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Service Dogs

Helping people lead better lives

Canadian Service Dog Foundation (CSDF) specializes in psychiatric service dogs associated physical disabilities. Our primary focus is on dog selection, breeding protocol, puppy raising, and basic to advanced dog training (including the training of the dog to assist with symptoms associated with Operational Stress Injuries (such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and panic disorders, and severe depression). These conditions can be independent of one another or in some cases they will run together. Regardless, service dogs can be trained with a host of skills specially developed to support these sorts of conditions.  CSDF does not provide dogs directly to individuals.  We are however able to network between individuals, professionals, and other organizations hopefully simplifying your job in finding the right proffessional support person or organization.  Our intent is to remain the unbiased third party at the hub of this service dog process.  We are able to direct prospective handlers to trainers in their region.  We are able to provide training schools and organizations with lesson plans, manuals, consulting services, and specific training support.  We are also able to offer educational oprotunities via public speaking engagements, clinics, and seminars.

Definition?  "Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability... The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the handler's disability." Reference 28 CFR 36.104; (CFR = Code of Federal Regulations).

People and dogs working together to save lives. It is possible! There is hope! We can make it happen.

Please remember that our organization does not provide dogs directly to individuals.  We do however help individuals to find training professionals who in turn may be able to partner you with a trained dog in your area.  It is our hope that this approach will allow us to maintain our position as an unbiased third party organization.  Further to this we hope that this approach will simplify the process of locating a quality service dog or trainer to a functional minimum, ultimately allowing you to find a quality service dog in the most timely manner.

If you think a service dog may be an option for you please feel free to contact us directly. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have, provide you with a program information or point you in the direction of a training professional in your area.

Service Dog Tasks

Here is a list of skills or tasks that a psychiatric service dog can be trained to perform for the handler.  This is not a complete list and is only intended to give examples of how a service dog may be trained to support or mitigate symptoms of mental illness.  Given the diverse nature of psychiatric disabilities service dogs must be trained to meet the very specific needs of the individual disabled handler.  In reality the list of tasks that a service dog may be trained with in support of their handler is limited only by our imagination.  If there is a particular need then we will try to find the appropriate solution.  In addition to supporting psychiatric disabilities service dogs can also be trained to provide mobility support and tasks specific to the needs of someone living with a physical disability.

Psychiatric Support

  • Tactile stimulation to disrupt emotional overload
  • Break the spell and/or combat sedative effects
  • Wake partner for work or school
  • Provide deep pressure for calming effect
  • Crowd control, panic prevention in public
  • Arouse from fear paralysis or disassociation spell
  • Prevent or combat emotional overload
  • Get partner out of an upsetting situation
  • Assist partner to leave an area by finding an exit

During A Crisis

  • Respond to Smoke Alarm if partner is unresponsive
  • Bring medications and drink
  • Bring emergency phone during a crisis
  • Answer doorbell
  • Call 911 on rescue phone
  • Get or bring help
  • Speech impairment tasks
  • Provide balance assistance
  • Assist person to rise or steady themselves
  • Backpacking medical supplies & information

Fear Management

  • Reducing hyper-vigilance
  • Keep strangers away
  • Increase safety in public
  • Provide a reality check
  • Strategies with phone
  • Call for help in advance
  • Lighting up dark rooms
  • Assist with escape strategies

Treatment Related

  • Medication Reminder
  • Speech impairment tasks
  • Alert partner to cry of someone in distress
  • Alert partner to doorbell
  • Alert partner to smoke alarm & assist to exit
  • Harness work for ambulatory partner