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Service Dogs

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Psychiatric Service Dogs

My journey training Psychiatric Service Dogs really started in January 2010. A young woman contacted me for Level 1 training. Her dog excelled, and while he had some initial aggression issues, we were successful in eliminating the behavior. I realized just how much she needed her dog. This courageous survivor had been through horrific trauma and is a PTSD survivor, she suffers from both acute GAD and panic disorder, as well severe PTSD and other manic behaviors, such as picking and self-harm.

I have developed a method that successfully teaches dogs how to detect anxiety, panic and other conditions. Your dog can provide deep pressure while standing or if you’re on the ground. Your dog can be trained to block people from approaching you. Your dog can learn how to alert you to potential anxiety attacks and more. Our training is and always has been about the bond between dog and owner.

psychiatric dog training
service dog training


We train service dogs through our Psychiatric Service Dog Training Program, which we customize specifically for your needs. We know there are a lot of companies charging people tens of thousands of dollars for this work. We have done our very best to keep the prices as low as possible and be fair to you about what things really cost. I train several psychiatric service dogs a week. Please see our Instagram for more examples.

All Psychiatric Service Dog training comes with full on and off leash obedience. You will have a dog that is environmentally neutral and does not indicate to other dogs or people and is solely focused on you (Per ADA). A dog that can heel on or off leash and will come back when you call them. You can have the dog of your dreams and we can help you get there.

Psychiatric Service Dog Training Pricing

In home Psychiatric Service Dog programs, we can also do most of the work for you (we can do all the labor to train the dog except your practice part). We will need owners to participate in tasking. We will provide all DOT and Helping Hands access letters upon graduation.
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Additional FAQ

“A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to anxiety, or providing deep pressure comfort.

Service Animal Defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA. A service animal means any dog trained by its handler, to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

The psychiatric service dog has proper documentation from healthcare providers and is trained to an extremely high standard. Psychiatric service dogs are also federally protected for people with disabilities. Emotional support dogs are not allowed public access and have no federal protection.

We start with a behavior assessment. In this meeting we will determine if your dog is able to perform in the way you need. We will assess your dog’s trainability, perform leash and temperament tests, discuss tasking, and then create a custom plan for you are your dog to succeed.

A service dog is protected by federal laws to be allowed access to public places such as stores, restaurants, theatres, etc. (anywhere its handler is allowed access to). The laws not only protect the handler and service animal from being denied access to those places, but also protects business owners from unruly service animals and/or “fraudulent” service animals. A business owner has the right to deny access to a service animal and handler team if they pose a direct threat to the health and/or safety to the establishment’s patrons or display poor or unacceptable behaviors. Below is a list of basic rules that must be followed to maintain access rights:

  • – The ADA requires the service animal to be under the complete control of its handler. This could be achieved using a leash, harness, or other tether mechanism. However, in cases where either the handler is unable to hold a tether because of a disability or its use would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, the service animal must be under the handler’s control by some other means, such as voice control or hand signals.
  • – The service animal MUST be housebroken- urinating or defecating in public places that are not appropriate would-be grounds for removal of the team from the establishment.
  • – The service animal must be vaccinated and licensed according to local state and county laws. Some counties will waive the fee of licensing under certain circumstances for service animals.
  • – The handler is responsible for the care of the service animal’s needs. This means they are solely responsible for the feeding, watering, and cleaning up after the service animal in an establishment.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow for the proper behavior of a service animal:

  • – Follow the “4 on the floor” rule. For example: no jumping, standing up on hind legs, or being placed in shopping carts.
  • – Keep a quiet profile. In some cases, a service dog may be trained to bark for an alert, which is perfectly acceptable. However, it is unacceptable for the dog to uncontrollably bark, growl, or whine while in an establishment.
  • – Always maintain control of the service animal. Most service animals are trained to stay close to its handler (i.e., under a chair, bench, or table when the handler is sitting, next to or in front of the handler in a “sit” or “down” when the handler is standing stationary). Allowing the service animal to run around or away from its handler is unacceptable.

Another thing to note is the size of the service animal. In some circumstances, a service animal may need to maintain contact or closeness to the handler to detect an alert. In this case, a smaller service animal may be held by the handler instead of walking.

Yes, please inquire if you have breeders about which you are thinking.

Yes. There is no law that says you cannot.

We do not offer fully trained dogs currently.

No, not in WA state. Be sure to always check local and state laws.

No. WA State Law clearly defines a service animal as being “trained.” Training itself is not defined, and there is no requirement that the animal have a certain type of training, that the animal be certified, or that it be trained by a particular person or by a person having certification. Court cases have determined that the training needs to be more than obedience training or positive reinforcement that are given to family pets. A service animal must have training that sets it apart from a family pet; the service animal must be trained to engage in specific actions or tasks to assist its handler with a disability. This training requirement often eliminates “emotional support animals,” “therapy dogs,” and “comfort animals” from the definition of service animal. Before determining that an animal falls into one of these categories and excluding the animal, an inquiry should be made into what the animal is trained to do. However, if you are in a housing situation, federal law applies, because it has a more expansive definition that looks upon certain animals as reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, with no training requirement.

No. You must choose a dog that is breed for cooperation, calm and eager to please. That is also a reasonable size for your needs.

We prefer you choose a dog by temperament, size and working abilities.

Therapy dogs are used in hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort and joy to those in need. They have no service dog rights.

Tasks or tasking is what your dog is trained to do to mitigate and aid in your disability. We see many service dogs may alert to incoming headaches or seizures, and some may push a button or stand in front of a handler for safety.

As a matter of practicality no. But this is best discussed with your Vet. A female in heat could cause you to be disqualified if you took the dog in public this way.

We ask clients to give us the letter from their psychiatrist or doctor listing that they are disabled. The letter should also provide the tasking being trained for, Once the dog has successfully completed the program we will letter from your professional is also needed in conjunction with our letter to fly.

We do not offer any testing for this as a service dog in training is not legal to be in public access. However, you can go to many dog friendly stores and airports and practice this on your own. There is not a federally recognized official certification needed or offered by Nitro K-9 LLC.

Yes, the training must be complete and be successful. However, some airlines have a service dog in training programs. We are happy to write you a letter to participate in those programs if your dog is temperamentally ready and trained well enough to cause no harm or public disturbance.

Yes. But we do not recommend this. Too many dogs have consumed medications and died.

No. You must lead your dog, your dog cannot lead you.

Yes. This is also extremely popular. Ask me how we go about this.

No. Your dog must be a service animal and allowing them to play with other dogs will increase your dog’s anxiety and focus on you.

No. You must be invisible in public.

Yes and No. This one is more complicated. In the employment setting, employers may be obligated to permit employees to bring their “service animal in training” into the workplace as a reasonable accommodation, especially if the animal is being trained to assist the employee with work-related tasks. The untrained animal may be excluded, however, if it becomes a workplace disruption or causes an undue hardship in the workplace.

Students with disabilities in public schools (K-12) are covered by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Title II of the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students with disabilities in public postsecondary education are covered by Title II and Section 504. Title III of the ADA applies to private schools (K-12 and post-secondary) that are not operated by religious entities. Private schools that receive federal funding are also covered by Section 504.

That depends. Please read below:

Title II of the ADA applies to public transportation while Title III of the ADA applies to transportation provided by private entities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to federal entities and recipients of federal funding that provide transportation.

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) covers airlines. Its regulations clarify what animals are accepted as service animals and explain how each type of animal should be treated.

ACAA complaints may be submitted to the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 800-778-4838 (voice) or 800- 455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. Air travelers who would like the Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate a complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in writing or via e-mail to:

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Attn: C-75-D
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

For additional information and questions about your rights under any of these laws, contact your regional ADA center at 800-949-4232 (voice/TTY).

Yes. This requires extremely specific training. Please inquire to learn more how Nitro does this for people.

Yes. “A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

We can in many instances yes.

Our owner and founder Steve Walter has a deep respect and empathy for survivors. In his career, Steve has worked with hundreds of rape victims, battered women, and survivors of countless tragedies. He routinely trains dogs for police officers and soldiers, and firefighters. Steve, being a survivor himself, understands just how critical these dogs are for the people that need them. You can count on Steve. Steve has developed a method of training specifically for psychiatric service dogs that is changing countless lives for the better. Nitro K-9 LLC service dog graduates can fly with their dogs, enjoy public access, and keep their dogs with them when it really matters. Our training is fair in cost and effective.

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Please note that there is no financial obligation until we meet in person for an evaluation. A 15% discount is offered for cash payments or Zelle. A 10% discount is offered for teachers, first responders, and military members. No offers can be combined. All information is SSL encrypted. Your personal and private information are secure and we promise to never disclose identities or behavioral issues unless faced with a court order.

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