PTSD Service Dog Program

What is the PTSD service dog program?

Training such a highly specialized service dog takes time. So we start early. Our service dogs begin their training as early as 8 weeks old. We say full Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training takes 18 months with their respective beneficiary, but really that depends on the dog and its partner. Before our dogs meet their new life partner, they live with our foster families. They learn far more than basic obedience. By the time our PTSD service dogs meet their beneficiary, they are already exposed to a variety of different scenarios. Each dog goes through approximately 2000 to 2500 hours of training. We often get asked what the dogs are trained to do but tasks vary from beneficiary and there is no cookie cutter recipe. Tasks include but are not limited to as turning on lights, opening and closing doors and drawers and retrieving dropped objects, detecting and responding to a crisis situation, etc. Ultimately, the service dogs will assist their beneficiary not just with anxiety alerts, but also with the whole healing process, providing constant companionship that supports the journey to recovery.

Our PTSD service dogs help assist with:

  • Re-integrate and socialize
  • Recognize early symptoms of anxiety or emotional distress
  • Interrupt nightmares
  • Increase confidence and a sense of belonging to civilian society
  • Assume leadership responsibilities
    With mobility issues, including bracing and stabilization

Eligibility Criteria for the PTSD Service Dog Program

  • Must be capable of housing the service dog with an adequate living space.
  • Have a valid diagnosis.
  • Have a valid medical report confirming your disability (Please download the medical report and have a recommendation from your doctor.
  • Must have an interest in dogs.
  • Must be capable of providing the physical needs of a service dog such as exercise.
  • Must have a fenced yard.
  • Must not have any other dogs at home.

Applying for a PTSD Service Dog

The application process is rigorous. If you feel you are a good candidate for our program, we do invite you to apply. If you would like to know the application process, please consult our programs page located on the menu.

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