Difference Between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs, Are they legit?

Difference Between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs

Is that REAL Service Dog?

More and more, we are seeing service dogs in public places where they’ve never been allowed before — restaurants, libraries, airplanes, schools, hospitals … But how do we know if they’re truly allowed to be in that establishment? What does it take for a business owner to know the difference between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs, or whether they’re certified to enter or not? How does one know that it’s not just someone’s pet and they’re telling you falsities to be able to bring their dog along?

What is the difference between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs. Are they legit? Find out here.
Kinjeng Submiter, Flickr

Certainly, there are many legitimate [amazon_textlink asin=’0470142480′ text=’service dogs, assistance dogs, and therapy dogs’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’animalbliss-blog-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f5df356e-0509-11e7-9038-e540487f7fcf’] that perform great services for their owners. Some of these dogs have been trained and are legally certified, with privileges above other dogs, while some therapy and assistance dogs require no training or certification, and don’t have the same privileges.

Related12 Common Misconceptions about Service Dogs Clarified

As a result, there has also been an increase in confusion about these animals which has sparked some controversy. This can be distressing to those who depend on them to help cope with everyday life. Take a look at the infographic below. It basically outlines the differences between service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals.

Is That a Real Service Dog?Is That a Real Service Dog? Developed by Orvis


What is the difference between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs?Image Source: Wiki Commons

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Have you ever been in a public place and wondered if someone’s dog was certified to be in there with the owner?

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Jeanne Melanson, founder and blogger at Animal Bliss: a very cool blog about animals - domestic pets and wildlife too

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11 thoughts on “Difference Between Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs, Are they legit?”

  1. It never fails to amaze me at how animals can help us humans in so many ways. Service/therapy dogs can change people’s lives as can horses and cats. And it’s not just having an animal friend to be with, it’s working on an emotional level too. Love the infographic 🙂

    • Hey, Jason, welcome to Animal Bliss. Yes, animals amaze me too. I’ve had a wide range of pets, as well as plenty of wildlife in my life. I used to do Reiki also, and Quantum Touch as well. Sick and dying animals seemed to find me. Oh, the stories I could tell, as I’m sure you could too. I visited your website and now I’m following you on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Great work you’re doing, and I applaud you for that. Bravo!

  2. Great infographic – really helps clear up any misconceptions about these three categories. I’ve had conversations with people in public places with their service dogs, and they’ve always thanked me when I’ve asked them about their dog and how their day is going. I don’t think its common knowledge that these dogs are always on the alert for issues with the people they’re assisting and that simply petting the dog could cause harm by distracting them from their job. Thanks for getting the word out with your article! xoxoxo

    • Thank you for your nice comment, Dale. I, too, have stopped and talked to people with service dogs, and they’ve always got an interesting story to tell about themselves and about their dog. Oh, and thank YOU for the animal Reiki you do. I used to do that too, years ago. You’re doing a great service. Ciao for now.

      • Your story is one of a number of stories about animals in service that I’ve read lately – a few other stories were about animals assisting autistic children. It’s so wonderful to witness animals providing healing in those ways. My life is made full with animals 🙂 and I’m honored to work with them.

  3. Personally, I think that knowing your intention well before adopting a dog will be better for both the owner and the dog. I think some of us don’t even deserve service dogs and assistance dogs, but well, they are the angels here.


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