A Northwest Battle Buddies Veteran Team is the partnership between a professionally trained service dog and a Veteran battling PTSD. Certification as a team is achieved once both the service dog and the Veteran successfully complete the required training.
Immediate and noticeable improvements occur when Veterans receive a service dog as a result of Northwest Battle Buddies’ training program. With their service dog’s assistance, Veterans manage and overcome social anxieties, and become more engaged with their families and others.
Once a Veteran is accepted into the program, they are scheduled into the next available class or cohort. While the Veteran is waiting to begin training, the Veteran Liaison, gathers essential information in order to understand the Veteran and their unique circumstances. This crucial role, helps to ensure the Veterans are set up for success before they begin training.
The process of pairing each Veteran with their service dog is guided by their individual needs, traits and compatibility. This is a critical part of our program and a very comprehensive process. The first introduction between the Veteran and their service dog is a powerful and emotional moment, marking the beginning of a lifelong partnership of trust and understanding.
Following the initial introduction, Veterans and their matched service dogs begin a five-week training program. They develop essential skills and communication under the guidance of our skilled trainers. It’s not just about obedience; it’s about creating a seamless, intuitive partnership that empowers Veterans and enhances their daily lives.
At the end of the five-week training period, Veterans and their service dogs undergo a comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation ensures they have acquired the necessary skills and that the bond between them is strong. Upon successful completion, Veterans and their service dogs graduate, marking the beginning of their life together.
Our service dog teams are required to recertify on an annual basis which includes the public access test and continuing training to ensure the ongoing skills and performance of the service dogs and their Veteran handlers
Northwest Battle Buddies offer continuous support to Veterans through liaisons and other veterans.
“It’s impressive to be included in such an amazing class and see the teamwork and trust building day by day. Thank you, NWBB.”
– NWBB Veteran
“Whatever we were doing, she wanted to be a part of it, walking to get the paper, cooking, watching from the doorway while we did our workouts. . .
Riding in the car or visiting friends. She is loving, smart, eager to please and unfailingly polite. The joy and love she gave to us will live forever in our hearts.”
– NWBB Puppy Foster