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 black Labrador Retriever puppy named Tommy 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 US Coast Guard rescue diver, Tommy Faulkenberry, who recently lost his life on a dive.
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 148- 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 tenth 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, Tommy 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.
"Tommy is the sweetest little guy. Sometimes he’s the life of the party and sometimes he’s the quiet guy watching the world go by. In training we have been working on good leash manners, sit, shake, down, and maintaining good eye contact. He’s doing great with these commands. In his downtime his favorite things are swimming, a snuffle mat, puzzle games and he’s always down for a nap. He is a very smart and energetic little guy with a bright future. "
Tommy is a happy little guy and so bright at just four months old. He loves working on his leash manners and his PTSD cues. To train PTSD Cues, he is learning to recognize signs of stress and anxiety. He will then learn to interrupt those negative emotions by initiating contact with their handler. This allows the handler to work through those negative emotions in a more positive manner. The signs could be leg shaking, wringing of hands, placing their head in their hands, or other types of signs/movements specific to PTSD symptoms in the handler.
The photo at the cemetery is of Tommy with his Puppy Coach placing American flags on veterans' graves at the Oaklawn Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day for the Plant City, Florida's 4th Annual Veterans Flag in Event.