Courtney Breen Ph.D.
Chief Dog Officer
More than 20 Years of experience in the mental health field.
Courtney, our Chief Dog Officer, has worked in the mental health field since 2000.
Courtney founded Seacoast Labradors in 2015 while completing her Ph.D. degree in General Psychology.
Courtney's inspiration and passion for Seacoast Labradors came after her work as a mental health trauma responder in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy. During the therapeutic responses following that event, Courtney noticed how her own Diabetic Alert Dog was bringing a natural and added relief to the individuals who were negatively affected and who were receiving therapeutic support.
After a few years of research, Courtney identified that Service Dogs could be used to identify increased cortisol levels in individuals through scent based detection and through a paired task these animals could help lower those levels.
Courtney became a member of the Labrador Retriever Club of Greater Boston and founded Seacoast Labradors.
Why We do It
Seacoast Labs was started with the intention to provide working Service Dogs to help lower high cortisol levels in individuals during the aftermath of a traumatic event.
Within the years following its founding, Courtney grew her initial idea for Trauma Response dogs to include other scent based Service and Working dogs.
Courtney works hard to keep her standards and ethics at a high level with integrity to the Labrador Retriever breed.
M. Farnkoff: Puppy Buyer
I would highly recommend getting a puppy from Seacoast Labs. Courtney is very knowledgeable. She truly loves the pups and takes great care of them, as well as exposing them to different kinds of stimuli right from the beginning. I have always had dogs that despised the vacuum, whether it be barking at it, or trying to bite it. My Stella could care less when I take it out. I think this is because Courtney is constantly exposing them to different sounds and sensations. Courtney also makes herself available to answer any questions or concerns you might have. She still checks in on her pups from Mystic's first litter to see how they are doing! If you are looking for a beautiful, healthy puppy, Seacoast Labs is the place to go!
T. Cignetti: Amesbury High School
Courtney has been a frequent and much anticipated guest in my high school Anatomy and Physiology classes. She has talked about her experiences as a Type 1 diabetic and how getting a diabetic alert dog has changed her quality of life. Mystic and Dublin were great guest ‘speakers’, despite the fact that they never said a word!
She gave a thorough overview of how to train dogs to detect ketone levels as well as cortisol levels. Students responded well to real-world application of knowledge and were riveted throughout her presentation. It also gave them the opportunity to learn about the difference between service dogs and emotional support animals; they also learned how critical it is for people to refrain from interacting with the dogs while they are working.
Courtney has a high commitment to community outreach and that was never more evident than this past February when our high school community lost a member of the senior class due to a devastating accident. Courtney and Cedar came into our school along with other grief counselors to provide support to our heartbroken community. Faculty, staff and students alike were beneficiaries of Cedar’s calm, steady, silent support.
From a personal standpoint, I cannot say enough about the Breen family’s approach and commitment to raising quality Labradors that are well adjusted, socialized, intelligent and frankly adorable!
C. Toomey: Stone Ridge Properties
Last Fall Courtney Breen came and spoke to the Amesbury Rotary Club. You could have heard a pin drop! Her story is riveting and she was articulate and engaging. She had two of the dogs with her and it was fascinating to see one of them pawing her gently to let her know her blood sugar was getting low. Amazing. Typically when meeting is over people bolt for the door but people wanted to linger and talk some more. It was a pleasure having Courtney speak to us on a topic she is clearly passionate about.
J. Ryder: Career Resources Corp
Courtney from Seacoast Labradors came to my company to do a presentation on service dogs. I work at a Human Service Agency that serves people with Developmental Disabilities as well as Brain Injuries. Courtney came with her service dog named Dublin and it was apparent that Dublin had been trained very well because she was very calm in a chaotic environment.
Courtney proceeded to come to the cafeteria where we had set up an area where she could give her presentation. She discussed the need for service dogs and was very specific about the ways that her dogs are trained as well as her personal experiences with her own service dog. Courtney was very interactive with all our individuals and answered the multitude of questions that were asked.
At my company, we work with people who have difficult times in large groups and Courtney and Dublin were both very calming to the individuals that we serve. After Courtney gave her presentation, she walked Dublin around the cafeteria and presented Dublin to all our clients. All the clients had a positive interaction with Dublin because she was so well trained.
There was a specific client who has a very negative history with dogs, but Courtney brought Dublin over to him in a very gentle manner and he petted Dublin and was very excited about having this opportunity presented to him. After Courtney had left, I had multiple people come up to me and ask when her and Dublin would return for another presentation.
This was a very positive experience for everyone involved and especially for the individuals that we serve at my company. We all look forward to having Courtney and Seacoast Labradors coming back and visiting us again in the near future.