The Difference Between a Service Dog, Therapy Dog & Emotional Support Dog

SERVICE DOGS, EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS & THERAPY DOGS: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?


                                                                          Service Dog          Emotional Support Dog              Therapy Dog
Is trained a specific task or behavior          YES                         NO                                                     NO
to assist a person with a disability

Provides emotional support
and comfort to people                                  NO                           NO                                                     YES

In public, displays very good behavior and is comfortable with a variety  of people, situations and experiences                                                     YES                           NO                                                     YES
   
Is allowed to fly in the cabin of a plane      YES                           YES                                                     NO
   
May live with a person with a disability even in housing with a no pet policy  
                                                                           YES                           YES                                                     NO
   
Primary role is to be a
companion and provide
emotional support                                           NO                           YES                                                     NO
   
Requires very specialized and intensive
training                                                               YES                           NO                                                     NO
   
Requires registration or certification             NO                           NO                                                     NO
  
Is protected by Americans with Disability  Act (ADA) to bring their dog into public
places where pet dogs are NOT allowed
(i.e. grocery store, restaurant, etc.)                 YES                           NO                                                     NO

SERVICE DOG
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) defines a Service Dog as a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks on cue that assist a person with a disability. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOG
Emotional Support Dogs provide comfort to their person just by their presence. Providing comfort is not a trained behavior and, therefore, the dog is not considered an assistance (service) dog under the ADA.
Emotional support dogs do not have the intensive and specialized training that a service dog receives.

THERAPY DOG
Therapy Dogs are usually a person's own pet dog that the person has had qualified (through a therapy dog organization) to make visits to hospitals, schools, nursing homes, etc. Sometimes health care professionals and teachers incorporate a therapy dog into their work with their clients or students.

As the only ACCREDITED service dog training program in Indiana, ICAN has brought together dogs, inmates and people living with disabilities, providing hope for more enriched and independent living. To learn more, visit icandog.org or call 317-672-3864.