What’s the Difference Between Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs, and Why Does It Matter?

Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Emma & Hudson, Service Dogs in Training

Emma and Hudson are both service dogs in training.

photo by Michelle, Aurora

We’ve posted a bunch of times about service dogs or therapy dogs who have been refused entry into workplaces, schools, and restaurants, and these stories are almost universally met with indignation. But do you know what the technical differences between service dogs and therapy dogs? Neither did I until I read this article on dogster.com:

Therapy dogs are not permitted public access, except in the environments where they are working for the hours they are scheduled to work. They cannot go into restaurants, on public transportation where pets are not generally permitted, in stores, or to the doctor’s office. They may wear special vests while working.

It turns out that there are even more distinctions among the kinds of dogs who help people, as well. This is good information for anyone concerned about access issues, and you may find that you don’t agree with how the law treats these different categories.

Click here for the full story.

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