Working with law enforcement and first responders has been a successful new career option for retired Service Dogs that have been voluntarily returned by their Warriors. Since Service Dog work is typically for the lifetime of the dog, K9s For Warriors pairs Warriors with dogs that are 2-3 years old, so the dog and Warrior have maximum time together over their lifetime. These dogs are ready for a new career.
Before starting their new career, each dog is medically cleared with limited to no medical needs (so they do not place a financial burden on the receiving agency). They also receive a basic obedience training refresher and learn some special commands to assist them in their role as a Station Dog, although, “Make a Friend” is likely the only command they need to make a difference.
At a minimum, each Station Dog meets the standards set forth by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and must pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test, reliably performing basic obedience and successfully completing the following commands 90% of the time: Heel, Sit, Down, Place, Kennel (crating), My Lap, Make a Friend, and Load/Unload in and out of a vehicle. Station Dogs should not be reactive to other animals and should be friendly and confident so that new sights, sounds, and experiences do not startle them.
In accordance with ADI standards and accreditation, Station Dogs will be easily identifiable by wearing their provided vest with identification patches while working in the agency assigned.