dogs in the service for human
Service dogs have very many outlets, but the most recent is them being a service dog for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, it wasn't until 1980 that the American Psychiatric Association added PTSD to their manual. (ptsd.va.gov) This is something that has affected thousands of people and is only just started to get its deserved spotlight. It is very difficult to completely understand what PTSD does to a person, without having it yourself.
The idea of a service dog has been around since 1929, by The Seeing Eye Inc. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed. Service dogs were trained to assist people with a physical, medical or mental disability. They are there for various reasons, such as a seeing eye, a guide dog, detection for diabetes, strokes, epilepsy. They aid in environmental triggers like anxiety and stress, as well as reminders to take medication. (seeingeye.org)
82% of people that have been paired with a service dog that have reported to have reduced symptoms and 40% were able to reduce their medication usage. (igdf.org.uk ) These dogs can gauge symptoms and then complete tasks accordingly, such as the handler having a night terror and the dog will wake them up. They aid in environmental triggers like anxiety and stress, as well as reminders to take medication
Training is a big deal when it comes to service dogs. After the dogs is raised, trained with simple tasks, they go through a more intensive training that will make or break them. Some dogs can do everything right, train well, and know all of the commands, but just one thing can disqualify them. If they are afraid of a certain sound or don't like certain textured floors, etc. These dogs will be able to tap into their handler's emotions and aid them into healing and full emersion into society.
Researchers are gathering evidence that bond these people create with their dogs has biological effects, for example, elevated levels of oxytocin. I have been in contact with a group called Canine Companions, where they have just launched a new program when they will begin training dogs for people with PTSD. (cci.org)
There are many ways that a dog can lend a helping hand, but to have these dog's special way of affecting people with PTSD. Since 1990, service dogs have only become more widely accepted and loved by all. (vetdogs.org) Life as they knew it would never be the same. It can strip away independence, self-motivation, one's feeling of self-worth and a service dog can bring all those back. A service dog can help pull back the person they were and thought they lost and build on that and find a new person inside waiting and willing to take on life's new challenges. The people who understand the need and reward of a service dog the best, are the people whose lives are most profoundly changed by them.