Understand the Difference: Service Animal vs. Companion Animal

Dog Trainer CollegeIf you are a professional dog trainer, it is especially important to understand the difference between service animals and companion animals. If you’re not sure what the difference is, you’re not alone.

Although service animals and companion animals serve some similar purposes, they have key differences that distinguish one from the other.

What is a Service Dog?

Service dogs are animals that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a physical, mental, intellectual, or psychiatric disability.

You’ll most often see a service dog assisting a blind person or a deaf person, providing them with the help that they need to do daily tasks. Service dogs often assist people that have physical disabilities helping them to navigate the world, keeping them safe from dangers such as oncoming traffic or obstacles on the sidewalk.

Many service dogs are trained to respond to people with medical conditions as well. For instance, some service dogs are able to detect seizures before they happen and can get the attention of someone else to make sure that their human is safely assisted. Other service dogs help people with psychiatric disabilities, helping to ease the effects.

What is a Companion Dog?

Some people argue that all dogs could be considered companion animals. However, certain dogs are often certified as companions for people who have mental and emotional difficulties, such as severe anxiety and depression. While companion dogs play a role in the therapeutic healing process of the people that they look after, they don’t require formal training. As long as a dog is loving and responsive, they can serve as a companion animal for someone who needs it.

At Dog Trainer College, we are your source for professional dog training!  We employ certified trainers who have proven their skills in training a variety of dogs.  We welcome all dogs:  large or small, mixed or purebreds, problem dogs or those who just need some tuning up. Contact us today!

Leave a Reply