Dogs to help veterans

companion dogs If service dogs, or companion dogs, are usually trained to help disabled, or elderly, in the United States, some of them live with veterans .

These animals provide real support, a breath of oxygen and comfort to soldiers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is estimated that one in five veterans mobilized in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2011 suffer from this type of trauma, or severe depression.

A reassuring presence

And the presence of a dog by their side is truly beneficial , says Debra Schaser, the founder of the Canine Hearing Companions.

animals help veterans feel safer when they go out.

" Many of them are scared, and having a dog near them helps them feel better explains the one who has been training service dogs for almost twenty years.

Trained in recent years to support soldiers returning from mission, these dogs play a role of "buffer zone" in public places.

They also learn to wake their masters when they have nightmares. They are a reassuring and comforting presence for these traumatized men and women

A social bond to break the isolation

Many veterans have panic attacks, and the dogs help to calm down They extend on the breast of their master, and stay there until the crisis subsides.

For their size, temperament and sociability, the Golden Retrievers and Labradors Retrievers are ideal companions.

In addition to their soothing presence, service dogs are a link between their masters and the others .

They prevent their owners from locking themselves up in isolation. " If you have a golden retriever or a Labrador, people will interact with you as a social link to reduce isolation " says Rick Yount, a veteran with the Warrior Canine Connection program .

" Having a dog who is counting on you and caring for you is both a call for the" healing power of the human-animal bond "and the" warrior ethic "of never to leave anyone behind says Debra Schaser

The adoption of a dog via its foundation is charged 5000 dollars (4.000 euros approximately). An amount that may seem very high, but in fact it does not matter when it is known that the training of a service dog for people with PTSD costs between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000 .