Inspiration for Launching Top Dogg K9 Foundation
As a child, Blake had a beloved dog ever by his side. Sheila observed the noticeable difference in him when he was without his dog. He acknowledged he coped with depression and anxiety and together they saw the difference in his mood and emotions when that loyal dog was not with him. Sheila inspired him to start speaking publicly about his challenges and to help others by training Service Dogs for them, acknowledging and sharing his struggles as a huge gift to others who were also struggling.
The catalyst for launching Top Dogg K9 Foundation came after Blake met a retired combat veteran who had served in two wars during his 20-year career. Blake knew he could take his expertise in dog training and his military background to make a tremendous impact on the future health and wellbeing of this particular veteran. The warrior was gifted a Service Dog and was able to realize an immediate change in his quality of life.
Top Dogg K9 Foundation was founded by Blake and Sheila Rashad in 2011 both who are US Army Veterans. Blake “Top Dogg” Rashad is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army as a K-9 Dog Trainer. He has been training dogs since the age of 12. The inspiration for launching Top Dogg K9 Foundation came as a results of Blake himself has dealt with depressions since his childhood. He always had a trained dog by his side and was able to hide his anxiety and depression for years from those around him. After his wife observed the noticeable difference when he was without his dog, she inspired him to start speaking about his challenges and to help others by training service dogs for them.
The plethora of emotional scars to his psyche still exists today. Blake knew he could take his expertise in dog training and his military background to make a tremendous impact on the future health and wellbeing of veterans through this nonprofit organization.
Blake “Top Dogg” Rashad
Blake “Top Dogg” Rashad, one of the nation’s leading dog experts, speaker and philanthropist developed a passion for dog training at a very early age. At 12 years old, he started walking, playing with, and training neighborhood dogs. When a professional dog trainer offered Top Dogg (aka “Dog Boy” at the time) an opportunity to train dogs at his local facility, Top Dogg was pleasantly surprised to discover that he had a natural instinctive understanding of how dogs think. Thus began his dog-training career.
Top Dogg then enlisted into the United States Army where he was again offered an opportunity to train K-9’s for military purposes and was able to train all over the world. His training was extensive and classified. Once out of the army, he became a police officer and began training dogs for the City of Atlanta police department. He successfully trained the City of Atlanta’s first three drug dogs, who made notable drug busts.
After his tenure with the police department, Top Dogg began a national career that nurtured his two prominent passions: Disabled Veterans and Children with Disabilities; in 2011, he founded the Top Dogg K-9 Foundation a non-profit that trains Dogs.
His broad range of experience and knowledge includes dog training: obedience, agility, tracking, protection, patrol, bomb detection, drug detection, repelling, airdrops, seeing impaired, Down Syndrome, autism, PTSD, TBI, companionship and much more. He loves all breeds of dogs from small to large, but his favorite breed of dog is the Giant Schnauzer, which he affectionately calls the “Elegant Protector.”
Craig Lucie - Board President
I am writing on behalf of the Top Dogg K-9 Foundation. I first met Sheila and Blake Rashad while covering a story for my news station, WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. I immediately fell in love with their mission to help our veterans receive free, highly trained service dogs. I remember meeting the veterans in 2015 who told me the dogs trained by Blake Rashad had
changed their life. Blake shared his story with me as an Army veteran who struggled with PTSD and his Giant Schnauzers helped him cope on a daily basis. Blake and his wife Sheila wanted to help others and took a big risk in their careers to start their foundation, which continues to grow by the day. Their stories inspired me to help them.
I cannot think of a better 501(c)(3) to support. They have a very credible business plan which has already helped them transform their main building which houses their office, training rooms and kennels.
They did so with their connections in the community and big grants from Atlanta-based Home Depot. Home Depot makes it their mission to help our veterans, and they continue to help the Top Dogg K-9 Foundation in a BIG way!
Sheila and Blake Rashad have matched countless service dogs with our veterans who are struggling. They have a beautiful website with a logo on merchandise which is a top seller in the community.
I hope you will look no further when considering the Top Dogg K-9 Foundation.
Board President of the Top Dogg K-9 Foundation
We welcome you to meet Ziggy. Ziggy is the mascot gentle giant and the spokesdog for the organization. Although Ziggy is Blake's certified PTSD service dog, he loves everyone, especially children. He is a 100 pound Giant Schnauzer with a wonderful goofy personality.
A Little More About Blake
Experience and Recognition
- Superior court expert witness testimony
- Rated Top Ten Dog Trainer in United States
- Dog trainer Instructor trainer
- United States Postal service veteran instructor reward
- Public Speaker
- Dog Behaviorist
- K9 Temperament Expert
- K9 Behavior Expert
- K9 Service Dog Training
- Dog Bite Prevention Expert
- Occupational K9 Dog Bite Prevention Expert
- Occupational K9 Behavioral Expert
- Occupational Service Dog Training Expert
- US Army K9 Handler Course
- US Army K9 Instructor Course
- US Army K9 Behaviorist
- US K9 Self Defense certification
- Penn Foster K9 Trainer Instructor Certification
- Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Class Instruction Certification
TDK9 is meeting the critical needs of disabled veteran families and local communities. Our mission is to reduce the number of military families that are impacted by suicide due to mental illness each year.
TDK9 Foundation stands on the principle that Veterans Deserve Outstanding Generosity and Service (VDOGS). It supports this principle by rescuing, training and pairing suitable K9s with disable veterans for a happier and healthy life. Hit the donate button and make a difference today!
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