Our Dogs

The life of a PPH service dog begins in a secure and loving environment at Bergin University of Canine Studies. The service dogs used in the PPH program are purpose-bred, low arousal, high-intelligence Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers developed through years of research at Bergin University. Training begins at three weeks of age with students, staff, and volunteers dedicated to socializing and preparing these young pups to become loving and loyal companions. Some of these young service dogs in training are selected to participate in the PPH program where their temperament and physical characteristics make them ideal service dog candidates for Veterans. It costs PPH $25,000 to fully train a service dog that will be placed with a wounded warrior. Using dogs that are selected, bred and fostered to be socially responsive and engaging is key to the success of the program. As service members affected by PTSD often isolate and resist interaction with others, the purpose-bred traits of these dogs make it very difficult for our patients to isolate or resist the safe relationships offered by loving and non-judgmental companions. As the dogs mature and acquire service dog skills, they will return to Bergin University of Canine Studies for final training and evaluation. Some will be placed at no cost with a Veteran with combat-related disabilities while others will be identified for “career changes” that go on to graduate as social/therapy dogs, facility dogs, or will be released to a loving family.

If you are interested in requesting a service dog, please contact PPH at servicedog@pawsforpurplehearts.org.

Below are just a few of our wonderful service dogs with their new human partners.