Prison Training Program

TLCAD’s prison training program is designed to meet the increasing demands for service dogs, while providing an opportunity for education, rehabilitation and community improvement within the prison system through the experience of training a dog. This program allows TLCAD to increase the number of service dogs available to those in need. Research concludes that inmates who train dogs are less likely to re-offend.  Also, service dogs that are trained in prison programs have a higher success rate for placement. Incarcerated individuals are taught by TLCAD staff trainers to raise and train service dogs using TLCAD’s training curriculum and only positive reinforcement training techniques. The program was developed based on best practice standards in the industry and adheres to Assistance Dogs International (ADI) standards. TLCAD partners with Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, Mule Creek State Prison, and the Camp Pendleton Base Brig.

"I truly appreciate the ability to participate in such a worthy program. Not only does it help individuals with disabilities, but its helping me grow as a person as well." - Incarcerated trainer


Puppy Program

The TLCAD Puppy Program provides puppies for TLCAD’s prison training program. These puppies will be trained to become service dogs to assist those in need. 

TLCAD's puppies are raised in correctional institutions as part of our training and rehabilitation program. If you are interested in raising a service dog puppy our friends at Guide Dogs of America are always looking for volunteers to help raise future guide dog puppies for clients who are blind or visually impaired.  Opportunities are available throughout Southern California.  For more information, visit or call 818-833-6447, let them know that Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs sent you.

You can help TLCAD's Puppy Program by gifting items from our Amazon Puppy Wish List. 


Training Philosophy

TLCAD uses positive, reward-based training to optimize the dog’s potential. We prefer to teach, not force, a dog to perform behaviors – resulting in enthusiastic, eager to please, and highly skilled partners for our clients.


Career change dogs

Most of our career change dogs are between one and two years old, and are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers or Golden/Lab crosses.

TLCAD prefers to place career change dogs as pets in adoptive homes near our training centers in San Diego or Sacramento areas. We will consider adopters outside of these areas, but please note that all expenses for transporting the adopted dog are the responsibility of the adopter. 

TLCAD requests a donation of $1,000 for each career changed dog adopted as a highly skilled pet.  Most pure bred puppies cost us $1,000-2,000 to purchase, then we spend approximately $1,250 per month on each dog in professional training, programming, food and healthcare.  Your donation helps us recover a small portion of those costs.

Please note that TLCAD career change dogs can NOT be used as service dogs, facility dogs or demonstration dogs nor have they been fully trained to aide a person with disabilities.

If you would like to be notified when released dogs are available, please complete the form below.

Name *