How can you not smile when you see these precious puppies? These little ones are being trained as service dogs. Service dogs have been helping disabled people for many, many years. These dogs have typically been trained by professional handlers to prepare them for the life of helping others. One thing that has always been apparent is that dogs have a way of making people happy.
Researchers have found that working with dogs can also have medical benefits.
“Studies have shown that working with a dog releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps lower stress and anxiety levels and is essential to bonding.” Patients with PTSD and TBI often have high stress and anxiety levels. The non-profit organization, Warrior Canine Connection has identified this connection and has started using PTSD and TBI wounded soldiers to train their service dogs.
The organization has received a grant to research the clinical benefits of this program. “To be able to find a treatment, to be able to see [wounded warriors] actually healing and return to normal functioning with something like training service dogs — without medicine — what a wonderful thing,” said Dr. Patty Deuster, a professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
“They’re using the one thing that makes this very unique, training a service dog for another wounded warrior, where they know they’re taking care of one of their own. They’re helping one of their buddies. There’s that incredible purpose and meaning.”
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