Frequently Asked Questions About Our Service Dogs
If you’ve seen a service-dog-in-training out in public, you may have had a few questions running through your mind. What is the dog in training for? How long does it take? Is it hard for the trainer to give them up once they’re ready to be placed?
Well, now you don’t have to wonder! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that our trainers get when out in public with PPH dogs. Here are our top seven:
What is the dog in training for?
Our dogs are in training to assist veterans and service members with mobility challenges and the trauma-related conditions that can result from post-traumatic and other forms of stress. Throughout their training, they will learn how to retrieve items, open and close doors, turn on and off light switches and much more. They will also learn to recognize, then interrupt disruptive thoughts and behaviors and to improve general well-being using techniques such as providing stress-reducing pressure to calm their Warrior companion.
How long does it take to train a service dog?
It can take anywhere from 18 months to three years to perfect the skills necessary for our dogs to graduate.
Do they ever get to take a break and just be a dog?
This is one of the most common questions we get, and the answer is… YES! Our dogs get lots of playtime between training sessions and public outings because just like us, they need time off for their own mental health. They are actually “off” more than they work while in training. When they graduate as service dogs, we also require that they continue to have time off so they can be the best working dog they can be for as long as possible.
Do you only train Golden and Labrador Retrievers?
Yes. PPH trains Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Golden/Lab crosses in our program because we feel these dogs’ temperaments and qualities are the best fit for the job. They are people-oriented, have relatively calm temperaments, are a perfect size, have soft mouths for retrieving items, and are very friendly and lovable.
How can I get a service dog?
To get a PPH service dog, please take a look at our service dog placement process. There you will find more information about our dogs, the application, interview, and matching process, and the ongoing support provided by PPH staff.
How can I support your program?
We estimate that it costs around $35,000 to care for and train a PPH dog for their two-plus years in training. If you’d like to support our mission to improve the lives of America’s Warriors and help us raise and prepare these special dogs, consider making a donation online or visit our Amazon Wish List to purchase supplies for our training centers.