Psychiatric Service Dog Questions-warning long - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
Capone22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,235
Red face Psychiatric Service Dog Questions-warning long

I am just starting some research on PSDs. This is a bit embarrassing to just put it all out there, but I don't know who else to ask these questions, so here goes =) I have been diagnosed and have been on many different medications for about 10 years now, for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and depression. I could have PTSD in my records as well, not sure. I don't want to be on medication anymore, I have been in the process of weaning off for the past few months. I think a PSD would highly benefit me. I am considering training Rogue (my 8 month old GSD I have now) if she passes an evaluation. I think for PSD the most important qualification would be solid nerves. An anxious dog would NOT be good

So my questions are:
1. Can I have her as a PSD and also let her be involved in French Ring?

2. She has issues with certain surfaces. Shiny slippery or high ones. Although its something we work on and she over comes it easily. She hasn't generalized it yet though, its just over come with that specific place/floor/ or high object. For example, when she was a pup and it had rained the tile in our entry way must have been wet and she slipped running to go outside. She started avoiding it. So I put food on it every so often, and even fed her dinner there one night. and that was it, she was over it. Has no problems with it now. But it does come up occasionally at other places. First time I took her to Lowes, same thing she didn't like the slippery floor. She started walking all low and claws out. I just continued to walk her around. She got over it in a couple minutes and walked normally. That is the only downfall I can see with her so far. Otherwise she's very stable, loves to work, likes people but is more aloof the older she gets. Loves kids, easy to train etc.

3. When trained for anxiety and panic attacks, do the dogs actually recognize the panic attack or does the handler give them a command?

4.Where do I go/who do I contact for an evaluation of her? and for future training?

To give you an idea of what I would like out of a PSD here is a list I have come up with so far,

*accompany me places, especially crowded places. I can get very overwhelmed and anxious in crowds.

*I have fainted/passed out before from a panic attack. which is one of my biggest fears because I have children. I would like her to be trained to try and wake me up if that happens, ie: licking/barking/pawing at me. If at home I would like her to be able to call 911 if it happens, because my kids could be in danger if she could not get me to wake up quickly.

*When I start getting anxious, distract me to try and snap me out of it or stop it from progressing.

The biggest for me in the passing out/fainting from panic attacks. It is rare, but has happened. So that is the most important.

If you have made it this far, thank you! looking forward to the replies and advice!!
Capone22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 01:46 PM
Moderator
 
JakodaCD OA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Old Lyme, CT USA
Posts: 21,382
Talk to TJ or Linn here, hopefully they'll see this thread , I'm sure they can give you alot of help/advice/suggestions

Diane
Ozzie vom Kleinen Hain
Danger Danger vom Kleinen Hain aka Masi
Tranquillo's Kizzy
Jakoda's Kholee
"Angel" Jakoda's Bewitchen Sami CD OA OAJ OAC NGC OJC RS-O GS-N JS-O TT HIC CGC
"Angel" Steinwald's Four x Four CGC HIC TT
"Angel" Harmonyhill's Hy Jynx NA NAJ NAC NJC RS-N JS-N HIC
"Angel" Jakoda's Jagged Edge
JakodaCD OA is offline  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
Capone22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,235
Psychiatric Service Dog Questions-warning long

Thank you! I will.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
Capone22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 03:05 PM
New Member
 
TiffC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern California
Posts: 20
1. I have no idea what the french ring is but if it involves any form of bite work/protection then the answer is no your dog cannot compete and still be a SD.
2. I would say keep trying to work with her on different surfaces but if she still has issues with surfaces after months of fear then it is likely that she may never be fully comfortable out in public. In which case she should not be used as a SD because it is just not fair to her.
3. Some dogs can alert their handler to an oncoming attack but an alert cannot be trained. Only the response can be. So if your dog does not alert naturally then you would have to give a command that the dog can respond to.
4. Find a local service dog or therapy dog trainer and have her evaluated by them. Future training can be done by any trainer.

Also just make sure that you qualify to have a SD. You have to be disabled, according to the ADA definition in order to have a SD. Just because you have some mental illness alone is not enough. Your disability has to substantially limit one or more major life activities. If you do not then your dog cannot be a SD.

I hope this helped! I also have panic attacks that lead to blacking out so I know how it is.
TiffC is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 03:08 PM
Crowned Member
 
EastGSD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 3,755
Send a message via AIM to EastGSD
Psychiatric Service Dog Questions-warning long

I also have GAD. Right now it's stable but a few years ago it was not and being in crowed public places would bring on panic. I got a letter from my Psych to use a PSD. My Doxie Charlie is very good at noticing my anxiety and will make contact with me as well as get my attention this way. He was amazing for the task as he is sound in public, loves people, small and a calming influence. It worked very well. When my anxiety would peak and Charlie alerted me I would take a fast acting benzo and remove myself from the situation. My understanding from that time period as to using Charlie was the letter from my doctor. It would have to be reissued yearly. I no longer need Charlie when I go out so he stays home, I do not bring him to places for the heck of it. Just my experience, hope it is helpful. Feel better!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App



owned by:

GSDs
Emma and her GerMercian kid
Tobe


And Doxies' Abby and Charlie my Service dude
and Stan and Castor the parrots
EastGSD is offline  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 04:23 PM
Moderator
 
ILGHAUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
Posts: 9,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capone22 View Post
I have been diagnosed and have been on many different medications for about 10 years now, for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and depression. I could have PTSD in my records as well, not sure. I don't want to be on medication anymore, I have been in the process of weaning off for the past few months.

I think a PSD would highly benefit me.

I am considering training Rogue (my 8 month old GSD I have now) if she passes an evaluation. I think for PSD the most important qualification would be solid nerves. An anxious dog would NOT be good

So my questions are:
1. Can I have her as a PSD and also let her be involved in French Ring?

2. She has issues with certain surfaces. ... That is the only downfall I can see with her so far. Otherwise she's very stable, loves to work, likes people but is more aloof the older she gets. Loves kids, easy to train etc.

3. When trained for anxiety and panic attacks, do the dogs actually recognize the panic attack or does the handler give them a command?

4.Where do I go/who do I contact for an evaluation of her? and for future training?

To give you an idea of what I would like out of a PSD here is a list I have come up with so far,

*accompany me places, especially crowded places. I can get very overwhelmed and anxious in crowds.

*I have fainted/passed out before from a panic attack. which is one of my biggest fears because I have children. I would like her to be trained to try and wake me up if that happens, ie: licking/barking/pawing at me. If at home I would like her to be able to call 911 if it happens, because my kids could be in danger if she could not get me to wake up quickly.

*When I start getting anxious, distract me to try and snap me out of it or stop it from progressing.

The biggest for me in the passing out/fainting from panic attacks. It is rare, but has happened. So that is the most important. ...
Lot of topics to address here.

"I don't want to be on medication anymore,"

A PSD may affect the amount of medication you are currently taking -- OR it may not. I have known people who have taken medication for what you mentioned for years before a dog and continue taking medication years after. If a dog could help enough on that point where someone could toss their meds away it would be WONDERFUL, but life doesn't seem to work that way.

A Service Dog of any type is a medical tool/equipment to be used along with whatever is deemed necessary by your medical care provider. It is possible that a dog can help lower your anxiety or depression levels or frequency but that doesn't make it a SD but in line what a loved pet can do for you.
" ... the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition." ~ Dept. of Justice w/ Definition of Service Animal


" ... I think for PSD the most important qualification would be solid nerves. An anxious dog would NOT be good ... "

This is so very important. If the handler is having a meltdown, thinks an army of scary things are attacking, or believes there is a good chance that ... (fill in whatever scares you), a proper PSD needs to be able to basically say:
"Stop. Let us pause here and evaluate. You, the other part of the team are not at this particular moment in time in a calm mind set, so I temporary acting as your backup, need to consider quickly how to take care of us while you calm yourself and can take the decision making back over for us."

A PSD can never be a dog that wants to take over the lead position but because of their personality, work ethic, and team drive are capable to take over some of the decision making and because of their training know how to carry through.

A PSD can not react to his handler's incorrect fears by taking them on his own.

Handler not able to go into their dark home when they return. The dog can not sit there by the handler's legs and shake in fear because "something" is in there even though the dog can not hear or smell anything or anyone strange inside. The dog has to react in a "hey, you stay here, I've got this covered for you" and proceed into the house doing a quick sniff and look into all rooms, turning on any lights that he has been trained to turn on, and go back to the handler.

"*accompany me places, especially crowded places. I can get very overwhelmed and anxious in crowds."

Just by being there at your side is not a PSD task. At the most, being able to glance down and see your dog or reaching down and stroking his soft fur is a bonus of having him close by. Some people are able to do the same by carrying something in a pocket (piece of material), on a bracelet (a charm holding a picture of a loved one), or some other object on their person. To be something that makes this dog a SD of any type is that he is doing something that he was trained to do to mitigate your disability.

IF when you get overwhelmed in a crowd to the point you loose your vision then your dog can (through training) act much like a Guide Dog in this instance and safely guide you through the crowd and to a quiet place. If you react by getting dizzy and unable to walk without falling then your dog can (through training) act much like a Mobility Dog in this instance and help brace you so you can catch your balance and then help you walk through the crowd by a means such as counter-balance.


"Can I have her as a PSD and also let her be involved in French Ring?"

Grey area here. So far Federal Law doesn't address it but it is possible that at any time a State may pop it into their statutes or if on the chance your dog ever bit someone -- even just an open mouth on skin, an air snap at someone, a pinch but no broken skin -- a lawyer for the other side could bring that up and it could be used against your dog. It is also possible that your insurance company would not cover your dog if they found out that she participated in any type of sport involving using her mouth on a person. If not now they could turn around in six months and say not going to cover her. This may not be quite as important if your dog is a pet or sport dog only and never really deals in such close quarters with strangers as a SD is expected to.


Time for a break here .....

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP),
Humane Animal Education & Services (HAES),

Last edited by ILGHAUS; 03-10-2013 at 04:36 PM.
ILGHAUS is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:05 PM
Crowned Member
 
EastGSD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 3,755
Send a message via AIM to EastGSD
Psychiatric Service Dog Questions-warning long

Right. The notable difference between a PSD and an Emotional Support Animal would be the dog doing something either trained or a particular trait that assists the handler. This is beyond just being present to help calm. Charlie had an innate ability to sense my anxiety attacks and would signal me before I was even aware of what was happening to me ( sounds crazy but no, an anxiety attack is not always apparent to sufferers until its much too late) He would always do the same things. He would sit on my feet and basically refuse to move while staring up at me. I learned to listen to him and prevent severe attacks that made going out of the house hellish for me. He was instrumental in my recovery from that time in my life ( long story but basically was so overwhelmed that I couldn't think. This was when the board and online friends also stopped seeing me.) it is rare to have a dog like Charlie that has an innate sense of something, like also in many seizure alert dogs.

I would not want to imply to just throw a vest on your pet and walk them in public places, I have too much respect for SAs and the SA community. I was simply very fortunate to notice my dog was tuned in to me like this and having it not cause him to become apprehensive. He really was/is amazing and a God send.

If you are seeing a psychiatrist they should also be able to advise you and or assist.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App



owned by:

GSDs
Emma and her GerMercian kid
Tobe


And Doxies' Abby and Charlie my Service dude
and Stan and Castor the parrots
EastGSD is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:32 PM
Moderator
 
ILGHAUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
Posts: 9,026
Cont. from my previous post ...

" She has issues with certain surfaces. "

That in part could be from her breeding and/or lack of proper habituation from wee pup on. Not that you have necessary done something wrong but most pet owners are not concerned with this area as is someone with a SD Candidate.

I was just in a discussion on the topic of habituation yesterday with two local dog trainers. They like myself do this as an automatic with all of our own dogs even those who we think will probably much never leave our property except for a car ride, a visit to the vet, maybe to pop in and spend some time with other family members, or a basic walk. But a SD needs to be able to handle any type of walking surface that their handler could face or if it is really something off the wall then the dog needs to have enough confidence in their handler by past experiences to go with the handler. Pups should experience grass, sidewalks, dirt paths, carpet, wood flooring, tile, etc. We use every kind of surface we can think of during this process from walking over chain link fencing laying flat on the ground, plastic shower curtains and rolls of sheeting, gravel, piles of (safe) trash, cardboard, rubber matting, leaves, etc. etc. etc.


"*I have fainted/passed out before from a panic attack. which is one of my biggest fears because I have children. I would like her to be trained to try and wake me up if that happens, ie: licking/barking/pawing at me."

A SD of (PSD or other) can be trained to stand over or lay down on their handler to keep them safe -- if this is needed. Or they can be trained to go to a specific person or to the closest individual they see to get assistance for you.
~ If they are to approach a stranger then it is best to have the dog wearing a cape stating that it is a SD.
~ They should be trained how best to approach and how best to act once they get someone's attention. You don't want them to touch or come on too strong and have the stranger think the dog is acting in an aggressive manner.
~ Your PSD must allow a stranger to approach you and to touch you to administer first aid or other medical treatment. This part you need to sit back and think about how you will handle such a situation. It would be best to discuss this with your medical care provider so that you have a system in place whereas you can get through such a situation.

With what ever method that you choose on how your dog is to assist to wake you up keep in mind her strength and size. Pawing by a 10 lb dog with very well kept nails would not be the same as that by a 80lb or 90lb. GSD unless you could train her to do so very gently and in a very specific location or two. Many people find a large wet tongue across the face a time or two will bring them around pretty quickly in most cases.


"If at home I would like her to be able to call 911 if it happens, because my kids could be in danger if she could not get me to wake up quickly."

Very doable with a special large button that is mounted on the wall but could be a problem with small children wanting to also push it from time to time.


"*When I start getting anxious, distract me to try and snap me out of it or stop it from progressing."

A dog can be trained to pick up on your "tells" and respond in whatever manner you have trained her such as if at home she could go and bring you her brush to groom her. Whatever method you pick you need to practice it until you do so automatically without much thought on your part.


As to evaluations and training you need to find a very good trainer in your area. Then sit down and discuss with them a plan of action. Find out if they have experience with working dogs or if you will need to later find a different trainer to work with the tasks.

No matter the type of Assistance Dog first comes obedience and lots of it along with proofing and working the obedience commands not only in your home or yard but in many other locations and under lots of distractions.

Contrary to many, a dog does not need to be trained in a mall or a grocery store to later know how to behave in such. A SD can be fully trained in locations open and available to any pet or where permission by the owner (please don't ask where the owner could later be served with a health code violation) has been given.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP),
Humane Animal Education & Services (HAES),
ILGHAUS is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:46 PM
Moderator
 
ILGHAUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
Posts: 9,026
EastGSD, I love hearing about these special ones that come into people's lives as your Charlie did for you.

"the dog doing something either trained or a particular trait that assists the handler."

Taking this good thought just a bit further for clarification. An Assistance Dog of any type must per the Dept. of Justice be trained.
"“Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability ... must be directly related to the handler´s disability."

Any thing the dog does on its own is not a trained task in of itself. Those dogs who naturally alert (a real blessing for their owner) are then trained to respond in a certain manner through training. It is the trained task that makes a SD under the regulations of the Dept. of Justice. If you take you dog out into the community as a SD and claim Public Access Rights then you must follow this requirement of the DOJ.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP),
Humane Animal Education & Services (HAES),
ILGHAUS is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
Capone22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,235
wow. Thank you all for the responses. A lot to think about here!

As for qualifying for PSD vs. the emotional support animal, would the passing out qualify that? For example, last time I fainted happened to be in the hospital. lol My 4 year old daughter had just had surgery and I was walking back to her. I don't like hospitals as it is, but seeing her crying in pain and the things in her arms and all that I started to have a panic attack. Cold sweat, racing heart, turning white, full on panic mode. I tried really hard to just focus on her because she obviously really wanted me and needed me but I felt it coming. I told the nurse I was going to pass out, she sat me in a chair and bam I was out. Took a while to get me to come back and then I passed back out. It was SO embarrassing LOL but anyways, the time before that was at a restaurant and luckily my mom was with me.

Obviously, my fear is of doing that alone, with my kids, although it has never happened. If it came down to it, for at home I could always just train her myself with either a code word, or if she saw me fall, to go press a button for 911. That would be easy enough.
Capone22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome