Is A Service Dog for Veterans Right For You?

Service dogs for veterans can address symptoms of disabilities by:

  • Providing grounding or sensory input to decrease physiological symptoms of stress/anxiety.
    • Behaviors dog can perform may include applying weight or pressure by leaning into handler or lying down on handler’s lap or feet.
  • Interrupting or alerting to early signs of maladaptive or hypervigilant behavior, escalation in stress or anxiety, or other responses to triggers.
    • Behaviors dog can perform may include chin rest, nose nudge. Nightmare interruption and recovery assistance (with DPT).
  • Providing mobility assistance by retrieving, delivering or carrying of items, assisting with balance, assisting with prosthetics, tug or push things open/closed, on/off, etc.
  • Positioning its body in various ways relative to the veteran to support veteran’s goals toward increased duration of participation in public and reducing isolation.
  • Providing occasion for social engagement by being a catalyst toward social interaction.
    • Behaviors dog can perform may include wave, bow, fist bump, etc.

Minimum criteria to apply for a veteran service dog:

  • Veteran must be honorably discharged with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Trauma and/or a
    mobility limiting disability.
  • PTSD must be diagnosed military service-connected, and the applicant must be in on-going treatment by a mental health professional.
  • Ability to independently complete Team Training, a hands-on training course and reside in our campus dorms in Sylmar, CA for 10 days.
    Please visit our Team Training page to learn more.
  • Be prepared to share detailed information that pertains to eligibility
    including personal history, medical and mental healthcare history, references, and support contacts.
  • Desire to utilize a service dog for public access and interaction.
  • Ability to provide a safe, loving, healthy and stable home for a service dog.
  • Ability to provide for the dog’s physical, psychological and financial needs.

PLEASE NOTE: The demand for a service dog far outweighs our available service dogs in training and we do not guarantee that every applicant will receive a dog.  We screen and interview applicants whose needs match the strengths and skills of our dogs.

Complete a Prequalifying Questionnaire »