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Service, Therapy and Emotional Support dogs? 

What’s the difference?  I recently heard Diane Alexander from handi dogs speak and it was so informative I decided to post about it.  Service dogs are TRAINED to do a specific tasks to  take care of their owner with a disabilitiy.  Only dogs and mini horses are used.  These are the ONLY dogs that can LEGALLY be taken into most businesses and on airlines and be kept in , for example, a rental house..  If a company trains them, you’ll pay $12,000 to $25,000 for a dog.  However, if you use a service like handi dogs, you, the owner train your own dog.  In addition to the cost savings, you’ll benefit by training your dog yourself so if your condition changes and you need the dog to perform another activity, you can train it do so.  These dogs need permission to come into, for example, an assisted living facility.

They must be well behaved, not eliminate while there and have no aggressive behavior.  They prefer  dogs that are 5 months to 4 years old.  Smaller dogs live longer but if you need certain help, then you’d need a larger dog. Certain breeds are easier to train.

These dogs do not have to wear a vest, but you should always ask before you try to pet a dog with a vest.

Therapy dogs are not covered for access to public accommodation.  These animals are there to be loved on.  They can perform animal assisted activities.  Benefits of loving these dogs are reduced blood pressure and release of oxytocin.  They also give stress relief and can help patients have faster recovery times.  

Emotional Support dogs provide comfort and may help those with depression or other psychiatric concerts or to reduce stress-induced pain.  They must be allowed to live with the handler even in no pets housing.  Documentation from a physician or other professional  may be required.

See more at US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section ADA 2010 revised Requirements