Veteran's Service Dog Program
Service Dog Program
To date, the Rocky Mountain Dawgs Project has matched eight dogs with deserving Veterans in need. For the next two years, a volunteer trainer will work with the dogs to ensure a happy and healthy partnership, specifically focusing on the needs of each particular Veteran.
It is our goal to pair more commendable Veterans with great dogs. We believe that this is another way to further support those who have served.
Please contact us if you are interested in our Veteran's Service Dog Program
To donate toward our Service Dog Program for Veteran's with PTSD click below
Our Service Dog Program Manager, Curtis Hemdel, can be contacted directly at
Service Dog Program Manager
Rocky Mountain Dawgs Project has taken an innovative approach to provide quality Service Dogs to our veterans. We carefully screen veterans into our program and then work closely with them to find out which tasks they need their future Service Dog to learn.
It is only after much discussion with the veteran that a breed is chosen that will provide the best possible match for him or her. Our trainers thoroughly screen potential K9 candidates, testing them to ensure that there are no triggers or weaknesses that could hamper them in training or later in their work.
The Service Dog Program training protocol starts with basic obedience and some very basic task training while the dog is kept by one of our trainers before being taken to the veteran. Our trainer then travels to where the veteran lives and works extensively on the basic obedience, basic task work, and environmental work where the veteran lives and conducts everyday life. Our veterans are actually taught the basics of training so that they can continue to improve the dog after the trainer leaves.
After this initial time, our trainers will decide how and when to move forward with training. In some cases the dog will return to the trainer for more extensive training, in other cases, the trainer will return to the veteran’s home area to train. In all cases, communication is key to our program, and the trainers and program manager are available for consults on a continuous basis.
We set a target for certification but understand that schedules are not always perfect. Many things can either speed up or slow down the process and we refuse to certify any Service Dog before they are ready to wear the RMDP Patch.
We feel that the training we give to the veteran and the availability of future assistance gives us the capability to provide a veteran with a “Service Dog for life”, that is, teach them to train their next Service Dog when their first one must retire from service.
Rocky Mountain Dawgs Project is working hard for our veterans and the Service Dog Program is a great example of that work!
Curtis Hemdel, Service Dog Program Manager