Service , Therapy and Emotional Support Animals- What's the Difference?

Infographic for What is a Service dog-carmapoodale

What is a Service Animal?
"Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purpose of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks performed include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition." (Service animal as defined by the ADA, Title III, subpart A 36.104 definitions, July 2010)
All service dogs are granted access by Federal and state laws. *source*ADA.Gov/Service Animals

Are Service Dogs allowed everywhere? 
Yes. They are allowed in grocery stores, retail stores , any public place that the public are allowed to go. They are allowed to travel on any public transportation available. 
Can a Business Owner request a Service Dog to be Removed from the Business? 
Yes. Any dog who acts up or can not be controlled by their owner can be asked to be removed. 

Service Animal Behavior(standards as set forth by ADI)
Under the ADA, a service dog may asked to be removed from a public place for disruptive behavior.
A service dog must be under the control of the handler at all times.
A service dog must be on a leash at all times, you may have a 6 ft leash but you should always keep your dog within 3 ft or closer of you.  
A service dog must not show aggression towards people or other animals. If a strange dog approaches your dog, your dog should never bare teeth or growl at it. Your dog should never ever get into a fight unless its a loose stray attacking your dog. 
A service dog does not bark, growl or whine. If you hear a service dog barking or whining always check on the handler. This is the only time they are allowed to bark when on duty
A service dog should never ask for attention, food or other items from the general public, nor bother anyone in the public. You don't want people petting on your dog when they are on duty, you should not allow your dog to bother people. 
Having mastered the behaviors of no nuisance barking, no aggressive behavior, and no inappropriate sniffing or intrusion into another person or dog’s space are an essential part of a service dog.
Personally I do not like my butt sniffed and in returned I do not sniff another dog's butt. I prefer to meet face to face.  

Service Dog Handler Etiquette
As a handler of a service dog, you should also have proper etiquette. Never think you are above the law. You are protected by the ADA but you must follow rules of restaurants, businesses and when out in public. 
When eating in a restaurant , you should never allow your dog to sit on the table. If you have a small dog then you should use a blanket or towel on the seat before setting your dog on it. 
If you have a medium to large dog, they must sit under the table or booth , out of the way of others walking by. You never want someone to trip over your leash or dog's foot. 
You should never allow your dog to eat from the table. I get tested often with this one. Ma will drop meat on the floor near me to see if I will grab it. No I will not eat in a public place. 
You should always allow your dog to relieve themselves before taking them in a public place. 

How is a Service Dog different from a Therapy Dog? 
A Therapy dog is a dog who help others. They have been trained and tested socially to visit hospitals, day cares, retirement homes etc. They are usually part of a large international group who have done their required hours to be able to be bonded and insured. Different states have different laws on therapy dogs. 
According to Service Dog Central website "Under U.S. law, persons with therapy dogs are NOT granted the right to enter businesses that do not permit pets with their therapy dogs, unless they get permission from the business first. This includes the hospitals and nursing homes they visit to work with the patients and residents there. They do not get to fly in the cabins of aircraft because they are therapy dogs, nor do they get to live in "no pets" housing because they are therapy dogs."

You can find out more about what it takes to be a Therapy dog from my friend Garth. He is a therapy dog and he has a page devoted to it. He is also hosting the Service Dog blog hop with me, and Oz The Terrier Visit Garth's Website 

 How is a Service dog and a ESA different? 
A service dog has to be trained to do certain task for a disabled person and according to the ADA Laws can only be a dog or a miniature horse. A Emotional support animal can be any animal who brings you comfort. They are allowed to live in housing that doesn't allow pets and fly on planes for no extra charge. They are NOT allowed in public places as a service dog is.

How is a ESA different from a PTSD Animal?
A PTSD animal has to be trained to do task for their disabled person. Emotional Support Animals are only require the same amount of training as a well-trained pet. Emotional Support animals are not to be confused with psychiatric service animals that require special training to perform specific tasks that help a person mitigate the effects of a mental illness, like turning on the lights for a person with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), checking the house upon entering for intruders, and deterring a person who is having a panic attack from running out in the road to name a few task. There is a whole list of task that a PTSD dog can or is trained to do.
 On March 2011 the ADA revised their definition of Service Animals "Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support, are not service animals. 
While a dog may provide comfort and security just being around this in itself does not qualify as a trained task or work according to the ADA or the IAADP Organization


Are there any questions that I might answer for you? 

Thank you my friends Garth and Oz   for helping to educate on the differences between each type of dog. 

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26 comments:

  1. Just stopping in to say hello! Xo Chloe and LadyBug

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    1. Its great to meet you Chloe and Lady Bug! Stop by any time.
      Have a pawtastic Sunday

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  2. Golden Thanks for sharing about a Service Dog.I don't like my butt sniff too but its interesting enough many dog owners will say " that's how dogs say hello." Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    BTW: Why is the Service Dog Info small (it's hard to read) Try to make it larger. Golden Woofs

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    1. They say yes that is how a dog says hello but when a service dog is on duty , they should never pay attention to another dog or person. Now when they are off duty and playing etc, they can sniff away.
      I made the info larger is it better?

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  3. We read about you on Sugar the Golden's blog and came by to meet you. These informational posts (we read Sugar's and Garth's) are great.

    Oh, dear, we're wondering if you're aware you have word verification on? A lot of us have a REALLY hard time reading it! Have you considered turning it off?

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    1. Thank you stopping by and meeting me. I always appreciate it. As for the word verification , I do know its on. When I removed it the last time , I was hit with a lot of spam so I turned it back on. I understand there are times it is difficult to read but if you click the refresh button it will bring up one that is more easier to read. A few blogs I read also have this on and I have to click refresh a few times. Its frustrating but it sure weeds out the spam messages.
      Have a pawtastic Sunday!

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  4. Oh Carma, you do such wonderful work as a Service Dog. I was so happy to meet you face-to-face (and not nose-to-butt because that scares me when it is a dog bigger than me). You are my favorite poodle...and I am proud to call you my friend!
    Oz

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    1. Oz I loved meeting you too face to face. I am proud to call you my friend too.Can't wait to see you again!

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  5. Excellent post, Carma. Great job explaining the differences between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support dog - those two are especially confusing. I also like that you talked about the behavior expected of a service dog. A lot of businesses don't realize that service dogs and their handlers are trained to NOT be disruptive, and that they can ask a service dog handler to leave if the dog is not behaving.

    I don't think I would make a good service dog - I like getting attention too much!

    Garth

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  6. A very informative post, Carma. We found you through Sugar.

    I thought about training to be a therapy dog, but agility got in the way.

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    1. Thank you for taking time to come to my site. I really appreciate it. I bet agility is fun. I know its hard work. Always loved to watch agility. You guys got talent!

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  7. glad you posted this. As I mentioned to Sugar, it seems that some are walking around in a haze ...confused.............

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking time to read all this info. I appreciate it. Wuvs and wags

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  8. Excellent post very informative. I've got lots of respect for all the service dogs out there.

    Sheba.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I hope this help to clear some things up Have a wagtastic Sunday!

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  9. I shouldn't be so surprised by the amount of information here, but I am. This is pretty amazing. Sharing!

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    1. Thank you for sharing! I am honored to have you stop by my blog.
      Wags!

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  10. What a wonderful post!!! So much wonderful information, thank you so much for sharing and continuing to educate people on this topic!!! The more people understand the more they realize how much work service dogs do and how hard they have to train!!! Again, thank you!!! Spencer the Goldendoodle

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Spencer. I hope my hosts and I were able to take out any confusion that someone may have had.
      Wags

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  11. Excellent post and great blog hop. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Hope you learned something new today from my hosts and I

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  12. Thank you Carma for this post. It can be confusing for some between an ESA, therapy or Service dog. Especially in reference to PTSD. Some airlines even go so far as to deny you on the flight if you even reference PTSD because they associate PTSD with "Therapy" or us needing "Emotional Support".

    This blog hop is an excellent way to get all the differences in a collective "learning trail". I love it! Thank you everyone. I learned some new stuff today! <3

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    1. I am happy to hear you learned something new. That is what this blog hop was all about.

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  13. Great post. I know some people get it confused. Thanks

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  14. Ohh... I wish we could have participated in this Hop... being a service dog is a hard thing... but it allows our handlers to do so much. I love working!!

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  15. Thanks for sharing this Carma! I love learning the differences and all the rules. Sometimes it is hard for me to keep track of difference between Service Dog and Therapy Dog. Can I make a confession too? I ran into a lady with a GORGEOUS service dog at a convention over the summer. Despite knowing better I couldn't resist asking to pet the dog. Mom said the dog doesn't usually like it when she is working. I couldn't help myself though, she was BEAUTIFUL! I asked first though, so that makes it better right? RIGHT!? Keep up the great work!

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