VA Dogs' mission would be impossible without the support of our trainers.


Tammy Doherty, Trainer

Tammy completed her formal education when she received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California at Berkley.  She discovered dog training about 20 years ago when she found a mixed breed puppy that had been dumped along the side of a road.  She nursed the puppy back to health, named her “Annie” and developed an All-American Breed Champion! She soon discovered competitive obedience and other dog sports. Although she enjoys training for its own sake, she uses organized, working dog training competitions as an objective assessment of her and her dogs’ strengths and weaknesses. Several of her dogs have gone on to earn obedience and working dog titles, locally and at the national level.  Tammy gained additional experience evaluating and training a wide variety of “problem” dogs as a volunteer trainer at a local shelter. This, combined with her 20 years of experience as a dog training coach/instructor, enables her to take “green” assistance dog candidates through all phases of their training and to work with the assistance dog/handler team through final certification.

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Paul Belcher

Paul grew up in the military, and began learning about training dogs from his uncle during the 60's and 70's.  After serving in the Navy, he self-trained an assistance dog for himself following a motorcycle accident, and went on to train that dog for demonstrations with the Nimitz Museum and the Texas Military Forces Museum from 1991-2000 using the USMC Silent Scout Training Manual.  During this time, Paul trained dogs for his friends, but did not train professionally until 2014 when he went to work for Apache Farms/Ralph's Ranch in Kerrville, TX.  He has since worked with us as a team trainer for our Veterans living in the Kerrville area.