Working dogs have the capacity to transform lives.
K9Sensus serves both by training service dogs for Veterans.
Back on the Block K9 (BotBK9) empowers a Veteran to return to civilian life by providing a fully trained Service K9.
Our program has two equally mission critical components. We offer retreats designed to empower a Veteran and support their families and caregivers. We also provide highly trained service K9’s to Veterans. Both services are provided at no cost to the Veteran.
To be eligible for retreats, individuals must meet Veteran Status. To receive a K9 individuals must also qualify under ADA. We prioritize female veterans and those who have suffered service-related traumatic experiences, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Back on the Block is military slang for returning to civilian life.
To defeat the 22 a day crisis we are
harnessing the heightened perceptions of a K9.
About the Program
BotBK9 starts with the mental health of the Veteran. All Veterans participate in programming to foster a healthy readjustment back to civilian and family life.
We partner with other organizations to provide positive and safe outdoor experiences. During several three day retreats Veterans explore the possibility of obtaining a Service K9. Once their application is approved, task specific skills the dog may need to better serve the Veteran are identified.
We not only engage the Veteran in the training of their own K9, we also provide education on husbandry and aid the Veteran in exploring activities they can do with their dog.
Graduates of the program are invited to attend yearly retreat weekends.
Team Lioness and Team Lion Retreats are facilitated by other Veterans and certified executive/life coaches. These “Peer to Peer” coaching and mentorship programs are designed to provide safe outdoor activities for all Veterans and their families.
Utilizing over 600A of open space, ponds, and prairie, participants engage in structured activities and explore the natural areas. The retreat facilities are located on a working farm, allowing participants to connect with nature and animals. If desired, individuals are able to spend time interacting with the various farm animals including miniature donkeys, goats, horses, cows, and chickens.
On the Farm Activities
Homesteading: Hobby Gardening, Egg Production, Canning, and Animal Husbandry
Snow Shoe & Cross Country Skiing
Trail Running & Hiking
Float Boat and Pond Fishing
About the K9's
Our K9's are selected from breeding stock with proven lines and to meet mission critical criteria so we are able to train an excellent partner. The K9's must have excellent health, exhibit a willingness to work, be of appropriate size and weight to ride in public transportation, and be easy to care for while living and working in a variety of climates.
Our typical K9 is a Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd or possibly another breed with appropriate temperament. We do accept donations from other working dog programs .
The structure of our program allows us to work closely with Veterans so we can select a K9 with a temperament and activity level best suited to their situation. We then work together to train both ends of leash task specific behavior.
Training a K9 for this life changing work takes between 18-24 months of daily training and care, food and veterinary health checks.