The fastest growing sector of service dogs is the use for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Anxiety. Many non-profit organizations will train and supply dogs for veterans but there is a huge population who can also benefit from these dogs such as people who have suffered traumatic events in their life or others who have been emotionally abused. Some people group these under Psychiatric Service Dogs, or dogs for invisible disabilities.

There are many tasks that can be trained to mitigate specific parts of these disabilities. Here is a list. If you have other ideas, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can include them.

  • interrupt anxiety behaviors as soon as they start (such as picking, self-harm behaviors)
  • interrupt absentee (disassociation) behaviors
  • deep pressure therapy
  • request that dog be removed from an anxiety-provoking situation
  • lead person to the exit
  • find the car
  • providing a physical block between the handler and other people (in crowds or in a waiting line for example) 
  • provide tactile support for focus/grounding or interrupt sensory overload
  • wake the handler from night terrors or to get out of bed in the morning
  • go ahead of the handler into a room turn and lights on
  • medication reminders
  • carry medication
  • get help
  • provide balance on stairs for lightheadedness
  • carry medical supplies
  • alert to smoke alarm (if the handler is sedated)
  • bring the phone when the handler is in a panicked state
  • open front door for the handler when in panic (only if there is an outside storm door)

This month, we are offering a new online class for Anxiety Alerts. Take a look!