Can a Yorkie Be a Service Dog?
In terms of service dogs, we think of large breeds like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. They have the appropriate size and strength to guide their humans, lend a helping paw, and provide support when needed.
We don’t think of small breeds as service dogs because of their small size and limited strength.
With that being said, can a Yorkie be a service dog? Of course, they can be! Keep in mind that Yorkies fall within the law’s definition of a service dog, and are intelligent, intuitive, and trainable.
Read on to learn more about the reasons for a Yorkie’s suitability as a service dog. Indeed, it isn’t the size of the body but the size of the mind and heart that matters.
Definition of Service Dogs
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, and Air Carrier Access Act, service animals aren’t pets.
These are dogs that have been individually trained to perform tasks, provide physical assistance, and provide emotional support for humans.
These laws don’t specify the breeds that can be considered as service dogs. Instead, these laws specify the roles and responsibilities that service dogs perform for their humans.
As such, Yorkies can be trained as service dogs based on existing laws!
What Is the Difference Between an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Dog?
Emotional support animals offer comfort to people suffering from any mental health issue. On the other hand, service dogs perform tasks that their disabled owner cannot do.
Also, emotional support dogs do not undergo extensive training like service dogs.
Emotional assistance dogs cannot travel anywhere with their owners. Meanwhile, service dogs can travel anywhere with their owners.
Can a Yorkie Be a Service Dog?
Several people perceive the Yorkie as being a pampered lap dog. This breed is undeniably one of the best therapy dogs. They are known as being one of the top soothing and calming dog breeds, for good reason.
First, this breed has a soft coat, which makes it perfect for situations requiring calming hugs. They also help people suffering from sensory problems. Yorkies usually get to calm down through smooth textures.
Second, Yorkies are easy to train. They are intelligent enough to quickly pick up on changes in your moods and other cues related to your feelings.
They also possess great personalities, and they will surely lighten your mood when you’re feeling down.
I’m sure you’re aware that smaller dogs have bigger personalities. The Yorkie is a very brave breed of dog.
Yorkies are small and light. They are the perfect size to carry in your bag anywhere you go. With that in mind, they can provide you with emotional support as you go about your day.
Yorkie as a Service Dog
The Yorkie’s size has never been a hindrance in terms of its being a good service dog. Tasks that they are capable of doing include assisting with psychiatric issues and other easy home duties.
Given that they are small in size, they cannot perform large tasks, such as supporting balance or pulling a wheelchair. However, this doesn’t take them out of the picture for being good service dogs.
Yorkies can be adept at helping with manageable house chores. Following are some of the manageable house chores any York can do:
- Fetching TV remote
- Pulling open cabinet doors with soft handles
- Retrieving light clothing
- Alerting owner to significant sounds, and if someone’s at the door
- Fetching the newspaper in the lawn
This breed has proven its value as medical alert service animals. With proper training, Yorkies can detect seizures, drops in blood pressure, and subtle changes in glucose levels.
With their small size and soft fur, they are recognized as one of the best dogs for people with psychiatric problems. Their small bodies allow them to accompany their owners anywhere.
This is a huge advantage for people struggling with mental illness.
Can Your Yorkie Be a Service Dog?
No restrictions exist in the law regarding breed limitations for a service dog. The Yorkie is a small breed. However, they are intelligent enough to be taught some minor service dog duties.
To be a service dog, the canine must pass extensive training. This training is far different from that required to be an emotional support or therapy dog. Service dog training is much more comprehensive and starts mostly from the age of 4 months.
Consider making your Yorkie a service dog if he has the following characteristics:
- Well-behaved in public places and different situations
- Healthy enough to carry out the required training tasks
- Intelligent and obedient
- Does not growl when strangers walk by or pet him
Temperament Evaluation for a Service Dog
Several dog breeds make for good pets, but not all of them are cut out to be service dogs.
Dogs that get easily irritated and distracted are not good candidates, especially if they’re aggressive with other humans and dogs.
Before proceeding to service dog training, the dog must pass a temper evaluation. Evaluating the dog’s temper is crucial. It determines whether the animal can be a service dog candidate.
The traits below will help the dog become a good service dog:
- Energetic but not hyper
- Stays calm in different situations
- Does not react aggressively when strangers pet him, or when children pull his tail or ear
- Does not get distracted by his surroundings, and has a great focus on his task
- Comfortable around different people and other dogs
- Intelligent enough to follow cues and obedience training
- Has the right size, stamina, and strength to perform his responsibilities
Dogs are exposed to different kinds of noises during the temper evaluation. A service dog’s role is to focus and assist its owner despite the situation.
The dog must be able to assist even during thunderstorms or around other kinds of noises. Successful service dogs will signal if they’re hurt or afraid but will not run away.
Overall, a Yorkie is a small dog that is not capable of performing big tasks, such as supporting balance and pulling a wheelchair.
However, it can do smaller home chores and give emotional support to its owner. The Yorkie’s size, personality, and capabilities make it a good emotional support dog.