How it works

We have point-to-point training where top-notch, award-winning dog trainers, like Diane Coles, teach the dogs that the world is a safe place. Through that process, the dogs provide the same for their new partners: first responders and veterans with PTSD.

Through Train-the-Trainer Training, a service dog is paired with a fellow first responders or veteran with the goal of alleviating suffering from psychological injuries and providing the opportunity to reintegrate into civilian life. As part of their training, “T2Ts” have the responsibility to teach the dogs that the world is a safe place. Through that process, they must convince themselves of the same. Diane has a special skill set as a retired Police Chief of Richland, MI. Her personal detection dog, Emma, just finished a career winning top awards in obedience and agility. Diane has personal success in rehabilitating dogs and helping veterans. She also has a large network of contacts in the canine training and executive command arenas.

T2T trainers are taught to praise and provide treats to their dogs when they experience a startling event, such as hearing a car backfire. Rather than turning inward to focus on their past trauma, the trainers must get outside of their own heads to focus on the dogs and their mission to help another veteran. Additionally, dogs offer opportunities for T2T trainers – who often isolate themselves from society – to experience positive interactions with members of the community. Their training requires emotionally numb T2T to demonstrate positive emotion in order to successfully teach their dogs.

T2T’s participating in programs like the one we are emulating report that using these positive emotions to praise their dogs has significantly improved their family dynamics, as their children are able to experience and respond to this positive parenting strategy.

Check out our Video Gallery for footage showing more about our process.