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Service Dog: Trained to perform specific tasks to assist a person with a disability. These tasks can include picking up dropped items, guiding someone who is visually impaired, alerting someone to a seizure, or providing deep pressure therapy for anxiety.


Public Access: Service Dog: Granted legal access to most public places (restaurants, stores, airplanes) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because their presence is crucial for the handler's disability.


Training & Certification: Service Dog: Intensive training focused on specific tasks to mitigate the disability. There's no national certification, but documentation from a qualified trainer is often used for verification.


Focus: Service Dog: Their primary focus is on the well-being and needs of their handler. They are trained to be highly focused and avoid distractions while working.


Interaction:Service Dog: Generally discouraged from being petted by strangers as it can distract them from their duties. Service dogs typically wear a vest or harness indicating their working status.


Handler Relationship: Service Dog: Forms a deep bond with their handler, often living with them and providing constant support.


Cost: Service Dog: The cost of acquiring and training a service dog can be very high, often ranging from tens of thousands of dollars.


Therapy Dog: Provides comfort and affection to people in various settings like hospitals, schools, or retirement homes. They are not trained for specific tasks but rather to offer emotional support and social interaction.


Public Access: Therapy Dog: No guaranteed public access rights. Their presence depends on the permission of the specific location (nursing home, hospital) and their visit is usually planned in advance.


Training & Certification: Therapy Dog: Training focuses on temperament and social interaction skills. Certification varies by organization, but doesn't carry the same legal weight as a service dog.


Focus:Therapy Dog: Their focus is on interacting with various people and providing comfort in different environments. They are friendly and outgoing, readily engaging with strangers.


Interaction: Therapy Dog: Encouraged to interact with the public! Petting and interacting with a therapy dog is often part of the therapeutic experience.


Handler Relationship: Therapy Dog: While they may have a strong bond with their owner/handler, therapy dogs don't require the same level of constant companionship. They may visit various facilities with their handler or owner.


Cost: Therapy Dog: The cost can vary depending on the training program and certification organization, but it's generally less expensive than training a service dog.

Differences Between Service Dogs & Therapy Dogs

Hearing assistance dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and trained to meet your specific needs and preferences.

Here's how hearing service dogs train:

  • Identifying important sounds that are crucial for your daily life and safety. This could include essential sounds like smoke alarms, doorbells, alarms, or even the baby monitor.

  • Targeted Alert Training: Dog's training program to focus on recognizing and alerting you to these specific sounds.

  • Beyond Basic Alerts: Depending on your needs, the dog may be trained to not only alert you but also to perform specific actions. For example, the dog could nudge your hand if the phone rings, or lead you to the source of the sound like a smoke alarm.

This personalized approach ensures that your hearing assistance dog becomes a valuable extension of your hearing, enhancing your awareness and independence in everyday life.

Psychiatric service dogs become trusted partners, empowering their handlers to live a fuller, more independent life, the unique needs of individuals with conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) are focused to be paired with both civilians and veterans. These incredible canine companions are equipped to offer crucial support, helping individuals manage their symptoms and navigate daily life with greater confidence. offer companionship, emotional support, and practical assistance, fostering a sense of security and improved mental well-being.

Imagine a furry friend trained to provide comfort during panic attacks, remind you to take medication, or even act as a buffer in crowded spaces and trained to:

  • Waking handlers from PTSD nightmares

  • Provide comfort during panic attacks by offering deep pressure therapy (leaning against their handler's body) or a calming lick.

  • Gently nudge you to take medication as part of your daily routine.

  • Act as a buffer in crowded spaces by creating a physical barrier between their handler and overwhelming stimuli.

  • Help you ground yourself in reality during flashbacks or dissociation by using learned cues like nudging your hand or retrieving a specific calming toy.

  • Alert others to a crisis situation if you become unresponsive, such as fetching your phone or medical alert device.

Alert service dogs are specially trained partners who help individuals with hidden health conditions. They use their incredible sense of smell or heightened awareness to detect changes in their handler's body chemistry or environment that might precede a medical episode.

Beyond Basic Alerts:

Alert response dogs go beyond simply alerting you before a seizure. They can be trained to:

  • Stay close during a seizure to provide comfort and prevent injury.

  • Activate an alert system to notify others for help.

  • Retrieve medication or a phone for post-seizure recovery.

Realistic Expectations:

We believe in setting realistic expectations. While dogs can be incredibly helpful, it's important to understand they can't prevent every seizure. However, a well-trained alert service dogs becomes an invaluable partner, offering support, security, and a sense of calm during a challenging time. A few other exampls that alert dogs can sense are:

  • Diabetes: These dogs can detect fluctuations in blood sugar levels, alerting their diabetic handler to take corrective measures

  • Migraines and Headaches: Some dogs can be trained to detect the subtle changes in body chemistry or behavior that precede a migraine or severe headache

  • Allergies: These dogs can be trained to detect specific allergens like peanuts, gluten, or certain medications, alerting their handler to potential exposure before they experience a reaction.

More Than Just a Fetch Partner: The Diverse World of Service Dogs

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Alert Service Dogs

Hearing Service Dogs

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