Although being one of the most debated breeds and a topic of dozens of stigmas, Pitbulls still continues to be one of the most popular as well. Can a pitbull be a service dog or not? Here are the facts that may help you make up your mind.
A service dog should be trained accordingly to handle its integral role in managing the owner’s needs. Certain breeds make excellent service dogs, but no one said there were any rules or limitations.
According to the official definition, a service dog is an individual trained dog to perform tasks for people with disabilities. The definition says nothing about the breed; it can be any type of assistance animal that supports the owner, whether physically or mentally.
There are several types of service dogs according to disability:
– Guide dogs or seeing-eye dogs assist their handler in navigating hazards and obstacles.
– Hearing dogs are trained to assist their owners when they receive critical cues like a fire alarm, doorbell, door knocking, and more.
– Medical alert dogs help owners with epilepsy or seizures prepare for an upcoming one and protect them.
– Mobility assistance dogs support people with any injury that makes standing, walking, or balancing difficult.
– Psychiatric service dogs help owners with mental issues such as depression, attacks, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
There are many misconceptions about service dogs, and one of them is the color and style of their vest. The truth is that service animals are never required to wear a vest or any other accessory as identification. The ADA has never required such certification for service animals. It means that if you see a pitbull service dog without a vest, don’t rush to call the authorities. It is all within the law.
Can a pitbull be a service dog for any of these disabilities? Absolutely! The cubs are trained for each purpose. Due to their intellect and loyalty, Pitbulls make perfect service dogs.
The only thing to keep in mind is that some states have a banned breed list for service dogs that may also include Pitbulls. Because the list is updated frequently, Pitbulls may be removed from the list. Breed advocates, service dog organizations, and dog handlers work tirelessly to influence legislation and, eventually, dispel the stigma associated with Pitbulls. Two active organizations, The Animal Farm Foundation’s Assistance Dog Training Program (New York) and Pits for Patriots (Chicago) engage shelter Pitbulls in the lives of people with different disabilities, simultaneously proving to society that Pitbulls can make great service dogs.
Physically impressive and powerful, Pitbulls are endowed with kindness, loyalty, intelligence, and empathy. Those qualities make a perfect match for a service dog. Here are the reasons why Pitbulls can become support animals.
– Physical strength: The dogs have impressive muscle mass and endurance, which is crucial for serving handlers with physical disabilities.
– Intelligence: The breed is known for its above-average intelligence, a crucial quality for training service dogs.
– Ease of motivation: Pitbulls are ready to do the task for a snack, making the training more efficient.
– Moderate size: One of the criteria for choosing a service dog is size. Regardless of the type of service dog, it should be of average size. Pitbulls are usually of moderate size, between 30 and 60 pounds.
– Emotional Intuition: Pitbulls proved to have intuition and an emotional connection with their owners, responding accordingly to any change.
Again, can a pitbull be a service dog? According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), any breed can be a service animal as long as it is trained by professionals to be a support animal and perform tasks.
The physical and emotional state of a pitbull and its size enable the dog to perform tasks of any complexity.
Retrieval of specific items is the first thing service dogs learn. Pitbulls learn to fetch medication and devices and even call people to help their handler. As a carrier, a service pitbull can pull a wheelchair and carry heavy items such as a bag of groceries or a backpack.
Pitbulls’ size and weight make them ideal for withstanding handler pressure. The dog can move or block a person from stepping into an unseen danger, such as a busy road or a stairwell.
Pitbulls are wonderful companions for people suffering from PTSD and anxiety, helping them to relax. Pitbulls use their weight to help handlers with dissociative episodes reconnect with reality.
You can break the stigma and make your pitbull an excellent support animal. Finding a reputable breeder and organization to train your dog is the most important part.
How to get a pitbull service dog?
Regardless of the dog breed, you need an official document from a physician proving your disability or mental health condition.
Once you have all the documents, you can now find a reliable breeder and a training organization to train your pitbull and get it ready as your service dog.
Despite being promoted as service dogs, you are unlikely to find Pitbulls in service dog programs or organizations. But what you can do is find a reliable kennel to buy or adopt a Pitbull. We have pitbull puppies that can be trained to become your companion animals, and we are ready to consult you on any questions you may have about your service dog.