Because our program is based on the philosophy that veterans should be involved in their own recovery, their training is meant to put them outside their comfort zone. The days are long and challenging. Warriors train with their dogs for nearly 8 hours a day. The warrior passenger bus departs for the day around 8:30am for public access training. Lectures, training sessions, dog-grooming, and field trips are some of the key elements of this vital instruction.
Program participants are accompanied by our warrior trainers at all times during public access training. Some of the places where our warriors train include grocery stores, malls, restaurants, and other crowded businesses. When our warriors arrive back at Camp K9, they're encouraged to play with their dogs in our parks. This is what the schedule of our warriors looks like Monday-Friday. Training on Saturday lasts around 3 hours and includes obedience training along with question and answer sessions. Sundays are considered “off” days for warriors to bond and play with their dogs.
Before warriors can graduate with their dogs and return home, they must pass the public access certification test. During this testing, warriors have to demonstrate the commands they have learned with their dogs. If they pass, they get to graduate. At the end of the program warriors have received roughly 120 hours of training to ensure they're prepared for life at home with their dogs.