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Always at No Cost

Because the need for a service dog is a result of the courage and commitment to protecting our freedom, we feel strongly that training shall always be at no cost. This is our tangible way to say “Thank You”. We use our other services and donations to fund the costs of training for Veterans

"It is a sneaky training program. In 2014 I maybe left the house 10 times, but I have been out of the house almost 50 times, that feels good. It feels hopeful that I may enjoy simple pleasures of the public."

- Lorenzo and Pandora / USMC (Ret)

Objective Based Training

Every service dog team will have documented training behaviors that a dog will be taught. Each behavior will be documented to a physical symptom of the handlers disability. These symptoms can be as subtle as clenched fist or as apparent as trembling hands.

"Having Chance has given me the opportunity to adapt to civilian life and not to be on such a heighten sense of awareness. It has allowed me to enjoy life, I trust Chance will make unpredictable crowds predictable."

- Trent and Chance / US Army

Sample Objectives

Finding a Purpose

Handler's train their own service dog, we meet weekly to monitor the training progress. This is a unique aspect of our training program that has demonstrated life changing results in most of our veteran clients.

"It feels good to have a purpose again. Because I was away so much I know my wife can handle the kids and I am not always needed there, but with the training there isn’t anyone else it is just me."

- Chris and Tigg / US Army


"My PTSD is a battle scar that isn’t visible to anyone. It is the wound that I carry every day and a hardship that I am honored to be left with so my kids don’t have to know it. But it is debilitating and frustrating."

- Eric and Glock / USMC (Ret)

Service Dogs for PTSD and TBI

Right now there are very limited resources for Veterans suffering from PTSD or TBI. PTSD has a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, social anxiety or horror. Reliving the events, avoiding social situations and increased arousal are all components of this disorder. There are also several misconceptions about PTSD and service dogs. Some organizations claim that they can “teach” or “train” the service dog to sense when the symptoms of PTSD are coming on. We simply train a dog to recognize the physical symptoms of a specific service member.

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Rescuing Dogs to Help Veterans

If a dog is needed, we will reach out to our contacts at the local shelters and rescues to identify a dog that would be suitable for the type of training needed. If a connection can be made we will acquire the dog from the shelter or rescue, validate the health and vaccinations of the dog, and then place the dog in the service dog home for training. We do require that dogs placed are either altered or have an agreement for the dog to be altered within a set period of time. We do not believe that dogs can be "specially breed" dogs for this type of service work, as some organizations have claimed. We have experienced tremendous success in using rescued dogs.

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Documented Training Requirement

The first section of the notebook is a training log which must be maintained. Every service dog team must document a minimum of 150 training hours before a certificate of Service Dog Training will be issued. The second section of the notebook rules, laws, protections and regulations that the handler must be aware of. Various handouts will be provided for a handler to be able to demonstrate understanding and knowledge. The third section holds all certifications or test that have been administered in an official capacity. To be issued a certification of Service Dog Training from Faithful Friends every service dog team must have in this section the ADI Public Access Test, an AKC Good Citizen Test, the AKC Advanced Good Citizen Test, validation from their medical professional that the training objectives set have been met, and a written examination which tests the handlers knowledge and understanding of the rights, rules, regulations, and use of service dogs.

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Behaving Appropriately in Public

All service dog teams (veteran or civilian) will spend the 1st 6-8 weeks of training focused solely behaving appropriately in public. We use the public access standards set by Assistance Dog International (ADI). Written homework is provided each week for the service dog team to practice in public places. All teams are informed of the laws protecting service dogs as well as the limitations to service dogs in training. Every team is required to get permission from any public business to use their establishment for training purposes. ONLY after the team can demonstrate the public access standards of behavior will the training towards the identified training objectives be started.

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Documented Training Behaviors & Response

The Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) requires that service dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Training objectives are developed to document the tasks a dog will be trained to do and the response behavior that is expected by both the dog and the handler. Every training objective will be associated with a documented symptom of a handler's disability. The training objectives must be approved by the handler and the medical professionals involved in the treatment of the handler's disability.

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Program Details

  • Handler is Training their own Service Dog
  • Training Program Tailored to Every Service Dog Team
  • 150 Hours of Documented Training
  • Knowledge of Rules, Regulations, & Protections for Service Dogs
  • Weekly Appointments to Monitor Progress
  • Written Homework Assignments
  • Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Public Access Test
  • Relationship Building Assignments