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Build a Battle Buddy Certification

The Build a Battle Buddy certification will be held in Madison Fl from January 23 - February 4, 2022. This is the capstone and test of a 30 week program that trained disabled veterans and first responders how to train their own service dogs. This Build a Battle Buddy class was created through the collaboration and sponsorship of Forgotten Coast K9, a 501 C(3) charity and Top Tier K9, rated as one of the top dog trainer schools in the country. The class began in July of 2021.

Forgotten Coast K9 finds the disabled veterans and first responders for the program through an application process and through collaboration with other charities dedicated to similar causes. Forgotten Coast K9 ( then raises approximately 50% of the necessary funding to launch a class, buy working line puppies, and provide ongoing support, and "one on one" mentoring during the certification process.

Top Tier K9 provides the instruction, working line puppies, online classes and facilities for certification through their world class Academy for Dog Trainers ( and matches the charitable contributions made through in kind services. Students learn how to effectively train working line puppies through Top Tier K9's Foundation Dog® trainer program, and they learn to finish their Foundation Dogs® as service dogs through the Top Tier K9 masters program.

The disabled veterans and first responders learn how to train puppies to track, find specific odor, perform advanced (off leash) obedience functions and to protect their selves, their families and their property. The puppies in the current class were provided by K9 Rocket and K9 Scope, both proven working dogs of the Top Tier K9 domain provided through Top Tier K9's "Litters on the Ground" program. The students began training the puppies at approximately 8 weeks old and received their puppies at week 10 of training. This allowed the students to gain a comprehension level of learning prior to obtaining their puppies (see Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy).

Each week the students met online as part of a Foundation Dog® trainer class. This allowed the disabled veteran/first responders to integrate with other dog trainers through Top Tier K9's world renowned Academy for Dog Trainers. As those students continued studying and preparing to start their own dog training businesses, the Build a Battle Buddy team branched off into service dog training and will prove their work beginning January 23rd at Top Tier K9 in Madison Florida.

Top Tier K9 is the process owner and trademark holder of Foundation Dogs®. The concept, first developed in 2015, is derived from a combination of the automotive, aerospace, and computer technology industries where Jeff Minder, PMP (Founder of Top Tier K9) performed project management and instructional duties. While the rest of the dog industry starts from scratch with every new service dog, or through a "green dog" reseller concept, Top Tier K9 engineered the first replicable training process that takes young puppies and puts them through a "special forces" bootcamp with the end result being certified Foundation Dogs ready to be finished as service dogs, protection dogs, police/military K9, special security dogs and even COVID-19 (and other virus) detection dogs.

Foundation Dogs are then ready to be acquired for any position and their finishing work takes only 8 weeks (10 weeks for bomb/explosive detection dogs). During that 8 weeks, the owners/handlers are also trained to manage the finished dogs.

The Build a Battle Buddy is a 30 week program as it uses advanced learning and communication systems to train the disabled veterans and first responders how to train their own Foundation Dogs and finish them as their personal service dogs. This also provides graduates with a unique ability to train their next service dog with no outside assistance in the future. Attendees also have the option of taking the Top Tier K9 Business Bootcamp to learn to start and run their own dog training businesses.

  • Learn to train pets and start your own pet training business

  • Learn to train Foundation Dogs (working dogs) and add that service to your pet training business

  • Learn to finish Foundation Dogs as special security dogs, virus detection dogs, bomb dogs, protection dogs, SAR dogs, Police/Military K9, and service dogs.

  • Buy finished dogs from Top Tier K9

  • We will even train your pets in our industry leading board and train program


Foundation Dog® is a registered trademark of Top Tier K9, LLC


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