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Atlas & Growing Veterans Cohort Training

Succeed and thrive with your dog by your side!

growing veterans logo

In partnership with Growing Veterans (GV), Atlas is offering a unique opportunity to veterans wanting to take part in the training of their service dog.

Through Atlas’ and Growing Veterans’ collaboration, we can offer our Client (Handler/Dog Team) Certification to any veteran involved with GV, with some extra benefits including scholarship funds to offset training costs.

We also have a unique opportunity for two veterans who do not yet have dogs to participate in our Assistance Dogs Set in MotionTM program and have a pup selected and started for them. 

Please keep reading to learn more about both programs and the special opportunities with this partnership.

What's Involved?

Just like our classic Client Certification program, we focus on the more difficult training skills required of a service dog once foundational obedience training has been completed prior to entering the program.  

Training focuses on disability tasks, public access, and gaining confidence as a service dog handler overall. Each veteran is set up with their own training plan, tailored to their needs and abilities. Team Facilitators, our specially trained skilled volunteers, oversee the training for each team.

 

What makes Atlas'/Growing Veterans' Cohort Training unique?

Instead of meeting with an Atlas Team Facilitator individually twice a month, Team Facilitators will travel to Growing Veterans’ facility in Lynden, Washington on a monthly basis. Veterans going through training will get to train together and support one another through their cohort, benefiting from the support of both Atlas and Growing Veterans at the same time. 

They will still meet one on one with their assigned Team Facilitator in between group lessons to get the individualized support to meet their needs.

A service dog sitting between his handlers legs and looking up

Benefits of Atlas and Growing Veterans' Cohort Training

Scholarships

Thanks to a generous donor, we are able to offer scholarships that will fully cover the cost of the program for at least five veterans. When applying, you may ask for either full or partial scholarships, or chose to pay the full price of the program, which would help other veterans gain access to the training, who might not otherwise be able to.

Peer Support

Work with fellow veterans as you train your service dog. Service dog training goes far beyond the training of the dog. Working alongside your peers can help you build confidence and problem solve together through your service dog training journey.

Individualized and Group Training

We work with you hands-on, one on one to meet your individual needs as well as through monthly group trainings.

To Qualify

Just like our Client Certification Program, you must:

  • Already have a dog:
    • Who is at least 14 months old
    • Who can pass Atlas’ obedience and temperament assessment
    • Is medically cleared for service work
    • Is ready to begin working in public
  • Have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Commit to using positive, non-aversive training methods

Unique to the cohort model, you must:

  • Be a veteran
  • Be willing and able to join monthly trainings at Growing Veterans’ facility in Lynden, WA

Learn more about the what our typical Client Certification Program looks like to get a general idea about Atlas’ Training.

outdoor photo of growing veterans

Please read through our Obedience Checklist to see if your dog is ready for our program.

Ready to Apply?

We encourage you to read the FAQs as well as the above program documents. When you are ready to apply, simply click the link below which will take you to our online application. You can save your progress and resume at any time. 

Not quite ready? We also have funding for our Teams Set in MotionTM online program that helps get you and your dog ready for our certification program. 

Please contact  info@atlasdog.org if you have any questions and to get started.

FAQ

Atlas strives to keep costs to our clients as low as possible. In our traditional model our fees total $700. Broken down as follows:

Application fee: $25

Evaluation: $100 (Evaluation is performed by an Atlas Team Facilitator Lead. This includes temperament and obedience testing.)

Training fee: $450. This is the standard fee for six months of training with an Atlas Team Facilitator (equivalent to $75 per month of training). If you need more than 6 months, we add $75 per month. Additional fees may apply If you need more involved disability skill training.

PAT fee: $125, which also covers the cost of the vest and ID card.

The Atlas/Growing Veterans cohort offers the possibility for you to go through the program at no or significantly reduced cost. Please see information about the scholarship opportunities in the next FAQ section.

We currently have funds to cover the full costs for at least five veterans. When you apply for the program, you will have the opportunity to ask for a full or partial scholarship, or you can chose to pay the full costs of the program. Choosing to pay partially or in full will give the opportunity to cover the costs of other fellow veterans who may not have been able to join this cohort.

Both Atlas and Growing Veterans will review your application and have further conversations with you to determine your eligibility for available funds.

It could be that your dog is not 14 months old yet. Or perhaps you still have a little more training to do in order to get ready for our entry Readiness Assessment. 

Atlas’ Teams Set in Motion™ course might be the right option for you! This online program will help you and your pup develop important foundation skills to get you ready to enter our certification program, and just like our other opportunities with GV, scholarship funds are available for you. You will refine your own training skills, help your dog build confidence and engagement, teach them important obedience skills and behaviors, and much more. This program will help you work up to Atlas’ entry Assessment. For more information, please go here.

Atlas’ Assistance Dogs Set in MotionTM program is a unique opportunity. This model allows us to obtain a dog from a qualified and ethical breeder, train them for the first year of their life, and then transfer them over to you. As your dog is being trained to meet your individual needs, you are receiving updates and are getting the necessary training to prepare for your pup’s arrival. When your dog is 14 months old, you will then begin Atlas’ Certification Program to complete their training.

We currently have funding for two pups who will be trained for two qualifying veterans! Please contact us for more information (info@atlasdog.org).

Nope! As long as you can commit to joining the monthly group trainings at GV’s facility, you are part of the GV/Atlas community. You are of course welcome to volunteer and get involved in any of Growing Veterans’ or Atlas’ amazing programs.

GV has two facilities in Washington. The facility where trainings will take place is located at 6458 Martin Pl, Lynden, WA 98264

Cohorts may vary in size. We anticipate small groups of 3-5.

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