Support Groups

Caring for and living with dogs who have ongoing behavioral or medical issues can be isolating, frustrating, and overwhelming! Luckily, more people are stepping up to create safe spaces for dog owners to get together and support one another.


The groups vary: Some offer the services of a mental heath professional or counselor while others are peer-supported or led by an animal care professional. Some meet monthly to talk, while others get together to do activities with and without their dogs.

Do you run a support group for caregivers of pets with medical or behavioral challenges? Please let me know so I can update the list:

Online: Fearful Dogs Facebook page run by Debbie Jacobs Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Wisconsin Reactive Dog Support Group Facebook group led by dog owner

CA, Bay Area: Dr. Meredith Stepita , support group open to her behavior clients

CA, San Francisco: San Francisco SPCA offers a support group for people with leash reactive dogs

CO, Fort Collins: Canine Companion Consulting offers a Support Group for Pet Parents with “Special Needs” Pets with Beth Friedman, LCSW

IL, Chicago:  Kristin Buller, MA, LCSW offers a Support Group for people living with pets with behavior problems

MA, Metrowest: TACT offers a Caregivers Support Group

OR, Portland: Ruff Mutts hosts a Difficult Pet Support Group

VT, Burlington: Awkward Dogs hosts the Fearful/Reactive Dog Support Circle

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