K9s For Warriors is pleased to say the primary source of dogs for our service dog training program is rescue animals. We obtain dogs from shelters, rescue organizations, private donors and area breeders.
When a dog is first brought to our attention, we learn as much as we can over the phone: vitals, history, sociability with people and other animals, etc. Then, one of our K9 Trainers will evaluate the dog in person for a hands-on assessment of the dog’s personality, sociability, obedience knowledge, food or treat motivation, and train-ability. Dogs showing any signs of aggression or severe anxiety are immediately declined. In addition, all potential K9 candidates are subject to a 96-hour, in-house evaluation. Should the dog be deemed unfit for our program, the donor would retain ownership.
There are a number of things we look for in our service dogs.
- Friendly with children, adults and other dogs; confident, and willing to work.
- Food motivated throughout test.
- Moderate to low energy level.
- Age between 11 months and 3 years.
- No resource guarding of food around people or dogs.
- Appropriate playing with dogs.
- No shorter than 22 inches tall from the floor to the top of the shoulders while standing
- 50+ lbs with a body score condition of 3/5.
- Tested negative for heartworms in the past two weeks.
While K9s For Warriors does not condone or perpetuate breed stereotyping, there are several breeds that we do not use in our program. Since our mission is to support the full integration of our graduates into all aspects of society and their communities, we avoid any factors that may work against this goal. Examples of such factors are dogs that are too large to comfortably fit in public areas and dogs that are perceived by significant portions of the public to be aggressive or dangerous. Therefore, while we believe that it is each individual dog’s health and temperament that determine its suitability for the type of service dog work for which it is being selected, we do not accept dogs of the following breeds into our program:
- Doberman Pinchers
- Pit Bulls
- Chow Chows
- Giant breeds such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenese, and Cane Corsos
We will consider mixes of these breeds so long as their commonly negative traits are not predominant. Although we must turn away these breeds for our mission, we fully support and encourage the rescue and adoption of all homeless animals!
K9s For Warriors is located in Ponte Vedra, Florida and has limited transport ability. If the dog you wish to donate is located outside of the state of Florida we may not be able to accept the dog. However, our team is happy to discuss transport options.