Mental Health Assistance Dogs - Life Gets Better

Skilled Companion Dogs


An Ally in Healing.
Imagine having a dog as a member of your loved one's treatment team.



While Skilled Companion Dogs are not a substitute for doctors, therapists and supportive family members and friends; they can become an integral part of a treatment team.  The relationship that a dog can offer is unique because it is deep and loving, yet uncomplicated, consistent, and safe from the possibility of rejection.  To date, there are volumes of scientific data that suggests that dogs have a positive impact on our  psychological and physiological wellbeing.  It is no mystery why dogs are called “man’s best friend”.  A Skilled Companion just might be the missing member of your loved one’s treatment team...

Heeling Allies Skilled Companion Dogs are calm tempered, loving, and highly trained allies that provide therapeutic, physiological and psychological support to children and adults with special needs, under the direction of a facilitator.  A facilitator is generally a parent or partner who is solely responsible for handling the Skilled Companion Dog, and the provision of all care and ongoing training needs. 

Skilled Companion Dogs are a wonderful match for individuals with special needs whose quality of life would be improved by living with a specially trained dog, but due to their age or the severity of their disability are unable to do so without the help of a facilitator.



A Nonjudgmental Friend.
Heeling Allies Skilled Companion Dogs are trained to enhance the life of your loved one.




Skilled Companion Dogs often provide their human partners with:


  • Relief from feelings of isolation.

  • An increased sense of well-being.

  • Daily structure and healthy habits.

  • An increased sense of security.

  • An increased sense of self-efficacy.

  • An increased sense of self-esteem.

  • An increased sense of purpose.

  • Mood improvement, and increased optimism.

  • A secure and uncomplicated relationship.

  • A Dependable and predictable love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.

  • Motivation to exercise.

  • Encouragement for social interactions.

  • Reduction in debilitating symptoms.

  • Greater access to the world.

  • Around-the-clock support.


A Four-legged helper.

Each Heeling Allies Skilled Companion Dog is tailor-trained to meet the specific needs of the individual with whom they will be placed.

Heeling Allies Skilled Companions Dogs are trained to assist individuals with mental health issues and/or physical challenges. 


Mental challenges may include, but are not limited to: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia,
Disorders, Cyclical Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Physical challenges may include, but are not limited to: hearing loss, physical impairments due to injury, traumatic brain injury and neurological disorders. 

In addition to the provision of emotional support and comfort, Heeling Allies Skilled Companions are trained to perform tasks that help people with special needs function more independently.

Examples of helpful tasks a Skilled Companion can be trained to perform for their human partner:


  • Assist handler within their home.

  • Remind their handler to take medication.

  • Wake handler for school or work. 

  • Assist in coping with emotional overload by bringing handler into the “here and now.”

  • Extinguish flashbacks by bringing handler into the here and now.

  • Orient during panic/anxiety attack.

  • Reduce hyper-vigilance.

  • Search dwelling.

  • Retrieve fallen objects.

  • Open and shut doors.

  • Turn off and on lights.

  • Alert to smoke alarms, oven timers.

  • Alert to doorbell or knock.

  • Alert to telephone ringing, email alerts, text message alerts.

  • Help balance unsteady handler/provide physical support for balance.

  • Get help or summon assistance on command.

  • Provide physical support to their partner by bracing.

  • Provide physical support by balancing unsteady handler.

Thank you for your interest in our program!  Heeling Allies is currently not accepting new client applications.  The most credible resources for persons interested in teaming up with a service dog are Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP).  Please visit the websites of ADI and IAADP for more information.  

Heeling Allies is located in Seattle WA, and trains Mental Health Dogs for individuals nationally.

Currently Serving: Washington State & Upstate New York

© 2008-2014 Heeling Allies.  All Rights Reserved.