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Working from Home


Before you start training, identify the task(s) you need your dog to perform to assist you. 

For example, your dog could do one or more of the following:

  • Prevent or disrupt panic attacks

  • Become a barrier between you and the public in crowds or fearful social situations

  • Intervene during emotional or sensation overload

  • Rouse you if you're depressed and retrieve medication
    or alert you at medication time

  • Wake you if you're having night terrors

  • Search your home or turn on lights to alleviate symptoms of hypervigilance

  • Guide you during a dissociative episode

  • Ground you during a flashback

  • Provide deep pressure therapy

  • and/or many other tasks. 

What actions can a dog be trained to take to mitigate debilitating anxiety or depression?

Here are some examples. A dog could be trained to:

  • nudge or lick you when it senses quicker, shallow breathing or mood change

  • jump up on your lap during a panic attack to disrupt it

  • retrieve objects or medication for you if you have debilitating depression

  • apply deep pressure therapy by lying on your  chest or abdomen to assist during a PTSD episode

  • wear a harness and steady you if you have vertigo or other mobility/balance issues 

  • and/or many other actions

See also "Service Dog Tasks for
Psychiatric Disabilities"
by Jane Froling

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