Beyond the Dog is proud to help train essential behaviors for both service dogs and emotional support animals. Often times, these two animal jobs are considered the same and terms used interchangeably. However, these two roles are very different from each other in a number of ways. Beyond the Dog strives to educate owners of the difference and provide proper training for both. Service dogs and emotional support animals benefit greatly from high-level training and obedience commands. Our trainers can even help owners prepare for higher reaches, including certifications.
There are major differences between service dogs and emotional support animals. The biggest difference being their specific purpose. Service dogs are used by people who cannot complete daily tasks on their own. For example, a blind person may use a service dog to maneuver a busy street. Or, a service dog may help someone retrieve an item or get up out of a chair. Emotional support animals, on the other hand, can help alleviate symptoms of emotional disorders such as anxiety or PTSD.
Another area in which these two animal roles are different is their training. Service dogs require intensive obedience training and additional task-specific training depending on the job to be performed. When it comes to emotional support animals, the focus is on obedience in public settings and helping animals tune in to their owner’s needs. Emotional support animals can be almost any kind of pet. Cats and dogs are the most common, but they could also be rabbits, hamsters, birds, or even horses.
Finally, another significant difference between service dogs and emotional support animals is their accessibility to public areas. People with service dogs require them to perform tasks so they may go about their day-to-day lives. Service dogs are allowed to enter restaurants, hotels, planes, schools, doctor’s offices and more! Emotional support animals are not as widely accepted into public spaces, because their owner’s needs are different.
Service dogs and emotional support animals can benefit greatly from additional training. If your emotional support animal is not trained, then Beyond the Dog can teach them obedience and specific commands. Service dogs we work with generally already have their formal training, but we can provide additional follow-up or maintenance as needed. Every dog can benefit from a bit of additional obedience practice! Beyond the Dog does not work with dogs to alert to medical signs of seizures or low blood glucose, but we are happy to help achieve high-level obedience behaviors.
Beyond the Dog’s all-inclusive dog training program is the most intensive program available and provides owners with a highly obedient dog. In addition to this program, we can provide training to prepare for the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluation, which is often the first step towards more advanced certifications. Contact us today for more information regarding our training programs for service or emotional support dogs!