K-9 Buddies, Inc.
© 2007-2011 K9 Buddies, Inc. All rights reserved
K9 Buddies was founded in 2007 to answer the increased need for trained Therapy Dog teams and to promote other programs, which benefit both people and the domestic dog. These include, but are not limited to, "cell dog" programs and public education regarding the interaction between the domestic dog and humans.
Our standards for therapy dog certification are high but pragmatic. We will not disqualify your dog for being a dog. Our evaluation and training program was designed by actual working dog trainers with over 80 years of collective experience and based on the knowledge that the handler is the #1 ingredient of any working dog team. Providing the dog has a suitable temperament for therapy work and is properly trained in basic obedience, it is the handler who will insure that each visit is a fun and safe experience for everyone involved.
We believe that a good therapy dog does not have to perform to confirmation standards, nor perform parlor tricks. A love for meeting and being with people, as well as consistent and unhesitatant response to basic obedience commands, is what matters regarding the dog, while common sense and attention to detail is what matters most in the handler. A good handler has the ability to "read" their dog as well as their dog can read them. If a dog can perform some entertaining behaviors during a visit, so much the better, but it's not mandatory. What is mandatory, however, is a competent, observant handler who is in quiet, confident control of any situation and considers carefully how any given situation will affect their dog and the people with whom they are interacting.
We now operate in 15 states and have at least two evaluators in each one. All our evaluators have years of practical field experience and are people who not only love dogs but want to help people as well. No one at K9 Buddies is in it for the money. We are an all volunteer, non profit organization. We don't coerce people to sign up for months of expensive and, in most cases, unnecessary training. We're looking for some good dogs (of which there are many) who love meeting people and some good handlers who have some common sense and a desire to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Our mission is threefold:
... To take a very good idea and make it even better by being more realistic about what constitutes a good therapy dog and/or handler and by making the process more cost effective for the volunteers. The end result is a program that provides a safe, effective, and fun environment for everyone.
... To educate the public on matters such as child/dog safety and responsible dog ownership and provide speakers for presentations on these subjects. We strive to eliminate puppy mills and will seize every opportunity to make people aware of these hideous operations.
... To promote and staff cell dog programs. We will provide trainers and staff to work with the inmates within these programs as well as provide crates veterinary care, and food for the dogs. These programs are a proven success and are a win/win for all concerned, including the dogs who are saved from iminent death. Cell Dog Programs cost quite a bit of money, however, and veterinary care is, of course, the largest challenge, even with deep discounts. Institutions do not have funding to support these programs so it is up to K9B to provide crates, bedding, food, training tools, and Vet care for every dog in the program until he, or she, is adopted into their forever home. Adoption fees help but there is a huge gap, financially, between what these fees will cover and what the actual costs are. We depend on private and corporate donations to allow us to continue. Public education also costs money. Printed materials, PowerPoint Projectors, and hand outs all cost money. Please help us continue to promote and staff cell dog programs and provide public education on child/dog safety and other dog/human related issues.
Domestic dogs are born with a strong bond to humans and a keen instinct to work with us. We channel that drive and give both humans and dogs an opportunity to work together, for the betterment of both. The majority of behavior problems are initiated when dogs are not allowed to follow their basic instinct to work with, and socialize with, humans.