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Can a Corgi Be a Service Dog? (Qualifying Traits Explained)

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

pembroke welsh corgi out in the fields

Can a Corgi Be a Service Dog? (Qualifying Traits Explained)

With their adorable faces and contagious personalities, Corgis make entertaining pets and are among the most popular dog breeds in the country. Because they’re on the small side, you might not think a Corgi could function effectively as a service dog, but you might be surprised!

Corgis can be service dogs, although they are not among the most commonly used breeds for these roles.

Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to be a service dog and how Corgis may fit that description. We’ll also discuss the service dog roles that Corgis may be best suited for and how they’re trained.

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What Is a Service Dog?

girl hugging her pyschiatric service dog
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

In America, the Department of Justice established the definition of a service dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) The ADA states that a service dog is “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”1 Only dogs qualify as service animals under the law, although exceptions have been made for miniature horses.

There is no defined list of all the types of service dogs, but some of the most common include the following:

  • Guide dogs for the visually impaired
  • Hearing alert dogs
  • Mobility assistance dogs
  • Medical alert dogs
  • Psychiatric assistance dogs

Do Corgis Have What It Takes to Be a Service Dog?

Specific tasks require their own set of skills, but there are a few general requirements that any service dog should have:

  • Intelligence
  • Working drive
  • Friendly and loving personality
  • Calm attitude

Corgis were developed as herding dogs, so their drive to work is undoubtedly present. They’re also smart dogs who pick up training quickly. Most Corgis are active, social, and ready to take on a job to keep them mentally stimulated.

However, Corgis tend to be mischievous, bark a lot, and are natural watchdogs. Without proper socialization, they may be too on edge in public settings to remain as calm as required for a service dog. While the ADA protects the rights of service animals to enter public places, it also states that the dog must be under control at all times.

If a Corgi service dog were to accompany their owner into a restaurant but constantly bark at anyone approaching the table, they could be legally asked to leave. The ADA states that any breed can be a service animal, but not every Corgi will be well-suited to this role.

Which Types of Service Dogs Could Corgis Be?

Corgis usually weigh about 30 pounds or less and aren’t very tall! Because of their size limitations, they aren’t a good choice for service dogs who need to assist their owners physically. For example, mobility assistance dogs are usually larger because they have to pull wheelchairs or help owners who have trouble walking stay upright. Guide dogs are usually large breeds as well due to the physical demands of the job.

The service role the Corgi is best suited for is a hearing-alert dog. They partner with people with impaired hearing and alert them to sounds such as doorbells, phones, smoke alarms, and other noises. Corgis have excellent hearing, and these service dogs do much of their work in an individual’s home rather than in public places.

Corgis could also serve as medical alert dogs. They can be trained to remind their owners to take medication or to sense when their blood sugar is low, or a seizure is coming.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image Credit: Welshea, Shutterstock

Can Corgis Be Emotional Support Animals?

By definition, emotional support animals (ESA) are not service dogs. They aren’t trained to perform any specific task, and any domestic animal can provide emotional support, not just dogs. Emotional support animals provide comfort and support to those dealing with mental illness, including anxiety and depression.

Corgis can be emotional support animals. To classify your Corgi as an emotional support dog, you’ll need a licensed mental health professional letter stating that you require an ESA as part of your treatment. Emotional support Corgis don’t have the same public access rights as service dogs.

Generally, housing is the only area where you have protected rights to have an emotional support animal. As long as you have a valid ESA letter, landlords usually must allow you to keep an emotional support animal, even in housing that doesn’t permit pets.

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While Corgis aren’t the most popular breed to train as a service dog, they may be capable of performing this role, depending on their temperament and training. Some individuals may actually need a smaller service dog due to weight restrictions in housing or their own comfort level.

There’s no federal requirement that a service dog is professionally trained, but it’s usually a good idea if you want your Corgi to become one. Remember, a service dog must always be under control in public spaces, so proper socialization and training are essential for a Corgi.

Featured Image Credit: MolnarSzabolcsErdely, Pixabay

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