ADHD psychiatric service dog?

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Graciella- Louisa- (Gracie)

OCD- Occupational- Companion Dog
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 4:33pm PST 
I know that in some cases ADHD is bad enough that a psychiatric service dog is very benifitial. I've heard that they can be tought to remind people of things, and obviously calm them down when they become enraged or extremely hyper. What else could they be trained to do to help a person with ADHD?

Does anyone have a psychiatric service dog specifically trained to help with their ADHD needs or does your dog do something that could also benifit a person with ADHD?

Note: I understand that you must be legally disabled to have a service dog, but some people with ADHD are legally disabled.

the blessing- from heaven.
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 5:18pm PST 
Yes, just like you said been legally disabled and having a properly trained dog are the two essentials to having a service dog. As long as the person who has ADHD has it to the point where it is considered disabling I don't see why not. It's important to have some documentation in case you may need to go to court and prove your service dog is a service dog. Also, even if you have a disability, the dog is not considered a service dog and not protected under ADA until it has been trained (or is in the process of being trained for those of you that have SDITs) to perform at least one task that mitigates your disability. So what does that mean? Basically:

1) you must have a disability defined by ADA and what is considered a disability

2) your service dog must be trained to behave properly to behave in public and as a service dog (service dog etiquette)

3) You have to train your potential service dog to perform at least one task that helps mitigate your disability (so that task has to be related to your ADHD and not just overall symptoms of ADHD).

I believe (if I'm not mistaken) that ADHD is a type of invisible illness. I'm not sure what specfically your SD would been catagorzied under but I think he/she would also be a type of PSD. Either way, I recommend that you check out psychdog.org

That website has a FAQ section and training section and plenty of information and examples of tasks. The tasks list doesn't currently have any tasks for ADHD however you can use their tasks list to make a similar one that relates to (you or the person that has the disability) ADHD.

Here are some good links to start with. The PSD life style page is good to look at too. It gives you a good idea what living with a SD is like.

http://psychdog.org/life style.html
http://psychdog.org/faq. html

Hope this helps..feel free to message me or post more questions if you have more questions smile

the blessing- from heaven.
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 5:25pm PST 
In terms of tasks it seems like the major struggle for those who have ADHD is being unable to focus/work or talk about something consistantly without switching to something else. A example task list could be:

Fidgeting --> have your SD alert you when you start doing so

Walking around restlessly ---> have your SD alert you when you are aimlessly walking around

Forgetfulness --> If you forget to take medication or to eat then try train your SD to bring your medications at certain times of the day or alert you when you set your alarm off for meals.

I hope this helps a little.

Graciella- Louisa- (Gracie)

OCD- Occupational- Companion Dog
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 5:43pm PST 
Thanks guys, and yes ADHD is an invisible disability. Thank you for your ideas, and to the person above me who recommended things that an ADHD dog could do, thanks alot!!! those are really a few of the things i would need a dog to do.

Now can anyone help me train my dog to do those things?
These include:
Noticing when i'm fidgiting or walking amlessly,
and bringing me medication and reminding me to eat.

the blessing- from heaven.
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 6:01pm PST 
Your best bet would to find a professional trainer but I recommend training your service dog yourself in addition with help from a professional trainer. If both of you are training your SD your SD can establish a better bond with you while training.

For training alerts this is what i recommend:


1) Train your dog to retrieve an object (in this case your medication container) and drop into your hands use a verbal cue such as " ( Dog's name) Meds. or get medication! and reward your SD every time he shows interest such as nosing,sniffing or bringing the medication to you until you have gotten him/her to complete the task.

2) Once your dog has mastered the idea of fetching your medication give yoru dog a treat the same time you need your medication. I've learned from my own question I posted that dogs have amazing internal clocks and that if you get your SD use to recieving a treat the same time everyday that they'll come and bug you at that time of day if you don't give them their treat. When they bug you this would be your reminder to give them the verbal cue to retrieve the medication (in Step 1) and reward your dog for completing the task.

Aimless walking

1) practice walking around and fidgeting (even when your not naturally doing it) and call your dog over to you and praise him/her for coming over. After a while fade the verbal cue and move to another place with your dog. Sit down and do something then start pacing and fidgeting eventually your dog should associate your fidgeting as a signal of you wanting your SD to come over to you. This one is easier in my opinion, your dog just needs to be able to recognize your body language without a verbal cue after training. Always praise your dog when they come to you while you are fidgeting during training, this way your SD will associate coming over to you during fidgeting as a positive thing and something they will want to help you with.

Hope this helps. Hopefully another member of the forums will post and help as well.

Is there anything I missed that you wanted to know speficially about doing these taks?

Mom's Left Hand- Man - I'm ready are- you?
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 6:08pm PST 
I helped hubby train his dog to remind him to take his meds on time. I started by setting the alarm clock to go off at the time needed. Then, when the alarm went off, I handed hubby the treat and he gave the dog a cookie. Each time it went off, another cookie. All were done at the same time of day, though I know others that vary the time and just go by the sound of the clock going off...anyway, after about two weeks, the dog would start nosing hubby to wake him up to take his meds and get the cookie.

It worked well enough that even without the alarm clock, the dog knew the time of day and that he should get his treat as soon as the meds were taken. Hubby was even able to go camping with a group of men and they saw the dog start nosing him at various times of day and asked hubby about the dog. One man from a foreign country offered hubby $1000.00 for the dog, but of course he refused. Later, we wished he'd accepted because the dog showed some traits that were not SD acceptable and we had to rehome him, but he did do a great job of reminding hubby of med times. LOL

Come to think of it, I should train Brycone to remind me to take MY meds! I am always forgetting to take them on time...Thanks~~~

Hope that helps with some of the training. Blessings,

the blessing- from heaven.
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 6:08pm PST 
Oops I missed that you wanted were needing help for reminding to eat. I struggle with an eating problem and often forget to drink water and to eat meals.. sometimes I go as long as 2-3 days without anything to eat or drink. This is something you can try :

1) Teach your dog a type of alert such as pawing your hand, knee or getting your attention. Tape a piece of duct tape on your knee and say (Dog's name) Touch! and point to the piece of tape. When your dog touches that piece of tape with their nose or paw reward them each time.

2) After your dog has mastered touching, set off an alarm and stop the alarm and give the command touch. Do this several times and on the fifth time, set off the alarm and point to the piece of tape but do not use the verbal cue ("Touch" in this example). Repeat until your SD associates the alarm noise to the command touch.

3) once your SD has mastered both of these steps, set three alarms and your dog will perform the command "Touch" when he/she hears the alarm. The touch task should remind you to eat. If you need a bigger alert you can train your dog to place both paws on your knees or to keep pawing your arm until you pay attention usually the nosing my knee thing is enough to remind me to eat.

Hope this helps!

the blessing- from heaven.
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 6:11pm PST 
This video is a great example of how to teach your dog an alert start witht he one way alert first and then proceed to the two way alert.

One Way Alert:

Two Way alert (train your dog to alert to a specific sound):

Hope this helps
Scruffy- Personal Super Dog

Personal Super- Dog
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 6:29pm PST 
Gracie- As far as the fidgeting, i have Panic Attacks that start off with me tapping usually when I am driving. I am sure there is a difference Scruffy senses too. Every time I felt the start of a Panic Attack or Anxiety Attack I called him and rubbed his head. Now he knows and will push my hand with his nose until I redirect and start petting him.

Teaching him when to take my meds was pretty easy. During a few good days I gave him a cookie every time I took my meds. It did not take long. I have a bag that I keep my meds in. I put treats in there. I say Scruffy go get my medicine bag. He brings them to me I give him a treat.

He is food and positive reinforcement motivated. The only time I tell him NO is when he is doing something that is basic skills, otherwise it is whoops. I think that helps too. He think it is a trick rather than support. I make it fun he tries to do well.
Harley, SD,- CGC, TDI

Super Service- Boy!
Barked: Mon Nov 22, '10 7:10pm PST 
Also, remember that it has to be disabling under the ADA, and that there are different definitions of disabled, and that something that meets one definition may not meet another. For example, ADHD is normally disabling under IDEA (as are many other learning disabilities) but is normally not under the ADA. It would be the very RARE case that ADHD would be ADA disabling.

I'm not saying it can't be, as I'm sure it can be. But, we have a lot of lurkers that don't post, so I wanted to make sure people realized that there are different definitions of disabled and they don't all qualify one for a service dog.
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