Got Your Six Support Dogs was founded by a professional dog trainer, Nicole Lanahan. During her twenty-year dog training career Nicole has trained narcotic and bomb detection dogs for the police and military, mobility assistance service dogs for American Service Dog Association, dogs for television and print advertising, and even the famous LCC comfort dogs. Nicole’s grandfather, uncles, aunt, cousins, and brother are all United States veterans. Coming from such a patriotic family, when the number of veterans requesting PTSD service dogs from Nicole drastically increased, she felt called to star Got Your Six Support Dogs as her way of giving back to the United State veterans who have already given so much.
Got Your Six Support Dogs begins training service dog candidates as puppies. Each dog receives over 300 hours of training, and pass a series of obedience tests, task performance evaluations, and in-depth temperament screening before being placed as a PTSD service dog. The selected veteran recipients receive two weeks of instruction from accredited dog trainers, learning how to care for and utilize their new service dogs. In addition, the veteran applicants receive a trauma resiliency course, a suicide prevention course, group counseling, and private sessions with a licensed therapist/former combat veteran. They also participate in various therapeutic outings such as art therapy classes, guided meditation, music therapy, and more. The cost of the training, care, hotel, meals and therapeutic programs exceed twenty thousand dollars per dog. GY6 places each dog with a veteran at no cost to the recipient.
When the recipients complete the two-week training and go home with their new dogs, GY6 provides continued support through private online groups to ensure the transition home goes smoothly, and to answer questions if they arise. Even though ownership of the dog is transferred to the recipient, annual certification is required as well as periodic home visits for those within 60 miles or Skype “visits” for those that are farther to ensure the welfare of both the veteran and service dog.