What’s the difference?

The CCH School for Professional Canine Partners provides dog training services to help people train their own dog for a job role.  The following definitions are provided to help the consumer and general public understand the difference  in the designations we use.  (note: The Service Dog role is the only designation recognized by law to allow full access to all public areas. All other partnerships must follow pet dog laws and the rules of specific places of business or recreation.)

Service Dog

A dog that is specially trained to perform tasks (jobs) to mitigate the disability of a specific individual.


  • To assist or respond to symptoms that interfere with activities of daily life
  • To improve independence
  • To improve access into the community

Therapy Dog

A dog that is trained to safely interact with individuals and/or groups of people at the direction of their handler.


  • To provide comfort, companionship, and a sense of well-being to others
  • To provide a positive emotional effect on individuals in special circumstances
  • To engage in trained interactions with people that provide a therapeutic benefit

Facility Dog

A dog that is trained to perform a defined job in partnership with their handler at one work location.  The job role is customized for the receiving organization or business.


  • To Improve the quality of the work environment
  • To respond to the defined needs of participants at the work location
  • To work in partnership with the handler for a common goal (ie-greeting, visiting, therapy)

Skilled Companion Dog

A dog that is trained to be an active participant in the lifestyle of the handler (or family).


  • To engage in a mutual relationship that respects the needs of each other
  • To improve the quality of life of the dog and handler
  • To provide a sense of personal well-being of the handler (includes Emotional Support)