Are Dachshunds Good Service Dogs?

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One well-known fact about Dachshunds is their incredible loyalty. One thing this loyalty could be suitable for is being a service dog. Well, if you have wondered if that is something in Dachshunds capabilities, then you are on the same page I was before I did some research. This is what I found.

So can Dachshunds be service dogs? Dachshunds are not considered a typical service dog, but that does not mean they can’t be. This is mostly because Dachshunds are typically very stubborn, which means they are more difficult to train than other dogs.

This barely covers the surface though. After I found the answer, I needed to know more. So that’s what I did. I found out what is required of service dogs, what some common service dog breeds are, and what it is about Dachshunds that doesn’t make them the ideal service dog.

What is Required of Service Dogs

Service dogs are basically dogs that are trained to specifically help their owner with their medical or emotional elements. To be able to get to this point of guiding, undressing, getting things off the floor, or getting help, dogs need a lot of training. That training can be quite intensive, which means the process becomes a lot less straining when the dog has a high trainability.

Along with that, they need to be extremely well-mannered in public. This means that they need to be able lie quietly in places such as a library or restaurant. They also need to be able to pay strict attention to their owner in busy crowded places.

“Most service dogs are taught between 30-60 different behaviors and are required to perform under any circumstances and levels of distractions. With such requirements, it only makes sense that whatever dogs are used, they need to have certain training qualities.”


Dogs need to be very food-driven as well as having a very good attention span and a desire to interact with people. This is what makes it difficult to train Dachshunds because they can be so independent. But as long as the dog has those three things (food-driven, attention-span and desire to interact) than they most definitely have the potential to be trained as a service dog.

The main thing to look at when trying to find which breed of dog you’ll want as your service animal is train-ability and physical aptitude. These things will most affect it’s ability to be a reliable and useful service dog.

Types of Service Dogs

There are many types of service dogs in this world. Humans have many various needs and dogs are fortunately able to fulfill so many of those needs. Some types of service dogs are Seeing Eye Dogs, Seizure Alert Dogs, and PTSD dogs. Basically if someone has a need or problem, a dog can be trained to help with that problem.

That is the incredible thing about dogs. They live their lives, and serve their owners fiercely and to the best of their ability.

Which Type of Service Dog Would A Dachshund Be?

The training that service dogs require is incredibility intense which is a part of the reason that they are not the first choice for many trainers and owners with the need for a service dog.

That being said, it is absolutely still possible to train a Dachshund. The training would have to start during the crucial puppy months of the Dachshunds life. The training would have to be very routine and intense. Dachshunds are inherently very stubborn which means that it might be more difficult to train them.

“He… has his canine good citizen title and national obedience champion title…  He knows 279 commands and the same number of hand signals. He Is a certified medical alert dog for me. He goes everywhere with me.”

– CotytheServiceDog on WienerWritings

User, CotytheServiceDog is the proud owner of three Dachshunds, one of them being Coty, her service dog. This is proof that although it may be more difficult to train a Dachshund, they are very capable of becoming essential service dogs.

There are some services that Dachshunds would not be good for though. Some of those include Seeing Eye Dogs and a dog that would need to help someone stand up. This is strictly because of their small stature, and not their lack of trying. One service they are great at is being a Seizure Alert Dog.

How do I know if I could Benefit from an Emotional Support Dog?

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If you don’t feel that you could legally qualify for a service dog, an emotional support animal might be the way to go for you.

In order to legally qualify for an emotional support dog, one must meet some requirements as well. Those requirements are that a licensed therapist or psychologist prescribed an emotional support animal to you.

This requires a physical letter stating that you, in your emotional state, would benefit from an Emotional Support Dog. If you do not have a therapist there is also a website that will diagnose and access your emotional state and need for you. That website is called, Chilhowee Psychological Services.

How Do I Find or Train a Service Dog?

Once you have decided that you would benefit from a service dog, you have two options. Either you can adopt an already trained service dog from a reputable trainer in your area, or you can hire a trainer to come train your dog. Some even offer to do it in your own home!

Either way, it is crucial that you find a legit service dog trainer. Do lots of research on trainers before you invite one into your dog’s life, and possibly into your home.

Common Service Dogs

The most common types of service dogs are German Shepherds, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers. These are some of the most common because of their stature and how easy it is to train them.

In the modern age, many kind of unusual breeds are trained as service dogs. Some of those include Chihuahua’s as Seizure Alert Dogs. And Mastiff’s can be trained to help with work on mobility. In recent years, with a lot of training and dedication, the possibilities are endless.

Can Little Dogs Be Service Dogs?

Service dogs come in so many types of breeds, sizes, and shapes. For every need, there is a specific breed of dog that can best help that need. Although big service dogs are trained to be very gentle, sometimes people in their sickly state cannot compete with the large stature and weight of a big dog.

For these people, a smaller service dog is both required and preferred. These smaller dog breeds can alert others and comfort the person in need while still being extremely gentle. They bring a certain softness to some situations that big service dogs just cannot swing.

Is a Service Dog the Same Thing as an Emotional Support Dog?

A Service dog and an Emotional Support dog are close to the same thing, except there is one main difference. Service dogs help people with physical ailments such as seizures, mobility issues, seeing impairment, hearing impairment, PTSD and autism.

Emotional Support dogs more help people with emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks and bipolar disorders.

Both are legit, valid and needed animals. They both help their owners with their individual needs. The needs are just a little different between the two.

Related Questions:

How do I know if I could benefit from a service dog? One must have some kind of disability that severely limits them in their everyday life. This means that at least one major life task is made more difficult or impossible by this disability. If this seems like you, or someone you know, that might mean it’s time to think about getting a service dog.

How do I make my dog a service dog for free? In order to make your dog an actual service dog, you must register your dog with the US Dog Registry. Doing this just requires a couple of steps, explaining your need, your dog. Then they send you your kit, including the certificate and harness for your dog, declaring their status.