What Training Do Emotional Support Dogs Need

Unlike a service dog, which needs intensive training, an emotional support dog doesn’t need specialized training. They must carry out particular duties to help with their handler’s impairment. The conditions for an emotional support dog are:

  • You must always maintain control over and good behavior from your ESD.
  • You cannot put people’ health and safety at risk with your ESD.

Your emotional support dog should also be spayed or neutered, even though it is not needed by law, as this minimizes aggressive tendencies brought on by mating and has the extra benefit of preventing litters of puppies.

How can my dog train to be a therapy dog?

Some people employ the idiom “obtaining an ESA letter and dog certification are the same thing. Unbeknownst to you, you do not actually “an Emotional Support Dog certification! When it comes to determining whether your dog is an ESD, certifications are irrelevant. This is a typical error, and there is a crucial difference between “getting an ESA letter and certifying a dog.

A dog cannot be legally recognized as an emotional support animal by virtue of a certificate or certification program. Getting a valid ESA letter from a qualified mental health practitioner is the only legal way to classify your dog as an emotional support animal. You can connect with a mental health specialist using this online platform if you don’t have a therapist or are having problems finding one.

Anyone who requests a registration number, certificate, or photo ID from you to show that your dog is an ESA is ignorant, even your landlord. The ESA letter from a qualified professional indicating your need for an emotional support dog is the only evidence you require.

To be clear, even if you do receive an ESA letter, you are not obligated to “any website where you can register your dog. Emotional support animal certifications or registrations are not recognized by the Fair Housing Act or any related U.S. Department of Housing advice.

What commands must a dog trained in emotional support know?

A doctor or other mental health specialist must approve the dog’s presence for it to be referred to as an ESA dog.

But any dog can be taught to take on this function or to give someone in an unofficial capacity this kind of emotional support.

While any type of dog can be trained to be an ESA, some breeds are more suited to the job than others since ESAs need to have a reasonably docile and pleasant demeanor.

For instance, there are several breeds you should generally avoid, but German Shepherds, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are all excellent choices for the job.

The breed of your dog does not, however, determine whether or not it is suitable; these are only guidelines.

You should consider the following qualities to determine whether your dog would make a suitable ESA:

  • In order to avoid training difficulties and additional strain during times of high stress, your dog should not be unduly excited or rowdy.
  • Additionally, your dog shouldn’t be too fearful to interact with you when you are going through a difficult time.
  • Your dog should be sociable and know how to act around both people and other dogs in addition to other canines.
  • They ought to be able to comply with the fundamental orders to sit, remain, down, and heel.
  • Selecting dogs who bark excessively or have a tendency to leap up or lunge at people should be avoided.

Of course, if you already feel a strong emotional bond with a dog, this can be quite important and may even take precedence over some of the other considerations. Effective training them may be worth the extra work.

You should opt for a young dog that is roughly one year old if you want a new dog rather than one that you are already attached to. The dog is still quite trainable at this point, but you can learn more about their personality than you could with a puppy.

They ought to be peaceful and easygoing, and you ought to bond with them very quickly.

Sometimes you just have to trust your intuition; it’s frequently unclear why we relate to some animals and not others.

How do I teach my anxiety-fighting emotional support dog?

Most of us have certainly seen a service dog assisting a physically disabled person in getting around, but did you know that you may also get a service dog if you have anxiety?

Those who experience any number of mental or emotional conditions, such as PTSD or social anxiety, may find dogs to be extremely beneficial. You can train your own dog to support you in overcoming your emotional trauma, unlike a service dog who has been professionally trained to work with its owner. Here are some fundamental instructions for training an anxiety service dog.

Is a vest required for an emotional support animal?

If you’ve ever seen a service dog or emotional support animal, it was probably wearing a vest that identified it as a working animal. Although they are not needed by law, service dog or emotional support animal vests can be useful to have. Continue reading to find out more about service dog and emotional support dog vests, how to measure your dog for one, and things to keep in mind when making a purchase.

Are Vests Required for Emotional Support Dogs or Service Animals?

Emotional support dogs are not required by law to wear vests. However, most experts advise having them because they are quite useful to have. Wearing a vest helps people recognize your dog as a service or emotional support animal. When you enter public spaces or travel with your dog, this can reduce a lot of uncertainty and worry. When attempting to navigate the world with your dog, you can encounter opposition if there isn’t a clear indicator of your dog’s status. However, if your dog is wearing an ESA or service dog vest, everyone will be able to tell that he or she is a certified emotional support animal or service animal and should not be treated like a regular pet.

Measuring Your Dog

You must measure your dog before you start looking for emotional support dog jackets. This will guarantee that the vest you buy for your dog is the appropriate size. Your dog will be able to easily escape the vest if it is too big. If it’s too small, it might damage your dog by digging into their body. You’ll need a flexible measuring tape to measure your dog. The widest region of his or her rib cage should be measured. Typically, vests are adjustable and available in a variety of sizes for dogs to wear. To determine the ideal size for your dog, use their measurements and the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.


There are numerous textiles available for vests for service animals and emotional support animals. For certain climates, different materials are better suited. Mesh vests are perfect for service dogs in hot, muggy environments. Vests made of cotton and other breathable materials are the ideal option for other places. Try to stay away from synthetic materials because they could bother your dog.

Vest Style

Service dog vests come in four primary varieties. They consist of:

  • Mesh vests: These are the best for ESAs operating in heated environments.
  • Lightweight Cotton Vests: This is a basic vest that may be used in any climate. Some of them have ID tag holders and pockets.
  • Vests with padding: These bulkier vests are preferable for wearing outside in cold weather. To provide you better control, they frequently have handles.
  • Backpack Vests: If you need to carry a lot of items, think about getting your dog a backpack vest. This design has pockets for this specific function.


For your dog to be recognized when out in public, the vest must also have the proper patches. Your dog should be identified as a service or emotional support animal by the patch. By doing this, people will see your dog as a working dog instead of a pet, and they will be less likely to try to pet them. Additionally, you might want to add a label to the vest that reads “Working Dog” or “Do Not Pet.” Even if they don’t know what an ESA is, some individuals could still try to pet your dog; with a second sign, they’ll be warned not to.

To find out more about purchasing a vest for your service animal, get in touch with us at the National Service Animal Registry.

How can I get a service dog for my dog for nothing?

Registration Is Free US Service You may quickly look for the handler and the dog for verification purposes by registering your pet for free. To make it simple to access when needed, your profile can include pictures of you and your service animal together with any necessary medical documents or training certificates.

Can a service animal be taken anywhere?

Rosie, an eight-year-old, 50-pound yellow labrador retriever, is a very good girl, says her owner Nick, 40. (The use of a pseudonym by both the guy and the dog will soon become evident.)

Because Rosie is a dog, a large portion of her goodness is innate. However, Rosie is not only a cute creature; she also has a helpful side. Nick can ask Rosie to open his refrigerator. She is able to activate disability door buttons, heel off-leash on crowded New York sidewalks, and she has even had some experience with search and rescue. She is incredibly restrained, especially when she is wearing her vest designating an aid animal, which she knows indicates that she is on duty.

When Nick used to fly with Rosie, she would take up to 20 flights annually.

“People would approach me as I passed through the airport and place their hand on my shoulder, complimenting me on traveling with my dog or thanking me for my service, mistaking me for a member of the armed forces, recalls Nick. ” They plainly assumed I was in the military based on Rosie, a lab. Even though I never lied, that was the common misconception.

Nick is not a veteran who has PTSD or another such invisible handicap, as is commonly believed. Rosie is not Nick’s service animal and he has no disability. She is actually one of many more dogs whose owners have forced them into a double life.

To elevate your animal companion to the rank of “All you need for an emotional support animal, or ESA, is a letter from your therapist stating that the animal helps you feel better mentally. If you don’t have a therapist, there are websites that make money from advertising that some psychologists refer to as “ESA mills, which will facilitate a quick, shaky disability assessment by a clinician over the phone or through a web survey, will then sell you miscellaneous knickknack to make your pet seem more official, like vests and tags (neither of which are legally required for assistance animal owners to have).

Although only service animals are legally permitted to accompany their owners wherever in public, ESAs do offer some advantages. If you have a note from your therapist, you can transfer your pet into an animal-free apartment or dorm and travel for free with them in the cabin of an airplane. Nothing prevents ESA owners from requesting further amenities, either.

What skills must therapy dogs possess?

It is challenging to train a service dog. For canines to develop the necessary abilities and training to become certified, it often takes 2+ years. The basic training and competencies that the majority of service dogs will need to acquire are outlined below.

What Are the Goals for a Service Dog in Training?

As puppy breeders, we want to achieve three things:

  • to teach yourself proper manners
  • to develop social skills in a range of settings
  • to learn the fundamentals of obedience

What Commands Does a Service Dog Learn?

Most of these 30+ skills—if not all of them—will be taught to future service dogs. Depending on the software, a different command word can be required. However, each software and each dog must adhere to the same set of commands:

  • To get the dog’s attention, WATCH.
  • WATCH ME to look me in the eyes
  • SITto rump her up
  • DOWN
  • should lie down on the ground with her full body.
  • Stand by using all four of your legs.
  • COME
  • to move to your side and sit on your heels
  • advance to you in no particular position
  • STAY to maintain the woman’s position as it is
  • WAIT to pause before continuing.
  • RELEASE to finish a task
  • NO
  • to draw the puppy’s attention and inform her that what she is doing is incorrect
  • DON’T should refrain from starting out with an unwelcomed undesirable behavior
  • OFF
  • should get off whatever she is standing on and put all her feet back on the ground.
  • LET’S GO to begin moving
  • to place yourself on your left side, HEEL.
  • to arrange yourself on your right side.
  • LEAVE ITto make eye contact with you while turning her head away from whatever she is touching or about to touch.
  • to use the restroom
  • SETTLE to refocus
  • to reverse direction and arrange herself such that she may back up via a small doorway or passageway.
  • BACK to take a step back
  • to follow you through a door or passageway as she advances
  • GO AROUND to maneuver around the subject or thing
  • move her body physically in any direction
  • to get within a few inches of you
  • GO TOto shift focus to someone else
  • to enter a space on all fours, holding the tail out of the way.
  • BE CAREFUL when approaching
  • for a glass of water
  • QUIET to put an end to barking, whining, or howling

Read more at: Puppy in Training for a more thorough explanation of these instructions.