Can a Yorkie Be a Service Dog?
The Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog in a small package. With his silky coat and traditional “topknot,” the Yorkie is sure to attract attention wherever he goes. And because of his pint-size, this dog often travels in style – in designer doggy purses or special totes made just for those “elite” pooches.
The Yorkie may have won the hearts of those looking for some “furry arm candy” but what about in the world of service? Can a Yorkie be a Service Dog? According to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), any breed of dog can be a service dog.
Ready to register your Service Dog Yorkie? Complete the service dog registration in the link below.
General Traits of the Yorkie
The Yorkie is a curious and playful pooch that is always on the lookout for a new adventure (and maybe even some trouble). This breed is affectionate towards his people, yet he can also be a bit wary of strangers, barking at unfamiliar sounds and “intruders.”
Despite his propensity for being a watchdog, the Yorkie does need time with his family and won’t do well left alone for long periods-of-time.
The Yorkie is also a very intuitive breed. He will pick up on his owner’s feelings so be aware not to over-coddle your pup, or he may start to believe the world is a scary place and react with fear.
Since the Yorkshire doesn’t grow very large, it’s best to keep small children away from this dog. They can become snappish if startled or teased.
The Yorkie adapts well to apartment and condo living as he doesn’t need excessive exercise. It is also considered to be hypoallergenic since his long coat is more like hair than fur.
Fast Facts About the Yorkie
Height: Up to 9 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 6 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Yorkshire Terriers as a Service Dog?
For obvious reasons, the Yorkie would not do well for people that need a Service Dog for large tasks such as pulling a wheelchair or providing balance support. However, that doesn’t mean your Yorkie is out of the picture.
Even though they are small, Yorkies can still be adept at helping around the house with more managable projects. These include pulling open cabinet doors equipped with soft handles, fetching the television remote, retrieving clean clothes from the dryer, and alerting their owners to specific sounds such as the telephone ringing, the doorbell or a crying baby.
Yorkies have even proven themselves to be valuable as a medical alert service animal. They can be trained to detect epileptic seizures and subtle changes in a diabetic’s glucose level.
This breed is also valuable for those individuals that suffer from specific psychiatric issues. Their small stature allows them to accompany their handlers almost anywhere, which can be a huge advantage for some people suffering from a mental illness.
Another area a Yorkie can be used as a Service Dog is lap duty. This is perfect for tinier breeds (like the Yorkie) which provides caregivers the opportunity to physically embrace their canine companions rather than having just the dog’s head resting on their laps.
What to Look for in a Potential Service Dog
Regardless of the breed of dog, there are some qualities and characteristics a good Service Dog should possess. These include;
- Being the right size, with the right amount of strength, and stamina to perform the duties.
- The canine must be physically active as well as calm when in public.
- The dog will need to have a certain amount of Intelligence and obedience and will need to problem-solve.
- Must always be well-behaved in public situations. Not hyper, snappy or creating a ruckus.
Can My Yorkie Be a Service Dog?
Although the Yorkie is a small breed, there are many Service Dog tasks he is capable of learning. These include being there for physiatric issues and small duties around the home, like opening cabinet doors.
If you have a disability and believe a Yorkie may be the right choice for you, then be sure to seek out a reputable breeder or a rescue organization.
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