Can Pomeranians Be Service Dogs? The Surprising Answer!
Pomeranians are known for their undeniably cute looks and great companionship, but these adorable balls of fluff have more to offer than being playful lapdogs. Pomeranians are devoted and have proven to be excellent service animals. Their intelligence, paired with their loyalty and affection, make them easy to train. They are also intuitive, which makes them not only a suitable service dog but also a great therapy dog.
Some laws determine what makes a dog a service dog, and Pomeranians fall within those laws regarding small tasks and medical alerts. While they also make great emotional support dogs, unfortunately, they are not considered service dogs.
What Is the Definition of a Service Dog?
A service dog, by law, is an animal that is trained individually to perform tasks or work for a handler with a disability. They are considered working animals, not pets. Examples of this type of work or tasks include guiding handlers who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, alerting or protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person to take medication, pulling a wheelchair, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other duties.
The task for which a dog has been trained must be directly related to the handler’s disability. A dog that provides only emotional support is not qualified as a service dog under the ADA. Some state and local laws define service animals in broader terms than the ADA, and information can be obtained from the relevant state attorney.
The Pomeranian as a Service Dog
Pomeranians can make excellent service dogs, but they will differ greatly from most service dogs. A Pomeranian would not be suited for people that need a service dog for tasks such as pulling a wheelchair or other work involving physical support, but they have their own characteristics that make them excellent service dogs.
- Many Pomeranians have proven to be skilled at alerting their owners to Parkinson’s disease, asthma symptoms, or diabetes. They can detect subtle changes in a diabetic’s glucose level.
- Pomeranians are excellent for the deaf and hard of hearing.
- The Pomeranian service dog benefits people suffering from anxiety disorders and autism.
- Pomeranians can detect seizures.
- Despite their small size, Pomeranians can assist with more manageable household tasks
Your Pomeranian can be of service by assisting with manageable tasks around the house, such as:
- Opening cabinets with soft handles
- Alerting the owner of a baby crying
- Fetching the newspaper from the lawn
- Fetching the TV remote
- Taking light clothing out of the dryer
- Alerting the owner to specific sounds, such as the telephone ringing
Service dogs and emotional support dogs are different but can share in their roles to enhance a person’s life. The responsibility of emotional support is to provide comfort and emotional support. Emotional support dogs don’t require as much training, but they are not considered service dogs. Therefore, they will not be allowed in buildings or airplanes.
Can You Train Your Pomeranian to Be a Service Dog?
Training your Pomeranian to be a service dog is relatively simple. Your Pomeranian will need to be trained to do a specific task you cannot do or have trouble doing. If the specific task is something you need help with while in public, it is vital that your dog is well-socialized.
If you are considering training your Pomeranian to be a service dog, your dog should have the following characteristics:
- Well-behaved in public
- Healthy and strong enough for the required work or task
- Not afraid of noises or people
- Not hyperactive
- Not easily distracted
- Not nervous in new situations
Can Pomeranians be Emotional Support or Therapy Dogs
Pomeranians are intelligent, easy to train, and highly affectionate. This combination of smarts and unconditional love makes them ideal emotional support and therapy dogs.
If Pomeranians are well-socialized, they can provide support for other people, such as children in the hospital, elderly residents in a care home, or a family member or friend that is experiencing a tough time. This small breed is also beneficial for people who battle psychiatric problems. They can provide solace and relief to those who are bereaved or lonely and comfort and calm to people battling anxiety.
How to Keep Your Pomeranian Healthy and Safe
As a pet owner and service dog handler, you must provide your companion with the best care to keep them safe and happy.
- Feed your Pomeranian a high-quality, well-balanced diet.
- Take your dog for a daily walk to expel energy, meet new dogs, and strengthen your bond.
- Pomeranians have two thick coats of fur and, as a result, have two heavy sheds twice a year and a moderate level of shedding the rest of the year. It is crucial that your brush its coat to prevent matting.
- Ensure your Pomeranian gets a regular amount of exercise. Exercise can also help them engage with their senses which is essential for emotional health.
- Don’t allow your Pomeranian to jump down from a high place, such as the bed or couch. This is especially important if your Pomeranian assists you with household tasks. It could cause bone sprains, tears, pulls, and fractures, or it could cause repetitive strain injury (RSI) due to chronic stress on your dog’s joints.
- As a service dog owner, you must ensure that your dog receives a check-up at least once a year.
- Service dogs trained by organizations are not “finished” when they complete their service training programs. You must work with your dog daily to maintain the standards.
They say dynamite comes in small packages, which rings true for the Pomeranian. They have so much more to offer than kisses and cuddles. Pomeranians make excellent service dogs for smaller tasks or medical alerts. They can even be trained to help around the house with various jobs to assist their owner. Pomeranians have the traits to make suitable emotional support or therapy dogs for those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or loneliness. While therapy dogs can significantly improve one’s life, they are not considered service dogs under the law.
Featured Image Credit: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock