Service Dogs vs. Companion Dogs

A Service Dog is individually trained to meet the needs of its handler, both in the home and in the community.  This dog will receive a service dog vest and will be certified for community access.  Certification will allow the dog access to all public places in the community, including but not limited to: schools, restaurants, stores, etc.  Special program requirements must be met. 

A Companion Dog will assist each individual with every day activities at home.  This dog will have basic obedience training and some task oriented training, directly related to the individuals disability.  However, this dog does not receive a vest for street certification but can work towards that level at a later date if needed. 

Each dog goes through an extensive assessment evaluation for temperment, frustration tolerance, housebraking and living in a home environment.  All dogs complete basic obedience skills.  After Basic Obedience, dogs move into specialized training, which can include but are not limited to the following:  Opening doors, retrieving dropped items, pulling a whelchair, turning on lights, alerting to the doorbell/phones, medical alert, crowd control and bracing.

A Service/Companion Dog can reduce frequency of outbursts and frustration episodes, assist with building self-confidence, assist with feeling at ease attending school and social events, instill responsibilities, increase gross motor skills and physical therapy, assist with speech therapy and increase an individuals independence.

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