Service/therapy/assistance dog FAQs:

 What is the difference between service dogs, therapy dogs and assistance dogs?
BJ Adkins

There are two groups of dogs that are commonly confused.
Therapy Dogs
The first group are therapy dogs, emotional support dogs and companion dogs. These dogs are wonderful friends often visiting assisted living facilities and hospitals where everyone can pet and enjoy them or they may be the soul companion of one individual that takes great comfort in having them around. These dogs do not have a specific skill set and are not federally protected which means they do not have any public access privileges.  Therapy dogs interact with people to offer feelings of wellbeing, or encourage rehabilitation through actual contact. Animals can provide a nonjudgmental presence. Hospitals, nursing facilities, schools and rehab centers can be stressful and scary. A dog-just being a normal wagging dog-helps return normalcy to people of all ages who must endure abnormal situations.Service Dogs (aka medical service dogs or assistance dogs)
The second group of dogs are medical service dogs, service dogs or assistance dogs. Those are all different names for the same type of working dogs. These dogs have had the appropriate training and possess specific skill sets that mitigate the challenges of a disability and can often take the place of a care giver for a mentally or physically disabled individual. Because of the advanced training these dogs have, they are recognized and protected by federal law and cannot be denied access into a public venue. Some of the more common disabilities for which these dogs are trained would be Mobility, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, Seizure Alert, Insulin Alert, Hearing Assistance and Seeing Eye dogs.

Is there a certification that service dogs are required to have?by: BJ Adkins
By law, there are no written certifications required, however, we encourage everyone to set high standards both for your dog’s well being and public safety. This would include obedience to the level that they are excellent in all aspects of heeling, sit and down stay, coming when called, not touching/sniffing things that don’t belong to them unless requested and all of these commands should be solid to the point that they do not break regardless of the distractions around them.
Once they are to this level, we suggest getting their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certification (from Honor: we have a Service Good Citizen Award: C.H.A.D. - Certified Honor Assistance Dog)  the dogs are required to pass prior to doing their public access training. These dogs must be focused on their handler and have the work ethic to be alert to their needs regardless of where they are and what else may be going on around them.

Categories for Therapy Dogs: There are two broad categories of therapy service.  Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) uses companion animals as a part of the patient’s therapy.  Interactions with the dog are part of a treatment plan designed by a health care professional, to improve the patient’s physical or emotional function. For instance, tossing a ball or brushing his coat encourages repetitive hand-eye coordination exercises.
Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) therapy introduces pets to withdrawn people to encourage communication, because patients often relax in the presence of a friendly animal. There’s no formal treatment plan or trained professional needed.
Neither AAT nor AAA dogs are considered service animals by federal law. Service animals are defined as being trained to actively help people with disabilities.

Registering Therapy Dogs
We recommend your puppy/dog be registered,  to undergo formal training.   Honor Service Dogs Inc. offers home-study courses, private training and guidance to animal-handler teams.   If the handler/team is out of state, we offer guidance via phone and internet and over-see your obedience training classes and certification for your C.G.C. by a certified trainer in your area.  As we continue to guide you in your dogs visitations, we offer vests, badges and certifications.    Our continued support system allows your dog/trainer team to bring the very best benefit to special needs groups and individuals. 

Family pet FAQ:

How do we reserve a puppy or older dog?

  • Reservations are held only by your deposit payment. We require half the purchase price to hold a puppy prior to birth.  If the litter is born, the full purchase price is required for us to move forward with preparation papers, downloads and travel arrangements. 
  • Your position within a litter may depend on the sequence in which your reservation payment was received. We expand great effort to provide you with the perfect puppy using our unique and careful way we raise each one, selecting a puppy which will best fit into your household.    Your deposit or purchase is GUARANTEED.  This means that the deposit or purchase price is refunded (less a $100.00 administrative fee) if:
  • you change your mind about a particular litter or its timing, 
  • we are not comfortable that a particular litter has the outstanding conformation or personality traits you are looking for,
  • either the Breeder or Buyer feel uncomfortable for any reason. 

We chronicle every litter with weekly photographs (usually more often!). Preparation is a very important and exciting time! Many of our buyers have had friends throw them a "Puppy Shower"!!

  • A very thick and thorough "Puppy Manual" is sent as soon as your reservation is confirmed. The Puppy Manual is so complete that if you never read anything else, you would learn all you need to know about raising a healthy, well-behaved puppy from reading the Manual.
  • We are here around the clock to answer all of your questions. There is no question or concern that is too small to bother us with - that's what we're here for! We enjoy sharing our experience. Every day we ourselves continue to learn and try to keep on top of the latest developments and health news in the dog industry. It's our privilege and responsibility to pass this information on to our puppy buyers.
  • Purchase prices:
    puppies start at $3,000 -half the purchase price, a deposit, is required to hold a reservation and is guaranteed. Balances are due upon birth of litter.  The deposit, less a $100 processing fee, is refundable if the buyer changes their mind.  The deposit is refunded in full if the breeding does not ‘take’ or result in a litter. 



The work of Honor requires an expansion to a larger facility. Your support and contributions will enable Honor to meet it's goals! Your generous donation will fund the mission and assist so many others. How can you help today?  

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Honor Service Dogs Inc. 

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

 that  provides extraordinary golden retrievers to veterans, special needs individuals and service organizations as well as wonderful family pets.  

Established in 1960.  

Honor Service Dogs Inc.

P.O. Box 77108, Charlotte, NC, 28271, USA

(704) 759-0108