Breeders make generous donations of well-vetted dogs to our organization. Many are Labrador Retrievers, a breed known for its easygoing, yet self-confident, disposition. Even without training, these dogs have a unique ability to bond with humans—through touch, listening, and empathy. With training, what they offer is even more priceless.
Our Freedom Dogs complete a two-year program of special training before being teamed with a wounded warrior. The dogs live with their trainers from the age of eight weeks, and work with the wounded warriors while they are still being trained.
Specialty service dogs are taught to problem solve and to think on their feet. Our Freedom Dogs are trained to assist the warrior with his or her unique needs.
Examples of Assistive Behaviors:
- Leaning into a warrior when anxiety is increasing
- Providing a barrier by positioning himself or herself between the warrior and someone getting too close
- Nudging the warrior to alert him or her to an unexpected person approaching
- Turning lights on when nightmares occur and turning lights off when the warrior returns to sleep
- Assisting with getting up in the morning by reinforcing an appropriate response to the alarm clock
- Retrieving keys, medical equipment, or other items
- Bracing to help with getting in or out of a chair or to lift limbs
- Opening cupboards, file cabinets, appliances, or handicapped or elevator doors