Service dogs have been lifesaving companions of thousands across the world, making them being able to take care of themselves with minimal exertion. At the start, service dogs were predominantly for guiding visually impaired people. However, much has changed today. Service dogs have found increasing responsibilities taking care of a broader spectrum of disabilities. This cut across helping those with cerebral palsy to those with seizures. Given the remarkable intelligence of corgi dogs, people are curious if they can be great service dogs.
Corgis perform excellently as service dogs. Corgis are smart and very receptive to learning. Indeed, when this is enhanced with their tremendous loyalty and ability to bond with their owner, you see a great service dog that is willing to please and aid its owner. Corgis need proper training to become better service dogs. This is not always smooth, given that the smartness of corgis can work against them sometimes as service dogs.
How well will your corgi perform as a service dog? Are corgis magnificent emotional or therapy support animals? What are the typical characteristics of a corgi that stands it out as an outstanding service dog? Also, why may a corgi not be a befitting service dog for you? All these, we will learn in this guide.
Corgis as Service Dogs
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is famed for its distinguished intelligence levels. It has a high propensity to work and stay active. They are very emotional dogs too. When all these features are brought together, you see that corgis work well as service dogs.
Do you know that corgis occupy the 11th rank on the scale of the most intelligent dog breeds? Corgis have an uncommon aptitude to pick up a command the first time.
Dog breeds like the Golden Retriever and the Labrador (who are respectively ranked 7th and 5th on the intelligence) pick up commands the first time about 95% of the time. Corgis come very close at 75%.
Corgis are also amazing hearing dogs. Yes, they can nudge their owners when something is amiss. This valuable alertness can keep their owners from a bulk of mishaps.
Corgis as Emotional/Therapy Support Animals
Yes, corgis are also incredible therapy dogs. They are friendly and disposed to showing love to their owner. Although corgis were originally bred for herding duties on farms, corgis are yet fantastic companions for people struggling with disabilities in nursing homes.
Corgis capably fill that emotional vacuum for those looking for love and interaction. This is further enhanced by the corgi’s perpetual need for attention and activity.
Service Needs Corgis Can Meet
You may be easily deceived that corgis are too short to be good service dogs. Corgis, if well trained, can be valuable companions for those suffering from cerebral palsy, long-term PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), seizure alerts, mobility assistance dogs, and hearing dogs.
Your corgi can take on a lot of tasks you may not be able to do yourself. Corgi’s brilliance enables them to master instructions like opening drawers, fetching medicine bottles, or even nudging you when you have an incoming seizure.
Service Traits of Corgis
Aside from the intelligence of corgis, one of the most significant traits that make corgis great service dogs is their confidence. Corgis can get you calmly through stress-laden scenarios.
Such calmness from your corgi will transmit tranquility and stability to you to make the most rational decisions you can in such emergencies.
Your corgi is not overtly aggressive (although it doesn’t roll too well with cats). A dog breed prone to aggression and spontaneity like the Shiba Inu, for example, is a considerable safety liability for the handler.
The intelligence of the corgi enables it to acquire the intense training regimen of a service dog quickly. Corgis have a relentless drive to work and learn.
Mobility is another feature that makes the corgi an excellent service dog. Being high-energy dogs, corgis don’t easily get stressed. They are healthy and move easily in the direction of their handler.
Corgis are remarkably adept at obedience training. Your corgi will rapidly grasp basic instructions like come, sit, stay, or drop.
Socialization is another strength of the corgi that makes it a good service dog.
Corgis don’t get easily frantic or agitated around strangers. A hyperactive and highly instinctive dog will flop as a service dog. Sure, the corgi is appropriately friendly while not being invasive of the privacy of strangers. The corgi is calm, collected, and alert. These are the core strengths of a service dog.
In glaring contrast to their small stout nature, corgis have enormous energy levels. They are some of the most hardworking and active dog breeds you may get.
Yes, they will need some exercise to keep them up and stop them from developing destructive habits. They also need some mental and physical stimulation from time to time to keep them up and going.
Training Corgis as Service Dogs
Commonly, people would resort to hiring renowned trainers to help them train their corgis for specialized service duties. While this is acceptable, you can also train your corgi yourself into a good service dog.
Aside from saving you the cost of hiring a specialist trainer, training your corgi yourself will enhance the bonding between you and your corgi. Of course, this makes it a more loyal service dog streamlined specially to your needs.
There is officially no minimum time set for training your corgis as service dogs. Typically, we have seen most people tend to spend about 120 hours cumulatively in training their corgis. This amount of time can be spread across six months.
We will also advise that a quarter of that time should be spent outdoors –preferably in public destinations – to help train your corgi on how to manage distractions, focus, and feel comfortable with crowds.
You will train your corgi for the specific assistance that relates to your disability. They can be trained to sense a medical alert, nudge you to take your medications or detect tactile stimulation in the course of a panic attack.
Corgis as Service Dogs Are Not for Everyone
Of course, corgis are not great service dogs for everyone. If you don’t train your corgi properly, you could be pissed up with its notorious penchant for barking at people. Don’t blame it, corgi is a natural herding dog.
A corgi that is not properly socialized, it can display hyperactivity in public, like exciting jumping on people, objects, and even lunging at other animals.
Corgis are not as dedicated service dogs like the Golden Retriever. But if you have the patience to train it, it can get the job done. The question is do you have that endurance?
What Makes a Good Service Dog?
The core characteristics of a service dog are intelligence (in terms of receptiveness to commands), alertness, calm and collected temperament, and high energy levels.
A dog that is prone to distraction or aggression upon interactions with strangers is not suitable for a service dog. When examining which dog breed is ideal for a service dog, the temperament is even more critical than its intelligence.
The paucity of intelligence can be made up for with consistency in training. However, the wrong temperament is immensely hard to change.
An exceptional service dog should be energetic, loving, ready to please, isn’t uncomfortable with people, and possess impressive focus levels.
We always recommend a temperament evaluation when choosing a befitting service dog. One way to do is to expose the prospective service to differing noises to see if they can still execute their service duties efficiently in such agitated conditions.
Your service dog shouldn’t be throbbing in fear when they hear a notable sound or noise. A good service dog should also have premium resistance to pain.
This is because, on your adventure outside, your service dog can be jostled. You don’t want it retaliating violently to the person or animal that causes it that pain.
An excellent service dog should have superior fetching capacities. Your service dog should be willing to retrieve objects for you when commanded.
Types of Service Dogs
There are several types of service dogs. Let us look at the most prevalent.
Hearing and Guide Dogs
Hearing dogs are as popular as guide dogs in the service dog category. While guide dogs are invaluable assets for those who have problems with their sight, hearing dogs are useful for those with hearing impairments.
You can sufficiently train a hearing dog to be responsive to sounds and alert their companions. Therefore, a hearing dog can nudge you when they hear notable sounds like a crying baby, doorbells, alarm clocks, door knocks, and fire alarms.
A hearing dog can be trained to also lead their companion away from the sound (in the case of danger) or towards the sound (in the case of doorbells or baby cries).
Seizure Alert Dogs
Service dogs have a tremendous capacity to notice the slightest changes in human demeanor. Your service dog can be trained to sense medical emergencies via disruption in your behavior proactively. Of course, you agree this can at times be the difference between life and death.
Seizure alert dogs can readily pick up the early signals of a seizure. After picking up these signs, they can alert someone else for help or even adopt a rehearsed poise that protects their companion in the course of the seizure.
Scientists are yet researching to identify the source or mechanism behind this innate ability of service dogs.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
Service dogs can take on critical mobility assistance responsibilities for people struggling with motor function impairments. Your service dog can be trained to press elevator buttons or even push wheelchairs.
Helping those in wheelchairs is not all a mobility assistance service dog can do. They can also provide priceless help for those they have bonded with struggling with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and arthritis.