Brett Simon is a founder of K9s For Warriors. He currently serves as the organization’s President. Brett oversees Canine Operations at K9s For Warriors and created the training curriculum utilized by the program. In his former career, he worked as a police officer for nearly 15 years (10 of which were spent as a K9 handler). Following his law enforcement career, Brett became a private investigator. Although he was challenged by this endeavor, he found himself wanting to go back to his true calling: working with dogs.
In 2005, Brett was selected for a new program implemented by the military that cross trained tracking and explosive dogs. During his tour in Mosul, Iraq, he was attached to the US Army 2nd Infantry Division as a DOD contractor. Brett and his dog Hugo were very successful on their missions, discovering multiple inventories of weapons and explosives. After returning home in 2005, Brett was diagnosed with PTSD. He completed a second trip to Iraq, teaming up with an explosives dog. Upon his return, he and his mother, Shari Duval, began developing the plan to establish K9s for Warriors to assist post - 9/11 veterans diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, and/or MST.
Brett’s tactile warrior training style blends lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on learning. He believes the most effective way for warriors to heal their PTSD is by being active in their recovery process, as their own advocates. Brett authored the training manual warriors follow during the program. The publication includes policies, tools, definitions, veterinary information, recommendations, and laws. Rating scales and checklists are also components utilized in the manual to help warriors track dog behavior and training progress. Brett’s extensive dog training style incorporates positive reinforcement, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and marker training. He supports the theory that dogs need five components for trainability: timing, consistency, praise, correction, and motivation. Brett is the original Warrior Ambassador of K9s For Warriors, having attended countless fundraisers and events on behalf of the organization. He is a dog training/handling thought leader and public speaker. Brett has appeared on local and national programming, including HLN and Fox News. He has also been featured in stories and articles around the country – one being People Magazine. Brett is a member of Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2018. In his free time, he enjoys hitting the golf course with his family and going on fun outings with his wife and son.
Our canine trainers and kennel staff are responsible for the procurement and training of the dogs that come into our kennel and to prepare them for their upcoming meeting with their veteran. Our kennel staff maintains all operations in the kennel such as veterinary appointments, dog food logs, cleanliness and overall maintenance of the kennels.