Pomeranians are intelligent, adaptable, and ready for any challenge you can throw at them. They are not only playful and charismatic but also loving and devoted. Pomeranians offer a ton of energy in a tiny package. They are easy to transport and love interacting with people.
People often don't think of small breeds as service dogs. This is because of their small size and limited strength.
With that being said, can a Pomeranian be a service dog? Well, of course, they can be!
Read on to learn more about the reasons for a Pom’s suitability as a service dog.
The Pomeranian Service Dog
Pomeranians have proven to be outstanding members of the service animals. Keep in mind that Pomeranians fall within the law’s definition of a service dog. And of course, they are intelligent, intuitive, and trainable. Pomeranians can be trained as service dogs based on existing laws!
They are very different from most service dogs but they do have some special talent. For obvious reasons, the Pomeranian would not do well for people that need a Service Dog for large tasks that involve heavy lifting and physical support. However, that doesn’t mean your Pom is out of the picture.
- Poms are great for the hearing impaired and deaf.
- Despite being small, Pomeranians can still be adept at helping around the house with more manageable projects.
- The Pomeranian service dog is valuable for those who have psychiatric disorders such as autism and social anxiety disorders.
- Also, they have even proven themselves to be valuable as medical alert service animals. They can be trained to detect epileptic seizures and subtle changes in a diabetic’s glucose level. Pomeranians can sense when their owners’ blood sugar reaches dangerous levels and let them know.
- They can be trained for lap duty. A trained Pom provides caregivers with the opportunity to physically embrace their canine companions rather than having just the dog’s head resting on their laps.
Following are some of the manageable house chores any Pomeranian can do:
- Fetching TV remote
- Pulling open cabinet doors with soft handles
- Retrieving light clothing from the dryer
- Alerting owner to specific sounds, like telephone ring or if someone’s at the door
- Alerting owner of baby cry
- Fetching the newspaper in the lawn
Consider training your Pom to become a service dog if he has the following characteristics:
- Is quiet and active when in public
- Is intelligent and obedient
- Is well-behaved in public situations.
- Is healthy and strong to perform the required tasks.
They are also not terribly wary of strangers, so they can do their jobs in public with no problem.
Pro tip: Since the Pomeranian doesn’t grow very large, it’s best to keep small kids away from this dog. They can become snappish if startled or teased.
Definition of Service Dogs
"A service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability." - Americans with Disability Act (ADA)
"A service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support." - Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
These laws don’t specify the particular dog breeds that can be considered service dogs. Instead, these laws specify the roles and responsibilities that service animals perform for their humans.
Difference Between an Emotional Support Dog and a Service Dog?
Here are some differences between service dogs and emotional support dogs:
- Emotional support dogs offer comfort to people suffering from any mental health problem. On the other hand, service dogs perform duties and tasks that their disabled owner can't do.
- Also, service dogs need training while emotional support dogs do not undergo extensive training like service dogs.
- Emotional assistance dogs cannot travel anywhere with their humans everywhere. On the other hand, service dogs can travel anywhere with their owners.
The Pomeranian Emotional Support Dog
With their small size and loving nature, Pomeranians possess the qualities that make them wonderful emotional support and therapy dogs. Poms won’t give you the additional stress of transportation since they are lightweight and very portable. They are the perfect size to carry in your bag anywhere you go.
There's nothing quite like the warmth of a cold nose. Poms can provide you with emotional support as you go about your day. Cuddling up with a Pomeranian can boost your spirits when you're feeling low.
Poms are capable of making their owners feel better and feel happier. They can be of great benefit to those with mental health conditions. Owners must train their Pomeranian and ensure that they do not misbehave in public, despite the situation.
According to the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), an emotional support dog does not require any registration. But some people prefer to register their Pomeranian since this can get handy when dealing with some situations. Registered emotional support Poms are easy to identify in airlines and non-pet-friendly housing.
What to Look For in a Service Dog
Regardless of the breed of dog, there are some qualities and characteristics a good Service Dog should possess. These include:
- The dog should be of the right size, with the right amount of strength, and stamina to perform the required duties.
- The dog must be physically active as well as calm when in public.
- The dog will need to be a problem solver. They should have a certain amount of intelligence and obedience.
- Must always be well-behaved in public situations. They should not be hyper, snappy or creating a ruckus.
Can a Pomeranian Be a Therapy Dog?
The Pom is an intelligent and easy-to-train breed. This canine combination of brains and beauty makes him an ideal therapy dog. Pomeranians have a tendency to bark, so they need to be trained to stay quiet and calm.
A therapy dog lends comfort and affection to people in a facility setting or to certain individuals who require visitation to deal with a physical or emotional problem. They are neither service dogs, nor emotional support animals.
The responsibilities of therapy dogs are to provide comfort and psychological therapy to individuals other than their handlers. Generally, they visit hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes, and more.
The comfort that these energetic and tiny pups can share is remarkable. This small breed is also valuable for those individuals that suffer from specific psychiatric issues. Poms can provide relief to those in anxiety-provoking situations. They can bring comfort to those who are grieving or lonely and offer affection to humans who are in hospitals or nursing homes.
Pomeranian Characteristics and Personality
Pomeranians are affectionate, fun-loving, and happy dogs. These small-sized dogs are very eager for adventures. All Poms generally share the following personalities:
- Loyal: Loyalty is a natural behaviour of Pomeranians. The Pomeranians display a courageous temperament and remind people of a much larger dog. These little pooches are very loyal to the family because of their pack mentality.
- Great watchdogs
Pomeranians are alert dogs and tend to bark at anything suspicious. If you want to get alert for unexpected people or animals, Pomeranians serve as reliable watchdogs.
- Playful: Pomeranians are playful dogs and enjoy playing and spending time with their human companions.
- Intelligent: Pomeranians are very intelligent and smart dogs. They can read and react appropriately to human gestures. These little guys have a good memory and need mental stimulation to stay away from mischievous and destructive activities.
Pomeranians are very loving and affectionate dogs. They need your attention and affection but offer unconditional love to their owners.
Pomeranians are vocal dogs with high barking potential. They will bark every time someone approaches. You can train them to stop excessive barking and to avoid unpleasant situations.
- Adapts well to apartment living
If you live in apartments, then this little dog is a suitable option for you. Pomeranians are excellent apartment dwellers due to their small size.
- Easy to train
Pomeranians need less time, patience, and repetition during training. They are smart and can easily get bored with repetitive training. You will need to use rewards and games to teach Poms to want to comply with your requests.
Pomeranian Therapy Dog Final Thoughts
Overall, a Pomeranian is a small dog that is not capable of performing big tasks, such as supporting balance and pulling a wheelchair.
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.
The Pom’s size, personality, and capabilities make it a good emotional support dog. They can soothe people who need a furry friend through petting, holding, and sometimes doing simple tricks or playing games.
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References and Further Reading:
 Official Standard of the Pomeranian (AKC). American Kennel Club, 2011.
 English Kennel Club Pomeranian Breed Standard, 2017.
 Denise Leo, The Pomeranian Handbook.
 Milo G. Denlinger "The Complete Pomeranian".
 Kimbering Pomeranians "1891-1991".
 William Taplin "The Sportsman’s Cabinet".
 E. Parker "The Popular Pomeranian".
 Lilla Ives "Show Pomeranians".