Can Toy Dogs Be Service Dogs?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 05/12/21 •  5 min read
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When we think about service dogs, Labrador or German Shepherd come to our minds. It’s mistakenly believed that only big breeds can help people with disabilities. Indeed, if we talk about one of the most popular types of service dogs – guide dogs – they tend to be largish dogs. But, in most cases, the size of an animal doesn’t matter. Dogs of all sizes can perform a great number of tasks and can potentially be service dogs. However, different breeds are good at different things. So before choosing a dog, you should clearly understand what you want him/her to do. 

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Before we talk about service dog’s tasks and popular toy dogs, note that there are no size or breed requirements for being a service dog. However, only dogs can be service animals. Miniature horses can be a rare exception in some cases. 

The List of Tasks That Can Perform Service Dogs

There are 12 types of service dogs; they are described in detail in this post. Here we’ll mention the main ones: 

#1. The Yorkshire Terrier

Weighing approximately 7 pounds (3.18 kg), this is the most popular toy breed. As all Terrier family breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier has a tricky temper. They tend to be protective and yappy. However, if trained, their behavior can be curbed. Yorkshire Terriers are the best therapy dogs. They are also good medical alert service animals. They can help manage multiple tasks, like pulling the doors, retrieving clean clothes, and alerting their owners to specific sounds. 

Facts About Yorkshire Terriers:

#2. Toy Poodle

It’s a very charming tender animal. Toy Poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic and are very social creatures. A toy poodle can be a perfect therapy dog. It is also a good option for people with hearing problems, diabetics, epilepsy, and PTSD. 

Facts About Toy Poodles: 

#3. The Chihuahua

It’s a very nice, but at the same time fierce animal. The Chihuahuas will be a perfect choice for those who need a kind of watchdog that protects from undesired situations and people. Chihuahuas are known to be excellent hearing, epilepsy and diabetic alert, allergy detection, medication reminder and psychiatric service dogs. 

Facts About Chihuahuas: 


When choosing a service dog, the size is a secondary issue. First, make sure which tasks you want a service dog to do for you. Choose toy dogs for not physically demanding tasks. A good service dog should have specific training depending on your needs. You can train a dog by yourself or send your pet to a professional school. There is also an option of online training: you receive a training plan, realize it on your own, and in the end, your dog should pass a public exam. After training, it also would be helpful to get a service dog certification. From the point of law, it’s not necessary, but in reality, this document facilitates many everyday aspects. With certification, you can more easily access public spaces and live in no-pet properties with your service dog.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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