A Psychiatric/PTSD service animal will be able to go anywhere with their handler and assist them in times of high anxiety and stress. A service dog will provide emotional support, reintegration into society, reduce depression, reduce the frequency and severity of flashbacks, anchor handler to the present, and reduce suicidal ideation.
Individuals with PTSD often feel unsafe and unsure of reality, especially in public settings. Service dogs for PTSD can help ground their handler to reality, prevent people from crowding or rushing up to them and provide the emotional support needed to de-escalate anxieties. They can be trained to recognize the signs of a panic attack, wake individuals experiencing night terrors and regulate emotional responses through pressure.
For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.
Psychiatric / PTSD Support Dog
A Psychiatric/PTSD service dog will be able to go anywhere with their handler and assist them in times of high stress and provide a sense of security. A service dog will provide emotional support, reintegration into society, reduce depression, help cope with anxiety, reduce the frequency and severity of flashbacks, anchor handler to the present, and reduce suicidal ideation. Psychiatric service dog tasks are customizable, but examples include:
- Deep Pressure Therapy
- Panic Response
- Create a Physical Buffer
- Interrupt Repetitive Behaviors
- Watch rear blindspot
- Additional tasks as needed, must be approved by trainer
Benefits of Psychiatric/PTSD Service Dog Training:
- Increase activity and integration into society: Dogs are active and need to be exercised regularly, the responsibility of caring for a service animal will force their handler to get out and exercise. A routine is established and ties to the future are forged again.
- Create a sense of safety: Public settings and crowds are an enormous trigger for most individuals suffering from PTSD. Psychiatric service dogs are trained to create a physical barrier between their handler and crowds of people.
- Ground in reality, redirect hyper-vigilance: Hyper-vigilance is a symptom of PTSD and creates constant tension and paranoia within sufferers. Service dogs are trained to recognize their handler’s warning signs for anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and panic attacks and redirect that energy into positive coping skills and grounding techniques such as petting the dog.
- Reduce nightmares and flashbacks: One of the most emotionally challenging situations for individuals with PTSD to deal with are flashbacks and nightmares. They can transport an individual back to a terrifying time in their life where they have felt unsafe, threatened, and traumatized. A PTSD service animal is trained to bring their handler back to reality quickly and calmly, ground the individual, and help them to feel safe in their environment again.
Our Balanced Theory
We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.
Empowering OwnersWe empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
PersonalizedWe deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
Environment SpecificWe train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
SupportiveWe support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
InvolvedWe work with all members of the household.
Simplified & CustomizedWe plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
Continued TrainingAdditional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
Lifetime InvestmentWe follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
Satisfaction RatingsOur high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.
A learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus and is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.
Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation
At Dog Training Elite Des Moines, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite Des Moines work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.