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Service/ Guide & Therapy Dog Training, Basic through Advanced Canine Obedience, Specialty Programs & Problem Solving

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What is a Psychiatric Assistance Dog (PSD)??

 PSD's are specially trained dogs who perform individually trained skill tasks to assist partners who suffer from a variety of psychiatric disabilities.  These are disabilities that are invisible and often overlooked, but can be just as disabling as a physical disability to those who are affected.  Examples include: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc. 

PSD's perform PHYSICAL skill tasks for their partners, are considered service animals and are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act- therefore, are granted public access.

"I have depression, and I love my dog.  He makes me feel more comfortable when I go into public.  Doesn't that make him a service dog?  Don't we qualify for public access??? "

NO!  Unless your dog is trained to perform individual skill tasks that mitigate your specific disability, THIS IS NOT A SERVICE ANIMAL.  This is considered an "Emotional Support Animal (ESA)" and is granted NO public access rights by ADA.   ESA's are only granted access to housing and travel with a proper note from a medical provider and the correct documentation.  No specialized training is required.  Paws In Hand does not provide services to those looking for ESA's.



The application is the same for any of our service dogs, contact us for an application.  Fill it out and return it with the medical form completed by your health care provider.  After this step, we require that all PSD applicants come to Texas and spend ***2 full days*** working with us and a dog assigned by our staff.   Time will be spent caring for, grooming, feeding, walking, training, learning, practicing public access, and all required cares.  After this period, we will discuss challenges, highlights, and concerns with the applicant. We want to ensure that all of our clients are successful, and this process gives us and our applicants an opportunity to decide if a service dog will be helpful to their situation.  This also gives our staff time to get to know our clients, ensuring the best match possible when searching for their future partner.


*** This 2 day training ONLY applies if the applicant requires NO mobility/ physical disability mitigating tasks.  Those looking for dogs trained to provide BOTH PHYSICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC SUPPORT  will not be required to go through this training.***

The Placement Process

Placement for a PSD requires 1-2 weeks of training time, directly with our staff.  We will work at the client's pace to ensure their success.  Placement can be done in the client's home and environment to decrease stress and to help incorporate the dog into their daily lives.  If desired, we can also do placements through our facility in Texas.  With this option, client's will stay at a hotel of their choice, and our trainers will travel to that location.  We will work through individual training in their hotel room and public access outings in surrounding areas.  By the end of this process, our clients will have the tools and training that they need to be successful.  They will pass both a team and public access test and meet/ exceed all of the training access standards set forth by Assistance Dogs International.


This is all about TEAMWORK!  Once we hand over the leash, you are not alone!  We are available to our clients for assistance any time!!  We want to know about issues right away, before they get worse.  We work together to solve the little things in order to prevent the big problems from happening.  We are a TEAM from the moment you take possession of your service dog, and as a team, we work together to ensure your success!