Battle Buddy Program

battle buddy



A Battle Buddy is assigned and expected to assist his or her partner.



Battle Buddy Program Mission: 

To provide well-mannered local rescue companion canines for America’s Military Service Men and Women. Dog Tags and Tails will pay the adoption fee for the rescued canine and financially cover to up to 6 months of training (pre-determined by trainer per canine’s skill set) for a local rescue canine to be eligible for the AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and Blue Line K-9 Off Leash Novice certifications and provide long term companionship to a combat veteran. Together, we will show our appreciation to those who served our country, while offering a homeless animal a second chance for a better life.

Click here to learn more about the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification and pledge.


Program Requirements:

  1. Combat Veteran (loosely defined)
  2. Mentally, physically, and financially stable
  3. Must have a co-signer.


Application Process (2-4 weeks):

  • Complete below Application or request a PDF Application from
  • Phone Interview
  • Home Visit
  • Approval or Disapproval


Battle Buddy Assignment:

  • Dog Tags and Tails locates ideal temperament and age dog from partnered local rescue
  • Dog goes through initial testing for estimated training schedule and curriculum
  • Veteran is paired and meets Battle Buddy
  • Veteran is provided a Battle Buddy Team Captain to maintain constant communication, assist with guidance on additional needs, and ensure success of program for Battle Buddy Team
  • Veteran fully commits to training schedule and adopts Battle Buddy from partnered local rescue


Battle Buddy Training  (6 weeks – 6 months):

  • Veteran and Battle Buddy fulfills fully paid basic training
  • Veteran must actively participate in the training. This is a lifelong commitment; the veteran (and family) should be invested from the start.
  • Veteran will learn Reward Based Marker training
  • Battle Buddy passes Canine Good Citizen test (on leash) and Blue Line K9 Off Leash Novice test with veteran


Optional after CGC completed (with minimal additional expense):

  • Veteran may continue additional personal training for Battle Buddy (intermediate training, sport training, etc.)
  • Veteran may complete Therapy Dog certification for eligibility to take Battle Buddy into hospitals, rehabs, schools, hospice, nursing homes, military bases, and/or visiting with people with mental disorders (such as PTSD, TBI, anxiety, etc.) to provide affection, comfort, and love to fellow veterans and community.

Learn more about the VA/HSUS research initiative ‘Vets Foster Pets’ to “support and encourage increased engagement by veterans with pet keeping, with the human-animal bond, and volunteering with community organizations including animal shelters, animal rescue groups, and humane societies” **

Baltimore GRECC presents “Veterans As Foster Ambassadors” Webinar (Click here)

**This webinar is not directly related to Dog Tags and Tails but simply an informational video on the outstanding benefits canine interaction can provide.**

True Story:

Ambrose was a combat medic for the Army through his days in war, fighting for our country. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and nightmares. But with the help of Dog Tags and Tails, Ambrose now has the love and companionship from Bailey, a 1 year old German sheperd/lab mix from Pugh Zoo rescue, who will help to comfort him in his times of stress.  Blue Line K-9 Dog training will work with Bailey and Ambrose in training, completely paid for by DTT. Teams in the Dog Tags and Tails Battle Buddy program costs on average $3000 to cover adoption fees and custom professional dog training. Help us help more veterans like Ambrose and rescue dogs like Bailey  get a second chance.

Check out the interview with Ambrose on WBAL Channel 11 news (Click here)

Local Partnered Rescues:



Battle Buddy Application


    (Doesn't negate the veteran from being approved. Just adjusts which grant/funding to utilize)
  • *If no other current pets, type N/A*

  • *If multiple branches served, please add all applicable
  • *This is MANDATORY to complete the application
  • Battle Buddy Info

  • *This is simply a preference. Not necessarily what you will be paired with. When answering, please keep in mind any personal difficulties which may impair you from caring for certain breeds. (Ex: Dalmatians can be higher maintenance and high energy dogs. This would not be ideal for a more solitary or non active lifestyle)
  • Things to Consider... If you go hiking 6 days a week, your ideal Battle Buddy should be an extremely active companion.
  • References

  • Disclaimers and Signature

  • Dog Tags and Tails reserve the right to refuse any applicant for any reason.


  • Veterans joining this program should be aware and accept that it may take time to acclimate their new Battle Buddy to its new surroundings, family, and resident pets. This will require patience. The basic training provided diminishes stress levels for the family but please keep this in mind when getting to know your paired Battle Buddy and bringing him/her home.
  • Dog Tags and Tails accepts all dogs who pass our initial temperament screening, regardless of breed or size, although some families may have restrictions.
  • Following adoption, if at any point the veteran feels they no longer can/will attend the dog training, they forfeit the rights of their Battle Buddy OR must pay all fees accompanying the dog including but not limited to the adoption fee to the corresponding rescue and training fees to corresponding training facility. Dog Tags and Tails Battle Buddy Program, with all stipulated fees paid for, mandates FULL training be completed upon adoption in order to maintain good standing.
  • Dog Tags and Tails is a 501(c )3 non profit organization providing companion animals to service men and women. The dogs will be provided basic training and are not considered a service animal. A Service Animal is defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Should the veteran feel he/she requires a service animal; Dog Tags and Tails may recommend options but will not be held responsible for the actions performed by any other organization. Dog Tags and Tails is not affiliated with any other veteran supporting organization. Dog Tags and Tails will not request any medical documents be provided by the veteran, only their DD214, or other comparable proof of service documentation will be required.
  • Dog tags and tails provide companion canines, not emotional support or service dogs. This program is not in lieu of or an alternative to mental health care. Please seek a mental health professional should you feel it be necessary.
  • Dog Tags and Tails reserve the right to refuse any applicant for any reason.

501(C)3 Non Profit EIN: 45-4657316