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Over the past decade there has been a rise in the number of people with Emotional Support Animals. This has caused some confusion around what it means to have a service, emotional support or therapy animal . Here, we explain briefly the differences between each of these animals, the training required for each different type, and debunk some common myths. Read on to learn the differences between each type of animal, which one might be right for you or your loved one, and how Dog Training Elite in Atlanta can help.

Dog Training Elite in Atlanta offers top rated autism service dog training near you in Atlanta.


Not all training packages may be available at our Dog Training Elite in Atlanta location, please reference our pricing page for complete information on services offered.


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Dog Training Elite in Atlanta is proud to have professional autism service dog trainers near you in Atlanta.

ESA vs. Therapy vs. Service Animals: What's the Difference?


Service animals are animals that have been trained to assist individuals with tasks specific to their needs.

  • Redirecting attention when an individual is beginning to feel overstimulated
  • Reminding owners to take medication
  • Waking someone who is having a nightmare

Service dogs are valued in the mental health, health care and disability community and are protected under ADA laws which allow owners to take their service dog with them everywhere they go. Dog Training Elite in Atlanta trains dogs to serve individuals with autism, diabetes and PTSD.

Dog Training Elite in Atlanta trains autism service dogs to benefit and assist children with autism. Autism service dogs can be trained to track their child in case of wandering and redirect a child’s behavior when they are starting to become overwhelmed.

PTSD service dogs help ground owners to reality, especially in public settings. These service dogs can also be trained to recognize signs of a panic attack and regulate emotional responses through pressure.

Diabetic service dogs can alert their owners to their low blood sugar and provide stability, safety and support.

Visit our individual web pages to understand more about the differences and benefits of autism service dogs, PTSD services dogs and diabetic service dogs.

Although all dog owners may feel the emotional benefits of owning a dog, the dog needs to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness such as anxiety or depression to legally be considered an ESA. Emotional Support dogs can be of any age and any breed whereas service dogs usually begin training as puppies.

In addition to being prescribed by a mental health professional, owners may wish for their dog to undergo more specific training. If you are looking for emotional support dog training in your local area, Dog Training Elite in Atlanta has you covered.

The professional dog trainers of Dog Training Elite in Atlanta are experienced with training various types of therapy animals. Trainers work with a dog’s natural temperament to ensure a strong, loving bond between dog and owner. Training can be personalized to fit the needs of the owner.

It is important to note that Emotional Support Animals are meant for just that - emotional support. Dogs trained to assist with specific tasks that may be associated with a disability are service animals. Training a dog to be an Emotional Support Animal or a therapy dog is less intensive than training to be a service animal.

Therapy Animals are very similar to Emotional Support Animals, except that they are often used to bolster the mental health and wellbeing of a community, as opposed to just an individual. Therapy dogs are often seen serving in hospitals, rehabilitation or care centers with their owners.

Owners who feel their dog may be a good fit for this kind of community service can have them receive top-notch training from Dog Training Elite in Atlanta.

The most important thing to note as a difference between Emotional Support Animals, Therapy and Service dogs, is service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act which states service animals must be able to accompany their owners wherever they go. Emotional Support and Therapy animals do not have the same protections and public establishments may have their own rules about ESA and therapy dogs.

Whether you’re ready to get a new lease on life with the help of a service dog, or strengthen the existing bond with your dog, Dog Training Elite in Atlanta has the experience and resources you need.

Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.


Dog Training Elite in Atlanta is the top company near you that uses professional positive dog training methods.
Empowering Owners

We empower owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.

Personalized

We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.

Environment Specific

We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).

Supportive

We support owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").

Involved

We work with all members of the household.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.

Continued Training

Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.

Lifetime Investment

We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.

Satisfaction Ratings

Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

See Our Pricing

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

We highly recommend Dog Training Elite to anyone with a puppy or any age dog. They work amazingly beside you teaching both parent & dog/pup to become the best we can be. We have a beautiful & stubborn sweet Rottie we got as a puppy & have gone through the puppy classes & the platinum program. Goshia, our trainer is trustworthy, kind & has given us skills to help Piper be an obedient growing part of our family & society. Goshia has become part of our family and we continue training in their group classes. We are so thankful we found them. They’re the best! 💙🐶
— Sandy Wilson
Posted February 1st 2024
google
Great experience and great training for our Boxer Kobe! Gosia was great and extremely patient during the process and we very much enjoyed it!
— Johnathan Johnson
Posted January 18th 2024
facebook
My trainer, Mike, was great with Elliott. I would recommend this training.
— C Downs
Posted January 11th 2024
google
We had just adopted our dog and were looking to make her a psychiatric service dog. She was really sweet but we didn’t know much about her past. When Gosia met her she was able to quickly see her potential and gave us a lot of confidence in knowing that she’d be a great dog. It’s been a long hard road going through training, but they’ve been very understanding and accommodating of our needs. They treated our dog very well.Pretty grateful to have met them. We’re excited to have our service dog! She enjoyed all the training, all the praises, and is a very good girl!
— Sixel Legan
Posted December 18th 2023
google
I truly cannot thank Dog Training Elite enough, it truly was a wonderful experience for both my family and my dog, Sapphic. Mike was so supportive and patient, making the training time really easy and comfortable. Thank you again!
— Ngam Nguyen
Posted December 14th 2023
google
DTE NE Atlanta is great! Mike really helped us get better control of our wild guy! Murphy is a stubborn little dude so we do have some more practice/training to do, but I am so thankful for the trick and tips I learned from Mike. Thanks!
— Katie Deriso
Posted November 16th 2023
google
Absolutely thrilled with the incredible work of Mike and Dog Training Elite NE Atlanta! My dog underwent a remarkable transformation, thanks to Mike’s expertise and dedication. Mike not only provided effective training but also instilled a newfound sense of confidence and comfort in my dog. I am genuinely impressed with the results and grateful for the positive impact on my sweet girl. We started to see a difference in her behavior after just a few lessons. Family members who haven't seen her since her training began are shocked at the difference in her behavior - we have gotten several comments about how she acts like a brand new dog! We are now approaching our final in home lesson and we couldn’t be happier with her progress. She is 6 years old and a rescue, so we chose to go with the Platinum package. I can 100% say that it was worth every penny! The entire team is so kind. I am a student in grad school and they have always been so helpful and gracious when it comes to working with my ever changing schedule. I highly recommend Mike’s program for anyone seeking a skilled professional who truly understands and connects with dogs. Thank you Mike for making such a positive difference in our lives!!!
— Mirali P
Posted November 14th 2023
google
Dog Training Elite was such a pleasure to work with. Always on time, super accommodating. They have so much patience with my puppy who is so stubborn. I can t recommend them more.
— Orit Plotkin-Evans
Posted November 8th 2023
google
We absolutely loved working with Mike and Gocia! They are both so knowledgeable, kind and understanding. After our initial evaluation, we decided it was best for us to do the platinum package, mostly due to our dogs reactivity and behavioral issues and we are so glad we did. In addition to the basic obedience commands we worked on throughout the nine sessions, we were able to share any other things that came up throughout the week and work on them as needed. After a few weeks, they were able to bring their dog as a neutral dog and although ours has not been comfortable around other dogs, I was SO surprised to see her able to walk side by side in a heel! We frequently talked about the research behind training methods and other ways we can work on connection with our pup. Mike was so attentive and helpful with our situation, and I’m so grateful we chose to train with them. We haven’t found perfection yet, but we will continue to work on her reactivity in group classes. After trying to do training on our own for so long, having a program to follow has been so beneficial.
— Kori Silva
Posted October 10th 2023
google
I’ve been training my dog Luka with them for maybe a little over 3 months now and it has been the best experience I could’ve asked for. Mike who I did my training with was extremely flexible with scheduling but more importantly they are great with training dogs. I couldn’t recommend them enough.
— Dallas Cowboys
Posted October 4th 2023
google
We are very pleased with Dog Elite Training. Gosia is amazing and was very thorough about training our baby Leia. We seriously recommended their services. Training goes a long way when it comes to everyday circumstances and we are glad that we decided to get Leia on board with their Gold program. Can’t wait to try their Therapy Dog program. We are so grateful about having all the support from Dog Elite to get Leia where she is now. Jessica was also very quick to communicate throughout the whole program and to accommodate schedule changes when needed. Kudos to their excellent customer service!
— Karen S
Posted September 7th 2023
google
We are very pleased with Dog Elite Training. Gosia is amazing and was very thorough about training our baby Leia. We seriously recommended their services. Training goes a long way when it comes to ordinary circumstances and we are glad that we decided to get Leia on board with their Gold program. Can’t wait to try their Therapy Dog program. We are so grateful about having all the support from Dog Elite to get Leia where she is now. Jessica was also very quick to communicate throughout the whole program. Kudos to their excellent customer service.
— Karen S
Posted September 5th 2023
google
I'd highly recommend Gosia Billedo, her passion for dogs and upbeat nature makes class engaging and enjoyable. She has a tremendous depth of knowledge with extensive experience in a wide range of training and behavioral situations. She teaches so much more than just sit and stay and educates owners about dogs and proper dog ownership.
— Emely Gonzalez
Posted August 9th 2023
google
They really took the time to understand how to help my dog. Every trainer paid attention and listened to what he needed. They really helped us form a strong bond. The classes are so wonderful for controlled socialization as well! Hugo's week isn't right if we don't go to class!
— Natalie cleveland
Posted August 12th 2023
google
Gosia and her husband Michael are SO amazing. They really care about your dog but also your family. When Gosia would come to our home for the training sessions I never felt like my dog was going to be harmed. I never felt uncomfortable with her and even my toddler warmed up to her. She makes sure your dog understands the command(s) being asked before she leaves and is always readily available to answer any questions about anything you may need help with. If I ever get another puppy I will for sure be having Dog Training Elite come back. They’re amazing. The group sessions are great for both the dog and the handler as it helps pick up on your weak spots and the dogs. 10000/10 recommend
— Mackenzie Edwards
Posted August 8th 2023
google
Gosia has been wonderful with my little Stetson. She knows exactly what we need to work on and how to do it. We are doing the service dog training and would highly recommend them if you are in need of service dog training. It takes commitment and hard work but they will give you all the direction you need.
— Jill Hannon
Posted August 6th 2023
facebook
We checked into multiple dog trainers before contacting Dog Training Elite... the choice was obvious from the moment Gosia interacted with our miniature Poodle puppy, Chrissy. I could not be more pleased with the results from the five in-home sessions, and look forward to attending a group training session and socializing our very curious, energetic puppy!
— Karen Markette
Posted July 24th 2023
facebook
Mike was so patient and great with our dog Smokey. I am a night shift healthcare worker and they were incredibly helpful and flexible fitting in to my schedule. He is a much better behaved dog ever since then.
— Chris Orf
Posted July 19th 2023
google
This was absolutely worth the investment. The trainer was kind and patient but firm and has set us up for success with our pup. The group classes offer continued practice and support. I am grateful to have come across DTE.
— Maritza Makemson
Posted July 9th 2023
google
Cadey was having some major issues with reactivity and jumping on people. She's a big dog. She's a Lab/Pit mix and 65 pounds--so I couldn't allow this to continue. She's very smart but has always been stubborn. It took a while, but the reactivity is almost completely gone. She still gets excited to see people but has stopped jumping almost completely. These folks love animals and are very honest about YOUR role in the training. If you do the work and help your dog, the process works flawlessly. So far, I'm very pleased. 5 paws up!
— Shannon Sickmon
Posted July 5th 2023
facebook

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite in Atlanta, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite in Atlanta works with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

Learn More