Our Program

A Veteran’s Best Friend is a Christian nonprofit that provides and trains service dogs for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), at no cost to the Veteran. We serve Veterans from any service, and who are of any or no faith. Our dogs are adopted from local shelters, rescue organizations, and donors. Thank you for your service!

What Our Dogs Do

Our service dogs are trained to assist ​one​ person, their Veteran. This can mean:

  • Keeping the Veteran mentally present and aware
  • Monitoring the Veteran for changes in
    • Heart rate, breathing
    • Adrenaline
    • Sleeping, nightmares
  • Monitoring the environment
    • Watching behind
    • Creating a barrier

Our Veterans Report...

  • Having reduced anxiety
  • Decreased isolation
  • Better sleep
  • Feeling "like their old selves"
  • Improved relationships
  • Wanting to "pay it forward"

Our 12-18 month program trains Veteran-dog teams together. The in-person courses include:

Handler’s Class 10 weeks​

  • Service Dog rights/responsibilities
  • How dogs learn
  • Dog grooming, care, and first aid
  • Differences of service dogs and pets

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) 10 weeks
Veterans learn how to train their dogs to perform basic obedience tasks using positive reinforcement. AKC assessments are administered.

Public Access 20 weeks
Veteran​-dog teams attend classroom and "real world" trainings. Teams record 480 hours of public access, socialization, and obedience training.

Advanced Class 10 weeks
Training​ is tailored to mitigate the Veteran's specific disability.