Types of Support Dogs

Ever wonder what is the difference between the types of support dogs? See the graphic below!
Types of Support Dogs

Not all support dogs are the same!

Service Dog:

  • Trained to perform specific tasks
  • Assists and lives with one person with a mental or physical disability
  • Does not socialize or visit people while on duty assisting its handler, as this may distract the dog from its work and could cause harm to the dog or the disabled handler
  • Can accompany handler into public establishments
  • Can live with handler even in housing with a “no pets” policy
  • Only support dog recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Therapy Dog: These dogs work with Paws & Think!

  • First and foremost a pet
  • Evaluated and registered  by a pet therapy organization
  • Provides comfort and emotional support to individuals and groups, including strangers
  • Trained to be well-behaved and friendly
  • Provides comfort to all types of people through physical and emotional affection
  • Works up to 2 hours a day

Emotional Support Dog:

  • Prescribed by a doctor
  • Does not need to have specialized training
  • Provides emotional support and comfort to one individual through companionship
  • Can live with its owner in housing with a “no pets” policy

Facility Dog:

  • Specially trained therapy dog who works at a specific venue to provide ongoing support to residents, patients, or visitors
  • May live on-site at the location where it provides support or may reside with an appointed guardian who cares for the dog outside of working hours
  • Does not have public access outside of the facility where it lives or works
  • Works up to 8 hours a day