K9 Guardians Service Dog Program Information - Eligibility
*Before completing the application request form, please review the following program admission information to determine if you are eligible for a service dog.*
Who is eligible to apply to K9 Guardians program?
Men and women who are active military and veterans who have been honorably discharged. Also eligible are professionals working with military organizations that provide physical or mental health care to military or veteran clients who will benefit from interaction with a service dog.
What are the responsibilities of someone who receives a dog from K9 Guardians?
Program participants must be able to attend training programs on and off site and be able to complete the in-home and public training sessions. They must be committed to maintain the dog’s training throughout the duration of the team including annual reviews and to provide for the well-being of the dog (veterinary care, proper grooming, exercise, proper diet, etc.). It is advisable to research yearly veterinary and grooming costs in your area prior to applying for a service dog. K9 Guardians provides training support for all program participants.
What kind of assistance dogs does K9 Guardians provide?
Service Dogs for people who are physically disabled.
Service Dogs for PTSD for those whose primary disability is trauma related (Combat, MST, etc).
Resident Therapy Dogs that accompany staff members who work in therapy programs, military hospitals, VA’s etc.
Please Note: At this time K9 Guardians does not provide Diabetic Alert Dogs, dogs that detect medical symptoms such as cancer, or dogs that provide personal protection.
What types of dogs are used?
K9 Guardians uses working line German shepherds. All K9 Guardians pass health and temperament screenings to be eligible for training.
How old are the dogs when they finish training and go home with veterans?
Dogs are approximately 18 months old.
What tasks are K9 Guardians trained to do?
Service Dogs for physical disabilities are capable of being trained for various tasks. A few examples are: picking up dropped items, retrieve articles from hard to reach places, opening doors, turning on and off light switches, assistance with balance issues, and removing socks.
Service Dogs for PTSD can be trained for multiple tasks that include but are not limited to night-terror interruption, giving individual space in a crowd, going first around corners, calming anxiety with a visit to one's lap, and being your "battle buddy" in public places.
Resident Therapy Dogs assist workers in clinics and therapy centers for wounded veterans in their physical and emotional rehabilitation process.
Can K9 Guardians train a client’s own dog to be their Service Dog?
No. K9 Guardians only trains dogs that were breed through their breeding program. This assures that dogs accepted into the training program have the health, temperament and ability to be service dogs.
What if I have other pets in my home?
The decision will be made on an individual basis. No other pets will be allowed if it is concluded that they will interfere with said service dog's ability to work.
How long can I expect to wait for a service dog from K9 Guardians?
You can be accepted into the program and start training but the dog you work with may not be the one that you are ultimately teamed with. Timing is on an individual basis. A service dogs training period is approximately 18 months and time period is dependent on current ages, training skill levels and availability of dogs.
How long does the application process take?
Upon receipt of application we will send confirmation. Processing may take approx. 10 business days. We will also need additional documentation and in-person or over the phone intake completed before decision is made.
What additional items are needed for application?
- DD214 (with SSN removed)
- Essay on what a service dog will mean for you and do for you
- Dr letter/note stating that you need a service dog
- In person or over the phone intake
- Copy of VA ID Card
- Once approved, will need to do home visit or receive video/pictures of your home and yard.
How old are the dogs when they finish training and go home with their veterans?
Dogs are approximately 18 months old.