What’s the Difference Between Service Dogs vs Therapy Dogs?

Sit - Stay Training

Written by K9 Partners for Patriots

December 20, 2018

Discover why flea markets may not be the best environment for service dogs.

Learn about risks, distractions, and considerations for handlers.

1. Crowded Environment: Flea markets are often bustling with crowds, which can be overwhelming for a service dog. The dog may become stressed or anxious in such a busy atmosphere.

2. Distractions: Flea markets are filled with various sights, sounds, and smells that can distract a service dog from its duties. This could potentially compromise its ability to assist its handler effectively.

3. Unpredictable Behavior of Other Animals: Other visitors to the flea market may bring their pets along, which can lead to encounters with unfamiliar animals. This may pose a risk to the safety and focus of the service dog.

4. Risk of Injury: With so many people moving around and browsing items, there’s an increased risk of accidental tripping or stepping on the service dog, which could lead to injury.

5. Exposure to Unsanitary Conditions: Flea markets may not always maintain the cleanest environment, and the service dog may come into contact with unsanitary surfaces or substances.

6. Lack of Accommodation for the Dog: Flea markets may not be equipped to handle service dogs properly, such as providing suitable resting areas, water, or relief spots for the dog.

7. Potential Stress for the Dog: A flea market’s constant stimulation and unfamiliar surroundings could cause stress or discomfort for the service dog, which may affect its overall well-being and ability to perform its tasks.

Given these factors, it’s important for service dog handlers to carefully consider whether taking their dog to a flea market is truly necessary and in the best interest of the dog’s welfare and effectiveness in assisting its handler.

What’s the Difference Between Service Dogs vs Therapy Dogs?

by | Dec 20, 2018 | News, Articles

For most of us who are fortunate enough to have the company of a dog in our homes, they are simply pets. Many of us think or say they’re as much a part of the family as brothers and sisters… and som of us may find their company preferable to that of our human counterparts.

But some dogs serve very specific purposes and require special kinds of training to be able to woerk and provide the assistance their handler needs, 24/7. And it’s important to understand the differences in needs, capabilities adn the training that truly distinguishes their daily work and their purpose. The owners of these service dogsthemselves are protected by federal law under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and in many instances by additional state and municipal laws too.

That means it is illegal to prohibit them from any place that is open to the public.

However, what adds to confusion for so many businesses and individuals is the fact that there are many different labels now being used that all sound important… but some have very little meaning behind them.

Emotional Support Dogs:

Emotional Support Dogs help individuals with  emotional problems by providing comort and support. While they are supposed to provide assistance for people dealing with anxiety, depression, bipolar/mood disorders, panic attacks, and other emotional/psycholigical conditions, there is no specific training that distinguishes such dogs.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dogs provide affection and comfort to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other similar facilities. The company of gentle dogs is comforting for many and also helps such facilities seem less institutional and more like home… and that explains their popularity.

‘Companion’ Dogs

Seriously. Has there ever been a dog that wasn’t a ‘companion’? They haven’t been called ‘man’s best friend’ for centuries by accident.

Guide Dogs

Also known as ‘Seeing Eye Dogs’, Guid Dogs are service dogs for the blind and visually impaired. They are trained to lead them around obstacles and help them navigate safely. They are trained to communicate changes in elevation, such as from sidewalks to curbs, and to recognize safe and unsafe paths and traffic signals.

Service Dogs

Service Dogs are specifically trained to work for their handlers in order to help them overcome mobility issues due to a broad range of physical and/or mental disabilities that may include:

  • visual impairment (blindness)
  • hearing impairment (deafness)
  • seizures
  • post traumatic stress (PTS)
  • diabetes
  • autism
  • multiple sclerocis (MS)
  • and other physical/mental conditions

It is important to note that while Service Dogs are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ‘companion’, ’emotional support’ and ‘therapy’ dogs are not.


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