Many people seem to think a French Bulldog will not make a good service dog, but this is not the case. Although they may suit better as an emotional support dog or a therapy dog, with the correct temperament they can make an excellent service dog.
Do French Bulldogs make good service dogs?
French bulldogs have a calm nature and are very good with people. These are essential traits for service dog work. They are also known to be quiet dogs and are excellent with children. They are an even-tempered and sweet breed. They are renowned as being loyal dogs and they crave companionship. With these traits, a dog will want to do anything for its beloved owner.
The general size of a French Bulldog is around 11-12 inches tall. The males weigh around 20-28 pounds and a female weighs around 16-24 pounds. These are quite small dogs for some service dog tasks, therefore some jobs may not be suitable for them, such as mobility assistance. More suitable jobs for a French Bulldog would be a psychiatric service dog, by helping a handler with PTSD for example. They could also possibly be a guide dog by leading their handler in the right direction with a leash.
Possible skills that a French Bulldog could learn include:
• Bringing their owner medication
• Calming down their handler in a stressful situation
• Grounding owners if they are having a panic attack
• Hearing for their owner who is deaf (in case of alarms)
And more. A French Bulldog may not be the best breed to be a diabetic alert dog as even though they have exceptional smell compared to humans, as a breed they have one of the weaker senses of smells due to their short nasal passage.
What is the difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog?
A Service Dog is trained to help their owner with a disability or mental illness. Service dogs are also allowed in most public areas.
Emotional support dogs however are not trained to do any specific tasks. They simply just give their owners emotional support. They do not have public access like Service Dogs and do not cost any extra money.
French Bulldogs can be either an emotional support dog or a service dog, but a lot of people argue that they may be better as an emotional support dog.
How would train a French Bulldog to be a service dog?
To become a service dog, firstly your French Bulldog will need to be in the best of health and this should be confirmed by the ADA.
You can either train your Frenchie at home or you can get a professional to train them for you. The cost of a one-to-one class with a reputable trainer can range from $150-$250 per hour. It is recommended that you teach your SDiT the basic obedience skills yourself and then hire a trainer for the more advanced skills if necessary.
You must be patient when training a service dog. The training process takes months with a minimum of around 120 hours in order to be successful. Training sessions shouldn’t be too long, short and effective will work best. Make it an enjoyable experience too. If the training environment is negative, your dog won’t enjoy training, and results won’t be seen as fast.
Be sure to do a fraction of your training in public areas so your Frenchie gets used to distractions. It may also be a good idea to do surprise, fake scenarios for your service dog to help you to see if they will know what to do if the real situation occurred.
Common problems with French Bulldogs as service dogs
As said before, although French Bulldogs would make an excellent service dog if trained correctly, they are better fitted to be an emotional support dog. They are not fit to perform some of the tasks necessary for some service dog jobs.
Other than that, the only other problem that may occur is they are very prone to health conditions. This is always avoided with service dogs as the dog must be in the best of health for its owner and be able to help them at all times. Regular health checkups are needed.
Where can I register my French Bulldog service dog?
In the United States, it isn’t necessary for you to register your service dog at all. People mainly do it so they are not bothered in public and they have an ID in case any business owners ask questions; even though they are not permitted to ask for evidence.
If you would like to register your service dog, however, it is very simple to do it online, on the Service Dog Certifications website for example.
How much does a French Bulldog cost?
On average, a French Bulldog will cost around $1,500-$3,000. More top-quality dogs with excellent breed lines are expected to be more expensive with an average cost of around $5,500 to even $10,000.
Caring for a French Bulldog
In order to keep your Frenchie in the best of health, you should set up a routine. Be sure your dog gets some form of daily exercise and watch their diet. French Bulldogs are prone to obesity. It is extremely important that your dog has a healthy diet and a good exercise routine.
They have low grooming needs with their coat, a weekly brush is all that’s necessary.
Check their face wrinkles regularly as they collect debris. You should wash these wrinkles with a facecloth and some warm water when necessary but be gentle as their skin can be sensitive.
You should brush their teeth as often as possible, at least three times a week. You should also try to clean their ears weekly.