The Westminster Kennel Club and Cosequin Partnership to Support a Service Dog in Training
The Westminster Kennel Club and Cosequin® are proud to announce they have partnered to sponsor a puppy in training with the Valor Service Dogs program. A Golden Retriever puppy named Betty joined the program this year to undergo 18-24 months of training before being placed as a service dog with a military veteran or first responder in need. Following a Valor Service Dog tradition, this retriever was named after a notable military service member, the late Betty White, who reportedly served in the American Women’s Voluntary Services during WWII.
The Westminster Kennel Club’s support of the puppy in the Valor Service Dog program continues the organization’s longstanding history of giving back. Throughout its 146- year history, Westminster has supported military and service dogs through donations to the American Red Cross during World War I, Dogs for Defense during World War II, and more recently, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and the Warrior Canine Connection.
This is the ninth year that Cosequin® has supported the Westminster Kennel Club events. The joint effort to support a service dog in training expands the longstanding partnership that has produced popular social media campaigns over the years, including Reflecting on the Win, Agility Training Tips, and a special edition of the popular Puppy Tails featuring past Westminster winners.
The Valor Service Dog organization trains puppies as mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs for military veterans and first responders. These highly trained companions help their owners regain their independence and reintegrate into their communities.
Meet the newest member of our team, Betty Valor! WKC has partnered with Cosequin® to sponsor a puppy in training with Valor Service Dogs!
The Valor Service Dogs organization trains puppies as mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs for military veterans and first responders. These highly trained companions help their owners regain their independence and reintegrate into their communities.
"Betty has had a busy month. She has accompanied her Puppy Coach to college classes and spent lots of time out in public working on her public access skills. She has mastered retrievals of her vest and leash. Betty's demeanor is amazing. She is a calm, sweet, unreactive girl completely in-tune with her handler. "
"It's been another busy month for Betty Valor. She continues to work on her public access skills by visiting many different places such as restaurants, grocery stores, and even the library. Her focus on her handler even in a high-distraction environment (like Chuck E Cheese) is phenomenal. When Betty isn't working, she loves to play fetch. "
"Betty Valor is making great progress with her training. She is currently working on the command "get your bowl," perfecting her "heel" and "side" commands and retrieving named items from a distance. In her downtime, she loves to go on golf cart rides, go for walks, and be outside in the sun. She is a snuggle bug and enjoys giving love to her Puppy Coach Mom and Dad. "
"Betty Valor continues to be exposed to new experiences and places. This month she has been working on improving her walking skills in outdoor environments where there are distractions such as birds, squirrels or other dogs and people. This is helping her to learn more patience and help with her impulse control. Betty continues to be a loving, caring, and loyal service dog in training to her Puppy Coach family. "
"Betty is sixteen months old! Betty Valor has come a long way in the last few months. She is maturing and becoming very reliable in her commands and overall behavior. She is extremely sweet and loving, and we look forward to seeing her continue in the program and refine all of her skills.
Betty's puppy coach shared: 'Betty is learning to turn lights on, open handicapped doors, and constantly working on commands she knows so they can be mastered. Betty is so loving and is happiest with her handler and people.'"
"Betty Valor continues to progress nicely in her service dog training. She is currently working on refining retrieval skills in more challenging situations. These require Betty to problem-solve in order to retrieve the desired object.
Betty's PTSD cues are also being refined by adding environmental distractions while still being able to focus on her handler to recognize when signs of anxiety are being displayed to interrupt them.
Betty's Puppy Coach says she enjoys playing in the yard and sun bathing. She likes to play tug of war and is always wanting to cuddle . Lately, she's been her right hand dog for yard work and planting. Betty loves to stay by your side. "
"Betty Valor has achieved some major milestones as she prepares to enter advanced training. Betty is refining her ability to identify and disrupt even the most subtle signs of anxiety and stress in highly stimulating environments. Betty's walking manners are almost on cruise control and she can navigate various confined spaces, adjust speed as needed and remain checked in and focused on her handler. We are extremely proud of Betty. She will start advanced training later this week which is the last extensive training/assessment phase before final placement with her forever hero (recipient). Betty loves to cuddle, play fetch, and swim when she's not working."