The mission of PTSD Dogs and Tags of Wyoming is to assist people suffering from PTSD/TBI. We are committed to finding and training dogs for companionship and support for PTSD/ TBI victims in their daily living. Dogs & Tags goal is to work alongside therapists to ensure all needs are met, so that the individual and their dog may be successful.
The use of service dogs as a form of therapy for individuals living with PTSD, especially for veterans, is becoming increasingly common. A service dog is at a veteran’s side 24 hours a day to help navigate daily stressors. Some animals come to the veteran pre-trained with a set of commands, while others are trained by the owners themselves. Over time, an owner can rely upon the dog’s instincts for a reality check, giving their brain a break from hypervigilance. The animals can also serve as a social buffer, an incentive to exercise and a de-escalation tool during times of stress.
Paula Cooke presents a unique blend of education and certification that makes her highly qualified to govern this venture. Paula is certified as a Master Dog Trainer by the Southern Star Ranch in Florence, Texas. The Southern Star Ranch was founded by Wayne Booth, a well-known trainer of obedience and scent detection dogs. As a Master Dog Trainer, Paula is well-schooled in scent detection training (narcotics, arson, tracking, search and rescue, bed bug, and termite). She has been a Master Dog Trainer for the past four years and owns her training business and the facility. Paula has attended numerous workshops and training classes, one of them being a workshop with Paws and Stripes in New Mexico, a well-known non-profit PTSD Dog Training School. Before becoming a Master Dog Trainer, Paula was involved with the area animal shelter both as a Behaviorist and an Animal Control Officer.
Our service dog training includes such components as training service dogs for individuals with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and ambulatory issues. The following is a sampling of tasks that we train service dogs to perform: turn lights off and on; pick up dropped objects; alert to an alarm: find help when their person becomes incapacitated; remind their person to take medication(s); brace to assist going up and down stairs; reduce the anxiety of their person with PTSD; distract their person with emotional or psychiatric challenges when s/he becomes anxious or engages in other behaviors related to their disability, etc. We offer assistance with owner-trained animals, educational programs such as how to choose a service dog, the integration of the service dog into the family, the financial costs of service dog ownership, the service dog lifestyle, the regulations surrounding service dogs in public/work settings, vest etiquette, and service dog certification.
Training begins with in-facility training as well as home-based instruction, progressing to public access services. We will have referral relationships with other specialists and agencies for counseling or psychiatric assistance to identify a client’s needs. We will participate in federal and state reimbursement or subsidy programs. We offer the value-added service of pickup and delivery transportation. We provide the service dog training certifications/registrations/etc. PTSD/TBI Dogs and Tags of Wyoming uses the latest reward-based training concept of clicker training.