to be added to our email list and Canvas page

4. Pay club dues

5. Start training pups!

How can I become a General Member?

To become a general member, you just need to have paid membership dues!  Send us an email at to get on our email list!


How can I become a handler or puppy sitter?

You will have to apply with our parent organization, 4 Paws for Ability. You can email and for more information!

All approved handlers & puppy sitters are encouraged to join our club to take full advantage of our socialization opportunities, fundraising events, and personalized puppy sitter groups.

How much are dues?

Our membership dues are $11/semester or $20/school year!

What kind of training do you guys go through?

All approved puppy sitters and handlers have to attend an orientation at 4 Paws in Xenia held by the volunteer trainer coordinators and 4 Paws staff. At orientation, you will learn about the rules of the program as well as some tips on basic training skills.

Do the dogs go everywhere with you?

Almost everywhere! They come with us to class, to the store, to restaurants, and sometimes even to work. However, there are some places we can't take the pups, such as labs, concerts, football games, some hospitals, and commercial kitchens. In some situations, the dogs may be exposed to stimulation such as rowdy crowds or loud noises that are unsafe for them, and in others, they may not be allowed due to sanitation or health reasons. Additionally, our dogs are not allowed to live in the residence halls.

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 just 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!

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, toys and will provide your dog with veterinary care. Any money you spend is completely voluntary!

Why do they have to wear a muzzle? Doesn't it hurt them?

It actually isn't a muzzle, it's a training tool called a Gentle Leader. The purpose of the Gentle Leader is to aid us in being able to have better control of the pups when they're walking. It's the same concept as a harness for a horse! The principle for both being that the body will follow wherever the head is being led. The Gentle Leader itself, when used properly, is not painful, however, it does take getting used to. So if you see the dogs rubbing at their faces, they're probably still getting used to it. Eventually, our goal is for them to get excited to wear the Gentle Leader because that means we're going out!

Copyright © 2020 by 4 Paws for Ability at Ohio State. All Rights Reserved

Website Created by Kaishin Lin, Managed by Ryn Willmarth, Brittany Hinkle, Audrey Robinson, & Mikala Patsilevas

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