What it takes to train a service dog

Dewy is training to be a service dog to a local service woman

Dewy the dog was sheltered at San Antonio Pets Alive, but now he’s got a big task at hand -- he’s training to become a service dog for a local service woman.

This month, Air Force Federal Credit Union teamed up with The Pink Berets. They are an organization that provides treatment programs to active duty women of the United States Armed Forces and veterans who have experienced trauma.

Their goal is to provide holistic level therapies at no cost.

When it comes to providing a dog like Dewy, Stephanie Gattas, CEO and Co-Founder of The Pink Berets, said they use a vetting process.

“We have a stringent vetting process that we use to identify the appropriate person to help dogs like Dewy partner with somebody, like our participant, to ensure we can facilitate the best journey possible,” said Gattas.

The vetting process is also important because of the long-lasting relationship the dog and its partner will have.

“It’s a strong relationship that we need to focus on, that way we can ensure that the process of healing is in place for both parties, right? For the dog and most importantly our veterans,” said Gattas.

AFFCU and The Pink Berets have also teamed up with TotalDog, which trains service dogs.

“The service dog is trained to help the individual person’s particular things that they’re dealing with whether that be, you know, stressed out in public or Agoraphobia. So, just like PTSD, it can take on many different forms and how it affects a person, so can the training for the dog,” said Brice Cavanaugh, a professional dog trainer with TotalDog.

Cavanaugh said there’s no ‘one size fits all” training for a service dog for a person with PTSD.

Dewy will continue his training until he is ready to be paired with the servicewoman.