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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9444
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have agoraphobia and panic disorder, SSDI years, very

Customer Question

I have agoraphobia and panic disorder, SSDI for 25 years, very crippling, and would like to have my dog help me improve my quality of life in any way possible. My biggest goal would be to leave the house alone (well, with dog) and just run errands or something like a normal person, even a little. I want her to feel safe with me and vice versa. She is a 5 month old labradoodle and we have been doing basic obedience puppy classes. Is it possible to have her eventually certified with anything allowing her to be with me everywhere? I would love to fly again!!! What steps can I take? Is there guidance for this sort of thing? Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for requesting me. It is possible to train your own assistance dog, however it would take years to do. Continue on the path you are going now with classes, obtain the highest class possible , don't stop as puppy class. Get you Canine Good Citizen test done. From there you will need to find someone to give you a public access test. As for going on a plane , that is something that has to be practiced with the dog and you will need access to a plane. Your dog has to be put in every situation it can be put in, so it becomes the norm for the dog. I have written an article on this, and I will post it below as this site will not allow me to give personal websites or information. My fear for you though is that you will not be able to take the dog to a variety of places to get him used to all types of sights,sounds, and people. The dog should have a temperament test done now before you put all your effort into it because if the temperament is off the dog would not pass the public access test.

There are places, that for a few years raise and train puppies, once trained , if you are on the list of approved people that needs a dog to help you, you can get one of those dogs. The cost is minimal because the puppy raisers are volunteers, so it costs the organizations little to have the dog trained. Sometimes all they want the recipient to pay for is the equipment needed to adapt the dog for them.

That may be a better fit for you.

I know of one in PA and two in MN

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