Service Dog Advocacy

Dogs for Defense K-9 offers two different types of Service Dog advocacy programs.

Our primary program is aimed at businesses, landlords, and civic organizations who may come in contact with a Service Dog during their normal operations but who may not be well-versed on the federal and state laws that protect individuals with disabilities who use these dogs. Our presentations introduces you to what a Service Dog is and isn't, what laws you must follow, and what recourse is available to a business if a dog is not under control or even aggressive.

We also offer support to individuals with disabilities who may have been told they could benefit from a Service Dog but don't know where to start. We can help you with information on Service Dogs, differences between Services Dogs and ESAs, and where to start obtaining a Service Dog of your own if you have a legitimate medical need.

Dog Safety & Bite Prevention

Lastly, we offer dog safety and bite prevention programs for both children and adults.

Our children's programs are best suited for elementary school students (grades 1 and older) and focus on making dog safety simple and fun. We use a 1-2-3 approach to safety that includes always asking the owner, asking the dog, and petting gently on the neck and chest only. Our instruction includes a demonstration of the concept with two people, a person and a stuffed dog, and/or a person and a real dog, and practice by the kids. Hand-out materials to take home include "do" and "don't" coloring pages.

Our bite prevention program for adults is aimed at people of high school age or older who are interested in learning more about canine communication, including body language, and approaches that minimize the risks of dog bites. This presentation includes extensive information on canine body language and facial expressions, correct ways of approaching a dog, and safe handling methods. This program benefits anyone who works with dogs in a professional or volunteer capacity, including shelter workers, rescue foster homes, animal control officers, and law enforcement officers. We can tailor programs to the specific needs of your organization, too.


Military Working Dog Display

The primary reason we started Dogs for Defense K-9 was to educate the public about the history and uses of military working dogs. Although many people have some familiarity with famous historical names such as Rin-Tin-Tin, Stubby, Smoky, and Chips, people don’t generally know much about military working dogs and what services these dogs performed historically or perform today.

Our military working dog display includes a large number of historical artifacts related to the war dogs of the past, from training equipment to books and magazines about their exploits. Caption cards and posters give a history on the dogs and items, allowing people to peruse the display in their own time. The display also includes modern working dog equipment, such as bite sleeves used in training, which visitors can touch and try on. Of course, we always encourage questions, too!

We try to include a little bit of everything related to military working dogs in our display, including some of the well-known mascot dogs (like Stubby and Smoky), as well as current uses of the dogs, which include military therapy dogs who visit with the soldiers downrange and in military hospitals stateside.

We also hope to give people an appreciation of what these dogs experience during their working lifespan by introducing them to the DOD’s puppy program where the next generation of working pups is being raised, and informing them about some of the injuries and illnesses faced by these dogs, including canine version of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is currently being studied.

Working Dog Demonstration

Along with the static display on the history of military working dogs, we also present a live demonstration of some of the capabilities of modern-day working dogs, including off-leash obedience, controlled aggression (bitework) and odor detection.

Although our demo dog is neither a military working dog nor a police dog, her training in these areas allows her to demonstrate many of these skills for the audience to give people a better understanding and appreciation for what these dogs do. Additionally, we are able to tailor our demos to any specific time period - for example, training and use of working dogs in World War II. We carry liability insurance to cover us at public events.