Service dogs need to be smart, loyal, courageous, and attentive to help their handlers perform specific tasks. Dachshunds certainly possess all of these traits, but you don’t often see this breed used as assistance dogs. So, can dachshunds be service dogs?
Dachshunds can be service dogs, but they’ll need to go through rigorous training before they are considered assistance dogs in the eyes of the law.
If you’re thinking of training your dachshund to be a service dog or are interested in obtaining this breed to help you with certain activities, here’s everything you need to know about dachshunds as service dogs.
- 1 Can Dachshunds Really Be Service Dogs?
- 2 What Is A Service Dog?
- 3 Who Can Get a Service Dog?
- 4 Can Dachshunds Be Trained To Be Service Dogs?
- 5 How Does A Dachshund Become A Service Dog?
- 6 Can Dachshunds Be Police Dogs?
Can Dachshunds Really Be Service Dogs?
Provided your dachshund is obedient, attentive, and driven by food, there’s no reason why you can’t train your pooch to become a service dog.
However, due to the breed’s short legs and small stature, there may be some activities or tasks that they can’t perform, such as helping individuals with mobility issues.
Dachshunds are intelligent dogs, but they are notoriously stubborn and independent, which can make them difficult to train.
That said, with patience and commitment, dachshunds can certainly be taught to be excellent service dogs.
What Is A Service Dog?
A service dog has been specially trained to help people with disabilities or specific needs, enabling them to lead a more independent life.
They must not be pets and need to have undergone training to assist their handlers with tasks or jobs they cannot perform due to a disability.
Both therapy dogs and emotional support dogs are not acknowledged as service animals, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Service Dog Uses
Service dogs have a huge number of purposes, with some capable of performing multiple tasks, such as canines that can serve individuals with both vision and hearing difficulties.
To become a service dog, the animal must go through strict training programs before they are given to a potential candidate.
Below are some of the common types of service dogs that help people in their day-to-day lives.
- Hearing dogs for the dead or hearing impaired.
- Guide dogs for the blind
- Seizure response dogs to aid individuals with seizure disorders when a seizure happens
- Mobility assistance dogs for wheelchair users or people with mobility difficulties.
- Diabetes assistance dogs to inform handlers by scent when their blood sugar is high or low
- Mental health service dogs to assist individuals with panic disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, PTSD, and more.
Who Can Get a Service Dog?
To qualify for a service dog, you’ll need to have an official diagnosis of a disability or emotional/psychiatric disorder that an assistance dog can help you with.
You’ll need to request documents from your healthcare provider to prove that you have or are being treated for a physical or psychological disorder.
In addition, to be eligible for a service dog, you’ll need to:
- Live in a stable home environment.
- Be at least 12 years old unless the assistance dog is required for a child with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Able to physically and cognitively participate in the training of a service dog (up to one hour every day).
- Able to meet the emotional, physical, and financial needs of a service dog.
- Able to handle and command a service dog independently.
- Have no other dog in your home (other animals as pets are allowed).
If you’re looking into getting a service dog for a child with an autism spectrum disorder, the child will need to:
- Be between 6 to 12 years of age.
- Be enrolled in an ongoing education program.
- Have no other dogs in the home (other animals as pets are allowed).
- Enroll in a speech, physical, occupational, or recreational therapy program.
- Have a strong, stable family life.
- Have a parent, sibling, or guardian over the age of 18 who resides in the home trained as a facilitator.
Can Dachshunds Be Trained To Be Service Dogs?
Dachshunds can be trained to be service dogs, but bear in mind that this process can take years.
It takes a great deal of time, patience, and dedication to train your dachshund to become an assistance dog.
Additionally, some dogs may be unable to become service dogs, whether that’s due to possessing undesirable traits or simply because they are unresponsive to the rigorous training process.
If you have your heart set on owning a dachshund service dog, you might want to consider hiring a professional assistance dog trainer or adopting a dachshund that has already undergone training.
How Does A Dachshund Become A Service Dog?
There are multiple steps that dachshunds need to go through in order to be eligible as service dogs, which we’ll cover quickly below.
Step 1: Determining the Kind of Dog
While any breed can become a service dog, a successful candidate will need to have the right personality and traits to be considered for service work.
For instance, your dog should not display any assertive or disobedient behaviors.
Additionally, service dogs need to be in peak health, so you must know your dachshund’s medical status and age that could hinder their ability to perform specific tasks.
Step 2: Find a Professional Service Dog Trainer or Train Your Dog Yourself
Most owners use an authorized dog trainer that can educate their dachshund in service work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train your dog yourself under assistance dog laws.
It’s important to note that training your pooch at home can take a considerable amount of time, so it may be years until your dachshund is performing useful tasks related to your health condition consistently.
Although there’s no minimum time requisition for training to own a valid assistance dog certification, it’s recommended that training consists of 120 hours over six months, with a minimum of 30 hours being spent in a public environment.
Step 3: Public Access Examination
Your dachshund will need to pass the Public Assess Examination to qualify for a valid service dog certification.
Some of the vital criteria for this certification include:
- No assertive characteristic
- Stop sniffing behaviors unless told otherwise
- No petition for attachment or food
- No eagerness or excitability in public
There are other factors that influence your dachshund’s ability to pass the PAT, which you can find here.
If your dog is able to meet these expectations, they should succeed in the test with flying colors!
Can Dachshunds Be Police Dogs?
The main qualities a good police dog should possess are aggression, intelligence, strength, and an excellent scent of smell.
The most common breeds used as police dogs are German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and sometimes mixes of these breeds.
Occasionally, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Bouvier de Flandres’ are used.
While no law prohibits dachshunds from becoming police dogs, they are very unlikely to be used on the force as they lack intimidation and physical strength, which puts them at risk of becoming severely injured or unable to keep up with their handler.
That said, a dachshund named Ralph from Manchester, United Kingdom, helped his police owner arrest a man while he was off-duty in 2019, which just goes to show how fearless and protective these little dogs are!
With consistency, patience, and commitment, any dachshund can be trained to be a service dog. However, you’ll need to make sure you meet the requirements necessary for obtaining an assistance dog.
This includes having an official diagnosis (and documentation from a healthcare provider) of a physical, emotional, or psychiatric disability that warrants the need of a service dog.