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Psych Service Dogs- A Natural Alternative to Heal Mind and Body

Crystal Callahan

Crystal Callahan is the founder, CEO, and Lead Trainer of Psychiatric Service Dog Registry & Academy. She has been training dogs for 19 years. Her obedience training education was through an 800 hour internship program, working with and learning from Master Trainers, followed by employment with an international dog training company.  

Crsytal has dealt with several types of psychiatric disabilities, both professionally and personally. In 1986 she was diagnosed with PTSD. And in 1996, diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. In 2001 she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder with panic attacks and sciatica. Her son has autism and severe ADHD while many of her other family members suffer from bipolar, anxiety, and depression. Due to her own health conditions and her family's mental health conditions, Crystal was able to combine her first and second hand experience with mental illness with her extensive skills in dog training.

Following her own dogs' training, Crystal began taking on clients with psychiatric conditions. Many individuals had the same concern that she did regarding the amount of medication that they were taking, and they too had the desire to expand on their medical treatment with a more natural approach... a service dog. Crystal has since trained countless numbers of service dogs and service dog owner teams. The difference that the dogs and the training have made in her clients' lives has made her want to expand this much needed service to more individuals, trainers, medical professionals, and non-profit groups.    

This is where the Psychiatric Service Dog Registry & Academy was born. Her goal was to teach dog trainers how to effectively task train dogs in psychiatric service dog tasks. The reason that she has been so successful in this field is that Crystal has first and second-hand experience with psychiatric, mobility, and neurological conditions. Without a true understanding of the symptoms that come with psychiatric conditions, a dog trainer cannot fully understand what someone needs from their psychiatric service dog and why it is needed. This is what sets her company apart.