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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I was searching around for information on finding and having a dog for anxiety support when I stumbled across this forum. So, I figured I would come by and ask for advice.

I have some pretty severe anxiety, OCD, and panic issues, but I have always found that animals in general help ground me and get me past acute episodes. I am not looking to find a dog who can go with me to work or go with me to stores, etc., but rather for an emotional support dog who maybe is trained in things like deep pressure stimulation (which really helps me very much). Maybe a dog who is just...more aware of a person's mood and can sense when my anxiety or OCD have taken over and can alert me to that. I know it sounds weird that I'd want to be alerted, but sometimes I have a very difficult time recognizing when I'm in an anxious state of mind or about to have a panic attack.

Does anyone know of any resources I could look into? I do not currently own a dog, and this idea is one for the future. At the moment, I'm just looking for resources, things I can study, maybe an organization I can talk to to find out the steps I'd need to take down the road.

Thank you very much!
 

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I don't know any specific resources, but I have Panic Disorder and a bit of OCD myself. To be honest my dogs don't give 2 hoots whether I'm having a panic attack or not, lol. Actually, I could probably have a seizure or be shot in the face and they wouldn't notice either. So if you're looking for an attuned service dog... stay away from hounds and hound mixes! :)

There are some folks on here with service dogs that might have more feedback for you--Good luck in your search!

Jen
 

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I have Panic Disorder, as well. My dogs are very conscious of my state of mind. They aren't therapy dogs or anything, BUT, I DO feel sooo much better when they sense something is wrong and hop up on my lap. It is SOOO comforting. :)
 

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Can't help with facts... but socialized Labs, Pits, and Rotts are big, tough, sweet dogs that tolerate hugging very well.
 

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I don't know of resources, and don't know about animals that will 'alert' to a panic attack. I'm actually posting to mark this post as I'm interested as well if there are resources.

I have OCD and a slight difficulty with panic and panic attacks. My son is severely affected. The dogs we have were chosen with him in mind and he gets great comfort from our mixed Spaniels here. They help him decompress. They do the same for me, but moreso with him. We'd be much different people without them in our lives.

His best relationship currently is with a Tibetan Spaniel - which is on loan to him while the owner is in for a long hospital stay (hopefully with recovery) but I don't know if 'breed' is incredibly important. Knowing your needs is. We need dogs that are affectionately interactive but also mostly just like to hang out without being demanding. I find the worst matches for him and I have been demanding dogs - too needy or too active both are not matches here.

SOB
 

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I have a Whippet psychiatric service dog (currently 14.5 years old) and a Whippet pup with the same future :) I would also highly enjoy using a racing Greyhound as a service dog, and if my new Whippet washes out (I will keep him as a pet regardless) that will be my next choice. Whippets are such keen, one person, intuitive and intellectual dogs, they are naturals for mental illness support.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey everyone, I just wanted to post an update. While I do not think that this particular organization is for me (because my anxiety and OCD does not elevate to the level of a disability), I thought I would pass the info on in case anyone else was interested or in case anyone ever comes back and asks a similar question!

Here is an organization that I found in my search that trains Mental Health Assistance Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs, Skilled Companion Dogs, and Emotional Support Dogs:

http://www.mentalhealthdogs.org/default.html

These dogs help people with psychological, neurological and developmental impairments such as, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depressive and Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, and Tourette Syndrome.

I really like this organization based on my reading and research, but I personally feel like my anxiety just isn't bad enough for me to reach out to them. Though, I am going to speak to my therapist about her opinion.
 
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