The three different services your dog can get registered for are: traditional service, emotional support, and therapy. Now that you know the three different services I’ll go into more depth on each, starting with traditional service.
Service dogs help with performing a function for a person that is limited by a disability. Those disabilities include but are not limited to: mobility issues, visual impairment (commonly blindness), hearing impairment, seizures, diabetes, PTSD, autism, and epilepsy.
This type of service dog is allowed special permissions that are protected by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in all 50 states. They fly in airplanes for free, and are allowed in all housing regardless of pet policy.
Emotional support dogs help individuals with emotional problems by providing comfort and support. They are not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability but rather to be there for emotional stability and unconditional love. They can assist with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and other psychological and emotional conditions.
Emotional support dogs are granted the same special permissions that traditional service dogs are but they are protected by the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Because they do not need to perform any specialized tasks for someone with a disability they do not need to be professionally trained.
Therapy dogs are used to bring comfort and joy to those who are sick or under poor conditions. They are generally calm and well-behaved so that they do not upset the people that they are trying to help. You will usually find therapy dogs at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and homeless shelters.
Similar to emotional support dogs they do not require any special training. However due to the nature of the services that they provide there are no federal laws protecting them. this means that in order to bring your dog somewhere as a therapy dog you will need permission from the owner of the property first.
The process of registering your dog varies in difficulty based on the service you wish for them to provide. For traditional service dogs you should look to your local animal shelters to see if they offer any sort of service animal training. This training is absolutely necessary for any dog that is on the path to becoming a service dog for people with disabilities.
After your dog completes the appropriate amount of training, which is only required for a disability service dog, you can order there registration paper and vest here. Once you have received the registration papers keep the ID card with you and the dogs vest on whenever they are working. For a detailed list of the documents that you will need to take your service dog on a plane visit http://usdogregistry.org/information/.