With their trademark bat ears and adorable snort, the small and spunky French Bulldog is one of the most popular breeds among pet lovers everywhere. And though they might be compact, it isn’t uncommon to see a French Bulldog service dog helping their human through their daily lives. Originating in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century, this diminutive dog makes an outstanding companion for everyone — including anyone living with a psychiatric disorder or physical disability. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about French bulldogs as service dogs.
French Bulldog Service Dog - Everything You Need to Know
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French Bulldog Service Dog
A French Bulldog can be an excellent service dog, providing valuable assistance and companionship. These intelligent and adaptable dogs can be trained to perform various tasks, such as retrieving items, alerting to sounds, and offering emotional support. With their friendly temperament and compact size, French Bulldogs make for ideal service companions, especially for individuals with psychiatric or emotional support needs.
What Are Service Dogs?
A service dog is more than just a pet — it’s a specially-trained worker with the important job of making life easier for its human handler. According to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability, beyond the emotional comfort and support only a canine companion can provide.
Are French Bulldogs Good Service Dogs?
Despite their diminutive size, French Bulldogs make for great service dogs, especially with the right training. While they may not be the best breed to serve as guide dogs, they can provide the love and assistance needed by many individuals living with a psychological disability. Some reasons a French Bulldog makes a great psychiatric service dog (PSD) include:
They Are a Smart and Trainable Breed
While “Frenchies” are known for being a fun-loving bunch, they are also smart enough to train for many scenarios. Treats and affection are excellent motivators for them to pay attention and retain their special training, such as training to be a psychiatric service dog.
They Are Highly Adaptable
It’s important for your service dog to accommodate you in different situations and scenarios, and a French Bulldog has what it takes to adapt to many. They are as comfortable living in an apartment as they are at a sprawling estate, and they don’t require too much outside activity. Frenchies also display high levels of adaptive intelligence, which helps them solve problems and learn on their own.
They Are Friendly and Affectionate Dogs
Beyond its plentiful skills, the French Bulldog is a sweet and affectionate dog, so it makes an ideal service dog for anyone with psychiatric or emotional struggles. Traditionally bred to be a lapdog, Frenchies love to curl up and lounge with their owners as much as they love to play, making them loving and devoted best friends and assistants.
What Tasks Can a French Bulldog Perform?
With proper training, a French Bulldog can help their owner with an array of tasks meant to enhance their life and support their disability, including:
Deep Pressure Therapy
If you’ve ever experienced the calm associated with a weighted blanket, you’ll be happy to learn that your French Bulldog PSD can provide a similarly comforting service. Deep pressure therapy (DPT) is simply the service dog using its weight and warmth to provide instant comfort to its owner to mitigate symptoms of their psychiatric disorder.
Provide Tactile Stimulation
Like DPT, tactile stimulation involves experiencing touch with the dog, not limited to petting them, but including pawing, licking, and snuggling. The physical affection provided by a French Bulldog service dog can provide instantaneous comfort and relief from psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety or sadness.
Danger or Intruder Notification
French Bulldogs are known for being alert, so although they are small in stature, their vigilance is that of a mighty watchdog whose bark is more powerful than its bite. They can be trained to alert their owner with a bark or tug in case of a sudden emergency or intruder. Of course, they aren’t very effective as guard dogs, since they are more likely to jump on an intruder demanding pets than to deliver a vicious bite.
How To Get a French Bulldog Psychiatric Service Dog
If you think a Frenchie is the perfect PSD to assist you with your mental or mood disorder, there are several ways to make it happen. With the help of Pettable, you can obtain a PSD certificate in a few easy steps.
Take Our Assessment
First take the Pettable assessment, which is a quick and easy way to determine your eligibility for a PSD and to match you with a therapist to explore your needs and options.
Get a Psychiatric Service Dog
You can either train a new dog, enroll your current dog into a training program, or adopt a new dog that’s already been properly trained to match your needs. Some programs can even work with your health insurance to help cover the costs of acquiring your service dog.
Training is essential to convert a canine companion into a full-fledged service dog. You can utilize Pettable’s online psychiatric service dog training program to teach the dog basic obedience, how to follow commands, and how to perform services directly related to your psychiatric disorder.
Can I Teach My French Bulldog to Be a Service Dog?
If you already have a Frenchie that you adore, you can train it to be your very own PSD. By law, any breed or mixed breed of dog may work as a service dog, as long as they are properly trained. French Bulldogs are easy to train, and their love and excitement are sure to provide you with comfort and relief.
What Disabilities Qualify for a Service Dog?
To qualify for a PSD, you must have a diagnosed mental condition, such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social/Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
A licensed mental health professional must diagnose you with one of these (or other) conditions before you can qualify for a service dog.
Service Dog Laws You Should Know
There are a few federal laws that protect service dogs and their owners from being treated unfairly in social situations, housing, and air travel. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) offers some strong protections for individuals and their service dogs, giving them certain privileges that regular pets don’t have, giving your service dog access to places such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other public places that don’t normally allow animals.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects individuals and their service dogs from discrimination in housing accommodations. For apartments, houses, or condos that don’t typically permit pets, the FHA ensures that service dogs (or miniature horses, in some cases) are allowed to live in their owner’s home. In the sky, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prohibits airlines to discriminate against passengers because of their disability requiring them to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons and to allow service dogs to accompany their owners on flights.
What's the Difference Between Psychiatric Service Dogs vs. Emotional Support Dogs?
While PSDs serve their owners by providing tasks specific to their disability, emotional support animals (ESAs) only provide general love and affection to their humans. Unlike PSDs, ESAs (including dogs and other animals) are not protected by federal laws and may not have the same privileges in public settings, housing, or air travel.