WolfHaunt asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

Psychiatric Service Dog Questions?

Okay, I want to certify my dog as a Psychiatric Service Dog.

I want to train her myself, I've been training dogs for as long as I can remember and my dog already knows a lot.

I have Anxiety and Panic attacks REALLY bad. I do NOT do well around people AT ALL. When people that I don't know talk to me my heart immediately begins to race and my throat feels like it has closed up and if I can say anything at all it's more of a squeak of a word than anything and most of the time they don't even hear me. In groups of people I feel nauseous and claustrophobic and I have to get away from them or I get physically sick.

I can't even ask someone I don't know where the bathroom is! I'll just sit there and hold it. Or ask for anything really for that matter..(Sorry for such personal information) I just had Starbucks earlier even and my drink was virtually water and it was nasty, my mum and her husband had to FORCE me to go up there and ask them to fix it and that took a better part of almost a half hour..JUST for me to ask if they can fix my drink..

When me and my dog are in public she stays right beside me, I don't even need a leash and she always keeps an eye on me, if I go out of her sight for even a few seconds, she totally flips. (Which causes her to fail the CGC Test but that's another story)

And when I go into a panic or anxiety attack she will jump on me(She's a tiny dog) until I pick her up and she will lick my face and hands until I start to pet her and calm down.

I know I need to teach her at least one task that will help me, and I've read about some tasks you can teach a PSD..but none fit me, and I really can't think of anything else. And I DON'T want an ESA(Emotional Support Animal) I have that, my cat is an ESA.

I won't go into any more details, but Is that enough to have a PSD? Because when I have my dog with me, I'm much more at ease, I don't freak out as bad when people open up the conversation about her. (Which they ALWAYS do) It's like my mind is so full of watching out for my dog and thinking of her that my body just can't react to the anxiety and panic attacks...I don't know but it feels like that. Oh I should probably add that I believe my Anxiety and Panic attacks come from the post-traumatic depression I suffer from because of my childhood. (Which involved lots of domestic violence and police and emotional abuse)

So, my questions are:

is this enough for her to become a PSD?

How EXACTLY would I go about servicing her?

What is a task that I can teach her that fits me?

And something I was just wondering, can a PSD also be a therapy dog? Because before I heard about PSD I wanted to make my dog a therapy dog. I'm guessing probably not, but is there a way at all or is it always one or the other?

Thanks for any helpful answers!


Platypus-There are dogs that people train themselves, I DO know that, and dogs specially trained are like thousands of dollars, I don't have that. Especially when I have a perfectly trainable dog right here.

Update 2:

Lacey- Sorry i am in the U.S. California to be exact, I just say mum because well that's how I pronounce it, but yesss yes, I do know it's "mom." lol

But well if they don't have to be certified or anything then how do i legally prove that she's a service dog? I really don't want to go to jail. lol And I know she needs a task..but I really can't think of something that she can do, most tasks she could be trained to preform she is too little to do. (i.e. pull me by the sleeve out of a crowd when I get sick.)

And my dog WOULD pass the CGC with flying colors except for the leaving me alone in public places, when we are home it's different, she is a little better at it, it's just in public, she just WILL NOT let me be out her sight willingly.

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First are you in Canada or in the US. The word "mum" has me confused. I'm more familiar with US law concerning service dogs. In the US, service dogs can be owner trained and they do not have to be certified, licensed or have any other designation (although that may be changing in the future). The dog actually has to perform a function. Licking your face during a crisis may not be considered performing a function but retrieving your medication definitely is performing a function. It is up to you as to your definition what function your dog does for you that you cannot do for yourself. You will also have to defend that function should you be asked by the Wal-Mart greeter or other business person. Just saying that your dog is a service dog and must be allowed access is not enough. You must be able to tell that person why your dog is a service dog. "It can be a phrase such as, "He brings me my medication when I'm in crisis". In my case I tell them that my dog alerts to my seizure disorder as well as brings me my medication.

    Keep in mind, service dogs must be very well trained and socialized. This means that you must be able to control your dog adequately when you are having a melt down. Plus it means that your dog must let others including strangers help you if you are having a melt down. This means that the dog really needs to be bomb proof. Personally I feel that any service dog should be able to pass the CGC because that proves that the dog has been tested to be "safe" in different situations. Again that's my opinion. Businesses can still deny access to "service dogs" that are out of control or cause problems in their businesses. Service dogs should almost be invisible to the general public as far as their behavior is concerned.

    Note: you need to work on your dog's separation anxiety. There has been some talk in service dog circles where passing the CGC or other type of test might become required for a dog to be considered a service dog. There has been quite a lot of talk about strengthening the service animal provision where some type of training,and testing, owner or otherwise be proven before a service animal can access public places. They are trying to restrict what animals can be considered service animals. There are some people who feel that their snakes are service animals. This is because there are too many poorly trained, dangerous, fake "service dogs" gaining access because their owners are calling them service dogs. Therapy dogs do have to pass the CGC in order to be a registered therapy dog through all three of the national organizations.

    Source(s): http://www.psychdog.org/faq.html I use a service dog
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  • 9 years ago

    To answer your question I first must assume you are looking for public access protection yor yourself and your dog. Effective March 15, 2011, “Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

    So, in order for your dog to qualify, it must be trained to the context of the ADA. Of interest is the part that says "...helping persons with psychiatric ... disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. Also note the limitations of "...an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

    Hope that helps.

    Source(s): US ADA
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  • 9 years ago

    you need a dr to say a dog would be the best option first off than you have to get a trainer that can and has been trained how to train service animals. most the time the animal is trained and picked for your disorders, not a pet you have(even if they know alot).

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  • 9 years ago

    uh, tell that hole thing to a therapist

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