At Veterans With Dogs, our potential future Hero Dogs are specially bred and selected Labradors, Retrievers, and Spaniels. Their training journey begins at the age of eight weeks when they settle into their new homes. During their first year of life, they are cared for by our amazing socialiser families.
The socialiser families provide a loving and nurturing environment where the puppies engage in a daily routine of fun, sleep, exercise, house training, and the learning of basic skills and manners. They are immersed in various socialisation experiences and interact with the public, helping them become well-rounded and confident dogs.
Throughout this period, the puppies are part of our PALSTM Puppy Programme. This programme focuses on their basic training, which they undertake at their own pace under the guidance of their family and a Trainer. The puppies learn important foundations such as obedience, impulse control, and appropriate behaviour.
Once the puppies reach around 12 to 18 months old and have developed a solid foundation, they are matched with a Veteran and transition into the Advanced Training Programme. This programme builds upon the skills they have already acquired, tailoring their training to the specific needs of their future Veteran partner. The Advanced Training Programme prepares them to become assistance dogs capable of providing the support and assistance required to mitigate the symptoms of mental health conditions.
Through careful breeding, selection, socialisation, and comprehensive training programmes, we aim to produce exceptional Hero Dogs who will make a profound difference in the lives of our Veterans.