The saying dynamite comes in small packages could be no more accurate than when it comes to the spunky and the oh-so-curious Dachshund. These brave little pint-sized canines are loyal family dogs with high intelligence levels. Nonetheless, they can also be prone to a stubborn streak, so consistent, positive training is paramount for them to excel as service dogs.
If you're considering a Dachshund service dog, this guide shares some expert insights and information about the breed.
Dachshund Service Dog
Dachshunds are lively, vivacious, intelligent, and affectionate. They can make for great service dogs with adequate training and are best suited for mental and intellectual disabilities rather than physical ones.
What Are Service Dogs?
Service dogs or psychiatric service dogs are defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as dogs who perform a specific disability-related task or function directly related to their owner's disability. Disabilities can be physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory.
Service dogs are permitted to enter any public area with their handler and are seen as medical support instead of a conventional pet or emotional support animal (ESA).
Are Dachshunds Good Service Dogs?
While Dachshunds aren't a typical breed that people think of when it comes to service dogs, they have several impressive traits that can make them great service dogs in the right environment. Since they are so small, they won't work well as mobility assistance dogs or offer adequate balance aid. They simply don't have the stature or the strength to do so effectively. However, they can significantly help owners with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities.
Let's explore some key traits that can enhance their service dog capabilities.
They Are a Smart and Trainable Breed
Dachshunds are intelligent and, therefore, trainable. They are super motivated and will respond well to positive, rewards-based training. However, they can also be incredibly independent and are known for their strong will. With perseverance, they can become incredible allies and support owners through various intellectual and mental disabilities. As such, patience and consistency are essential when training your Dachshund.
They Are Highly Adaptable
Dachshunds are adaptable in many settings, meaning they can live in diverse environments. Their small size means that they fit in well in a whole range of dwellings, from apartment living to townhouses. Provided they get enough playtime and space to release their energy, they're adaptive to many situations.
They Are Friendly and Affectionate Dogs
Dachshunds, as lively and stubborn as they might be on occasion, are also incredibly loving and loyal. They adore being close to their humans and will always be nearby for a snuggle. Their propensity for affection makes them brilliant emotional support animals and great service animals for those with psychiatric disabilities like anxiety and depression.
What Tasks Can Dachshund Perform?
While a Dachshund isn't the best dog breed if an owner needs wheelchair assistance or help to navigate the world due to blindness, they can provide many incredible disability-related functions for those experiencing psychiatric symptoms.
Deep Pressure Therapy
Dachshunds can perform pressure therapy on owners to relieve anxiety and bring them back into the present moment. By using their bodies, they bring owners comfort with their weight and warmth. While they might not be able to offer as deep a pressure therapy as a larger breed like a Retriever or Alsatian, they can offset many mental health symptoms by bringing owners back into the physical moment. This therapy can help with depression, PTSD, autism, and even Alzheimer's.
Danger or Intruder Notification
Despite being small, Dachshunds can have a pretty impressive bark. They can quickly alert owners to the presence of intruders. They are known to protect their families and can be fierce and courageous when they feel threatened.
As a natural scent hound (thanks to being so low to the ground), Dachshunds can retrieve objects for owners (provided they are not too heavy.)
How to Get a Dachshund Psychiatric Service Dog
You can get a Dachshund psychiatric service dog where you would find a conventional pet Dachshund (unless, of course, you opt for a PSD which has already been trained through a certified trainer). To qualify your PSD with Pettable, follow these steps:
Take our Assessment
Before enrolling in our PSD training course, answer a few simple questions so we can determine your needs.
Get a Psychiatric Service Dog
Online PSD Training requires handlers to work closely with their dogs. Before enrolling in training, you'll need to find your PSD. Find a legitimate service dog through a registered animal rescue organization or a registered and reputable breeder.
Complete your training with a certified behaviorist over 15 virtual sessions. Once complete, you will obtain official certification.
Can I Teach My Dachshund to Be a Service Dog?
Yes. Depending on the type of disability that you're living with, you can definitely teach your Dachshund to support you. They are especially beneficial for those dealing with mental or intellectual disabilities. If you have a mobility disability, a larger breed might be better suited to your needs.
What Disabilities Qualify for a Service Dog?
The following disabilities qualify for service dogs under ADA stipulations:
- Mental (PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Physical (Lack of mobility, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.)
- Intellectual (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Down Syndrome, etc.)
- Sensory (Blindness, low vision, deafness, etc.)
Service Dog Laws You Should Know
If you have a service dog, psychiatric service dog, or emotional support animal (ESA), these laws can enable you to realize your legal rights.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This recognizes service dogs and psychiatric service dogs and permits them to access all public spaces with their handlers, provided they are trained and well-behaved.
- Fair Housing Act (FHA): This legislation protects those with ESAs and ensures that landlords do not unfairly discriminate against them. Those needing protection should get an official ESA letter through a licensed therapist. You can do so quickly and efficiently through Pettable.
- Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA): This Act allows all fully trained service dogs and psychiatric service dogs, regardless of their size or breed, to join their handler on flights. Airlines can ask owners if the dog is needed for a disability and if it can perform a disability-related function.
What's the Difference Between Psychiatric Service Dogs vs. Emotional Support Dogs?
While psychiatric service dogs and emotional support dogs both support their owners through a range of psychological symptoms, PSDs are trained to perform a specific disability-related task that alleviates the symptoms. ESAs offer support and comfort through their physical presence. They are not necessarily trained to perform a specific disability-related task. Nevertheless, their presence and companionship offer huge therapeutic benefits.