Is A Service Dog 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, bracing for balance assistance, assist 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 visit, 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 Limitating 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 7 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.