About us

who we are

who we are

Our Trainers and Staff are Here to Help Guide You through the Process of Selecting a Service Dog.

Our Team comes not only from a background of dog training, but has worked extensively with individuals with special needs, especially children. Assistance Dogs for Autism is comprised of a cast of trainers that is unparalleled in the industry. Our team constantly attends conferences and seminars to keep up with the latest research, biomedical intervention, and therapies available in order to discover new methods of integrating dogs into therapies and other resources that are commonly used by families.

During the training process, we commonly work within special needs classrooms and with ABA therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. These opportunities also allow us to stay abreast of the latest methodologies and techniques that are being used by teachers and therapists. This allows us to better integrate dogs into these therapies to compound the benefits for both resources.

We often become “part of the family” with many that we work with. We strive to consistently follow-up with our families to ensure that their dog is well incorporated into their lifestyle. We understand that as kids grow up their needs will change. We work with our families to ensure that we are keeping up with the ever evolving needs of these growing children and young adults. To maintain this commitment, we offer free follow-up training for as long as you own the dog.

our history

  • 2006 – Highland Canine Training, LLC opened as a full-service dog training facility with its Corporate Office located in the foothills of North Carolina.
  • 2007 – Highland Canine Training, LLC officially began offering and training  service dogs to assist individuals with mobility impairments.
  • 2009 – After seeing a considerable need for affordable and well trained service dogs for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Highland Canine Training, LLC officially launched Assistance Dogs for Autism.
  • 2010 – Our first Austism Assistance Dog “Rocket,”  a Standard Poodle, was delivered to her family in Florida.
  • 2010 –Partnered with DASHA (Dedicated Animals Serving Humans Always) a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico to provide service dogs to those in need on the island.
  • 2012 – Trained and delivered “Mia” the first ever Hearing Assistance “Signal” Dog on the Island of Puerto Rico.
  • 2012 – Assistance Dog for Autism had successfully trained and placed over 50 service dogs across the US and Caribbean.

learn to train service dogs

service-dog-courseNot only do we train service dogs for those who need them, we also operate a school for dog trainers to teach others how to train service dogs.
Learning to become a service dog trainer can be a challenging and rewarding career.  We offer a variety of courses including a trainers’ course for Service Dog Trainers.

Our school for dog trainers offers an 18-week certification program to teach students how to train service dogs for individuals with disabilities.  Our program teaches students how to properly test, select, and train mobility dogs, signal dogs, seizure assistance dogs, and autism service dogs.

your team of professionals

  • Brandi Wallwork

    Brandi is the coordinator for our service dog training program.  She works with our clients...

  • Rachelle Yates

    Rachelle is the trainer for our Dallas, Texas location and assists clients throughout the southeast....

  • Erin Purgason

    Erin is the owner of Highland Canine Training, LLC and has been a sworn law...

  • Jason Purgason

    Jason is the Training Director of Highland Canine Training, LLC and has been working with...

  • Corey Archer

    Corey is also a graduate of the Highland Canine Training, LLC School for Dog Trainers...


Simple Application Process

Our application process is simple, yet thorough, and our staff will gladly guide you through the process

No Restrictions

Our programs do not restrict our clients to the breed of dog, food types, medical care, etc. Once the process is complete, the dog is yours!

Personalized Service

Our trainers have years of experience training a variety of service dogs and we understand the importance of great customer care.


Our dogs are trained to perform a number of tasks to assist their handlers.  Just some of these tasks include.

  • Interrupting Behaviors
  • Deep Pressure
  • Trailing
  • Retrieving Objects
  • Seizure Response