Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?
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Thread: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Does anyone know if it would be possible to get a service dog for anxiety? I want to know because if I could I would like to get my dog Lucas qualified (after more training because I know he's not ready yet and he's still pretty young) as a service dog for me for anxiety. I can't even order food at a restaurant whether it's fast food or high quality.
    When I'm at a store where I can bring my dog I am totally confident and calm and I don't get anxious.
    When I can't bring him I practically freeze up and if anyone talks to me I get this terrible feeling in my stomach.
    So all that being said...what do you guys think. I know at least a few of you on here have experience with service dogs and all that so I was hoping you guys could all help me out with figuring this out.
    Thank you in advance.
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I don't know much---and I'm sure Xeph will help more---but I do know that a service dog has to be trained to do 3 things to assist with your condition (and I think it has to be a doctor-diagnosed condition). If you can figure out 3 concrete things for him to do, I think it's allowable. But it's kind of hard to think of concrete things a dog does for anxiety, besides just being there (which I'm pretty sure doesn't count).
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I'm pretty sure that wouldn't count either sadly. And that's all I really need from him. I wonder what he could do for me that would count. Can any of you think of possible things? Thank you for responding.



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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I believe I have read here more than once that a dog to help you with an emotional disorder is not considered a service dog. IOW's the dog must be able to do something for you that you cannot do yourself.

    For instance, there are dogs who can warn a diabetic their blood sugar is dropping so they can stop, test and do what is necessary to not go into a diabetic coma. There are dogs who can sense a seizure before it happens so an epileptic person can get in a safe place. There are dogs who help people with balance issues so they can walk and not fall down. Of course, the classic service dog is the dog who guides someone who is legally blind so they can live an independent life.

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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Ya that's what I was figuring. I was just hoping there was a way to make it happen because it would help so much. I guess the people who make the rules about who gets dogs for what think of it the same way as when people who are overweight get handicap parking permits and people get upset because it isn't that they are paralyzed or something. I guess that people who are blind or something would get upset if people who were crippled by anxiety would get dogs to help them too.
    I wish it were possible though because that would make my life so much better and allow me to function like a normal person in public.

    I don't know if I worded the third sentence right, but I hope people understand what I'm getting at lol.



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    Senior Member theyogachick's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Service dog? Maybe not. But there are dogs known as emotional support animals. Try reading this : http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/76 and see if it helps.
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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by theyogachick View Post
    Service dog? Maybe not. But there are dogs known as emotional support animals. Try reading this : http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/76 and see if it helps.
    Very interesting link I'll have to read it all of the way before I get hopeful or not. Thank you very much though for the link and I'm reading it now.



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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    There are no laws regulating or certifying service dogs. They do not have to have a special license.You buy a work vest on line and there you go. That said, there are things you have to do to have a service dog. You don't have to have a doctor's diagnosis but it helps. Your psychiatrist or therapist can write you a detailed letter of diagnosis and stating your need for a service dog that you can carry (although federal law prohibits someone asking about your diagnosis). Airlines can use their judgement about allowing service dogs on planes-it could be difficult for a mental disorder. Stores, restaurants etc. can only ask you if he is a service dog and what type of service dog. For a mental disorder you would need to figure out what would be the most accepted statement. You would need to be clear that your dog is a service dog and NOT a therapy dog which is not allowed in. Perhaps he could be for blood pressure control (just off the top of my head-I'm sure there are better statements) And the dog must be rigorously trained in obedience. Many disabled people are training their own. My lab/pit mix was abandoned with me years ago and I trained him for mobility assistance-my diagnosis of muscular dystrophy is not obvious. He mostly saves me energy by walking beside me and keeping me from stumbling or falling. Businesses can ask you to leave if the dog is disruptive (jumping around, barking etc.) or does actual damage. I taught my dog to poop on command so that I can empty him out before we run errands.
    There are several web sites, including the justice department, that spell all this out in detail-more than I can go into here. There are also bulletin boards for service dog owners-I used one alot when I was starting out-these are mostly people who train their own dogs for themselves. I'm not promising anything but there are people who use service animals for mental disorders. You may email me at alisonauclair@yahoo.com if you would like more info. Good luck.

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    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    In Canada I am pretty sure you can have a service dog for Anxiety, etc. There was a program on TV about someone in Vancouver, B.C. training them. Don't know the details and does not help you much as you are in the States.

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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    According to that link it looks like I might have a shot I just need to find out more about my areas laws when it comes to the emotional support dogs. Thank you for that link it brings me hope.
    alison4 thank you and I will be e mailing you shortly



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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    You are in Texas which recently has been giving people problems with service dogs. However you should know that Federal law trumps state and local law. You DO NOT need to know or follow any lesser laws. Look at these two pages just for a start. http://www.psychdog.org and http://sdog.danawheels.net for good info. The 2nd one has links to the Justice dept. etc.

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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by alison4 View Post
    You are in Texas which recently has been giving people problems with service dogs. However you should know that Federal law trumps state and local law. You DO NOT need to know or follow any lesser laws. Look at these two pages just for a start. http://www.psychdog.org and http://sdog.danawheels.net for good info. The 2nd one has links to the Justice dept. etc.

    Thanks again ^^ I might be moving to Michigan soon do you know anything about how they are there?



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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I really can't give much insight into psychiatric service dogs unfortunately. I do know it could/would be very difficult for you to get a dog. The dog MUST do more than just be with you to make you more comfortable in public, and you would likely have to be more severely impaired than you are (as in, practically agoraphobic).

    Please be aware that Emotional Support Animals do not have public access rights! This means the dog CANNOT go into Walmart with you, or a grocery store, or Kohl's etc etc. They are exempt from housing laws and are allowed on flights, but that is it.
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I've heard of service dogs assisting with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some of the things they might be trained to do:
    -Alert the owner to people around the corner or in the next room, saving the owner from being startled and having a bad reaction.
    -Stand between the owner and other people, saving the owner from feeling crowded/claustrophobic and having a bad reaction.
    -Dial 911 on a special device if the owner has frozen and is unresponsive.
    -Bark on command, which can draw attention when the owner needs help and/or warn off people who are scaring the owner.

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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
    I really can't give much insight into psychiatric service dogs unfortunately. I do know it could/would be very difficult for you to get a dog. The dog MUST do more than just be with you to make you more comfortable in public, and you would likely have to be more severely impaired than you are (as in, practically agoraphobic).

    Please be aware that Emotional Support Animals do not have public access rights! This means the dog CANNOT go into Walmart with you, or a grocery store, or Kohl's etc etc. They are exempt from housing laws and are allowed on flights, but that is it.
    That's what I've seen as far as them being allowed in places other types of service dogs are allowed. I did see though that dogs for these purposes don't need to actually do anything for you though. They just need to be well trained in obedience and not pose a threat to the public.

    Even if he could just come with me on an airplane that would be useful. I do also doubt that I would be able to get a dog for that. I'll have to talk with my doctors and see if they think it would be able to help me and be able to give me something to tell whoever it is you need to talk to to apply for these things that they think, in their professional opinion, that I should have one.



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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    I did see though that dogs for these purposes don't need to actually do anything for you though. They just need to be well trained in obedience and not pose a threat to the public.
    This is correct, and it is also the reason that they are not granted public access (because they don't actually do anything). I'm reiterating that ESA's are NOT service dogs, not because I think you're stupid, but to be sure that any others reading this understand that ESAs and SDs are for different purposes.

    ESA handlers do not have public access rights, SD handlers do.
    S Konzert vom Drachenberg CD, RN, CGC, TC, retired service dog "Strauss"
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    Senior Member RubyFeuer's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
    This is correct, and it is also the reason that they are not granted public access (because they don't actually do anything). I'm reiterating that ESA's are NOT service dogs, not because I think you're stupid, but to be sure that any others reading this understand that ESAs and SDs are for different purposes.

    ESA handlers do not have public access rights, SD handlers do.
    No offense taken. I understand why because it can be confusing especially when I type the wrong words on accident even though I knew what I meant. I thank you for your input. And I will continue to look into this subject.



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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?


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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    It's late at night, so my apologies if I'm not being very clear, I will come back and re-read tomorrow.

    Keep FAR away from PSDS and their minions. Stick to IAADP.

    Well, I haven't introduced myself yet, so I guess this will be my first post! My name is Julee, I'm 16, and my owner trained psychiatric service dog is Embyr, she is three. I have schizophrenia and PTSD, and the most apparent symptom is anxiety. So yes, you would qualify for a service dog for anxiety! Service dogs need to be tasked trained or do work (such as seizure alert). It's very easy to task train a service dog, most of the time. Em is trained for over thirty tasks, though the general rule of thumb is three (there is no set limit on how few tasks you cana have, but three is a good start). Just having the dog there doesn't count as a task, though I fully recognize the theraputic benefits. There is NO certification required in the USA and most psychiatric service dogs are owner trained. The ADA protects full service dogs, you will have to look at your state laws for service dog in training laws. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have. I do apologize again if this post doesn't make a whole lot of sense...scatterbrained tonight!

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    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: Would it be possible to get a service dog for anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Julee and Embyr View Post
    It's late at night, so my apologies if I'm not being very clear, I will come back and re-read tomorrow.

    Keep FAR away from PSDS and their minions. Stick to IAADP.

    Well, I haven't introduced myself yet, so I guess this will be my first post! My name is Julee, I'm 16, and my owner trained psychiatric service dog is Embyr, she is three. I have schizophrenia and PTSD, and the most apparent symptom is anxiety. So yes, you would qualify for a service dog for anxiety! Service dogs need to be tasked trained or do work (such as seizure alert). It's very easy to task train a service dog, most of the time. Em is trained for over thirty tasks, though the general rule of thumb is three (there is no set limit on how few tasks you cana have, but three is a good start). Just having the dog there doesn't count as a task, though I fully recognize the theraputic benefits. There is NO certification required in the USA and most psychiatric service dogs are owner trained. The ADA protects full service dogs, you will have to look at your state laws for service dog in training laws. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have. I do apologize again if this post doesn't make a whole lot of sense...scatterbrained tonight!
    Can you explain the difference between PSDS and IAADP and why one is preferrable over the other (might help people make informed choices) Admittedly it is not my area of expertise, but I wanted to post something that in fact Psychiatric Service Dogs are service dogs, and may be certified as such. Thanks! And welcome.

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