I look at selecting a service dog provider much like I would approach selecting a heart or brain surgeon; I want someone who has years of experience and has many successes behind them. You're really only going to find these folks at the major service dog organizations. The other thing to factor in is the dog. The large service dog organizations have been breeding, raising, evaluating dogs specifically for being service dogs and still about 50% of the dogs end up being deemed not suitable. It takes a very special dog to be a service dog. For these reasons, when asked for information on getting a service dog I refer people to these organizations.
You can learn more about Service dogs at our podcast page in these two interviews with NEADS: http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/webpage/category/Service%20and%20Assistance%20Dogs