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What is the difference between a Service, Therapy and Emotional Support dog?This is our most commonly asked question and a very important one! Service dogs are extensively trained to assist one person only. They essentially are a necessity for an individual to lead a more normal life and accompany their handler everywhere in all public settings. Service dogs have full access to stores, restaurants, airlines and anywhere pets generally are not allowed to go as well as pet restricted housing. This makes it important that Service dogs are trained to be well behaved in public and pass a Public Access test as well as hold their Canine Good Citizen Title. Service dogs wear vests while working and are not to be approached by others or pet while on duty as this could distract the dog from their important job for their handler. Some examples of Service dogs we offer are Autism Assistance, Mobility and Psychiatric Assistance dogs. The role of a Therapy Dog is to make people happy through visiting and interacting with them. We have seen first hand the huge benefit these dogs have on people of all ages and in many fields of work as Facility Therapy dogs. Therapy Dogs are also very well trained to behave in a public setting and hold their Canine Good Citizen Title but unlike Service Dogs, a Therapy Dog is NOT allowed in pet restricted areas such as a restaurant or grocery store. Therapy Dogs are limited to visiting where they are designated to do their job whether it be a school, hospital, library, nursing home, etc. We have placed many Therapy dogs in a variety of facilities, businesses and offices as well as family homes who privately visit as a therapy team within their local community. Emotional Support Dogs are the least training intensive of the three roles but can have as little or as much training as the owner desires. Emotional Support Dogs can hold a Canine Good Citizen title as well but it is not required. Essentially any dog at any age can be considered an emotional support dog if there is a need by the owner for that emotional comfort their dog/puppy can provide them. Emotional Support Dogs are NOT allowed in pet restricted areas in public and are also no longer allowed on airlines. The biggest feature of an Emotional Support dog is they are allowed in pet restricted housing with the appropriate paperwork provided as they are an important asset to their owner's emotional wellbeing in their home. At Deer Creek, we take this role a step further than the general definition of any dog can be a support dog and are able to choose through our temperament testing candidates that have a gift for the role they will have in their new family. We are able to select candidates that have the right energy level, tenderheartedness (how they react to strong emotions) and general soft cuddly pleasing nature that we feel makes excellent support dogs.
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