The service dog training program at Operation Overwatch is created to improve lives at both ends of a leash, hence our motto “Healing at Both Ends of the Leash™”. Many service dog programs currently focus on dog breeding, but we do not. The dogs at Operation Overwatch come from shelters and adoption agencies from across the United States.
The first step to our service dog program is finding a dog that has potential, and that needs help. For an animal to have success in our service dog program we first will practice various training exercises to see if it is fit. We look for a dog that also have a lot of energy and can keep up with the lifestyle of a busy person.
The attitude of an animal will also greatly affect how they will be trained in our program. Some dogs do not have the social skills to become a service dog. One of the most important traits of a service dog is their ability to be calm and collected in negative environments like busy crowds or around unfriendly dogs.
Our service dog training program is available for Veterans, First Responders and their families. Service dogs are also available for select individuals outside of this group, which we qualify on a case to case basis.
We require that someone entering into our service dog training program has the proper housing and environment for a dog. Our program relies heavily on the bond that is created between a service dog and their handler, and we need to ensure that that will continue to happen.
We will need to know if you the applicant has the ability to pay for medical bills if anything were to arise. We are working towards eliminating the cost of Service Dogs in our program, however we still need to ensure that the owner is able to pay for the ongoing care for a Service Dog.
We offer to training tracks that are available for all applicants to choose from. The first track will include the applicant in the training program. For the second training track, Operation Overwatch will fully train the dog.
Handler Involved Training Program
Our handler involved training program focuses on the bond that is made between an owner and their service dog. The relationship that is made is a key component in the treatment of someone suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. We highly recommend our program for those suffering from more severe cases of PTSD and TBI.
We pick certain highly skilled dogs in our program to become pre-trained service dogs. In our pre-trained service dog program, we focus on evaluating how a dog will best fit into your life. We we train our service dogs to pick up on your specific patterns, and teach them how to mediate.
Traumatic brain injury service dogs are trained specially to offer mobility and emotional support. We train our service dogs to act when the handler is unsteady or when they are unsure of their surroundings. A TBI service dog goes through extensive memory training in order to retrieve items or aid their handler in remembering medications. A service dog will immensely help mediate the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
Post Traumatic Stress disorder service dogs are trained to pick up on the slight changes in heart rate and mood that indicate that a handler is in distress. Flashbacks, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD are hard to pick up by other people, but a service dog will be trained to identify, and act when their handler needs help.
Service Dog Matching
Because not a single dog that goes through our program is the same we focus on finding the right match for you. You will be able to take part in some training and basic play exercises that will get you accustomed to what attributes you like about a dog. You will also be able to work with a variety of dogs to find the right fit.
The matching process will also include a look at what issues you have and how a service animal can best serve you. As service animal is trained to mediate the symptoms of TBI or PTSD by using certain commands like barking, licking, nudging, or jumping. Depending on your preference and how you react to the dog intervening we will be able to create a better-matched service animal for you.
Benefits of Our Service Dog Training Program
The Operation Overwatch service dog program focuses on the bond and continuing treatment of PTSD and TBI. The benefit of our program is that we will continue to work with you to ensure that your service dog is allowing you to live an improved life. A service dog offers veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD or TBI the security and mobility that is needed for continuing treatment.