A Psychiatric Service Dog’s Tasks

German Shepherd Atlas sitting in grass

atlasofficegrassLike all assistance dogs, a psychiatric service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate their handler’s disability.
Training to mitigate a psychiatric disability may include providing environmental assessment (in such cases as hypervigilance or hallucinations), signaling behaviors (such as interrupting repetitive behaviors or increasing anger), waking from nightmares, posting and watching a handlers back in open areas, alerting to and redirecting anger, reminding the handler to take medication, retrieving objects, guiding the handler from stressful situations, or acting as a brace if the handler becomes dizzy.
Not to mention, how the service dog acts as a conduit for social interaction, many times helping to break trends of social isolation.
Psychiatric service dogs may be of any breed or size suitable for public work. Many psychiatric service dogs are trained by the person who will become the handler—usually with the help of a professional trainer. Others are trained by assistance or service dog programs. Assistance dog organizations are increasingly recognizing the need for dogs to help individuals with psychiatric disabilities, and there are also organizations, (like TBBF) that are dedicated specifically to supporting psychiatric service dogs and their handlers.
The Battle Buddy Foundation exists to serve our veterans suffering the ‘invisible wounds’ of war, Post Traumatic Stress, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
*Your donation will directly help facilitate the training and placement of a post traumatic stress service dog with one of our veterans who desperately needs it!*
TBBF has finished the funding and placement of our first 3 service dogs, one new puppy arrived this past weekend and are now preparing and fundraising for 6 more battle buddy service dogs preparing to begin training alongside their veterans in the next few months!

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