David Proctor, Service Dog Trainer
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Executive Training Director: David Proctor (SGT, Ret.), joined the U.S. Army, Infantry, in 2006 at the age of 19. In early 2007 David got news his unit would be deploying to the front lines in Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). David was deployed as 11B with his unit to Iraq. During this tour David was wounded in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Upon returning home in 2008, like many of our wounded soldiers, he struggled adjusting to life back in the U.S. due to issues such as PTSD, Agoraphobia, hyper-vigilance, aversion to crowds, increased startle response, hearing issues and a seizure disorder from a TBI. A counselor recommended a service animal to David to assist him with a number of these disabilities.
At this point, David began to look into a service animal. As a Service Disabled Combat Veteran, he qualified for a number of programs. However, David began to realize just how inaccessible service animals are, even as a disabled veteran. Each organization he came across came with significant costs, as high as $45,000, as well as unacceptable wait times, some as long as 7 years before beginning the process.
In 2010, after a lot of research and consideration David decided to hire a number of trainers to teach him various training methods and techniques used to train service animals. David dedicated himself to learning many different training techniques including: military scent training techniques, formal competition Schutzhund training techniques, positive reinforcement methods, animal behavior and psychology, as well as American Kennel Club obedience training methods.
David’s mission has now became to assist other disabled veterans with this much needed service, at an affordable rate and in a timely manner. He understands the needs of and the difficulties our Veterans face, as well as the difference a service animal can make.
David was previously an AKC evaluator, as well as an APDT trainer and has since developed the training curriculum for Guardian Service Dogs that by far, exceeds industry standards. He has been training service animals for other disabled veterans as well as military families, children and others in need under this program.
David has also been called on as an Expert Evaluator for Medical Care Facilities and Schools, as well as being a guest speaker at a number of events surrounding service dogs and their impact on the lives of their handlers.
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