STATE of MIND – Psychiatric Service Dogs (14)

Episode #14: Debra Sloss is joined by Rita & dog trainer Lori Katz to discuss the important roles that specially trained Psychiatric Service Dogs perform. These dogs help their owners with conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and severe anxiety. Trained in obedience and task performance, and working in distracting public environments, these dogs perform tasks that enable their handler to function in ordinary ways that the non-disabled person might take for granted. Rita shares her experience of having had a psychiatric service dog and of training dogs for herself and her son. Lori, a longtime dog trainer, helps us understand how these dogs are trained, the kinds of services they can provide, and where and how someone might go about training or obtaining a psychiatric service dog. Lori also clarifies the differences between the increasingly popular “emotional support animal” and a psychiatric service dog. Joining us for the interview are Rita’s service dog in training, Momo, and Lori’s dog, Chopa.