While many people think of service dogs as medium or large breeds, there are excellent Chihuahua service dogs.
They make wonderful service dogs for many reasons…They are often a 1 person dog often preferring to be close to one particular person, they are very intelligent – certainly capable of learning all that is needed to be a service dog and due to their size they are not limited to their environment; even those with tiny apartments can easily fit a Chihuahua into their lives.
There are actually 2 types of Chihuahua service dogs:
1) Those that are technically service dogs, rendering physical help to those that are in need of it. This can range from helping a seeing impaired individual to cross a street to fetching items for someone who is unable to reach things from the floor.
2) Those that act as a companion, also known as a therapy dog whose job it is to provide comfort and emotional support to those who are in need of such elements.
In regard to the term Chihuahua service dog, it will technically be a dog who is trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. Companion dogs are therapy dogs and are in a different group.
What Can a Chihuahua Service Dog Do?
The size of this breed rarely gets in the way of his or hers ability to do what is necessary to make someone’s life easier. They can be trained to be very alert and follow signals as opposed to verbal commands, they can guide a person while walking indoors or outside, they can fetch objects and they can alert a person to the presence of another, again whether indoors or from what they sense is outside.
What makes a service dog excel at their job is not their breed nor size; it is the training that the dog has. It goes far beyond regular command training, as the result must be a dog that focuses all of his thoughts and actions toward helping his human partner.
Legally, any breed at all can act as a service dog…This allows them to be allowed into any public areas where other dogs would not be allowed. This includes restaurants, movies, malls, stores, markets and more.
In many cases, those that are in need of a service dog can have a particular dog trained specifically for their exact needs. For example, there are seizure alert service dogs whose job it is to respond to a person when they have a seizure and are trained to call for help, usually via a button that needs to be pressed to activate a call to emergency services…
And another may need a dog who can fetch snacks or perhaps even open and close doors. Don’t let the size of the Chi fool you… With ramps and/or doggie steps they can reach any place that a large dog can.