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 »

24/7 Confidential Crisis Support for Veterans and their loves ones.

Watch Lorilei and Orbit’s Story
infographic service dog


The contact person for Admissions and Graduate Services is Hanna Belyea. To request an application packet for admission, please call (818) 833-6442, or email us at: