Vest For An ESA

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.


Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 12:01pm PST 
I know this might be overdoing it a bit, however thought I'd ask anyway. shrug Does anyone have a vest for their ESA? I know an ESA is not a service dog, and I'm aware of the differences, but I've been having some issues with me ESA Bella.

Basically with my Agoraphobia the only places that I can go are the places that she can go. So technically she goes with my everywhere to the few places I go to such as therapy. Though I've been having a few problems even at the few places I ever go to. When I'm out, I'm basically peting Bella non-stop, it keeps me focused on her and what she's doing and not on my wild thoughts which lead to panic attacks. If I'm not, my mind goes absolutely crazy which leads to a panic attack in most cases, and though she is trained in grounding during them, I'd rather it not get to that point if I can help it.

So anyway, the problem with having a dog in therapy and places like it is that they don't allow dogs (I cleared it with them though) so everyone thinks it's cute and odd to see a little pug/shih-tzu mix come in, and I get a lot of people who just run up and pet her like crazy, which prevents me from petting her (Not to mention they don't even ask so there is no way I can refuse) This makes me panic, since in the first place it's horrible having someone come up to me, let alone them proventing me from peting her to calm me during it.So I'm wondering, would it be overkill to get her a vest that has "Emotional Support Dog" "Don't Pet Or Distract" "Don't Separate From Owner" On it? Does anyone else do this?
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 2:25pm PST 
I'm not sure about anyone with ESA's... but I do know there are a lot of leash reactive dogs that have patches on their harnesses or leashes/collars/bandana's that say things like, "Please do not pet." or "Please give me space." or various other things asking for space.

The Store with Examples

I'm sure you can find other similar things on the web too, WITHOUT giving the impression that she's a SD.

Yeah, I can do- that, but I- won't!

Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 5:56pm PST 
I mean, she is already doing work for you and seems to be a good worker for and with you. From what you are describing, I can see her as a SD.
As an ESA I would not put a vest on her. You can do whatever you want, but it won't make things right. You can always get a Please Don't Pet Me patch/sign, which you can put on her harness. That might solve a few of the issues and you are not crossing any boundaries.
People can take their pets to therapy as long as it is agreed upon. They can go to dentists, even. Just make sure you got the approval to bring your pet dog.
Best, sonja and the crew


Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 5:57pm PST 
I have seen some ESA's with vests when they are at the airport, so it's not unheard of. I think it would be fine it it doesn't say service dog or you're trying to make her one.

Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 9:09pm PST 
Thanks everyone for the responses! Personally I do think she'd make a good service dog. Of course she helps me a ton and I really need her. Having her as a service dog would help me so much more because then I could get to even the more simple places like the supermarket (I've recently had dreams about how fun it would be to go there, so many people take such a simple thing for granted) or even maybe start going to school again and see my old friends. Whenever I go anywhere with her, even the vets I get comments on how well trained she is. Though I had washed her out because of her reactivity issues, they seem to be getting better in leaps and bounds. Just today I got her to do a down stay on the scale at the vets when just a few feet away a dog was barking and trying to get to her. I've wanted to try some training with her at petsmart and such, but I'm afraid that she would act up and if I had a service dog in training vest on it would give them a bad name. Not to mention make me embarrassed out of my mind. red face Though I don't thinks she would it still scares me. shrug
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
Barked: Wed Nov 7, '12 5:29am PST 
If you are re-considering training her as your SD, try taking her to pet-friendly places without a vest for practice, like the veterinarian's office and pet stores and other places that allow dogs. In my area, hardware stores tend to allow dogs.

I suggest that you get an experienced trainer to help you evaluate your dog for public access. In my experience, an outside view is so very helpful in the process.

Best of luck to you! I know what a gift it is to be able to leave home to do the simplest tasks.

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
Barked: Wed Nov 7, '12 9:36am PST 
I can tell you that patches do not keep the idiots from wanting to pet... in fact I find them to be magnetic.
Pooch ~ I- miss you ~

love forever
Barked: Wed Nov 7, '12 1:12pm PST 
Well they make vests now for dogs in training and for dogs with issues so I don't think there is any problem with a vest for an ESA as long as you are not passing her off as a SD inappropriately.

Here are a few examples of pet dog vests--

Needs Space vest: http://www.pawsitivedog.com/DogInTrainingVest.html

Training vest: http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product _ID=3093&ParentPage=whatsnew

Blind/Deaf Dog vests: http://web.archive.org/web/20101011125000/http://www.thankfulpaws.co m/deaf-blind-shy.htm#blindCoat