Psychiatric, Emotional Trauma, & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Assistance Dogs Specialized tasks taught focus on “invisible disability” issues such as PTSD, depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders, social phobias and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Tasks taught might include behavior, such as nudging when dissociative behavior begins, standing between the guardian and others when in public, turning on lights before entering a dark room, entering and searching a home before the guardian enters, grounding/interrupting panic attacks, waking guardian from nightmares, licking face of semi-conscious/unconscious guardian in order to rouse them, waking guardian, getting guardian out of bed, locating objects (keys, car, home, etc.) for those with memory issues, deep pressure therapy or interrupting repetitive and/or self-destructive behaviors.
Medical Assist or Medical Alert Dogs Medical alert dogs and medical assist dogs perform valuable tasks in response to symptoms or behaviors caused by a medical condition. This may include bringing a phone to their guardian so their guardian can call for help, staying by their side to minimize disorientation from a seizure, bark to alert someone to the guardian’s condition, and/or finding a spouse or other person to render assistance. Such dogs often naturally learn to warn or alert their guardian of an impending medical event such as a seizure. Similarly, diabetic alert dogs are taught to indicate changes in their guardian’s blood sugar levels.
Mobility Assistance The specialized tasks taught will focus on mobility issues. People with balance problems or dizziness can teach their dog to assist them by offering a steady and strong unmoving stance to lean on. Dogs can bring or carry guardian’s belongings, retrieve dropped items, turn on lights, open doors and drawers, assist with chores such as doing laundry or assist guardian when getting up, sitting down or lying down.