Psychiatric / PTSD

Service Dog Trainer


Psychiatric / PTSD Dog Trainer in Richmond, VA

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804-944-8500


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804-944-8500


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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.

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For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.


Psychiatric / PTSD Support Dog

12 One-on-One Sessions

$3,599

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:

  • Grounding
  • Deep Pressure Therapy
  • Panic Response
  • Create a Physical Buffer
  • Interrupt Repetitive Behaviors
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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.

Pricing Free Demo

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Dog Training Elite has expert PTSD dog trainers in Richmond that provide service dog training programs for those suffering from PTSD.

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 Owners
    We empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
  • Personalized
    We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
  • Environment Specific
    We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
  • Supportive
    We support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
  • Involved
    We work with all members of the household.
  • Simplified & Customized
    We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
  • Continued Training
    Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
  • Lifetime Investment
    We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
  • Satisfaction Ratings
    Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

We are so happy with this group! They were very professional and tailored their training to our dog's personality and needs. Our dog has learned so much and most importantly, how to relax! She is a happier dog because of it. Thank you.
— Mareena Clotfelter
Posted December 6th 2022
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Fantastic program! Very systematic, sensible and clear. My dog and I found it easy to commit to the 15-20 minutes of practice a day and the results are life changing! THANKS Paul!
— Carol Straus
Posted November 29th 2022
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Paul is absolutely wonderful! Empowering me as the owner to be an important part of the process. My family and I are very happy with the results! Thank you Paul And DTE!
— joesph williams
Posted November 17th 2022
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I'm so grateful for Paul and DTE. The progress my dog has done in these last couple of months has been amazing. I'm looking forward to my dog's service dog training after completing her obedience training. She's been great to me so far and has helped me through tough times, but I know Paul with DTE can make sure she's doing the best she can and help me better than she is now.
— Natalia Segarra
Posted November 9th 2022
google
I definitely recommend Dog Training Elite! Paul is very friendly, patient and informative. He sets you and your pup up for success with hands-on instruction as well as giving you a better understanding of how dogs think. I'm looking forward to seeing my pup's progress continue!
— Christina Marie
Posted October 25th 2022
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Paul has been great with my German Shepherd! He doesn't pull on a leash and is well behaved in public.
— Becky Carmean
Posted October 6th 2022
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Paul with DTE was absolutely wonderful to work with! We all feel lucky to have found him and incredibly pleased with our investment in our fur babies. You most certainly CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Patience and consistency are virtues you will need through this endeavor, but the satisfaction and pride you'll feel both for your own perseverance, as well as your pups, is so worth all of the time and hard work!! We're looking forward to group sessions and are excited to see what new adventures we'll enjoy as a family. Buster, Mae, and Goose fell "in love" and "in line" when Paul entered our home and we'll be forever grateful for his knowledge and expertise. Many people are quick to judge when discussing e-collars but we truly feel that if they took the time to go through even one training session with Paul, their perception WILL be shifted, especially after witnessing the power of redirection and repetition first hand. Dogs love structure and they love pleasing their humans, so if you're in need of some excellent training with the option to gain a lifetime friend, give Paul with DTE a call! ~M&M
— Megan O'Leary
Posted July 9th 2022
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We were at the end of our rope with our dog and were extremely frustrated with his misbehavior. Dog Training Elite changed our life and our relationship with our dog. Thank you for helping us save our dog!!!
— Christie Pitsinger
Posted June 24th 2022
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I highly recommend Dog Training Elite! From their training methods to the care and respect they show towards the dogs and owners, you can’t go wrong!
— Cassie Frank
Posted June 16th 2022
google
I had just about lost hope for my overly excited but super loving pup. We had tried other training methods to no avail, but meeting Paul Hearn was a game changer! In just six weeks she went from excessive barking, bolting out doors, jumping, etc to super chill and well behaved. We appreciate you so much, Paul!
— Jen Ferguson
Posted June 13th 2022
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We got Paul to help us with our two year old lab so she would come and stay when we needed. He helped teach her a new command every visit so she could understand and we could understand what to do so she would be better behaved.
— Jon Dossie
Posted June 12th 2022
google
Paul will undoubtedly take amazing care of your dog. Don’t hesitate to call him if you are in need. He’s a great guy and a great trainer!
— Nadia Summo
Posted June 3rd 2022
google
I 100% recommend Dog training elite Richmond Paul has done wonders with my once rowdy German shepherd tremendous results in just a little bit of time! I really look forward to continue to use them for dog training! If you are looking for a dog trainer look no further!💗
— Shelby Taylor
Posted May 25th 2022
google
Paul is a great guy! He is professional, punctual and committed to delivering results. Paul is very family forward with excellent customer service skills. He is passionate about giving back to the community and driving quality results. Highly recommend if you are looking to improve your relationship with your furry friend!
— Kyle Christie
Posted May 12th 2022
google
Paul and Elite training has been a great help with my two year old westie. Being able to work in my own home on a one to one basis is a real plus. His explanations are easily understood by the dog and owner!
— Robert Fischer
Posted May 10th 2022
google
Good training starts with understanding how dogs think and how to integrate their needs into a schedule. Consistency is key. We appreciated having help in our own home to make sure we got off on the right foot with our puppy. Service was professional and friendly!
— Fronkie L'Heureux
Posted May 9th 2022
google
I’ve known Paul for 15+ years and know him to be an outstanding and honest person. I’m so happy for his new career. He’ll be great!
— Jacquelyn Canaday
Posted April 5th 2022
google
Paul is absolutely amazing. Very professional, answered our questions, reasonably priced. Highly recommend.
— Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe
Posted March 31st 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite Richmond, 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 Richmond 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.

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Proud local partner with Chesterfield Gives Back Charity

Chesterfield Gives Back was established to provide a means for our community to give thanks to those who serve us, our First Responders. Dog Training Elite Richmond partners with Chesterfield Gives Back to accomplished this by taking charitable donations and funding events, such as the First Responder Appreciation Day, that are free to First Responders and their families. In addition, we facilitate many other means of recognition and thanks for those who serve our community and those in need."

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Dog Training Elite Richmond - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
Dog Training Elite Richmond - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
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Dog Training Elite Richmond - PRTA Pro
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Dog Training Elite Richmond - AKC Member