We all know how cute French Bulldogs are. So, it should be no surprise to learn that, in 2020, they were the second-most popular pet in the U.K. and the fourth-most popular dog breed registered with the American Kennel Club in the U.S.
Frenchies first appeared in Paris during the nineteenth century, as a result of crossbreeding English toy bulldogs with French ratter dogs.
The mild-mannered and friendly French Bulldog makes an excellent pet for all kinds of people who want to be dog parents. But can a French Bulldog be a service dog? Let’s find out.
What is a service dog?
Service dogs are trained to help people who have disabilities. They can assist people with physical disabilities or mental impairments.
Over 80 million people in the U.S. alone have service dogs to help them in a variety of ways. For example, they can assist physically disabled people who are visually impaired, deaf or have mobility issues.
Blind and visually impaired people can navigate their environments much more easily and safely with the assistance of a service dog, and people with hearing problems can hear important sounds, such as oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, mobility dogs can help individuals who have balance issues or use wheelchairs or walking devices.
Service dogs also include medical alert dogs that can signal the onset of medical problems like allergies, low blood sugar, and seizures.
Service dogs can be very beneficial to people who have mental disabilities. For instance, psychiatric service dogs are able to help people who suffer from conditions like PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.
The dogs are trained to help such individuals by performing specific tasks. The tasks are uniquely linked to the individual person’s mental disability and precise needs.
For example, someone suffering from PTSD could experience panic attacks or social anxiety. When such an individual has a psychiatric service dog, he or she can reduce symptoms of panic and anxiety, and the dog will know what to do to help. Find out more by checking out psychiatric service dog guide from Certapet.
Training Service Dogs
A reputable trainer will train your service dog.
The international standard is: service dogs should be trained for an average of 120 hours over a period of 6 months. 30 of those hours should be spent in public places so that the dog can become accustomed to certain sounds, experiences, and environments. They are best trained as puppies.
Once a dog has been trained, a further period is required to see how it fairs in certain situations. For instance, trainers must be sure that any service dog can remain calm, doesn’t display signs of aggressive behavior, doesn’t beg for food or attention, and doesn’t show any hyperactive behavior in public places.
Which breeds can be service dogs?
The most common breeds that are trained as service dogs for people with physical disabilities are Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.
But actually, any breed of dog can be a service dog. Only, some breeds of dogs are more suited to helping some forms of disabilities than others.
For example, service dogs can be used to pull wheelchairs, so large and strong dogs like Great Danes or Bernese Mountain Dogs would be ideal, whereas a Papillon would not. However, a Papillon would make an excellent hearing dog.
And some dog breeds, like Toy Poodles, can perform tasks like alerting people about blood sugar variations and activating light switches.
So, it’s about finding the right breed of dog to fit the needs of the individual disability and the needs of the person.
In addition to those already mentioned, common breeds that are used as service dogs include Beagles, Boston Terriers, Saint Bernards, Pomeranians, and Pugs.
So, can French Bulldogs be service dogs?
Any breed of dog can be a service dog. So, yes! French Bulldogs can indeed be service dogs.
However, like other breeds, Frenchies are best suited to people with certain disabilities. A French Bulldog would not make the best guide dog for a blind person. Nor would it have the strength to help people with mobility issues.
But French Bulldogs can make ideal partners for people who have emotional needs. The dogs are even-tempered, intelligent, and have calm natures. They’re pretty tough too. Furthermore, French Bulldogs rarely bark.
Perhaps most importantly, the dogs crave companionship, are very affectionate with their owners, and are well known to be very loyal. Those kinds of qualities are exactly what people with mental disabilities need.
Also, Frenchies are great with both adults and children; and they get along well with other pets.
French Bulldogs are easier to train than many other breeds, too. However, they can be stubborn from time to time.
Are male or female French Bulldogs better?
Both male and female French Bulldogs are suitable as service dogs. But the two sexes do have differences.
Male French Bulldogs tend to be more playful, energetic, and assertive than females, while females tend to be more docile but dominating. And females are generally easier to train than males.
Spaying and neutering can also make a difference in a French Bulldog’s personality. And spaying and neutering make Frenchies calmer and easier to train.
As for their physical differences, male French Bulldogs have larger heads and physical frames than females.
Service dogs are able to transform people’s lives. Individuals with physical disabilities like deafness, hearing impairments, blindness, vision impairments, or mobility issues can greatly benefit from having a service dog. So can people who have mental disabilities like PTSD or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
French Bulldogs are not suitable for assisting people with physical disabilities, but due to their warm personalities and ability to be trained well, they can make the perfect partner for individuals with mental disabilities and mental health issues.
Frenchies will provide a lot of love and affection. That alone goes a long way to helping people who have mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.