There’s a lot that can be said in favor of Pomeranians and so little to be held against them. But one side of these fascinating dogs that is often overlooked is how easily they can be trained and offer services ranging from therapy and companionship to their humans.
As service dogs, Pomeranians make excellent therapy dogs and great companions. Their small size, vivacious personality, and moderate temperament all make them the ideal service dog for people with different needs. Their perky and friendly nature makes them get along and thrive in many stressful situations.
Of course there’s more about Pomeranians than just being cute and cuddly service dogs. But here we’ll focus on that important and practical aspect of these dogs’ role in our modern life. What makes them stand out as service dogs? And how exactly can they make your life much easier?
Pomeranians as Service Dogs
With a weight that averages between 3 and 7 pounds, Pomeranians are sometimes called toy dogs. They’re not a toy to play with, but they’re the closest you can get to a bite size dog that has plenty of personality. And this small size is a great advantage. Why?
Well for one thing that means the dog’s care and feeding isn’t a huge issue unlike other massive dogs that wear out their owners with their demands for exercise and looking after. After all, this is a dog that you expect to take care of you and be there when you need it. You don’t want it to put you out much.
Now it’s fair to say that Pomeranians have always been bred for companionship. Back in the day when Queen Victoria of Germany first adopted Pomeranians, they were a different breed. They were larger and less adaptable. But once they crossed the Atlantic, their size and manners went through a complete overhaul.
This transformation is the reason these dogs excel as service dogs. Apart from their pleasing features and appearance, they get along well with people, can handle themselves fine, and are able to put up with a lot of stress without being affected by it.
As therapy dogs, they can be a comforting element that balances the equation and helps the stressed out human calm down. Many therapy Pomeranians have a high success rate with humans and have become an indispensable part of their life.
What Kind of Service Do Pomeranians Perform?
We mentioned their therapy qualifications. Their perky and friendly personality and the fact that they get along with all sorts of people of all ages, makes them the right candidate to help people who are struggling with mental health issues.
Many people who have anxiety disorder or depression symptoms benefit from having a Pomeranian in their life. The dog is famous for bringing peace and calmness to people who are going through fits of anxiety or stress. Not just because they’re cute, but also because of their training.
Part of the training of the therapy dog is to intervene when it detects the symptoms of anxiety or depression in its human companion. It can do that in many ways, from preventing the human from harming themselves to keeping them out of harm’s way. For example, an alcoholic who starts drinking is a sign for the Pomeranian to take action. They cuddle with the human or tip over the bottle to keep the human from drinking more.
For people going through depression and starting to harm themselves, the Pomeranian will go as far as putting their body as a shield to protect the human. If the human hits their head against the table, the Pomeranian will throw their body on the table to cushion it against the head thus preventing damage.
Service Needs Pomeranians Can Meet
But Pomeranians are not just limited to offering therapy services, valuable as these are. They are also great companions. You don’t have to be an alcoholic or suffer from mental illnesses to have a Pomeranian around.
As companions, these dogs are great in just about every household. Whether we’re talking about children or elderly people. Single or couples. Pomeranians are friendly, cheerful and full of life. They even get friendly with strangers they just met for the first time. One can’t ask more of a companion animal that sees the good side in every person they meet.
Another trait that makes these dogs so popular as service dogs is that they don’t ask for much in return. When it comes to caring for Pomeranians, they won’t put you out. They are happy with normal food and minimum playtime. They even share their toys with other pets in the house. It doesn’t get better than that.
Pomeranians also make great companions for other pets in the house. Think of an ill-adjusted rescue dog or cat who still struggle with the traumatic past. To have a Pomeranian with that rescue animal helps calm them down and make them adjust to their new surroundings. This is one of the best features of these service dogs. They work well with animals as well as with humans.
Service Traits of Pomeranians
It’s easy to see why Pomeranians make such wonderful service dogs. When you don’t have a single mean bone in your body, when you take life at face value, when you enjoy everything that comes your way and don’t judge, then you’re the right dog to keep other’s company.
They are also easy to train. Because they’re smart and pay a lot of attention, they can pick up therapy techniques faster than other breeds which have a short attention span. In general, they only need a few weeks to get all the techniques that make them therapy dogs.
Pomeranians as Emotional/Therapy Support Animals
As support animals, Pomeranian really shine. They can detect when the human is going through a tough emotional or stressful mental phase. They have the ability to read the signs in their faces or watch for any erratic action. That’s when their training kicks in and they intervene.
We mentioned many examples where Pomeranian act quickly to prevent the human companion from inflicting self harm. Imagine someone going through emotional upheavals and hugs themselves and rocks back and forth uncontrollably. This is a sure sign of emotional distress and the Pomeranian knows how to comfort a human behaving like that.
The dog immediately throws themselves on the human. The cuddle against them as if to remind them they’re not alone. This warm touch brings the human back to reality. They begin to realize that in this life there’s a caring companion that has their best interests at heart.
It’s this type of advanced techniques that make Pomeranians such helpful therapy and support animals. They have the ability to bring stability to a confusion and chaotic situation and help their companion feel loved even when they feel depressed. It’s a quality that only few other breeds can excel at.
Pomeranians as Service Dogs Are Not for Everyone
But just like every other therapy and companion dog, Pomeranians are not for everyone. It’s true they can handle a whole lot of different issues, but sometimes it gets too hard even for these well trained dogs to handle the situation.
One example is a war veteran suffering from acute PTSD. It’s not easy for a civilian dog like the Pomeranian to deal with such a tough mental issue. It’s not fair to expose the dog to a situation like this. So it’s not recommended to have a Pomeranian no matter how well trained as a therapy or emotional support dog for such a tough case.
Training Pomeranians as Service Dogs
Needless to say that training Pomeranians as service dogs is not for everyone. It takes professionals to handle such tough tasks. For one thing there’s a training program that the dog has to go through and ace before they become qualified service dogs.
So you can’t do this at home even if you had the time and patience. It’s just like certified therapists having to pass a test. They take a course, study well, then take the exam. The same thing applies to Pomeranian training as service dogs. Except that the dogs don’t really study.
The most difficult part of the training is to keep the dog invested in the program. Trainers often use incentives like dog treats to help the dog learn the technique faster. As fast and smart these dogs are, it’s important to take things slow with them. When the Pomeranian loses interest, that’s time for some exercises and fun activities.
As the Pomeranian progresses through the program, the techniques become more advanced. They first learn the basics of showing affection and learning to detect the signs of depression, anxiety and distress. Then the second part of the program teaches the Pomeranian how to intervene in a way that helps their human companion.