Caddo K9 Academy is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to providing free service dogs and PTSD therapy puppies to disabled veterans and first responders in Texas. Our on-site breeding program builds on the legendary working line of Belgian Malinois from Pearle de Tourbiere kennels in the Netherlands to develop traits desirable for service dogs.

Puppies from our breeding program that are not matched to a veteran or 1st responder are available for purchase, with 100% of revenue supporting our free service dogs initiative. If you are considering a new dog in your life, buying one from Caddo K9 Academy not only ensures that you are buying from an ethical and purpose built kennel, you are also helping us continue to provide free service dogs and therapy puppies to those that truly need and deserve them.

from the ground up

Since our inception last year, we have made made a lot of progress, including a comprehensive regrading of the property to address drainage issues. This project culminated in the creation of a half-acre rain pond, ensuring a sustainable solution to our water management needs.

Kennels were constructed under the protection of the shop overhang, on a 20 x 40 concrete slab we poured by hand. After kennel construction was complete we converted the workshop into a 1200 SQFT indoor training pavilion. We can’t thank the professionals over at True Blue Heating and Air for helping us take the training pavilion to the next level by installing a brand new heating and cooling system for us; a major upgrade  that will allow our training schedules to go uninterrupted, regardless of weather conditions.

We are off to a good start, however, the process of breeding and training service dogs is both time-consuming and costly. Each of our service dogs goes through rigorous training that is specific to the individual recipients needs and can last from several months to several years depending on the complexity of required behavior, a process that costs upwards of $25,000 per dog.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we rely heavily on the generosity of public donations. Your contribution will not only support the continuation of our training programs but also ensure that we can provide these life-changing service dogs to those who need them most, at no cost. 

We invite you to join our mission to empower our disabled veterans and first responders, enabling them to live more independent and fulfilling lives through the companionship and assistance of a service dog. With your help, we can continue to make a significant difference in the lives of those who have given so much for our community and our country.


about us

The founders of Caddo K9 Academy, a distinguished group of dog trainers and veterans themselves, united with a shared vision of serving their fellow veterans and first responders in Texas. Their motivation stemmed from witnessing firsthand the transformative power of service dogs and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in the lives of individuals dealing with physical and emotional disabilities. Struck by the high cost that often restricts access to such therapeutic companions, they pledged to provide these trained dogs and puppies free of charge. Their drive is fueled by the profound impact they see these animals make, from aiding in daily tasks to providing emotional comfort. The founders remain committed to their mission, propelled by the belief that no veteran or first responder should be deprived of this essential support due to financial constraints.

John Gunderson

John was introduced to dog training in 1984 as a student at St. John's School of Alberta where he learned to train and care for the school's Husky and Malamute sled dogs. This early exposure to the amazing world of working dogs ignited a lifelong passion and revealed an innate understanding of canine behavior. As our President and CEO, John is fiercely dedicated to supporting veterans and first responders who have suffered injuries in the line of duty.

Sheryl Gunderson

Sheryl is a highly accomplished professional and our Chief Financial Officer. With a lifelong passion for animals, Sheryl possesses a deep understanding of their behaviors and a genuine love for teaching pet owners about their furry companions. Wearing two hats, Sheryl plays a critical role in our organization, ensuring the smooth operation of our financial matters as our CFO while also managing our AKC STAR Puppy and Canine Good Citizen (CGC) programs.

Karen Mastin

Karen Mastin brings over 30 years of selective breeding and working dog training experience into her role as our Vice President and Director of Operation. Responsible for development of our selective breeding protocols and service dog training programs, her background in multi-disciplined dog training is the bedrock of our successmaking her an indispensable asset to our organization.

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