Can pit bulls make good Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals (ESA) ? Yes! Pit bulls are smart, loyal, patient, and eager to please. These are good qualities to have in a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal. Pit Bull type dogs aren’t as common as other breeds in the roles of Service Dogs or Emotional Support Animals.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An Emotional Support Animal is any animal that brings comfort to those people diagnosed with a mental or emotional disability. These animals are not specifically trained to do a task and do not have the same rights and privileges as a service dog, although, they are protected by federal laws for travel and housing.
- Jane and her pit bull, Atheena, are from Michigan. Atheena helps Jane cope with her anxiety and depression.
- Piglet was adopted from Angel City Pit Bulls. He earned his stripes as an Emotional Support Animal. Piglet comforts his dad while they fly around the world.
- Nerissa and Cash live in Colorado. Nerissa had struggled with mental health for some time before she brought cash into her life. Cash was to be her hiking partner and emotional support animal.
- Myself (HLTowsley) and my boy Trago, lived in Vermont. He never left my side. Trago helped me deal with my PTSD, panic attacks, depression, and anxiety.
What is a Service Animal?
A Service Animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
The following dogs were all trained at the Animal Farm Foundation based in New York.
- Captain America and his human, Margierose are from New York. Captain America was trained to retrieve dropped items. He helps Margierose when her balance is off. He was trained to get the phone if there is an emergency.
- Mathew and his pittie, Jericho are from New York. Jericho was trained to open doors and retrieve things. He was also trained to help Mathew transfer from his wheelchair. Jericho also helps with anxiety.
- Parker and his owner, Vicki, are from North Carolina. Parker was trained to get water from the fridge, and retrieve other items. He was trained to help brace Vicki on the stairs. Parker was also trained to go get help if Vicki needed it.
These are only a few examples of pit bull type dogs being service dogs or emotional support dogs. I hope that in the future pit bulls will become more popular as service animals. It would save more pit bulls’ lives… just as my boy had saved mine more than once.