The dachshund is one of the most popular dog breeds. They are great as pets and companion animals, but can they take on the role of a service dog?. The character of these smart, loyal, and joyful dogs suggests they would be great for emotional support and other types of therapy. Is this the case?
Can dachshunds be service dogs?
The short answer here is yes. Dachshunds do make great service dogs in some disciplines, such as emotional support dogs. Their temperament as companion dogs makes them well suited to this sort of “work”. However, they aren’t going to be as well-suited to other roles involving physical medical conditions or other forms of service work. With practice, your dachshund puppy can go through the appropriate training to assume this role and gain certification. Or, you can apply for a dachshund service dog for your condition.
What are service dogs used for?
Service dogs are working dogs that provide an essential service to their owner. These roles can be more occupational, such as those that help out with vocational tasks, military service, and other jobs. Or, they can be medical, with dogs helping those with mental illness or physical disability to live a more independent life.
The types of service dogs:
- Service Dogs. There are some well-known types of service dogs for the disabled, such as dogs for the hearing impaired or the blind. Others are trained as seizure alert dogs.
- Working Dogs. Working dogs help their owners with vocational tasks, such as military dogs, sniffer dogs, guard dogs, and farm dogs.
- Therapy Dogs. These animals are a great help for those dealing with illness and stress. They can visit and interact with those in need to provide relief.
- Emotional Support Dogs. Emotional support dogs tend to live with their adoptive owner and help with mental health conditions like anxiety and PTSD.
What type of service dogs can dachshunds be?
Dachshunds are better suited to being emotional support and therapy dogs where there isn’t an issue with their size. Conditions that require greater physical help, such as when dogs need to reach door handles, operate other mechanisms or fetch items, are too demanding for this little dog. They aren’t going to be able to reach the counter, handle heavy loads, or guide you on long walks. However, their small stature does mean that they travel well in carriers and are perfect for plane journeys. There are also cases of small breeds working as allergen detection dogs and seizure alert dogs.
Instead, these little companion dogs can provide great comfort to people in times of anxiety or stress. Their presence alone might be enough to ensure that their owners are calmed or distracted enough to prevent dangerous side effects like panic attacks or self-harm.
Also, dachshunds could operate as therapy animals that go and visit people in care homes, hospices, or hospital settings. They can go cuddle, play, and have a great time with people that need this moment of joy in their life. There are even universities now that bring in service animals like this to calm students during exam season.
Who can get a service dog?
Any person diagnosed with a mental or physical disability that is contemplated under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and has a medical document that declares that the person’s condition could be improved or supported in some way by the service animal is eligible to apply for a service dog. Click here to read more about this subject.
In the case of dachshunds, they are better suited to those with emotional support needs rather than any physical roles, they are great for the following people.
- Adults dealing with anxiety issues, that need comfort in the constant companionship of a small dog.
- Children with autism, that need a reliable companion that won’t overwhelm them or judge them.
- Children with serve allergies can take a small service dog into school to smell their food.
- People with epilepsy and other seizure-inducing conditions.
Can I train my Dachshund to be a service dog?
There are two ways to get a dachshund service dog. The first is to get a dachshund puppy and train them to be a service dog. It is much more effective to bring in outside help from professional trainers as they can devise the perfect training regime and teach the pup all they need to know. Owners may not have full consideration of all the tasks that their dog will need to perform. This could be dangerous when the dog grows up and encounters a situation they are not prepared for. A professional should be able to cover everything needed, even some of the more obscure situational issues.
Then there is the fact that it can take a lot of time and patience to train a dachshund to be a service dog. This is a smart and loyal animal, which is why they are such a good fit for this sort of work. However, they also have a stubborn and independent streak. Trainers that get past this at early age should be able to mold the dog into a much more obedient animal. Owners might not have the skill or consistency in their training regime to do so.
How to certify a service dog.
All service dogs have to be registered – even emotional support dogs. You can apply to the US Dog Registry and explain who your dog is, why you need them, and what they do. The registry will then send out your certificate, harness, and other official gear. These patches and vests are important when validating your dog, especially in situations where people may question their purpose. Click here for more information
Where to find a service dog.
The alternative is to get a dog that is already certified for the role. There are organizations out there that train dogs for all kinds of service work. You can apply for a dachshund to help you with your medical conditions and essentially adopt that animal. However, you will need a letter from your therapist to get a support dog for a mental health condition. That is why some parents of children or adults without a therapist may choose to train a Dachshund puppy to be their service dog.
Can dachshunds be service dogs?
In short, you can train your dachshund puppy to be a service dog for your medical condition in many situations. Training does require professional help, but pups can become brilliant emotional support dogs, seizure alert dogs, or other forms of support. Or you can adopt a certified animal with a letter from a medical professional.