Bully's & Boots

Dog foster and training program for Veterans

We support our Veterans!  We're still working on some final details for this new program. We'll be working closely with several shelters and rescues, trainers and mental health professionals. 


Bully's & Boots is a dog foster and dog training program that will provide emotional support and service dogs for Veterans. All dogs in this program will be "Bully Breeds", the most misunderstood and forgotten dogs. 


Participating Veterans will be fostering, training and assisting other Veterans in their Pack. This program will take some time but we're hoping to have the first graduates of the program by Veterans Day 2020. Please support our program by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today! 


For more details or if you are interested in volunteering please email us  bullyb@gphfoundation.org 


We are not accepting applications for the program at this time.


  

Training and Certification Requirements

One of Bully’s & Boots’ most unique and important characteristics is the level of support and training we provide to Veterans matched with one of our service dogs. In turn, this means that Veterans accepted into our program and matched with a dog must commit to the requirements of the training program.

· Initial training prior to being matched with a dog lasts 3-4 weeks, 5 days/week (M-F), 4-6 hours/day at our training center near zip code 98034 (minimum of 60 hours of training required prior to matching).

· For six months after being matched, the Veteran/Bully Dog team must meet with a Bully’s & Boots trainer at least once per week (3-4 hours/week) for training in a variety of public and private settings (additional minimum of 60 hours of training required after matching).

· Veterans must agree to adhere to all Bully’s & Boots’ rules and regulations concerning the health, care, and training of the dog, including daily exercise, training, and grooming requirements, as well as a smoke-free living environment.

· Following the minimum six months/120 hours training commitment, the Veteran/Bully’s Dog team must successfully pass a three-part certification examination, including:

· a written or oral examination which covers the Veteran’s knowledge of dog care, dog behavior, training principles, specific vocabulary, and public access,

· a practical test of basic obedience and public access behavior conducted in a public location, and

· a specialized skills test, which tests the team on performance of the specific skills the dog has been taught to perform for the Veteran.

· After certification, the team remains on probation for an additional six months before ownership of the dog is turned over to the Veteran.  During this probationary period, the Veteran is required to continue to adhere to all Bully’s & Boots rules and regulations concerning the dog, and to check in with the training staff at least monthly.


  

Team Training Program

 When a Veteran has been accepted into the training program, the next step is to clearly define the tasks and skills needed to best assist the Veteran with his/her disability in day-to-day life. The Veteran will meet with the training staff so that they can understand these needs and begin to identify potential dogs which may be suitable. Dogs are matched with Veterans based on the dog’s skills, strengths, temperament, and energy level, and the Veteran’s needs, experience, personality, and lifestyle. There may be an indefinite wait for the right dog to become available for a particular applicant. Even after matching, the success of the partnership is dependent on many factors, not the least of which is the Veteran’s commitment to the training process.

Once a dog or dogs who are nearing the completion of their advanced training phase have been identified, the team training phase begins. The Veteran/Bully Dog Team trains together under the supervision of a Bully Dogs staff trainer for a minimum of 120 hours (over the course of at least 6 months) in a variety of public and private settings, including the Veteran’s home, school or workplace, community, stores, public transportation, etc. The training program is customized to the individual Veteran’s needs and abilities. The team training program is in addition to the hundreds of hours of prior training that the dogs have received with their puppy raisers before being matched with their Veteran partners.


  

Requirements for Application to the Bully’s & Boots Program

Applicants shall be considered for partnership with a Bully Dog regardless of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), marital status, sexual orientation, or other categories protected by law. As a potential candidate for our training program, you must:

· live within 50 miles or approximately one hour’s travel time of Bully’s & Boots for at least one year following matching with a dog; zip code 98034

· be able to provide your own transportation to and from training sessions;

· refrain from volunteering, donating, or otherwise participating in fund raising or public relations activities for Bully’s & Boots for at least six months prior to applying;

· be able to meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of a dog, and have an adequate support system in place to do so when you are unable to yourself; applicants needing assistance with any mental health condition, be current and remain in treatment with a mental health practitioner;

· have the full support of your family (including any caregivers), your employer, and your landlord (where applicable) in your quest to receive a service dog;

· be willing and able to commit to the training and program schedule;

· be able to provide financial support for the dog after ownership has been signed over.



Sponsorship Proposal

Proposal for Bully's & Boots 2018 (pdf)

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