PTSD Service Dog Trainer Academy
Training Service Dogs for veterans living with PTSD/TBI requires very specialized knowledge and skills - in both the trainer and the dog. The Service Dogs must possess an intuitive nature, an agreeable temperament and a perceptive spirit in order to perform their work independently when the veteran is in crisis. The trainers must learn to correctly identify, evaluate and select these special dogs and then teach them to recognize and interrupt behaviors associated with anxiety, panic attacks, and nightmares. Trainers must learn to evaluate both dogs and veterans in order to effectively pair a successful team.
The Academy includes both classroom and hands-on education where trainers learn: how Service Dogs help veterans with PTSD/TBI; the PTSD Service Dog selection process; to train anxiety-interrupting behaviors; to train nightmare-interrupting behaviors; the art of matching the veteran with the right dog; to understand military culture; about PTSD/TBI (taught by VA clinicians); to develop effective Wellness Recovery Action Plans for veteran/dog teams; how clinicians can integrate dog therapy