Definitions of Service Dog, Therapy Dog, and Emotional Support Dog
A working dog is a broader category of dogs that includes any dogs that are specially trained to work in public with their handlers. A police dog, search and rescue dog and service dog are all considered 'working dogs'.
What is a Service Dog A service dog is a dog that is considered a medical devicefor a person with a disability. The dog is specially trained for public access andspecifically trained to do tasks that mitigate the disability of their person. Service dogs are legally allowed to have public access with the person with the disability. In some areas (such as BC and Alberta, Canada), the dog is recommended to be certified to gain public access and is issed a collar tag issued by their government that gives the dog public access with their handler. This tag is carried by the handler or dog at all times and is available for presentation (like a driver's license). In these provinces, retailers, accommodation and transportation providers, etc can ask: 1. Is this a service dog? 2. Can I see your government issued certification tag? to verify if the dog is a service dog.
In the US, retailers etc are allowed to ask: 1. Do you have disabilities? 2. If so, what tasks is the dog trained to do?
What is a Therapy Dog? A therapy dog is a dog that goes into care homes, hospitals, schools and other places where there are groups of people. They are trained to allow unfamiliar people to physically interact with them in order to give the people comfort. Some dogs assist people that have been traumatized by events such as mass shootings, bombings etc. A dog may be specially trained by an organization to do so, or it may be an individual’s dog who takes the dog into a facility. These dogs are not covered by public access rights except for the individual facilities that give their approval.
What is an Emotional Support Dog? A dog that by it’s presence, calms and comforts a person. Such a dog usually works long term with only one person and is typically owned by the person using it as ESD. No specific task training is done. Public access is not given to these animals except by special approval in specific facilities. In some areas, the dogs are allowed by housing laws and transportation companies. A letter from a Doctor, Psychiatrist, Social worker or other mental health care professional is usually requested as proof that the dog qualifies as an emotional support dog. Some airlines will allow emotional support animals to accompany their person. They are not recognized in some jurisdictions at all (such as the provinces in Canada. Except New Brunswick recognizes them for accommodation purposes only).
At Confident Canines Ltd, we focus currently on a collaborative training philosophy. Our model is different from other Service Dog programs where in we do not generally breed, raise, and place Service Dogs. Instead we mostly work with owner trainers. We work very closely with the esteemed K9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs out of Ontario Canada.
It needs to be mentioned that Service Dogs are living, breathing, sentient beings with their own thoughts, emotions, and skills and that, over all, the washout rate for Program raised Service Dogs is approximately 60% and is higher (about 75%) with owner trained Service Dogs. Confident Canines Ltd. will maintain open and honest communication through out the training process and if at any point in the training Confident Canines feels that the candidate is not suited to the career of Service Dog, the handler will be notified immediately.
Our two year program is as follows:
Dog is assessed a minimum of 3 times to determine suitability as a Service Dog Candidate
An in-depth application process including a completed application form and in home interview as well as collaboration from the applicants medical professional team and immediate family to ensure that a Service Dog will be able to best meet the needs of the individual
Weekly 1 - 2 hour group training class
Weekly 1 - 2 hour public access outtings
One-on-one training if needed and at extra fee to the client
And finally the passing of a public access and Service Dog exam
Lifetime club membership and support for you and your Dog once you have completed and passed your Service Dog Public Access exam
As an owner/trainer, the responsibility of continuing and maintaining the training is on you and that Confident Canines training staff will be your support throughout the working lifetime of the dog.
Paws & Love!
Dog daycare - Mon-Fri 7am to 6pm Training - flexible hours