New PTSD service and emotional support dog study underway

A study to be done by the Department of Veterans Affairs will examine the potential benefits of a service dog for vets suffering from PTSD. (Photo credit: Department of Defense/Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

With the increase in military veterans returning with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a new study is underway to see if service dogs or emotional support dogs can help.

Canine Companions for Independence, an assistance dog organization, has been chosen as a contractor to furnish dogs for a study to be performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine the potential benefits of canine support for veterans with PTSD.

“Canine Companions is always at the forefront of canine assistance and therapy,” said Paul Mundell, director of canine programs at Canine Companions. “This study is an opportunity to support our Veterans and provide insight into the potential benefits of a highly trained assistance dog for individuals living with PTSD.

Non-profit Canine Companions will be training PTSD service dogs to complete five specific tasks that will potentially help Veterans with PTSD, in addition to public access and obedience training. Canine Companions will also be training emotional support dogs for the same purpose.

Canine Companions for Independence has been pairing assistance dogs with people with physical disabilities since 1975. With five training centers across the country, they’ve placed over 4,500 assistance dogs to serve children, adults, and veterans with disabilities. Canine Companions has placed assistance dogs with over 100 wounded or disabled veterans through its Wounded Veterans Initiative.

To learn more about Canine Companions visit their website or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Sources: Canine Companions for Independence