Support Dogs and PTSD. Doorway to freedom.

If you suffer from PTSD,  a support dog can help pull you out of your bunker. They are not the do all, save all; support dogs can move you in the right direction. It is important to know they do not work for everyone. They do require training, proper attention and you need to get outside with them and share some of their fun things.

These are not service dogs. Service dogs are specifically trained to do things for disabled people who can not do them. Support dogs are more of companions for people suffering from emotional problems like PTSD. The training is different.

A good support dog will get behind you when you are in a line, keeping people from crowing you. they will take the open side to put themselves between you and strangers. They will be calm and friendly but not stray to far away so as to be your protector. These dogs must be well behaved and quiet.

Having them with you will allow you to begin to interact with strangers and get use to being out in public. They should be good sized and easy to train. You will need to take the time to re enforce their training and provide them with the attention it takes for them to become your closest friend.

These dogs react on commands and you must keep that in mind. It will take time for both of you to learn how to interact and what commands to give. You will have to caution people from becoming to friendly with your dog and yet allow others to feel comfortable around you and the dog.

A quality dog will help you to get out in public and interact with others, they will give you a sense of freedom again and move you down the road to wellness. The VA is doing a study on the value of these dogs. As yet they do not recognize them the same as they do a service dog so veterinary care is your responsibility. The VA does provide veterinary care for Service dogs.

Something to think about. See ya down the road.

Rick Sweeting

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