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Tommy Valor


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.

Monthly Updates

"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."

October 2023

"Tommy Valor is five months old and he's been a busy boy over the last month as he continues his service dog training. He continues to work on and learn new PTSD cues. He is doing a great job at picking up on these cues from his Puppy Coach. He really enjoys learning new commands. His leash manners and eye contact are on point. He accompanied his Puppy Coach to a recent event and did a wonderful job of staying settled while there was lots of activity around him. When he’s not working on commands he loves to play frisbee or chase a ball."

December 2023

"Tommy Valor is 7 months old this month! Tommy's Puppy Coach reports he is making great strides in his service dog training. One of his favorite things is getting to train with the other Valor pups and sometimes he even gets to train with his mama, Walker Valor. He’s been accompanying his Puppy Coach to doctor's appointments and it's a great time for him to practice his command, go in. This command allows him to tuck under an object, like a chair, to get out of walkways or from being out in the open. He's gotten really good with this command in a crowded lobby. Tommy has also been on lots of errands with his Puppy Coach and enjoys exploring new places. When he’s not taking care of his family or working on his training he enjoys chewing on a bone and running outside. He's also looking forward to the upcoming Super Bowl where he will be cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs!"

February 2024

"Tommy Valor is 9 months old and a pleasure to train! He is really willing to please, so he loves to learn and practice his skills. He loves to be told he is a good boy and get praise. He is smart and learns his commands fast! He is one of the most loyal dogs we’ve had in the Service Dog in Training program. He recently decided that ALL dogs are his best friend, and he loves to play with them, so that is currently our training focus with him so that he can learn to remain calm when he sees another dog. Over the last month, Tommy has been on the go with his Puppy Coach as they went on multiple road trips. Tommy is amazing on car rides and loves to ride the elevator when staying in hotels. When he isn’t traveling, he has accompanied his Puppy Coach to restaurants and on shopping trips to the grocery and home improvement stores. He still loves his pool time and swimming when he has some time off from training."

April 2024

"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."

November 2023

"Tommy's Puppy Coach reports he is doing great with his training. He has had lots of new experiences over the last few weeks. He attended a party with lots of people and did great with all the distractions and checking in with his Puppy Coach Mom. Tommy has been out to restaurants, doctor's offices for appointments and he rode an elevator for the first time. His new favorite thing is a robot feeder. He has to bump a button with his nose and the robot will reward him with treats. He also really loves brain game puzzles and finding the yummy treats."

January 2024

“Tommy Valor is 8 months old, and his training is going very well. This past month, Tommy has been working on public access skills. These skills include good leash walking, attentiveness to his handler, and ensuring he has good overall manners when out in public. He has had outings to a home improvement store, grocery store, and restaurants. This month, Tommy was introduced to the pool and swimming for the first time and absolutely loved it.“

March 2024

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