Can Chihuahuas Be Service Dogs? Is It Really True?


We were shocked by the bones when we first saw Chihuahua wearing a service dog vest. The first thing that came to our mind was, Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs?

Like you, we also thought that only German shepherd, Labrador retriever, or golden retriever could reach the status of a service dog.

But a small dog breed like Chihuahua as a service dog is something out of a fairytale. In the name of an assistance dog or an emotional support animal, people have been using various dog breeds. And in most cases, you also find a fake service dog when someone wants to get hold of their pet dog in places where dogs are not allowed.

The answer to the question Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs will make more sense to you when you realize that it’s the training that counts and is more important rather than the breed and size of the dog itself.

Can Chihuahua Be Service Dogs?


Legally there is no breed-specific restriction for the dogs to be service animals. This leverage allows all the dogs of different sizes, from Chihuahua to Great Dane, to become a service dog for different reasons and situations of the owners. When you have a service dog, you can take your companion dog to places where dogs are not allowed at all.

You can take your certified service dog to the restaurant, movie theater, shopping mall, or in the markets. A working dog is allowed everywhere you go. But when you think about the Chihuahua, the first thing that comes to your mind is the temperament of the small pet.

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The higher temperament of this small animal might make you think that the answer to Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs should be a big fat no. But this is not the case. Since you cannot train Chihuahua to be a guard dog, there are many other options available for Chihuahuas to be a service dog for you.

A Chihuahua is a perfect pet for families because of its small size and loving nature to the family members. And when you give it proper training, you can make it a service dog to prevent seizures, provide emotional support and help people suffering from disabilities of different kinds.

Reasons Why Chihuahuas Can Be Service Dogs?


In a nutshell, the following are the basic reasons why Chihuahuas can be service dogs:

  • Intelligence
  • Agility
  • Sharp senses
  • Shy towards strangers
  • Longer life span
  • Easy to train
  • Strong sense of smell
  • Unconditional love for the owner

Now you have learned the answer to Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs, let’s explore some reasons that make this breed a perfect choice for the families and individuals to make the service dog.

1. Chihuahuas Can Live Up To 18 Years Old

These small dogs can live for more than 18 years; that’s why people love to keep them as their pet and train it as service dogs.

2. Chihuahuas Are Highly Intelligent

This dog breed is highly intelligent, and they come in the category of easy-to-train dogs. When you have a Chihuahua, you will understand that these dogs are born fighters, and they are not afraid of fighting and warding bigger breeds. Chi is shy towards strangers, and it is a perfect thing for a service dog.

When you train them to fix their focus on the owner suffering from mental or special conditions, they will fix their eyes and nose on the person and alert the person right away in case of a seizure or some other unwarranted change.

3. Chis Are Great Companions

They are a great companion, and their smaller size allows the older people and young children to carry them in their lap as an emotional support animal. In PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, the use of Chihuahua has shown a remarkable recovery rate.

Also Read: Are Chihuahuas Good With Kids

4. Chihuahuas Are Highly Sensitive

Like other dogs, chi also has a sharp nose that can sense the change in the person’s hormonal balance and intimate their owner to make them sit or go to a safe place right away. The diabetic people and persons suffering from various psychological diseases had shared their remarkable stories when a Chihuahua service dog saved their lives.

These intelligent dogs are extremely sensitive and vigilant; you can train them to be watchdogs and provide you surveillance and intimate you with the coming danger in the most wonderful way.

You can rely on these small toy breed dogs to be your service dog and emotional support animal by all means. The data and stories of the people reveal that these small dogs are a perfect example of vigilant and effective service dogs that can stay by your side for more than 18 to 20 years.

Where Can Chihuahuas Be Service Dogs?


Chihuahua cannot be trained as a rescue dog or therapy dog. Still, the small toy Chihuahua breed has proven effective and useful as a support dog, alert dog, and a most loving and effective service animal. Following is the list of some categories where this small toy breed has shown wonders:

Epilepsy Alert Service Dog  

People mostly prefer bigger dogs as Epilepsy alert service dogs because they can make them stay in a particular position with their paw and weight. But Chihuahuas show remarkable results in predicting seizures and making people alert to sit and stay in a comfortable position. 

Diabetic Alert Service Dog  

The diabetic alert dog is a must for older people and when they get the ease and comfort of carrying a small toy dog as a diabetic alert service animal. Chihuahua can alert the owner regarding bad blood sugar levels, and they can take medicine timely to prevent a severe medical emergency.

Hearing Service Dog  

The journey of understanding the statement Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs has to lead us to the situation where you can read that Chihuahuas are great as a hearing service dog for people suffering from hearing difficulties.

Psychiatric Service Dog  

When someone has a mental illness or an anxiety attack, a seizure response dog is a perfect companion in an oncoming seizure. Chihuahuas are proving their mettle as psychiatric service dogs. Chihuahua is a perfect companion as a seizure alert dog and service dog in PTSD for people who have any mental condition.

Chihuahuas as Emotional Support Dog  

A dog is an animal that provides you comfort when you need affection and emotional support. And Chihuahuas are just the best thing that can happen to a person suffering from emotional issues.

How To Get A Service Dog Certification For Chihuahua?

Once the burden of the statement Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs is out of your shoulders, and you have decided to train your toy pet as a service dog, you need the following things.

  • The task According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Professional training sessions
  • Able to perform specific tasks for an individual with a disability
  • Socializing exercise
  • Appropriate competence
  • Visit the Department for attaining the certificate

Products You Need For A Chihuahua Service Dog


Despite the training from a professional, your dog will need the following products to perform the duty of a service dog. 

Special Vest

When your pet is wearing a service dog vest, people don’t usually pat them or try to show their affection because of their on-duty status. This vest like Kurgo MOLLE Dog Harness allows you to carry your pet to places where dogs are not allowed.

Kurgo RSG County Tactical Dog Harness, MOLLE Vest for Dogs, Service Dog Training Vest, Hiking Harness for Pets, for Small, Medium & Large Dogs, Coastal Blue (Small)

Extended leash

An extended and strong leash like Halti Training Lead for Dogs allows your dog to maneuver you safely in different places and situations. You will keep connected with your service dog or emotional support animal esa in the rush of people if you visit the market, mall, or walk on a busy street.

Halti Training Lead (6' 7"), Large, Red

Dog Bell For Visually Challenged Owners

A jingling bell like Pete Rickard Dog Bell allows the people suffering from visual difficulty to know the whereabouts of their service dog. This bell also helps them understand that their service dog is trying to communicate with them.

Pete Rickard DD685 Deluxe Brass Dog Bell

FAQs On Can Chihuahuas Be Service Dogs

1. How Can You Differentiate Between a Service And a Therapy Dog?

Therapy dog

A dog trained to provide emotional support and affection to the people in disaster-struck areas, hospitals, or old age homes is called therapy.

Service dog

On the other hand, a service dog is an animal that is individually trained to provide services to a specific person in different medical or psychological conditions. 

2. Can I Train Chihuahua Myself To Make It A Service Dog?

Training a dog requires a professional skill set that mostly takes months or years to master. You should go for professional support in the beginning. But later, when you have learned how to induce skills to your pet, you can take things into your hands.

Wrapping Up

When you see a Chihuahua service dog, you might feel perplexed, but once you have learned about the abilities and capabilities of this small toy breed, things start making sense. And the question Can Chihuahuas be Service Dogs doesn’t bother you much. The things that attract most people to make the small toy breed as service dogs are the intelligence, easy to train nature, and longer life span of the dog.

You don’t want to spend months of training on a dog with a smaller life span to start the training process all over again on a new naïve dog. Chihuahua is a perfect animal for service and emotional support dogs because of its empathy, love, and focus on the owner. These small toy animals have saved the lives of many people in real-life cases.


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