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PTSD Service Dog Training Manual 2022

A black lab in a red vest going through PTSD service dog training

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is becoming an increasingly serious problem in our society with people lives changing due to fear, anger, or anxiety. One of the best remedies for this is a service dog trained for PTSD companions. These dogs are amazing and there are a lot of success stories for the work they do every day.

Service Dog Training Basics

Service dogs are amazing for anyone facing a disability as they act as a source of aid in a time of need. They can help out with many disabilities including physical disabilities such as loss of a limb, loss of sight or hearing, or any other impairing disability. Service dogs can also be used for nonvisible cases like diabetes, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety.

Golden retriever Service dog in training wearing a blue vest

Service dogs are not pets, and they will most likely not meet the qualifications of a service dog if they have ever been a pet (but some can). Service dog training is no joke and most service dogs are trained from their early years by professionals to be service dogs and then matched with an appropriate companion who will benefit from their dog's service. Because of this, some service dog trainers have waiting lists full of qualified individuals.

To obtain a service dog one must have a physical disability or debilitating illness or disorder, be able to care for the dog and be able to partake in training as to command the dog.

It is true that there is no ADA requirement for dogs to be vested or IDed in any way, however, many people feel more comfortable having dog ID cards and vests to avoid uncomfortable conversations.

A true service dog is legally able to go anywhere the general public is allowed according to the ADA guidelines.

Sold out


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is seen a lot in the world and primarily in soldiers returning from duty. It leaves them in a state of shock that can ruin any hopes they have of normal life in today's society. Because of this, it is important to find a way to help them get through every day. Check out the National Center For PTSD.

Any person may face PTSD if they have been through a traumatic experience that leaves them in a bad state after the fact. This could include things such as natural disasters, fires, assault of any kind, combat, and being around war. These can cause mental illness in a population that is important to our society and that deserves help during the troubling times.

Australian Shepard wearing a red service dog vest in a grass field

These people who deal with these traumatic experiences can face symptoms of PTSD like nightmares during their everyday life with flashbacks, anxiety that it may happen again, or paranoia of their surroundings. This can be hard to deal with and even harder to imagine what it may be like for them. They have help in the form of talk therapy but this can be benefited with the help of dogs!

PTSD service dogs are a great way to help combat some of their daily problems allowing them to keep a healthy mindset.

PTSD Service Dogs

Some service dogs help visible conditions and some help mental, PTSD service dogs are part of the latter that can keep their companion comfortable in stressful situations. Because it can be hard to know if a person is dealing with PTSD the service dog training they get is to help their owners by sensing problematic situations and emotions before they ever appear.

Check out this infographic over some of the tasks these amazing service dogs take on.

What Task Do PTSD Service Dogs Do Info graphic

It is no wonder these dogs have such a high success rate, they help their companion in proactive strategies to keep them calm. These dogs even know how to intervene during moments of depression to keep the human's mind distracted on other things.

PTSD Service Dog Training

PTSD service dogs go through intensive service dog training on how to keep their companion's mindset leveled out in a positive way. They must learn how to do this and also how to handle situations that can trigger a potential outburst. Because every patient is different every service dog’s training may differ as well.

Some of these service dogs are trained to calm anxiety through exercises to either get their companion away from any triggers or calm their companion during an episode. Others are trained to prevent crowding around their companion or to follow routine reminders for their companion every day.

Woman in a wheelchair petting her service beagle with a harness on

Service dogs trained by professionals are oftentimes matched with their companions due to these training differences. There are even courses dedicated to knowing how to find a good match for a proper service dog.

Although service dog training is not mandated to be done by a professional certified trainer, it is widely encouraged in the community.

The service dog training that goes into these amazing dogs is extensive and fortifies these behaviors to the point where they could perform under the largest amount of distraction. Many service dogs associate their vest with being on duty after training and should be treated seriously with their vest on. But a PTSD service dog even at home with their vests off knows how to help their companion in times of need.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder service dog training is no joke and is treated as a job for the dogs. Make sure to ask your Doctor if you think this option is right for you. Service dogs are amazing animals and can perform a wide array of tasks, PTSD service dogs are no different and can be the life-changing component to someone's problems. They are also a big responsibility. If you know someone who could use this information share it with them! Also, add to the conversation in the comments if you have anything you'd like to share.

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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