Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Service Dogs and the Wounded Warrior (Part 2)

Veterans returning from conflict can have a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs that service dogs are trained to help mitigate. Common physical challenges include hearing loss, blindness, trouble with balance, missing limbs, and use of a wheelchair or other mobility device. Mental and emotional health issues include anger and irritability, anxiety ( especially in public places ), trouble sleeping, depression, and extreme startle response to sudden noise or movement.

Service dogs can be trained to retrieve items for the veteran, turn lights on and off, alert the veteran to a ringing phone or doorbell, act as a platform for balance, and walk beside a wheelchair. Dogs can also be taught to provide a barrier between the veteran and anyone who approaches (to ensure a comfortable physical space) and check around corners and assure the veteran that the space is “clear”.

The combination of physical and mental/emotional support that the dog provides 24 hours a day can help the veteran return to work, school, family, and public life. The presence of a dog with the veteran is often helpful in encouraging conversation and social contact and reducing isolation. offers a service dog patch specifically for the service dog working to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.

Several training schools exist specifically for training service dogs to assist veterans, links to some are below.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Service Dogs and the Wounded Warrior (Part 1)

August 19th marked the end of American combat operations in Iraq. 50,000 troops remain in that country and an increasing number are being deployed to Afghanistan, where the American troop presence is expected to reach 100,000 by the end of summer. Many of our soldiers have served multiple tours of duty, some in both countries.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been notable for the remarkable survival rate among wounded soldiers. The advances in trauma care have made injuries meaning certain death in previous conflicts treatable. However, many of these soldiers are returning to civilian life with physical, mental, and emotional health issues never seen before on such a grand scale: multiple prostheses, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

Service dogs are now being trained specifically for the wounded war veteran population. In our next post, we will look into some of the specialized skills that these dogs are learning.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I would like to introduce a new informational website where you can learn about the different styles and uses of service dog vests available on the market.

At you will find service dog vests, vest accessories, and service dog supplies information.

There are plenty of service dogs wearing their vests in photos. We hope you will find this information helpful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Celebrating National Assistance Dog Week!

In recognition of National Assistance Dog Week, will be offering 10% off on orders of $40 or more. Please use the discount code adogweek during check out. This code is valid August 8-14, 2010. Remember to look for NADW events in your area!