Dog Tag Buddies

Dog Tag Buddies

We do not limit era of service as a criteria. Veterans must complete application, provide DD214, copy of VA disability to support invisible injury diagnosis, as well as a letter from a provider indicating a service dog would be a viable option. The training of a service dog takes 32 weeks to complete. The first 10 weeks is spent teaching the team basic obedience skills, culminating the Canine Good Citizen Evaluation for all teams. To begin the next level of training, the team must successfully pass this evaluation. The next 21 weeks is spent in the training center and in public outings teaching advanced obedience, specific tasks, and public access training, all in preparation for the teams to begin working as a fully functioning service dog team. The final step is teams successfully passing the Canine Good Citizen Urban and Community evaluations well as the public access evaluation.

OUR MISSION

Dog Tag Buddies is dedicated to providing veterans with hidden injuries opportunities to lead more fulfilling lives. We provide NO cost services in the adoption and training of rescued dogs to become companion animals or service dogs depending on the needs of the individual veteran.

Dog Tag Buddies

Dog Tag Buddies is a home-grown organization, founded to honor my husband’s service, save dogs and most importantly, help our veterans with invisible injuries! We didn’t start out with the intention of training service dogs, but it quickly became apparent the need was great.

Montana has one of the highest per capita veteran populations in the US; 1 in 10 residents are veterans. Sadly, we rank #1 per capita in deaths by suicide, which means our veterans who succumb do death by suicide is also higher. In 2018, we suffered a rate of 45.7 veterans who died because of suicide, compared to the national average of 30.1

Therefore, there is a high demand for both physical and mental health services amongst our veteran population. Alternative options to medications, in this case, service dogs, provide benefits far beyond companionship. The community training model of veterans training their own service dogs help educate the veteran in a variety of ways to improve how they deal with their own disability.

We utilize a community training model, partnering the veteran and the dog and teaching the veteran to train his/her dog in small groups. This type of training has shown to be quite effective, as it not only allows the team to bond, it creates an environment that allows the veteran to connect with other veterans. It also gives the veteran opportunities to integrate back into society knowing there are others who have their six.

INFO@SERVICEDOGS4VETS.ORG

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