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PTSD service dogs

What does PTSD mean?
Image by Susan Wilkinson

PTSD, a post-traumatic stress disorder, is a so-called trauma-related disorder.

Possible trauma:

  • rape

  • war

  • torture

  • Natural disasters

  • Experiences of violence

  • Repeat trauma over a longer period of time

Within about half a year, the person affected develops symptoms after what they have experienced. If these are not treated, the disease can become chronic and severely impair the quality of life.

Symptoms can include:

  • nightmares

  • flashbacks

  • sleep disorders

  • Irritability

  • fears

  • Memory lapses

  • Avoidance behavior

  • emotional numbness

  • poor concentration

PTSD service dogs

PTSD assistance dogs are specially trained for the limitations of PTSD or a complex post-traumatic stress disorder.


This also includes dissociative disorders.


In colloquial terms, service dogs that are trained for other mental or psychiatric illnesses are also referred to as PTSD service dogs.

Possible tasks
  • Reality check: is there anyone in the room?

  • Show flashbacks

  • Interrupt flashbacks or dissociations

  • lead out of large crowds to a safe place

  • awaken from nightmares and turn on the light

  • Create distance from strangers and secure them forwards or backwards

  • bark on command as a deterrent

  • calm down in panic

  • Bring an emergency bag with the medication

  • give safety

  • get help

  • lead in case of disorientation

Here are four German YouTube videos on the subject.

Image by Dana Ward
Ask for help

Any small donation means a lot to me and brings me closer to my desire of being able to do so much more again and to feel more joie de vivre, thanks to a service dog. ♥

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