Can Small Breeds Be Service Dogs? The 5 Best Small Breeds for Service Work

Black and tan Chihuahua in a blue service vest

When you think of a service dog, what is the first image that comes to mind? For many of us, it is probably that of a Labrador retriever working as a guide dog. However, there are many different types of service work that dogs can do, and the size of the dog doesn’t always matter.

Though many of us don’t immediately think of small breeds as service dogs, they can be just as good at service work as large breeds are. Their size comes with both benefits and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a service animal and are considering getting a small dog, then this article is for you!

This article will discuss the pros and cons of small dogs for service work as well as what tasks they can perform. Finally, we’ll share the five best small breeds for service work and tell you all about them.

Pros of Small Service Dogs

Obviously, small breeds can be amazing service dogs. Depending on your circumstances, they could even be a much better choice than a large breed. Let’s look at some of the advantages of small breeds as service dogs.

Less Expensive

Because of their size, small dogs tend to be less expensive than large dogs. They eat less food which lowers the cost of kibble. When they need medication, the dose is lower and thus often cheaper. Even groomers may charge less for a small breed because it doesn’t take as long to groom them.

Less Energy

Small breeds tend to have less energy than large breeds. Even if you were to adopt a high-energy small breed, they would require less exercise than a high-energy large breed.

Dogs, especially high-energy large breeds, can be a lot of work. If you’re worried about meeting a dog’s exercise needs, it’ll be far easier to do so with a small breed. Some small breeds need very little exercise and can even be exercised indoors.

Easy to Travel With

If you like to travel, having a small service dog can be easier. Service dogs can be with you on airplanes, but large breeds may feel cramped. It is much easier for a small breed to rest at your feet, under your seat, or even in your lap.

The same is true for other types of public transport. Those with large service dogs often have to carefully plan how they will fit themselves, their companions, and their service dog onto transportation.

Some have to pay more for extra space, such as opting for a larger vehicle in transportation apps such as uber. With a small service dog, you won’t have to make these considerations as it should be easy for them to sit at your feet or even in your lap if necessary.



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