A golden dog receiving a kiss from a woman.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs help give comfort and affection to individuals when they need it most. Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, an owner can have their own dog as a therapy animal.  Definition of a Therapy Dog by Wikipedia They provide people with contact to dogs but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers and work with their handlers to provide services to others.  Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have “no pets” policies.   Therapy dogs are given basic obedience training and then it is recommended to take a Therapy Prep Class. At which time a dog is tested for both obedience and temperament.  Once they pass a therapy dog test with their partner, they can be registered with a therapy dog organization.  Registration offers several benefits both to volunteers and to the facilities they visit.

Facility Dogs

In addition to dogs that are trained to assist individuals, VIP Dog Teams also trains dogs to serve the needs of many in our Facility Dog program. These highly specialized dogs assist professionals (teachers, therapists, medical providers, first responders) who use the dog in the workplace to accomplish client related goals in providing animal assisted therapy. Facility dogs assist these populations by serving as a model and motivator, helping them to meet their therapeutic goals.  These dogs generally live with their handler.  Public access for these dogs is only in the work environment when accompanied by the professional handler.

At a school working with a professional such as a school counselor a School Facility dog  can assist many students in a day, assisting them to meet their academic, social and communication goals.


Therapy dogs Mitch School Facility Dog

School Therapy/Facility Dog

 At a Firehouse a Facility Dog can make a difference by providing comfort and motivation for a first responder going through an emotionally draining call. A Facility dog can give much needed support to the entire crew.

VIP Dog Teams matches facility dogs with qualified professionals in the Tri-Counties based on the strengths and skills of the dog and the needs of the population they serve.

Therapy and Facility Dogs are not Service dogs and do not have the same public access rights. For more information about Service Dogs please see Wikipedia.

Service dog

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

service dog, as the term is used in the United States, refers to any dog trained to help a person who has a disability, such as visual impairmenthearing impairment, mental illness (like posttraumatic stress disorder), seizuresmobility impairment, and diabetes. The right of service dogs in the US to accompany their owners everywhere their owners go is protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and parallel state and city laws, and significant monetary penalties have been assessed by courts against those who have sought to abridge those rights.

Outside the US, the term “service dog” refers to a dog that works for police, military, or search and rescue services, while the term “assistance dog” is the legal term for a dog that is trained to provide assistance and support for a disabled person.

Desirable character traits in service animals typically include good temperament or psychological make-up (including biddability and trainability), and good health (including physical structure and stamina). Some service dogs are bred and trained by service dog organizations, while others are bred by breeders and trained by private trainers, or trained by the individuals with disabilities who become their partners. Labrador RetrieversGolden RetrieversLabrador Retriever/Golden Retriever crossbred dogs, and German Shepherd Dogs are among the most common dog breeds working as service dogs today in the United States

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs provide therapeutic support to disabled or elderly owners through companionship, non-judgmental positive regard, affection, and a focus in life. Definition of a Emotional Support Dog by Wikipedia Emotional support dogs are allowed in public housing but do not have public access rights as guaranteed by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). They are not necessarily task trained like service dogs and are generally required to be reasonably well behaved by pet standards. This means that the dog is fully toilet trained and has no bad habits that would disturb neighbors such as frequent or lengthy episodes of barking.  The dog must not pose a danger to other tenants or to workmen.

Companion Dogs

Companion dogs are not legally defined, but generally considered pet dogs.

Autism Service Dogs - VIP Dog Teams