PTSD or Service Dogs – Do You Need Them?

October 2, 2023
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Service dog in training

Dogs have been part of the family for centuries, but their roles have changed over time. In the past, dogs were primarily used for hunting and working, but today, they are most commonly known as loyal companions.

As our relationships with dogs have evolved, so has the dog training industry. In the past, dog training was primarily focused on obedience, but today, there is a growing demand for specialised services, such as assistance or service dogs.

Assistance dogs are trained to provide a high level of security for their owners. This type of training is not for every dog or owner, but for those who are interested, it can be a life-changing experience.

In this blog post, we will hear from some of our success stories:

ptsd service dog uk

From Craig –

My names Craig, I served in the armed forces and deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. During active duty I faced many challenges one of them being hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) whilst on patrol. On returning to the home to the UK I was diagnosed with PTSD after my family had raised concerns and noticed a significant change in me and my mental health. following this diagnosis I was then shortly discharged in 2016 with no following support to see me through the transition into civilian life or help with my mental health.

Since I was diagnosed I have battled my mental health for 10 years now but have tried to run away from my fears by surrounding my self in high intensity jobs. I’ve successfully completed 7 years front line for the Ambulance service and most recently completed 2 years with the fire service. But it hasn’t been an easy road with a lot of ups but manly downs. I have had numerous admissions to hospitals and mental health services along the way. But every time the system has let me down and had to “man up” and carry on gradually worsening year by year.

Over the past few months I have been through a breakup with my ex partner and our 2 kids due to my mental health. This meant leaving the family home, this along with worsening symptoms of my PTSD that I’ve never dealt with or accepted at this point lead myself heading down hill rapidly with NO future, NO hope, and a dark place with NO way out.

With NO way out this is when I sadly attempting to take my own life. Due to this I received 17 stitches and glue to my fore arm and was also admitted to hospital under a mental health section. I spent 9 weeks in hospital 4 weeks of those 9 weeks being on a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) due to the severity of my mental health.

Following my discharge from hospital I have now been diagnosed with complex PTSD, personality disorder, adjustment disorder and a the potential of ADHD that can not be diagnosed yet due to my current mental health and the severity of the conditions. I am currently going through the process of preparing and building foundations for intense psychotherapy with a long journey and road ahead to recovery.

This has now lead me to a place where I am now in supported living in the community and has surfaced further problems. Since being alone in the community
I have found that I’m unable to now complete simple every day tasks that I used to take for granted for example going shopping, due to my mind being hyper vigilant and my mental health drastically turning for the worse. My mental health is now impacting so severally on my life to the point where I now can not leave my own flat due pure fear and panic. I have been on various different medications to try help with this with no success and ultimately leading me to being trapped in my own home. This has put additional stress on my family and they now have to support me by doing the simple things in life that I can not face anymore, putting even more pressure on them and friends to just get by. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse my mental health has taken hold of my life and has affected every one and thing around me, I’ve lost family, friends, relationships and even my jobs due to my mental health and don’t see away out yet again never mind a future and the feeling of being back to square one with no light at the end of the tunnel.

This is where my beloved German Shepard and best friend max comes in. Max is now 4 years old, I brought with the intention of helping me get out the house and help with my mental health. However unfortunately max was sadly attacked at 6months old by another dog one dark evening on Halloween. This lead max to becoming highly reactive to over dogs and now sadly means I’m unable to walk him in public. I have tried several trainers over the years and got no help or was unable to find anyone who could train max, this very almost lead me to re-homing max and would mean saying bye to my beloved friend that felt I had failed.

I reached out to the team at one to one dog traning school in desperation to try and help me keep my best friend and regain that bond I felt I lost with max as I felt guilty and like I let him down and knew he deserved better. Rob and the team was so supportive from the moment I spoke with them and offered support not just for max but for my own personal mental health issues and was more than happy to take my self and max on board. Rob and his team have gone above and beyond to train max to the highest of standards, not only in obedience, but as a support dog, and fully trained PTSD dog, that now recognises when a shift in my mood is happening or a panic attack is Imminent. Due to the dedication and passion Rob and his team have put in with max and my self he is now able to pick up on signs of stress, before I even recognise it myself, this has been absolutely life changing and Now this has allowed me to regain control of my life again. I can now do the simple tasks that seemed impossible and I dreaded not so long ago, but now with max and his new set of skills by my side every step of the way nothing seems impossible and I can see a bright future for me and max.

I can not thank rob and his team they Have not just supported me through the training of max but have supported myself through my mental health journey that I am on.

One to one dog training Have given me not only a best friend that’s always there in the time of need, but they have given me and max our life back and I now see a future for my self with my best friend max by my side every step of the way.

Genuinely can not thank or recommend Rob and his team enough and will always be thankful for truly saving our life’s !

From Rosie’s new mum –

I was diagnosed with complex PTSD in 2022. I found myself becoming increasingly reclusive, and unable to visit shops or go into any crowded space- the school run became a challenge. My psychologist recommended that I enquire about an assistance dog to help with the anxiety and flashbacks. On doing some research, I found one to one dog training. I spoke to Rob at length on the phone and in person about my requirements and the issues I face. He invited me down multiple times to view his training sessions and meet some prospective dogs. Rob suggested Rosie, and we have been inseparable since. Since she’s been with me, you can see the amount of work has gone into training her. She knows when I’m anxious or worried and is always glued to my side; and gets on brilliantly with my elderly Labrador. Rob has rung daily to check all is well. And is always on the end of the phone if I need advice or support. In the last week, Rosie has allowed me to get to the local shop and to feel safe to go outside again. Rob has had experience with PTSD and you can tell by his gentle approach to us humans, and his care and attention he gives to the dogs.

From Dave’s potential new dad –

I have been diagnosed with PTSD since January 2022 and my life has changed drastically. I no longer feel safe in my own home, cannot walk outside and struggle with day to day living. As for crowded places a huge no!
I decided I needed to get my life back and searched for PTSD assistance dogs. I contacted One to One and Rob called me the next day. It helps so much to talk to someone who understands the condition and the individual needs that people have.
Meeting Dave for the first time made me feel calm straight away. I could see a positive future. I was smiling and felt emotion which is something I lack in.
First training session under my hat and walking with Dave by my side filled me with hope. You can see how much training has already taken place before the dogs come into our lives.
Rob and his team work hard with passion and commitment to train the dogs. Rob travels around the country to continue the training so people like me can regain confidence and normality in their everyday lives.
Definitely an unsung hero!!!!

Purchasing an Assistance Dog

If you’re considering purchasing an assistance dog, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. First and foremost, you’ll need to decide what type of dog is right for you. There are many different breeds of assistance dogs, each with its own unique skills and abilities. You’ll also need to consider what level of training your dog will need. Some assistance dogs are bred and trained specifically for this purpose, while others may just need some basic obedience training. Another important consideration is what you’ll need to do to keep your assistance dog happy and healthy. This includes providing them with proper nutrition, exercise, and socialisation. Assistance dogs can be a big commitment, but if you’re willing to put in the work, they can be a great addition to your family. Here at One to One Dog Training School, we will find the right fit for you and your family.

Our services include residential dog training, one-to-one dog training, Assistance dog training, family protection dog training, domestic violence victim support dog training, PTSD dog training and service dog training.

From time to time, we also offer fully-trained dogs. Check our available dogs for sale.

Address: 5 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AN.
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