two brown dachshunds standing on grass

The Dachshund has become well-known the world over due to its appearances in pop culture and its distinctive silhouette. It’s not uncommon for this long, low-profile breed to be called different names such as badger dog or sausage dog by its fans. 

Despite the Dachshund’s diminutive stature, it also comes with a big, endearing personality. If you’re thinking of getting a Dachshund puppy, you may also be glad to know that they’re also sometimes used as therapy dogs. 

What is a Therapy Dog?

The job of a therapy dog is to provide psychological or physiological therapy to people other than their handlers. In general, therapy dogs have stable temperaments and an easygoing approach to life. Therapy dogs must be friendly to strangers since they will most likely encounter many new people as they perform their duties

It’s important to remember that therapy dogs are very different from service dogs who perform a specific set of duties for their owners. Most often these involve assisting a person with a disability. Because many service dogs are essential for their owner to function, they often get special access to public transportation and other areas where dogs may be off-limits. This is not the case for therapy dogs. 

Dachshunds as Therapy Dogs

Due to their affection towards humans and their fun, spirited personalities, Dachshunds are well suited to being therapy dogs for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Dachshunds are sensitive to the emotions of their owners, so they are quick to give comfort when their owners need it. 

Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but small dogs are especially useful since they can be brought into areas where bigger animals may not fit. A small breed dog such as the Dachshund may be lifted into a hospital bed if the person in need of therapy cannot stand. Small dogs are also easier to hold for people with neuromuscular issues. 

Temperament is the number one requirement for a therapy dog, and Dachshunds are extremely well-suited in this regard. They are both sweet and cheerful animals, and are equally adept at comforting people with anxiety and cheering up those who are sad or depressed. The Dachshund’s natural charms and adorable appearance are usually enough to improve the mood of anyone they meet. 

Training a Dachshund as a therapy dog is something that should be undertaken by a patient and competent owner or a certified professional. There may be specific tests and monitored visits your Dachshund may need to complete before they can become an accredited therapy dog. In addition to basic obedience training, the dog will need to show that they are comfortable in a number of potentially stressful situations. 

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