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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 Mesa can help.

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

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

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 Mesa trains dogs to serve individuals with autism, diabetes and PTSD.

Dog Training Elite Mesa 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 Mesa has you covered.

The professional dog trainers of Dog Training Elite Mesa 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 Mesa.

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 Mesa 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 Mesa 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 15 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!

Had my Service Dog trained over the last year with the team she was able to complete her testing in August. Had some hiccups with protection training but was resolved. Overall Neil the owner great to work with very personable and passionate about the dogs training. Megan has done great job communicating since stepping in to handle things.
— kenny j
Posted September 15th 2022
google
We love training with Ashley. She takes the time to make sure we understand everything and personalizes the training to our dog and unique needs. Our dog has gone from pulling on a leash & jumping on people to healing and looking to us for direction. We are looking forward to completing the service dog training and are confident we will be able to do so with Ashley’s help.
— Jennifer Giannetta
Posted November 24th 2021
google
I had Ashley as my trainer and she was the absolute best! She was very thorough with the training for my dog Rufus. I am pleased when taking him out and having people come up to me giving him and myself compliments of how well he behaves. I would recommend Ashley as she does not only work from my place but we did a session with walking around old town Scottsdale to make sure he still would work through with the distractions outside. I have not made it to group Class yet but I do look forward to working Rufus with other dogs and have a chance for him to win a prize in the class.
— Andrew Federico
Posted November 18th 2021
google
We had a great experience with our trainers. Initially we hired them to help us with a rescue pitbull but it didn’t work out and we were forced to do something different for our family with young kids. The remaining balance of our pre-paid training was applied to our new puppy and the experience has been remarkable! I’ve had dogs my entire life and always considered myself well informed and able to manage my dogs. Dog Training Elite took what I knew to the next level… maybe a few levels. It’s been amazing to have a young puppy so well behaved. I would recommend these trainers to anyone looking for help with their dog.
— Howard Hansen
Posted October 18th 2021
google
I was in desperate need of a service dog. I went to DTE after a lot of research and physically observing their dogs and trainers at one of their events. When I arrived at their Mesa location, I was greeted by the most amazing people. They were kind, took a lot of time and effort to understand my needs and my disabilities. They had payment plans that fit my needs and had equipment I would need for training on site. I was lucky to have trainer Lexi. She did absolute wonders with my dog. By day two, my dog was tasking for my disability. Over the course of 3 weeks, Lexi got my dog ready to pass the CGC, CGCU, CGCA, PA, and ALL of the service dog tasks I requested. We were tested by Alex, who made what could have been the most stressful day ever, instead fun, light, and very enjoyable. This was not all. After testing, I was invited to join Service Dog group classes. This was run by Priscilla and Ashley. I was beyond nervous to go to our first class, but Ashley assured me that it was going to be great. I can’t put into words how supportive the class was. Priscilla was so knowledgeable and helped make little corrections with my dog which greatly impacted his behavior. I gained the confidence I needed and my dogs skills skyrocketed. I can not recommend this company enough. If you want results, respect, encouragement, understanding, and a friendly environment, DTE is for you.
— Dina Ransom
Posted July 22nd 2021
google
DTE’s professionals - Alex, Ashley and Aspen (Triple A) have provided their knowledge and tools to help our dog Astrid gain confidence and make good decisions. Through Triple A’s direction, Astrid has made considerable strides in being a good, respectful, obedient and fun Doberman. Thank you Alex, Ashley, and Aspen for your solid expertise, real problem solving skills and real life, practical training . Astrid .
— Al Interiano
Posted June 26th 2021
google
Ashely has been great with my dog. I have seen a big improvement with his obedience especially with recall and reactivity towards other dogs.
— lorenajocelyne
Posted June 12th 2021
google
I enjoyed the work they were able to do with both myself and my dog. Throughout the training I got to see many different trainers but received the same training for each specific course. They were capable to turn my life and my dogs around. They built up the confidence is both of us and showed the world that we are able to be in control. Each lesson was thought out and properly prepared to best teach both of us what we needed to be successful. I continue to look forward to our ongoing lessons and those who have helped us(Ashley, Neal,John,Aspen, Dani and their whole communication team)!
— Dallin Howell
Posted June 10th 2021
google
Every one there, literally everyone is amazing. All of the trainers are awesome and super friendly. They show that they are genuinely interested in asking your dog a more well rounded pet. I just finished the 6 week puppy course and my pup is doing so great. I can't say enough about how amazing this group of trainers are. Ashley stood out as super energetic and super friendly. She came to do the evaluation on my dog and demonstrated what we could hope to expect with her dog. All at my home. And she was involved in every class. Aspen was awesome also. Everyone was great I just can't remember all of their names. But Ashley and Aspen stood out. Thank you guys so much for helping me train my pup. Can't wait to go on to the more advanced classes.
— Clarence Jimenez
Posted June 4th 2021
google
People always ask who trained your dog and I always say dog training elite. They trained my dog to become a service animal . They helped me get a new normal with my service dog. I could never thank them enough for what they do . They have a great team and are always willing to help . Again thank you dog training elite.
— jose declusin
Posted May 29th 2021
google
I am currently training my 3 dog's and they are doing so well. They follow all the commands with the e collar. All of my dogs know basic obedience in the house and we are currently doing group training and it is going really good. The staff at dog training elite is amazing and respond quickly to questions.
— Sarah Becker
Posted May 29th 2021
google
We have been thrilled with Dog Training Elite, Ashley has been wonderful for our puppy! Would highly recommend!
— Vanessa Grothaus
Posted May 29th 2021
google
We have had an excellent experience with Ashley at Dog Training Elite thus far! She had only 2 trainings with my 6 month only pup and it’s be night/day difference in those two session- but TBH even after 1 session it was successful. She’s assertive yet caring which considering my apprehension with the collar, she worked with me to feel amazingly comfortable. She also texts to come early if that works for your scheduling. I highly recommend Ashley and as I move through my 6-8 month commitment with Dog Training Elite, I’ll be sure to review further. I will say the only reason this isn’t 5 star is their administration needs work. Scheduling is not easy. Confirmations of your appointment day of are via text... but scheduling you have to psychically call. Why? Additionally, each trainer cannot schedule appointments other than their own schedule. Which is a PITA if that trainer’s schedule is full on the desired time/day and now you have to call the office. I’ve called at least 7-8 times since seeking out initial service and despite each staff telling me there is “always” at least one person answering phones (except for 1 hour for a meeting on Mondays), I ALWAYS have to leave a voicemail and await a return call up to 2 days later- or me calling back myself impatiently. The finance guy has also called to collect full payments a couple of times despite having talked to him prior and been on the 3 month payment plan. So administration needs work but training by Ashley and TBD others! makes it worth the patience!
— Jeff Frost
Posted May 25th 2021
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite Mesa, 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 Mesa work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

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