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The Difference Between Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Animals and More

Therapy Dog at Sherman Hospital

Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, Facility Dogs and Courthouse Companion Dogs are all important types of Working Dogs — but they’re not Service Dogs. It’s time to clear up some of the confusion.

When it comes to what is and what is not a Service Dog, federal law is very clear. A Service Dog, as defined in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, is any dog who is individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service Dogs, when accompanied by an individual with a disability of any kind, generally enjoy complete public access and may go with their disabled handler to almost any place non-disabled members of the public may go. While there are major exceptions (like sterile medical or laboratory environments, churches/places of worship and a couple of others), in general, if a person with a wheelchair is allowed to be somewhere, a person with a Service Dog may also be there. Service Dogs may travel and live with their disabled handler free of charge and it is illegal for places of business or for public accommodations to deny a Service Dog team access.


In order to be a Service Dog with public access, a dog MUST meet three points of law:

  1. Be specifically trained to perform work or tasks that mitigate the handler’s disability
  2. Be accompanied by a person with a physical, mental, developmental or other disability
  3. Be house trained and under the control of the handler

There are no other requirements (no documentation, no proof of training, no certification, no vests, no special leashes, no special patches, no anything else) for a dog to be a Service Dog, and it’s quite simple: if a dog is NOT task-trained, working directly for an individual with a disability and under the direct control of the handler, it is NOT a Service Dog.

However, simply knowing a dog is not a Service Dog doesn’t help you know what it is. To help you out, here’s a brief overview of many of the other “not a Service Dog” types of working dogs that commonly crop up in day to day life and in conversation.


Not a Service Dog: Therapy Dogs


Therapy Dog

A Therapy Dog visiting patients in a hospital.

Therapy Dogs do a valuable job by providing unconditional love, emotional support and an understanding, listening ear anywhere they’re needed. Many people are familiar with Therapy Dogs visiting hospitals, schools, universities group homes and libraries, but Therapy Dogs also provide a valuable service at funerals, disaster sites or anywhere else emotions, grief, and tension may run high.

Therapy Dogs are typically well-trained, sweet-natured, friendly dogs who are, first and foremost, pets. Their family trains them and has them certified via a therapy organization, and therapy dog teams are most often volunteers. Therapy Dogs do NOT have public access, with or without their handler, and they may only enter buildings (that don’t allow all pets to enter) with a direct invitation to the dog and handler or to the therapy dog organization.


Not a Service Dog: Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)


Emotional Support Animal

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) work with an individual who needs comfort. They require no specialized training, have no public access, and can be any species. The DOJ/HUD’s Fair Housing Act does protect an owner’s right to reside with their Emotional Support Animal  in accommodations that don’t allow pets, and with proper documentation, a person can fly with their ESA.


Not a Service Dog: Facility Dogs


Therapy Dog

Two Therapy Dogs visit children in a classroom.



Facility Dogs are highly specialized therapy dogs who come in two flavors: dogs who provide extensive animal-assisted therapy and dogs who live (or work extensively) on-site to provide comfort to residents, patients, or visitors.

Facility Dogs who provide extensive animal-assisted therapy can often be found in physical therapist’s offices, counselor’s offices or anywhere else a professional provides a specialized service to a lot of people. These Facility Dogs may help with the process of rehabilitation, provide practice for a physical therapy patient, or help a wounded child learn to trust again. Anytime a specifically-trained dog does work for a professional’s clients or residents, he’s probably a Facility Dog.

Dogs who live on-site as a resident therapy dog are also Facility Dogs, and these guys can be found at nursing homes, residential facilities, group homes, or at many businesses. If a therapy dog is a “familiar face” at a business, he’s probably a Facility Dog.

Facility Dogs do not have any public access outside of the office or building where they work.


Not a Service Dog: Courthouse Companion Dogs


Courthouse companion dog



Courthouse Companion Dogs are specialized facility dogs who are trained to work with children (or adults) in a courtroom while they’re giving difficult or painful testimony. Courthouse Companion Dogs work to lower tension, provide distraction and to give support during the difficult moments of deposition, testimony and any other time they’re needed.

Courthouse Companion Dogs are a little new on the scene, but their success is amazing and for the kids who use their services, there’s nothing better to help them begin to heal and grow again.

Outside of the courtrooms they work in, Courthouse Companion Dogs do not have public access.








The United States Service Dog Registry (USSDR) has been helping Service Dog handlers for over 10 years. Learn more >




Service Dog Standards Profile Page

Often, people who suffer from invisible disabilities have trouble advocating for themselves and their canine partners. Service Dog Standards is here to help. Learn more >







  • Lonnie Knox September 17, 2013

    My wife and I are Puppy Raisers for Canine Companion for Independence and totally agree with your article. Part of our training requires us to socialize the pup as much as possible. After the pup can be “trusted”, they are with us everywhere we go (shopping, church, restaurants, social events) and we’ve never had a problem with a business owner denying us entry. Our pup does wear a CCI cape and we have a ID card from CCI, but if there was an issue we would just leave. We just completed a 85 day “bucket list” trip across the U.S. with our pup and never had any problems except at the various National Park facilities we stopped at. We weren’t denied access, but were questioned. Several business owners have talked to us about the “service dog” rules and the fact they are very limited when asking about an individuals dog. With the available of fake service dog vests and ID card on the internet, this is becoming a major problem for service dogs owners and PR’s like us. CCI has started a campaign to eliminate the internet sale of these items. If your interested, go to for more information. Thanks for bringing this issue forward and wish more people would realize the harm they are doing when they take their “personal service dog” into a business.

    • joan cobb December 18, 2014

      What difference will it really make whether they sell the stuff online or not. Service dogs don’t need any of that stuff anyway. Having it just makes life easier sometimes.

      • John Master February 8, 2015

        You are absolutely right. I have a PTSD trained Service Dog. I got a hard time so often, i spent a lot of time explaining the law to many clerks and managers. Explained that they were putting themselves at personal risk by harassing me, that they were violating the law. Finally I bought a collar, an ID and some pre printed cards explaining ada, and now they are all happy and nobody gives me a hard time. Just by spending a few dollars on something anybody can buy.

        • The Liz Lemon April 13, 2016

          I agree, and did the same – after a while it started feeling terribly personally invasive, having a bunch of people expecting me to tell them about my disability, and publicly. I had one giant man (around 7 feet tall with very long grey hair sticking up and carrying about 100lbs more than a person of that height would be expected to) tell me I couldn’t have a dog in a grocery store. I told him she was my service dog, as I was leaning on the grocery cart, panting because i was ill and it was extremely difficult to lift my head up to meet his eyes as it exacerbated severe vertigo. He let out a laugh loud enough to be heard across the entire store, and said, “that little thing?” (My dog is small) I just looked at him and moved on. Later he came up to me and more respectfully and quietly asked if it was alright if he asked what she helps me with, so I told him. He didn’t understand it but hopefully he went and looked it up when he got to his car, and maybe won’t treat a team so disrespectfully in the future.

          At that time she was also learning to be a medical alert dog, but I didn’t know it because I wasn’t specifically training her for that yet.

          We were kicked out of a 7-11 the second we walked in one night, and the clerk told me i could leave my dog outside and i could come in and shop. Um..I can’t stand nor walk without her so I can’t do that, I kept telling him. Anyway, I also didn’t like it when people in grocery stores would nearly run my dog over, both with their carts and their feet, as i need her at least a foot away from me to provide adequate resistance on the leash in certain directions for my brain to understand where i am in space. I went ahead and ordered a personalized vest which states the 2 ways in which she’s a service dog and asking “please allow space”. A foot or two of space isn’t any more than a team with a larger dog would need.

          Things have been better with the vest, and one mother even stopped her grabby child from getting to my dog, I’m pretty sure because of the vest. I also have aphasia and can’t always explain things, so the vest helps all around. I also got a custom badge that says to not separate my dog from me, that’s always been a concern for me because a lot of people don’t know that small dogs can also make great service dogs, including medical alert which has proven to be invaluable in our case

  • Robin J. September 18, 2013

    Really excellent article! There is so much confusion on this topic, even in news reports. It’s great to see it all laid out.

    One tiny point that I personally trip up on all the time…you’re absolutely right that “therapy dogs” are not defined in federal law. But they do have limited public access under some state laws, usually the right to ride public transit when vested. It just varies by state and was intended as a convenience for handlers taking a therapy dog on hospital visits.

    And then there’s Kansas. In Europe, “therapy dog” was first used as a term for assistance dogs for people with mental health disabilities. Kansas adopted that definition for their state laws. So in Kansas, under state law, a “professional therapy dog” is a service dog for someone with a mental health disability, just like a “guide dog” is a service dog for someone who is blind.

    I keep hoping Kansas will change their definition, but until they do, articles like this may want an asterisk: “*Kansas is an exception. Under state law there, a “professional therapy dog” can be a service dog for a person with a mental health disability, and a professional therapy dog team has the same access as any other service dog team. However, that’s an unusual use of the term in the US.”

    Annoying, but that’s the US federal system! Each state gets to make its own definitions. Doesn’t take away from the excellent work that’s gone into this article, it just means almost all legal discussions on law in the US end up with some small asterisk point because some state chose to do things differently.

    And that anytime you talk about “therapy dogs,” you may want to first make sure you’re both using the same definition. This article would be an excellent starting point just to make sure everyone’s on the same page. 🙂

    • Tekawitha March 11, 2014

      i was there in the kansas statehouse when that piece of crap law was made, allowing for the creation of the ‘professional therapy dog’. it was so one so called program could market untrained dogs to parents of developmentally disabled children. these kids would then take the untrained dog to school where it would cause trouble. that ‘law’ was for the benefit of just that program, to fill its pockets. i have been approached many times by these parents, begging me to retrain these dogs, but as an SD trainer myself, it would be unethical to do so. i recommended to them that they get another dog, this time from a reputable program like CCI, and return the other.

      • Steph Avila December 28, 2016

        That’s not so. Professional therapy dog are dogs that are used in the provision of duties of a psychologist or therapist etc. they are not therapy dogs paired up with a person with a mental health issue.
        We use them with many recipients to do therapy and to deescalte them in the throws of a panick attack( as an example) . They do have public access bc they are selected, task trained to do the work they do. But what you asserted about these dogs accompanying a person with a mental illness is wrong

    • Kathleen Trent August 16, 2015

      Good For Kansas!! I quite disagree with the article and don’t believe half of it. I am biploar unfortunately, have been since birth. I have gotten to the point i don’t go out with out my ESA. Before she was certified i wouldn’t go any were if it was too hot. I never went grocery shopping nothing. Know she is certified i can do things again. I went an a very long trip to flordia then to Kansas for a 2 month long trip. With out her I would never have been able to do it. People love her and she connects me to others and they love telling their stories. When we see a severely handicapped person I go up and ask if they would like to pet her and it makes their day. Sofia has worked with handicapped before. Not only do I get to go out but she brings a lot of joy to others. And yes she has the same rights as a service dog. Not everyone allows their got to act wiled.

      • Jeanette Frey January 11, 2018

        Sorry, but your ESA does NOT have the same rights as a service dog and is NOT covered by the ADA. It is NOT a service dog. And there is NO such thing as certified.

  • Nancy Van Emmerik July 14, 2014

    I have an almost 5 year old Doxie, Named Rudy, that I consider a companion dog. I got him right after losing my 15 year old Bassett Hound to a stroke. I’m on my 5th year of chemo for stage 4 breast cancer and who knows how long I have! Would he be considered a companion dog because of this and would he be allowed to go with me without breaking any las. I would get him a special collar or shiert.. He keeps me cal after a stressful day and is constant by my side all the time

    • Service Dog July 14, 2014

      “Companion Animal” is another term for pet — and are specifically not considered Service Dogs under the law. Most pets have a calming effect on their owner, and that’s not considered an appropriate task for a Service Dog.

      The following is an excerpt of the legal Definition of a Service Animal. You can find the full text below in this email or at this link:

      § 35.104 Definitions. Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability . . . The effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

      Service Animals are animals which are specially trained to perform tasks or work that a disabled person can not complete on their own. Having a disability isn’t enough — your dog must be trained in specific tasks (our guidelines state you must have at least two tasks) that you would otherwise have difficulty completing on your own. Under the law it’s permissible for people to ask you what tasks your dog performs, so you should be prepared to explain.

      • Sonya July 16, 2014

        Thank you for providing a way to actually question people legally. My daughter and I were on the bus last year when our car was in the shop and we were attacked by a “companion dog” chihuahua. It drew blood on my leg, but thankfully didn’t break the skin on my daughter’s leg where it bit her as well. It should be noted that we did nothing to provoke the dog, and were specifically trying to avoid it altogether, because my daughter is allergic to dogs. The bus driver threw the woman and her dog off the bus and she threatened to sue because that little piece of shit dog was a companion animal. When the bus driver told her the dog didn’t behave like any service animal he had encountered and asked to see her certification, she threw a fit and threatened to sue and get him fired.

        • Service Dog July 17, 2014

          Hi Sonya, that is awful news about your incident. Federal law allows you to question people, but it is illegal to demand proof of training, registration or certification. “Companion animal” is another term for a pet, and, of course, type of dog which is specifically not covered under the ADA.

          • Joe July 30, 2014

            I too will demand to see certification. No one with an actual service animal would have a lap dog barking at the birds from the front row of an eagle show. Far too many people are abusing the term and the kindness of those wanting to support the law and must be called out and sent away. As a professional trainer, it’s easy to tell the difference between a real SD and a pet with a lying owner, but asking to see the registration is a simple way to cut through the BS. I will not have public safety, or the safety of my performing birds, endangered by liars and cheats with untrained animals where they don’t belong.

          • Service Dog July 30, 2014

            Your frustration is understandable, but it is important to remember that under federal law, it is illegal to demand to see certification or other documentation.

            Section § 35.136 Service animals part “f” of the Americans with Disabilities Act says:

            (f) Inquiries. A public entity shall not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. A public entity may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. A public entity shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, a public entity may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

            Please print out and read:

          • John Master February 8, 2015

            The driver should not have asked for proof and did not need to. He was well within his rights and the law to throw the dog off the bus based on its behavior.

      • Atemu September 29, 2014

        Hello there! Please forgive me for bothering you but I fear I have a question regarding Service Animals. My wife has PTSD, Seizures caused by it, and light nerve damage. We have been working with a service dog trainer on getting a dog fully trained for her but so far, the training is not going as well as hoped. However, I have a close friend who specializes in training Service Cats, particularly the breed known as a Savannah Cat. Typically, Savannah Cats range from 15-30lbs and often act as dogs. The ones my friend has have all been easily trained to do all the things a Service Dog can such as fetching items, alerting others to an oncoming seizure, lesson anxiety, and more. I am wanting to know how to get one as a recognized Service Animal. Any feedback of advice or direction would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time.

  • Ray Ward November 20, 2014

    How can you report abuse of Emotional Support pet law? Specifically, a customer traveling on an airline first presented her dog as an “emotional support animal. There was some sort of incident, and the customer then went on social media to complain and asserted the law and her rights were violated. She later admitted that the dog was not an Emotional Support animal, and that “she just wanted to bring the dog with her.”

    • Tekawitha December 4, 2014

      as things are atm, there is no policing body to report violations of the service dog laws, anyone who really knows what the laws entail, in letter and in the spirit of the law. what happens, at best, is the case goes to a regular judge, who knows squat, ant the case usually goes against the service dog user.

    • John Master February 8, 2015

      When you present a dog to an airline as an emotional support animal you are required to provide a letter from your Mental Health provider. This letter must include the providers name, license, type of practitioner and a statement that the person has a condition listed in the DSM.The letter must be dated within the past year. My experience is that the airlines carefully check that letter before granting access.

    • lberbs49 September 14, 2015

      Frankly, I’d rather be sitting next to a dog than just about any other person on any flight these days! I would not concern myself with any stupid certification. They let PEOPLE on airlines with no certification! More importantly, most of those people without certification are, in fact, CERTIFIABLE!

    • lberbs49 September 14, 2015

      What sort of “incident?” This “incident” was no doubt caused by the HUMAN lunatic acting as some official “ESA Police,”who complained. The world is full of “Leash Police,” and “Pooper Scooper Police,” all self-appointed, two-legged, hairless apes that we commonly call “Human,” when they are THE ONES MOST IN NEED OF EMOTIONAL SERVICE ANIMALS!

  • Abouthadit September 12, 2015

    So what about the “civil rights” of people that are scared to death of dogs PERIOD , it doesn’t matter if its a Yorkie or a PitBull. My wife was attacked as a child and to this day is scared of ALL DOGS.

    There are so many people that abuse the Service Animal laws , they just go right on into the grocery store , Home Depot, Lowes ,Restaurants and jump right up on the chair-bench …
    When asked to put their dog on a leach they have every excuse in the book , he doesn’t bite , he’ll lick you blah blah blah ! You know darn well 90% of these dogs ARE NOT Service Dogs in any manner.
    Especially when they are jerking on the leach or riding high in the grocery cart tail a waging like its hanging its head out a car window ! Its disgusting to say the least !

    Where are our rights ??? If you confront the business owner they just take a deaf ear to it , or say there is nothing they can do saying its the law.

    Before people want to blast me a dog/animal hater , I am not , my brother that has Cerebal Palsy and has had a few Service Dogs through the years, ( they didn’t expect my brother to live past 25 he just celebrated his 68th birth day ) that has served him well and were the best behaved dogs I’ve ever seen !

    There needs to be a crack down on these morons that ruin for the ones that are really needed !

    • lberbs49 September 14, 2015

      I’ve really had my fill of whiners and self-righteous diatribes about people with obvious disabilities, like CP. These are the people who verbally, emotionally, mentally, and financially abuse others and get away with it because “if no one else can SEE IT, IT DOESN’T EXIST!”

      Who the hell are these people to tell anyone who has a hidden issue and a legitimate need for THEIR Dog, whether it be “Companion,” “ESA,” “SD,” or “Working Dog?”

      Frankly, I need my dog to protect me from the ignorance of people, like one man’s wife who clearly has latent mental issues from one childhood incident involving a dog! That woman needs therapy badly!

      I’d rather spend time with a Dog than one second with these “adult children” still crying over spilled milk and still cheerleading for the physically disabled, as if they believe this will give them a step up in heaven! GMAFB! There is no heaven! Moreover, people who don’t like dogs make life on earth a living HELL FOR THOSE OF US WHO “GET IT!” DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS IS GOD! Dogs are the embodiment of “GOD!” UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! People ought to take a damn lesson from a dog.


      • Mattie Housworth September 29, 2017

        Love your statement. I totally agree with everything you just said. I’m a 47 yr. African American with a disability with a service dog. And I’m disabled. I totally agree, my problem is African American when I enter a business. Instead of saying that dog can’t be in here. They should have asked is he a service dog. And trust me when they do that. I go off and I call corporate. My next thing will be a law sue. If you don’t like dogs then move out of our way. Bc as long as I’m certified and obeying the law and my dog is doing what he is suppose to do. We ain’t going no where. My $2300.00 yorkie
        is very well trained. And he is very, very protective of my space. He doesn’t bother people, they bother him. People come up wanted top pet him bc of how he looks. I use to allow some bc I didn’t wanna be rude, but when he barks at them. to get away from me & him, then it is a problem.Especially small kids, he ain’t to fond of them period!!! Once I say he is a service dog, I have witness the kids barking at him & trying to provoke him.. And the parents doesn’t stop them. My dog is very protected of me an and I’m very protective of him. I don’t allow him to walk on a leash in public. I fear germs. So he has his on doggie stroller. If I wanted everybody to know i had a disability. I would advertise it on tv, news of get a reality show. I dress him in clothes. So I totally agree with you my sister in everything you say.

      • Mattie Housworth September 29, 2017

        @lberbs49, I totally agree with everything you said my sister!!!!

    • Kim January 22, 2016

      A service dog is to be on leash at all times and according to ADA the dog must be with the owner and no more than 24 inches away from the owner! A service dog is NEVER on a flexi lead. A service dog should be “indivisible” especially when at a restaurants, a service dog should NEVER growl, bark, whine, NEVER have an accident. These are just some things that real service dog MUST do, anytime you see a “service dog” not acting like the above then tell the person it is a FEDERAL OFFENSE to pass off a dog that is NOT a service dog and it makes it more difficult for real service dogs, hope this helps give you some insight

      • The Liz Lemon April 18, 2016

        I’m afraid I have to call BS. Prove me wrong if I am, though. There is no restriction on type of leash, flexi or otherwise. Also, “accidents ” aren’t prohibited by the law, the dog has to be house trained. If the dog is sick, for example, and has an accident that does not mean it’s not a service dog. Any place of business can legally ask that your dog be removed, however. Things like “whining” also aren’t prohibited. The dog can’t be barking or growling and making people feel fearful. (It also can’t be disruptive, which might or might not include some types of whining.)

        Not that i have any need to defense myself, but maybe a little education will help, since yours is not the word of law and readers should know that. My dog needs to be on a flexi leash for mobility services, and sometimes needs to be slightly more than 24 inches away from me, and I’ve seen people in wheelchairs have their dog perform tasks that MUST be performed more than 24 inches away from them (I don’t remember reading that distance requirement in the law anyway). Further, my dog is a medical alert dog, and if I don’t get to safety right after she alerts me she’ll make sounds, almost like an ongoing alarm system.

        There are so many ways in which these amazing dogs need to perform duties for their humans, please be more open minded and help the public to understand reality better, rather than issuing false legal requirements in the form of your own statements based in your own bias. Neither you nor the other angry people here get to decide what is and what is not a genuine service dog. Thank you.

        • The Liz Lemon April 18, 2016

          I meant to say, if the dog is causing a disruption or scaring people AND the handler isn’t taking steps to correct the behavior.

    • The Liz Lemon April 18, 2016

      I agree with much of what you say – I worry about so many selfish, idiotic people ultimately creating problems for me and my legit service dog, and what kind of crazy rules might be implemented because of them.

  • Barbara Raulerson February 12, 2016

    I have been diagnost with major dépression, severe anxiety, PTSD and agorrafobia. I had to go on early retirement disability 2 years ago. Anxeity has gotten worse. I asked my Dr. if he could write me a letter so i can get the things i need to take my dog with me as my emotional support dog. He agreed and friends, family, and my Dr and therapist can tell the difference. I feel better in public now and my Pastor allows her in my Church. I have been able to stay for Sunday School and Church for 2 Sundays in a roll box. I still have a little anxiety but, its much better. She has all she needs for 2 1/2 weeks now. She has really made à big difference in my life.

  • Peighton March 15, 2016

    Hi! I’m so happy I found this page. I know that you might not be able to help me, but I am trying to figure out how to get an ESA. I’ve been contacting everyone and no one can help me. I know that they are proctected under certain laws to be allowed to live with me, but my landlord is requiring paperwork. All the info on ESAs I’ve found have turned out to be a scam to make money. I need someone’s help, and I’m not sure where else to turn. Please help.

      • Peighton March 16, 2016

        What if they decide that that’s not enough? Can they kick me out? I know that several places wouldn’t even rent to me with any animal, they even told me that they wouldn’t rent for service animals unless it was a seeing eye dog.

        • MARGUERITE MADDOX April 18, 2016


        • The Liz Lemon April 18, 2016

          Google it, the info is readily available online. The legal sites, i mean, which should also provide some clues or info on how/where to contact someone if you’re illegally refused.

  • MARGUERITE MADDOX April 18, 2016






  • Laurel May 12, 2016

    Why don’t they change those that are consider not a working dogs, into working dogs? They do work equally important work as service animals. Give them the same rules as the working dogs. If they act up or become threatening, they need to leave, the dog, not the person. The person should be given the option to stay or leave with their animal. I have an emotional support animal, and want to go on a trip to Vegas, but I don’t want to leave him. My physician says that he is allowed in no pet hotels, but I’m reading something completely different, so I’m really conflicted. She says they can’t ask what disability you have and depression is considered a disability.

  • Pami May 28, 2016

    I have a hearing dog and Hearing dogs where orange leash, orange collar and orange haress and orange vest.
    But under ADA law they do not have to but training school that train hearing dogs always put orange on these type of working dogs.
    So when you see this you think it a hearing dog.
    But people that do have a true service dog should know this otherwise they are faking a hearing dog.
    People that self- train their own service dog should read law and what the color of vest stand for this disablity or do not self- train your dog to be a service dog.

  • Shirley Chamberlain August 29, 2017

    I go to a restaurant that a person comes in saying her small dog is legal. Its in a stroller with a tutu on. She says it’s her comfort dog and is legal. I’ve made a copy of your article Not a Service Dog to give to restaurant. I help train Service Dogs for autism children. They have been talking to me about this, because they see how the dogs I have brought in behave & other customers don’t realize that a Service Dog is in the restaurant. The dog whines all the while its in there. I told them that’s grounds to ask it be removed from restaurant. I’ve told them its not a Service Dog. Road Dawg Restaurant , Beloit WI.
    Thank You Shirley

  • AMHW December 12, 2017

    My dog is well behaved in public. She is a Shih Tzu and when I take her into a public place I keep her in a pet stroller. She is with me because of anxiety attacks. She doesn’t bark or cause any problems. I keep her in the stroller because she is a small dog and I don’t want people stepping on her. I don’t understand why this would create a problem for anyone….service dog or not!

  • Sarwar Abdullah December 15, 2022

    Can a dog be both a therapy dog and an emotional support?


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