We often get asked for help to get someone's dog trained to become a "therapy dog", when really they are looking for a service animal. Unfortunately, the media isn't always helpful, and often use the wrong terminology. One of the things we aim to do in our education with the public is to help people learn the difference. You will often hear me (and many therapy animal handlers) give the simple explanation:
"A service animal or emotional support animal serves ONLY the handler, a therapy animal serves everyone".
That is really boiled down explanation, but it is an easy way for people to understand that there IS a big difference. When you look into the definition of each of these animals, it starts becoming a little clearer.
The chart below will hopefully help you to understand the differences between the three working animals mentioned above.