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Old 08-08-2012, 02:45 AM
RockMaterial RockMaterial is offline
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Question What are the best organizations to get a fully-trained psychiatric service dog?

I live in Southern California and suffer from severe depression and an anxiety disorder making life very difficult. I have been advised that receiving a psychiatric service dog would improve my quality of life, but am having tremendous difficulty locating a good program. I've already looked through listings, researched for weeks, etc. Please provide specific programs for me to consider, not just a place I can find more listings (includes ADI and Delta). Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:03 PM
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Unfortunately, the area of psychiatric service dog training is still pretty small, and the majority of the few organizations that train PSDs give dogs only to veterans with PTSD. I've been a service dog trainer for about five years now and have researched the field extensively, and I still can't recommend an organization that trains PSDs.

That said, it might be helpful for you to really think about what you would need a service dog to be trained to do for you - what specific tasks you need - and focus on getting a dog that can do those tasks. Sometimes if you can go to an organization and say, "I need a dog that's trained to do x, y, and z tasks," they'd be more willing to get you such a dog, versus when you simply ask for a PSD.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:32 PM
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That said, it might be helpful for you to really think about what you would need a service dog to be trained to do for you - what specific tasks you need - and focus on getting a dog that can do those tasks. Sometimes if you can go to an organization and say, "I need a dog that's trained to do x, y, and z tasks," they'd be more willing to get you such a dog, versus when you simply ask for a PSD.
Very much this. It is virtually impossible to find a program to train a dog for an autistic adult, too, which is why I neded up training my own. However, I have still been looking for programs, and most seem more open when you give a list of tasks instead of a diagnosis.

I do know someone that was going to get a PSD from Susquehanna Service Dogs at one point, not sure if that worked out in the end or not.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:37 PM
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It is virtually impossible to find a program to train a dog for an autistic adult, too, which is why I neded up training my own.
We did this for my sister (also Autistic) and this might be your best bet. The only organizations I know of cater exclusively to Vets or those otherwise afflicted by PTSD.
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