Can Dogs Get PTSD?

Helping a dog past unremitting fear that interferes with life's activities.

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Warriors with nightmares and other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were described as far back as the Bronze Age in Assyrian literature. Fast forward 3,600 years to 2009, when researchers found that some military working dogs were unable to go back to their jobs as bomb sniffers following exposure to combat in Afghanistan. The researchers, a combination of PTSD experts in human psychiatry and psychology along with veterinary behaviorists, came up with a strict set of criteria for canine PTSD in those military dogs. They included escape or avoidance of work-related environments; changes in rapport with their handlers; and interference with critical tasks, including controlled aggression.
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