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can bulldogs be service dogs | Topdeblogs

Are bulldog good therapy dogsAs more and more people turn to dogs for psychological or physiological therapy, we start to wonder what breeds can be trained to become therapy dogs. After all, we have our own favorites, and some just happen to love bulldogs.

Can bulldogs be therapy dogs? Yes, bulldogs can receive training either at school or at home to become a therapy dogs. The key to getting your bulldog certified as a therapy dog is its temperament; the dog will be dealing with a verity of people, so your dog needs to be friendly, confident, and patient.

Knowing that bulldogs can become therapy dogs, there are still several more important details you need to know about the world of therapy dogs.

Is Training Required For A Therapy Bulldog?

Yes, training is necessary for a therapy bulldog, or any therapy dog in general. These dogs will interact with various people and might deal with stressful situations. Given those circumstances, these dogs must be trained to behave and listen to their handlers.

These dogs can be trained well by letting them interact with lots of different people at a very young age. They should know how to adjust easily to new people, places, and things. The dog must not panic or be threatened when immersed in a difficult situation. They should show no aggression towards other people and must be pretty confident in any situation.

Despite being trained to interact well with other people, these dogs must still show that they like what they’re doing and not act as if they’re forced. With these points to consider, training your therapy dog and getting them certified should be a top priority.

How Do I Get My Bulldog Certified as a Therapy Dog?

Now that you know how to train and socialize your bulldog become therapy dogs, there are certain steps to follow to get them certified. There are various non-profit organizations where you can have your dog certified, depending on your country.

In the United States, you can have your dog certified at Therapy Dogs-International (TDI). The processes are different for every organization but there’s a general flow that these organizations follow.

The first thing you need to do is to ensure that your dog is a friendly dog and can interact with all kinds of people. Hence, the need for thorough training. The next step is the testing process. The dog will be subjected to different kinds of tests to see the good manners of your dog and his or her demeanor. You will also be subjected to a test as the handler. Your skills will be tested on how well you can manage your dog for all situations.

Lastly, after the tests, you will have supervised visits to medical facilities. How your dog behaves and how well you manage your dog will be observed and judged. If you successfully pass all these tests, you can complete your application and your dog is officially a therapy dog.

Best Breeds of Therapy Bulldogs

Bulldogs are loving and friendly dogs, the French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs stand out as wonderful therapy dogs. They are docile and obedient, once trained correctly, and respond to their handlers quite well.

The French Bulldog is an ideal therapy dog because this dog is very affectionate. Most often, French Bulldogs are very playful, but they’re not too excessive about it. They’re active but they do not overpower their owners.

For English Bulldogs, they’re more kind and reserved but not too shy. Sometimes, they can be quite confident with themselves because they are very friendly towards people. They never show aggression that’s why they’re also the ideal breed for therapy dogs.

These two breeds are the best therapy bulldogs because they are rarely aggressive and they are able to control their playfulness with other living beings. As bulldogs, their sizes are also a pro because they’re not hard to tag along.

Common Problems with Bulldogs as Therapy Dogs

Just like all dogs, you have to take into account the different problems you might face when you have a bulldog at home. Since French and English bulldogs are the best breeds for therapy bulldogs, let’s talk about the common problems.

For one, French Bulldogs have been prone to deafness; they can inherit these from their parents. The good news is hearing issues can be detected in the early stages of hearing loss. Bad news is, it’s going to be a problem when it comes to getting certified because they might not be as responsive as they are required to be.

These dogs are also prone to hip dysplasia that an affect their ability to walk which is a problem because therapy dogs need to move from time to time.

English Bulldogs also have their own set of problems. These dogs cannot be left outside for too long because they have heat sensitivity. By being heat sensitive, they can also have major breathing issues which can be problematic if you guys are always on-the-go.

Although these bulldogs are prone to certain problems, they can still be great therapy dogs. They just need extra care and attention on- and off-duty.

Difference between Therapy and Emotional Support Service Bulldog

You might confuse therapy dogs and emotional support service dogs because they just seem to have the same purpose: to provide comfort for people. Another commonality is that therapy and emotional support dogs don’t enjoy the privileges of a service dog. But there are major differences between them: one, they don’t require any special training and two, they provide comfort for only one person.

Therapy dogs are trained to deal with different people. In public, they have to behave and respond immediately to their handlers. As mentioned earlier, they can go through a process to become certified. Only dogs who are at least one year old can become therapy dogs.

These dogs can usually be seen at local libraries, homes, and hospitals. In some cases, schools and court rooms bring in a therapy dog for students and victims, respectively. These dogs are only allowed in specific places but cannot be brought to restaurants or on airplanes, unlike service dogs.

I had a niece who was visited by a therapy dog while she was recovering from surgery in a hospital. She talked about the dog for days after their short visit. Therapy dogs are known to visit cancer patients or nursing homes. Their job is to bring smiles to people who are feeling lonely or could use a smile.

On the other hand, emotional support service dogs only provide comfort for a single person, contrary to a therapy dog providing comfort for lots of people. These dogs are not required to receive special training, but the owner must ensure that the dog can behave.

Moreover, the owner must verify his or her own disability and have a prescription from a doctor to make the dog an emotional support service dog. Also check out our article “Are Bulldogs Good Service Dogs” and find out why we think they make better therapy dogs than service dogs.


Generally, bulldogs are gentle and friendly dogs that rarely show aggression; they just need to be more trained in behaving and listening. That being said, bulldogs can become aggressive when agitated, so if you are considering having your bulldog become certified as a therapy dog really consider their temperament before putting in the work.

Also, as a handler, you just need to make pay more attention to the health of the bulldog because of its health risks. They may be walking from hospital room to hospital room all day, so be sure to keep your bulldog in tip-top health. All in all, bulldogs make great therapy dogs and with their squishy mug and playful attitude, they are sure to make anyone’s day a little brighter.

Related Questions

  1. Are bulldogs indoor or outdoor dogs? Bulldogs are most definitely indoor dogs. They can not tolerate even mild heat for extended periods of time. Bulldogs should spend most of the day indoors in a climate controlled home. Because of their short noses, they can not pant as well as other dogs to control their internal temperatures.
  2. Do English bulldogs bark a lot? No, bulldogs are not yappy dogs. They only bark if they feel danger is present. Bulldogs are however quite noisy dogs. They grunt and snort a bit.

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