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Kristy asked in PetsDogs · 4 years ago

psychiatric disability service dog?


My little sister has bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. she been on many meds and seen many therapist for it. she just started seeing a new one a few months ago who told my mom to get my sister a psychiatric service dog, to have it trained for: deep pressure therapy, alert an oncoming anxiety attack, ground her during one and prevent self harm... is this a real thing? neither me nor my mom has ever heard of a Psychiatric service dog we only hear about an emotional support dog

9 Answers

  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, your sister can get a service dog. The Americans with Disabilities Act (the law providing for the right to service dogs) allows no discrimination between physical, emotional, and psychiatric disabilities. All disabilities that negatively impact an individual's ability to function in normal life are eligible for a service dog. The difference between a Service Dog and an Emotional Support Animal is simple: a Service Dog is trained to perform duties or tasks which directly help mitigate the severity of the person's disability; an ESA just provides comfort/support, but is not trained to perform any specific tasks. So, the difference is that a Service Dog actually does a job and performs a duty/task. Likewise, a Service Dog can be taken anywhere - to any business open to the public, etc... An ESA cannot.

    The law requires no official certification, no official training, etc... If the dog performs the tasks in question for a person with a disability, they are a Service Dog... the fact that they perform those tasks is what legally makes them Service Dogs. For some more simple tasks, many people train their dogs themselves. In your case... you're looking at some pretty complex tasks, with some kind of tricky training. So, I'd highly suggest talking to a private Service Dog training organization about it... an organization that will train a dog for these specific tasks. It's expensive and takes a lot of time, but you have professional trainers who know how to train these tasks doing the work for you.

    Look online for one in your area, or any sort of disability service should have a list of references.

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  • 4 years ago

    The letter outlined above is for an ESA (Emotional Support Animal), which cannot be taken in public like a Service Dog. The letter would need to be written specifically for a Service Dog.

    Be very careful when looking for a SD, and for an organization to train it. Unfortunately there are many scam stories. Unfortunately many mental health professionals do not understand very much about service dogs, their training, etc. Some obviously do, but knowing how to write a letter is one of the most minor requirements.

    Yes, as others have mentioned - do lots of research - don't just believe one organization/person. I had a friend that did research for over 6 months before even starting the search for a dog. Be sure to know and understand the ADA really well.

    It could help to research and possibly join psychiatric service dog organizations with many experienced members. Best of luck!

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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): #1 Dog Training Tutor -
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  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    No. Emotional Support Animals are not the same as a true service dog. Service dog provide a service that w/o help the person is more disabledd - this applys to blind, deaf, wheelchair bound and some seizure-alert dogs.

    What your sister can get is a ESA and that doesn't mean she is allowed to take the dog in all places a service dog is allowed - places like restaurants, stores may not let her take the dog with her.

    ESA's are nothing more then glorified pets. I think stricter laws regarding service dogs should be enacted and PROOF of the dog being a service dog for the person.

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  • 4 years ago

    If your sister is harming herself ... you would think they would institutionalize her if necessary and find the right mix of medications for her ... not suggest a dog that she could harm as well.

    Usually service dogs are not prescribed to patients that could harm them by their behaviors.

    Even the Service Dogs trained for soldiers who have PTSD will be removed from them if they harm the dog. One of my good friends is part of a Service Dog training program for these PTSD Psychiatric Service dogs. They are trained very specific tasks - to provide a perimeter around their person, check & clear a room, turn on lights, etc. and to be there for them unconditionally 100% of the time.

    To purchase a trained service dog, it usually costs between ten and twenty thousand dollars - depending on how many tasks the dog needs to be taught and what abilities the dog needs. Health insurance does not cover the cost of a Service Dog. The vets get their dogs at a very low cost, due to the non-profit status of the group, and the donations that come in to cover the feed and costs of the dogs while being trained.

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  • 3 years ago

    Find what motivates your dog. Some dogs do anything for food. Some dogs do anything for Toys. Some do anything for a good petting. Some do anything for only one type of food, like cheese, or hotdog. Some only have interest in training for 5 minutes at a time, and others can go for an hour. Figure out what your dog is willing to work for, and then work with her in sessions that are no longer than she can tolerate. Learn how to train your dog properly

    Sign up for a dog obedience training class. It will not train your dog. It will give you training on how you can train your dog. Most people understand the idea of training, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it, and there is good and bad technique. Timing and consistency is very important, and it helps to have feedback of someone watching you who can help you improve your technique to get more efficient results with your dog.

    However, she may be somewhat anxious around other dogs, sort of like the shy kid on the playground. She will benefit from continuing what you are doing as far as asking her to sit before entering, but there are more things along those lines that will help her to calmly go in and out of the dog park. She may also benefit from going in short bursts, or only when fewer dogs are present, or avoiding times when other dogs that make her nervous are present. Maybe she just plays loud - my brother's dog is this way - or maybe she is a dogpark bully - sorry it is possible. But more likely she is just a little anxious around new dogs and she wants to play but just doesn't quite know how to do that and still feel comfortable. Don't be surprised if your dog does not actually like the dog park, and maybe she would get more enjoyment and less stress out of simply going for a good walk somewhere else.

    A wagging tail does not mean that your dog is happy or even comfortable with the situation. It means your dog is emotionally aroused. This could be a happy arousal, or it could be a nervous arousal, or it could be an aggressive arousal. Go youtube it, there are plenty of videos of 'vicious' dogs who are throwing a very aggressive fit of barking and snarling while their tail is wagging vigorously. Even police dogs who are not let off the leash to chase down a suspect can be lunging and barking and snarling, and their tails are still going.

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  • 4 years ago

    ESAs are not service dogs. You can have your service dogs with you anywhere, like as the service dogs with blind or mute, only these dogs comfort to prevent or calm attacks and fits. You should do well to learn more about them, there are other and better sources out there than yahoo

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  • 4 years ago

    What about it? Research it, just like anyone else would. Here's a brief explanation.

    For a person to legally qualify he/she must have a disability that substantially limits his/her ability to perform at least one major life task without assistance.

    To legally qualify, it must be prescribed for a person by his/her licensed therapist (a licensed mental health professional) in a properly formatted letter that specifically states that a it is needed to perform necessary tasks that the person is unable to perform for him/herself during certain events.

    The letter should state that:

    You are currently his/her patient

    Are under his/her care for the treatment of mental disability found in the DSM IV or V (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 4 or 5).

    Your disability substantially limits at least one major life activity

    He/she prescribes for you an emotional support animal as a necessary treatment for your mental health.

    In addition, the letter must be dated, written on his/her letterhead, include his/her license type, number, date of license, and state in which the license was issued.

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  • Steve
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    This is a question? No, it's a statement, just like yours.

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