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Become a Handler

Do you want to volunteer with your awesome dog?


We're calling for more teams in Michigan! Parents, relatives, teachers and staff, retirees, and passionate community members; anyone can help us out! You just need to have a good heart, a couple hours a week, and a well-trained dog. 

A Buddy's PALS dog and handler can be anyone or any breed! The most important factor is the dog's personality and temperament. The dog should be even-tempered, good-natured, and enjoy being around kids. Dogs should be well-trained, with mastering basic obedience skills such as being able perform the following: sit, down, loose leash walking, remain in a down/stay, leave it, and recall.


Dog training and test preparation classes for Buddy's PALS are held through Annabelle's Canine Station and Click! Pawsitive. You can check for upcoming classes on their websites. Classes will build on basic skills, proof the exercises around distractions, and teach what is expected in a school or classroom environment. Prior to enrolling in a prep class or testing for Buddy's PALS, dogs should:

  • Be at least one year of age

  • Have a good temperament and like to be around dogs and people

  • Be non-reactive around dogs and people

  • Have a good understanding of basic commands such as sit, down, come, stay, and loose leash walking


Buddy's PALS tests all dogs and handlers as a team. Dogs are tested for obedience skills and temperament during Buddy's PALS Performance Evaluation for Entrance Test. You MUST bring or email your dog's vaccination records for proof of all up to date vaccinations, including rabies, and your own photo ID for a background check to the test. It costs $25 to test. If you pass, it's $20 additional for your shirt (must be worn when volunteering) but your dog's bandana is free! 

We’d love to have you join our Buddy's PALS team! Click the button below to view and sign up for upcoming tests!

Team Photo
Team Photo
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