Q. What types of dogs do you train?
A. Since 2012, WBF has provided service dogs at NO COST to veterans who suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual assault, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In 2018, after witnessing the need for canines in facilities, WBF identified a way to expand the impact beyond the original model of 1:1 warrior-canine matches. WBF began training facility dogs to be placed within psychological services on military bases as well as counseling departments and special needs classrooms within schools. To learn more about our facility programs visit our Operation Homestead and Operation Schoolhouse pages!
Q. What is the difference between a Service, Facility and Therapy dog?
A. Service Dogs are working animals that have been trained in specific tasks to help a person with a disability such as picking up items for a person using a wheelchair, providing stability for those who have difficulty walking, and alerting a visually impaired person of a potentially dangerous situation. Service dogs are granted full public access protected under the American Disabilities Act.
Facility Dogs are professional, full-time canines that have been specially trained for their roles. Unlike therapy dogs that perform weekly visits with their owner volunteering their support where it’s needed, facility dogs are employed to accompany a human professional full-time in their day-to-day work. These canines have gone through extensive training to help support and provide emotional benefits in an individual or group setting. They offer both mental and physical benefits covering several psychological disorders, including anxiety disorder, autism, PTSD, ADHD, depression, and other emotional challenges
Therapy Dogs are animals that accompany their owners to volunteer their services in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, treatment centers, and more. Therapy Dogs differ from Facility dogs as they are not considered full-time working animals. These dogs perform short weekly visits to several facilities for one to two hours at a time. Unlike Service Dogs, Therapy and Facility animals do not have public access rights.
Q. What type of breeds do you work with?
A. We are not specific to a particular breed. We believe all breeds have the potential to make wonderful companions, though some are more suitable for the role of a facility dog than others. We base our criteria on age, weight, temperament, sociability, energy level, and more.
Q. How old are the dogs when made available for placement?
A. Approximately one and a half to two years of age.
Q. Can Warriors' Best Friend help me to train my dog to become a Facility Dog?
A. Our lead canine trainer looks at roughly 500 dogs before selecting 1 perfect candidate. Each prospect is given a full behavioral evaluation before entering the program. For these reasons, we do not offer training services outside our facility.
Q. How do I get a dog in my facility?
A. Many questions arise when considering whether or not a trained canine is right for your facility. Reach out today to learn more about the following:
- The benefits of a trained dog within your facilities programs
- How to select a handler for your facility dog
- Understand obtaining ownership of the dog
- Long-term care and costs of a facility dog
To learn more contact Joe Jeffers, Executive Director, at Joe@warriorsbestfriend.org
Q. Where does the dog stay once placed in a permanent facility?
A. The primary caretaker/handler will be selected through the facility. We require a home visit prior to receiving the dog to make sure they have a suitable living environment and assess which dog would be the best fit for that household. The primary caretaker is responsible for the dog outside of work hours, though they do not have to be the handler while at the facility. At the end of the workday, the dog will go home with the caretaker.
Q. Do we get to choose the dog for our facility?
A. We do not allow individuals to choose their dogs. Our trainer, Bella, spends an extensive amount of time with each dog in our program from the day they are brought into the program up to the day the dog is ready for placement. Bella assesses each dog once ready for placement to assign each one to the perfect facility based on temperament, size, energy level, environmental and social preferences, and more. Bella also works closely with the facility to better understand the facilities' needs for the dog as well as the primary caretaker to assess which dog is the best fit for that home.
Q. What happens to the dogs who do not quite make the cut in the training program?
A. Though it does not happen often, occasionally we will have a dog come through that does not possess the "right stuff" to complete the training program. This does not mean they would not make a WONDERFUL lifetime companion! Some reasons a dog may not make it through the training process are lack of focus for long periods of time, too much energy, or some just prefer a quieter and calmer lifestyle. We make these dogs available for adoption! If you are interested in adopting a WBF dog, check out our adoptable dog's page!
Q. How can I get involved?
A. There are many ways to support WBF! One-time and monthly donations are a great way to help further our mission of placing much-needed highly-trained facility dogs! You can also view our wish list under the "Giving Options" tab. There you will find our most needed and used items including training treats, durable toys, cleaning supplies, and more! Even the smallest donation goes a long way in assisting in the training and placement of each of our dogs!
Have you considered fostering before? Warriors' Best Friend is always excited to add passionate new members to the Team. To learn more about fostering a WBF puppy, visit our foster page which can be found under the "Get Involved" tab. If this sounds like an exciting opportunity and you could use some puppy cuddles in your life look no further! Contact our trainer, Bella, at email@example.com.