My way to be a PSD dog handler

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In order for my dog to become a PSD (psychiatric service dog) so that I can fly with it, some basic requirements are to met:

  1. A psychotherapeutic confirmation must be given that I need my dog to cope with my daily life
  2. My dog must be trained and this training must be certified. The dog owner takes care of the dog properly
  3. A task list must define what my dog does for me and how it helps me
  4. I have to confirm to the airline that I need the dog for my life, that it is trained and that it fullfills specific tasks for me.

The PSDeurope Card is a medium for summarising these things in one document. In addition, airline-related forms and documents must be completed before each trip to confirm the status as PSD. Our experience shows that the following things are usually necessary to book in the dog as PSD:

How do I approach the training for PSD (including ESAeurope)?

  • Step 1
    • You decide to train your dog as a PSD and decide which ESAeurope package is suitable for you
    • Download the ESAeurope doctor or therapy confirmation, which you have confirmed by your doctor or therapist. A separate explanation from your doctor or therapist is permitted. If you do not have your own doctor or therapist, ESAeurope can arrange an online therapy interview.
    • In the case of the online therapy interview, we will provide you with a questionnaire, which you should fill out and return to service@esa-europe.eu. The online therapy call can take place via WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype. Please bring your dog to the therapy session. The aim of the therapy session is to determine the basic requirement of a PSD
    • You book the corresponding PSD package in the ESAeurope Shop (you can always upgrade to a higher package during the course of your training or certification if necessary)
    • Submit separate photos of you and your dog to service@esa-europe.eu
    • Transmission of all information about the PSD (name, breed, color, birthday, chip number, register number)
    • Transmission of the name, address, telephone number and email address of the PSD dog owner
  • Step 2
    • After booking the respective PSD package, you will receive a training ID, as well as a list of required skills to train with your dog. It’s about basic skills that any normal dog can learn or should learn quickly. The mastery of the respective skill must be documented with a small video (usually 30sec to 60 sec per video should be sufficient).
    • You send the respective video to service@esa-europe.eu for review and examination, including your training ID, your name and dog name. We are working to create a form-based upload feature that should make it easier for you to submit the video.
    • After reviewing the video, you will receive either positive or negative feedback. If the feedback is negative, you have the opportunity to submit another video in a timely manner. If it is positive please proceed to the next skill but do not lease the former one out of your perspective.
    • You create your personal tasklist, which documents the value of your dog for you and shows what your dog can and must do for you (we provide a sample of the tasklist as well as video examples in the course of training)
    • If you are travelling with the dog or are in public areas where the dog is not normally allowed, it needs to be labelled as PSD. To do this, you need a chest harness in the color blue. During your training, you will receive a PSD tag as well as a PSD hang tag which you should attach to the chest harness. If you do not have the appropriate chest harness, you can purchase this in our shop in the required size.
    • Provided that you have submitted videos on all required skills and the associated personal task list, ESAeurope will either issue an examination certificate (provided that you bring a certificate of training from a recognised dog school) or agree with you on an online acceptance test, which will be taken by a certified dog trainer (ESAAT (European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy). The corresponding examination is part of the normal package training for PSD in our ESAeurope Shop.

These points mainly include training as a PSD dog. ESAeurope will provide the following documents after the successful completion of the training:

  • PSDeurope Card
  • Training certificate for PSD dog according to USDoT standards
  • Confirmation of the task list (link to task list example)
  • Doctor’s or therapy confirmation letter (if this has been booked with us)
  • Confirmation of the Obedience training carried out by our ESAAT (European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy) and animal welfare certified dog trainer
  • Certificate of examination (if the exam has been taken)
  • PSD tag as key or leash tag
  • Checklist for proper travel preparation and travelling with the dog

In addition, we support you with suggestions and ideas if you no longer know more and/or do not get a certain skill. In addition, individual training lessons can be booked online if necessary.