Most people are familiar with the fact that there are guide dogs that help the visually impaired and service dogs that help veterans who are struggling with PTSD. But did you know that there are also service dogs that are specifically trained to combat depression?
Kristen Kotselidis, a professional dog trainer, not only has years of experience training service dogs, but she also uses one to help manage her own mental health.
Diesel Responds To His Mom’s Cues
Diesel, a one-year-old American Bully, uses more than just his sweet face and playful personality to help his mom manage her depression. By reading her body language, Diesel is able to recognize the signs of stress and anxiety, and will react accordingly. He may nudge her with his nose, block strangers from approaching, help her get her up if she’s lying down for too long, along with other things.
Diesel offers Kristen comfort and helps her be far less stressed. She finds herself feeling much more capable with Diesel by her side.
Dogs Offer A Sense Of Purpose
Not only does Diesel react to his mom’s cues, but dogs can be a terrific asset to the life of someone who has depression. They offer a sense of purpose. There’s nothing that gets you moving like needing to take your dog outside to do their business.
Plus, they offer unconditional love, no matter what you’re feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’ve showered, are wearing the same clothes for days on end, or don’t have the energy to do anything but pet them. Dogs are faithful companions who love you exactly as you are.
The American Bully
The American Bully is a relatively new breed that originated in the United States between 1980 and 1990. They are especially suited to be service dogs, as they were bred specifically to be a canine companion. But because of their strong build, they are often thought to be aggressive. However, American Bullies are gentle, friendly, and calm.
That’s the perfect combination for a service dog, especially one that will be trained to combat depression. While the American Kennel Club doesn’t yet recognize them as a breed, they are recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club.
Kristen’s passion is training dogs and she prides herself on using positive reinforcement. To learn more about her and Diesel, or to book a training session, you can check out her Instagram page here.
Featured Image: Instagram