GET INVOLVED: The benefits of PTSD Service Dogs.
Atlas the Wonderdog with his veteran, Kenny, the founder of The Battle Buddy Foundation. (Photos courtesy of The Battle Buddy Foundation, on Facebook.)
A PTSD service dog is one that’s been trained specifically for someone with the disorder. These dogs can be trained to help anyone, veteran or civilian, by walking in front of or behind the person in public. This simple act provides a sense of security a person often needs to be comfortable in a situation.
PTSD service dogs can also be trained to recognize when a person with the disorder is having difficulty handling a certain situation. Places with loud, sudden noises, blinking lights or crowds trigger emotional reactions in PTSD sufferers. Having a PTSD service dog on hand will prevent the person from entering a trigger situation or allow them to focus their minds on something else.
Additionally, some agencies will train PTSD service dogs to “block” or “follow” a person. Some PTSD suffers, especially combat veterans, are uncomfortable in lines with people standing in close proximity in front of or behind them. A dog trained to block or follow will stand in front of or behind their owners, creating more physical space between them and the people around them, Davis said. This is also helpful to wounded veterans with hearing-related injuries that are fearful of what’s behind them.
It’s common for people with PTSD to find themselves feeling distant from loved ones and their environment. Having a dog by their side helps to boost their morale and encourages them to engage, bringing them back into their relationships and society. When trained with positive reinforcement and used properly, these types of service dogs can easily work for up to 12 years without any adverse physical or emotional side effects.
The Battle Buddy Foundation was founded by Marine infantry combat veterans. TBBF is dedicated to serving our brothers/sisters in arms struggling with PTSD and other combat related injuries. The organization and its staff are dedicated to promoting a higher quality of LIFE, assisting with the LIBERTY of independent living, and aiding in the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS for Disabled Veterans as they transition to civilian life.