26 Sep 2017
September 26, 2017

Dogs in Dyer trained to ‘block’ PTSD triggers

Kip Geyer is a dog trainer at Landheim Training & Boarding Center in Dyer, but he also serves as sort of an offensive line coach.

“We train dogs to sense what’s happening and to block the person suffering from PTSD from any potential problems,” Geyer said.

Geyer is lead trainer at Landheim, 13200 W. 109th Ave., a large barracks-like building situated along a winding stretch of bucolic road. He has been training dogs professionally for the past 25 years and now works under Landheim’s award-winning owner Bob Fleming.

“I work mainly with German shepherds,” Geyer said.

The dog lover has more than 20 years training law enforcement K-9 teams in such areas as patrol, narcotics and explosives. He has now added post traumatic stress disorder training to his resume.

Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include combat, sexual or physical abuse, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, natural disasters and more, he said.

Geyer said the dogs literally get in front of their owners and block them from potentially stressful situations. The dogs may look formidable, but they are loving and trained to respond to PTSD symptoms. The dogs provide assistance in a medical crisis; assistance in coping with emotional overload and more. A trained PTSD dog can provide a sense of security and calm, he said.

According to Geyer, PTSD Service Dogs can literally change the life of a veteran or other persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD Service dogs can help veterans remain calm by preventing people from crowding around.

In fact all the German shepherds at Landheim are being trained for different purposes. Some are show dogs, pets and are used as K-9 police dogs. Owners can also train and board their own pets at Landheim.

“I was very impressed with how intensive their dog training classes were when I brought my two Schnauzers in the facility,” said customer Jim Pospychala, of Griffith.

“Our goal at Landheim is to always offer the latest and best training available,” Fleming said. “All our dogs are trained under the guidelines set by such programs as the American Police Canine Association (APCA), North American Police Work Dog Association and more.”

More information about PTSD dogs or training is at 219-365-8897 or info@landheim.com.

Jane Bokun is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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