Tasks: Psychiatric Service Dogs

The following are general tasks for psychiatric service dogs. This list may not be fully inclusive as each individual's needs may differ.


  • Bring Medication to Alleviate Symptoms
  • Bring a Beverage So Human Partner Can Swallow Medication
  • Bring The Emergency Phone During a Crisis
  • Answer the Doorbell
  • Call 911 or Suicide Hotline on K-9 Rescue Phone
  • Bring Help Indoors and Provide Speech Impairment Assistance
  • Summon Help from a Secretary, Co-worker or Supervisor
  • Dog can learn to carry a message to designated support person or relief person in an office or retail setting. Could also learn to bark to summon designated employee as prearranged.
  • Provide Balance Assistance on Stairs
  • Assist Person to Rise & Steady that Person
  • Balance Support to Ambulatory Partner
  • Respond to Smoke Alarm if Partner Unresponsive
  • Backpacking Medical Related Supplies / Information


  • Medication Reminder at Certain Time of Day
  • Speech Impairment Task Away from Home
  • Coping With the Medication Side Effect - Dry Mouth woes
  • Alert Sedated Partner to the Cry of Someone in Distress
  • Wake Sedated Partner, Alerting to Doorbell
  • Alert Sedated Partner to Smoke Alarm & Assist to Exit
  • Harness Work with Ambulatory Partner


  • Provide Tactile Stimulation to Disrupt the Overload
  • Break the Spell and/or Combat Sedative Side Effects
  • Wake up Human Partner for Work or School
  • Prevent or Combat Emotional Overload in Workplace
  • Providing an Excuse to Leave Upsetting Situation
  • Assist to Leave the Area by Finding Exit
  • Provide Deep Pressure for Calming Effect
  • Crowd Control, Panic Prevention In Public
  • Arouse From Fear Paralysis or Disassociation Spell


  • Coping with Fear of Hidden Intruders in the Home
  • Provide a Reality Check - Who’s There?
  • Call for Help in Advance
  • Lighting up Dark Rooms
  • Assist with Escape Strategies - Open Front Door
  • Fear Management In Public
  • Reducing Hyper-vigilance Through Teamwork
  • Keep Suspicious Strangers Away
  • Increase Safety in Public, at ATM with Equipment & Teamwork

For full descriptions of these tasks, visit the source: http://www.iaadp.org/psd_tasks.html

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