Therapy Dogs vs Service Dogs

It is important to note that therapy dogs and service animals are not the same thing.

The differences between a therapy dog and a service dog are very important. Therapy dogs are trained for social tasks and are not trained to help particular individuals complete activities of daily living. They must be friendly, well-behaved, well-socialized, and comfortable in busy or chaotic situations.

Service dogs are trained to complete specific tasks for their owners and are taught to focus only on that individual. Therefore, service dogs and therapy dogs are trained very differently. Additionally, service animals and therapy dogs are subject to different legal protection. For example, service dogs are permitted to accompany their owners into many restricted spaces such as grocery stores, restaurants, etc., while therapy dogs are not given legal permission into theses spaces.

Another category of assistance animal is an emotional support dog. These dogs are merely pets with no specific training. Certain airlines will allow emotional support dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners with a certifying letter from a mental health professional. These dogs might also be permitted to reside with their owner in housing that typically restricts pets. By law, they do not have any other public access.

For more specific information see our "Ask the Task" brochure.

Contact us at so we can answer your questions and/or discuss your role and attendance at upcoming sessions or events. 

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We hope to see you at DogAbility Center in the near future!

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Monday - Friday 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday - Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
By appointment only


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On Aerial Way in Syosset

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PO Box 7437, Hicksville, NY 11802-7437

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