Episode 040: Dogs, Kids & PTSD

featuring Ryan Matthews

When we hear a soldier has PTSD we often assume it was from a war, yet often PTSD is actually caused by traumatic events from childhood such as molestation, domestic or community violence, and other frightening events. My guest, Ryan Matthews shares subtle examples of how PTSD related to childhood events can be triggered by normal everyday activities in adulthood. He shares how after serving in the war it was difficult to adapt to civilian life and the new ways PTSD manifested.

It was challenging to have relationships when it felt like people were not safe. Looking back he realized many of his reactions were coming from a place of fear. Now years into his post-traumatic growth phase, he shares techniques he found helpful on his healing journey. Ryan is a dog-trainer with 18 years of experience. He shares life lessons he’s learned from his canine companions and how these lessons apply to family life and can help kids cope with the stresses of upsetting events and times.

Ryan’s Website:


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Learn from K-9 Mentalist, Ryan Matthews who is a former Army combat K-9 handler turned celebrity dog trainer.


Ryan’s Book

Ryan Matthews

Ryan Matthews

Special Guest

Ryan Matthews is an inspirational speaker, author and decorated veteran (thanks so much for your service Ryan) who trained elite Army K-9s and then became a civilian dog-trainer using his proven formula to train over 3,000 dogs. He earned almost a million dollars in 2½ years. As a workaholic; his success was plagued by the effects of a childhood trauma and PTSD. At age 30 he was diagnosed with multiple, life-threatening conditions.

After a near-death experience, he felt like a failure. He decided to transform himself and share his story to help others thrive.

Author of “The Canine Connection” and “Heel Your Dog, Heal Your Life”, Ryan’s mission in life is to share his gifts and talents to positively transform the lives of others. His first TEDx talk is called “Overcoming PTSD with Dog Training Techniques” and his second is “Life Lessons Dogs Teach Humans.” 


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