Can my Boston Terrier be Registered as a Service Dog?

Have you ever wondered if your Boston Terrier could be officially registered as a service dog? Or have you considered adopting a Boston Terrier to help a family member deal with anxiety, depression, or social disorders? After all, Boston Terriers are often easily trained, cheerful, and protective. 

NOTE: After further investigation, I learned in the United States there is no requirement for a Dog to be “registered” as a service dog. Nor is there an official dog registry. Essentially, all you need is a letter from a doctor saying you need this dog to help you. Therefore, the dog registries listed below in the article are not a requirement but could be fun pieces of paper to have if you wish.

Can my Boston Terrier be Registered as a Service Dog? Boston Terrier Society.
Donnie and Bella Taking A Nap

This question is arising more lately as people look at their dogs not only as companions but as emotional support, medical alert, and therapy dogs. Officially registering your dog opens up a world of possibilities in terms of where they can go and how easily they’ll be accepted.

It’s essential to look at the physical and temperamental attributes of any dog before considering whether this would be a good plan for your dog. Yes, each dog has its own set of traits that lends to a unique personality. However, there are general guidelines when deciding whether a breed can serve in a more official capacity as a service dog. Boston Terriers are known for being easily trainable, playful, sweet, and sometimes fiercely protective. This is good and bad when considering them as service animals.

Can my Boston Terrier be Registered as a Service Dog?

Yes, Boston Terriers can be registered as service dogs. Boston Terriers are often easily trained, cheerful, and protective, making them a perfect fit as a service dog.

Are Boston Terriers good emotional support dogs?

Emotional Support Animals are prescribed by doctors for reasons such as depression, bipolar disorder, mood disorder, panic attacks, phobias, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts or tendencies.  With the assistance of these prescribed animals, their humans can explore the world with more confidence and security, with the help of having a constant helpful friend nearby. 

Medical Prescription

A medical prescription can allow children to older adults with various social disorders the ability to take their companions practically anywhere. Even into areas where “no pets allowed” is the standard rule, such as hotels, restaurants, and airplanes. 

Many people have realized that the right prescribed canine companion can be a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a reason to get in a daily laugh, or a reason to go outside. For those who experience depression and social anxiety, it’s hard to find a human who asks little and gives as much. Your Boston Terrier likely loves nothing more than curling up in the lap of someone who just needs the feeling of being needed and loved.

Boston’s Are The Best Suited

The Boston Terrier is an excellent candidate for an emotional support animal. They are playful and happy-go-lucky, which is a wonderful distraction for those experiencing anxiety. The trainable nature of the breed makes them well-suited for public situations and will work easily with younger people. Sometimes, in cases where the patient might be in distress, Boston Terriers can be overly protective. But, well-trained Boston’s can still make someone feel safe in approaching the world.

Emotional Support for Children with Autism

Not only are Boston Terriers good cuddlers, but they also love to play. Many parents have found the Boston Terrier to be a perfect therapy dog for children with autism. One mom with multiple sons on the spectrum writes this of their Boston Terrier: 

“And even though the boys just carry him everywhere, the dog doesn’t seem to mind. Having a kind, sweet, and patient pet can positively change the emotional dynamics within the household for families with children or a child on the spectrum, of that we can definitely attest.”

Some have found that the Boston Terrier may be better suited for kids or teens because of their lively nature! Energetic and playful, Boston Terriers may be hard for an individual who has difficulty keeping up with her need for playful exercise. However, for the child, it is an excellent way to assure a trip outside and plenty of play. 

Boston’s Can Live Anywhere

Regardless, the mini size and temperament makes Boston’s perfect for families seeking a companion. Bostons require little space and are suitable for both house and apartment living. Plus, Bostons do not need much outdoor space either. Boston Terriers are comfortable living pretty much anywhere as long as they do not have to go outside in the extreme hot or cold.

Read my article on, Do Boston Terriers Make Good Apartment Pets. This article will answer all your related housing requirements and questions.

Best Breeds for People with Anxiety or Depression

Quite a few studies have shown that owning and caring for a dog can relieve stress and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure and even cholesterol levels. There is even evidence that patients over 65 who are pet owners have fewer doctor visits. The benefits of owning a pet go much deeper than what we imagine, especially for those who live alone or suffer from depression or anxiety. Just imagine how hard it is to feel anxious while looking at adorable pictures of Boston Terrier puppies! It’s practically impossible.

What other websites and people are saying

There are sites which recommend certain dogs consistently—the Pug, Bichon Frise, and Pomeranian often come in at the top of the small dog list. The top of the more extensive dog list is often populated with Labradors, Retrievers, and Poodles. It’s easy to find lists of breeds rated best for anxiety. Yet, the bottom line here is that each person finds a dog that brings them joy and companionship. 

Your Boston Terrier, with her crazy antics, can be your best belly laugh of the day! For anxiety or depression, this can be a game-changer. Many Boston Terrier owners, who didn’t find their dogs on lists, say things like this about their little buddies:

“My Boston Terriers got me through the loss of my husband.”

“Boston Terrier. Our little guy never fails to make us laugh every minute of the day. He’s such a fun-loving, cute little character.”

“My Boston is soooo funny! I can’t feel sad around him!”

“My Boston Terrier is a clown and a very loving dog. I suffer with very low self-esteem and Chico makes my life a lot lighter!”

Also, the Boston Terrier’s devotion to its owner is helpful for anxiety. Many people who suffer from anxiety come from unstable environments. The constant presence and dedication of the Boston, who loves nothing more than to sit in your lap and receive a good rub, can help someone feel secure, needed, and calm. As animals evolve, dogs have become able to sense more the needs of human. Adapting to understand some vocabulary and facial expressions, and being in tune to their owners’ well-being.

Making it, Official-How do I register my dog as a service dog?

The general descriptions of the three types of registered dogs (according to the United States Dog Registry) are:

Service Dog

Service dogs are dogs that have been individually trained to perform a specific task for individuals who have disabilities. These dogs can assist in jobs such as navigating those who are hearing or visually impaired. As well as aiding an individual who is having a seizure. Or calming an individual who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some even dial 911 in the event of an emergency.

Emotional Support Dog

Emotional support dogs provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. A loving support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are. They can assist with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder/mood disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, and other psychological and emotional states.

Therapy Dog

Therapy dogs are dogs that are used to bring comfort and joy to those who are ill or under poor conditions. Many people can connect with dogs and feel the love that they provide, and this has a therapeutic effect on them. Therapy dogs are generally very calm and well-behaved so that they do not upset or make uncomfortable those around them.

Once you decide what best works for your Boston Terrier, U.S. Dog Registry offers registry kits. It is not the only registry out there, but it is a “one-stop-shop,” making it pretty easy. This will put your dog on an official record of service animals. 

How much will it cost to register my dog?

Basic kits at the US Dog Registry for all three types start at $79. However, the more expensive packages include items like vests for your dog, leashes, and collars, which most owners may desire to identify their service animal. 

The “Deluxe” kit is $199. Service Dog Certifications is a site that also offers a way of registering dogs for $39. Although, there is no official certificate or ID tag with that price, just a confirmation of registration. Registering your dog includes only one dog handler. There is an additional charge for more than one handler on most sites.

Is there training required?

While the registry does not require that you prove that you’ve trained your dog, there is a recommendation on Service Dog Certifications. The advice is you have a diagnosis or letter from your doctor, explaining how the dog is needed. As well as an outline as to how much training is recommended. It is a site that not only recommends training but also has updated information on local requirements. This may be helpful in areas like Texas, where there is more protection for registered dogs. 

Training is crucial for a service animal, and fortunately, Boston Terriers are lovely dogs to train. There is an option to either professionally educate or train the dog yourself. The US does not have official guidelines, but the general standard holds that the dog should have approximately 120 hours over six months. That is considered a minimum. However, dogs should often have one or more years in training. 

It’s recommended that at least 30 hours of the dog’s training should be in the public. This is because dogs can be distracted easily. And giving them plenty of practice before helping their human navigate the public world will make the dog better at helping their companion. Once you have completed her training, you can administer the Public Access Test. This test measures such things as aggressive behavior, begging (for either affection or food), and hyperactivity in public, as well as their response to basic obedience.

Final Thoughts

Training and registering your Boston Terrier is not as difficult as you might imagine. The fun, energetic, sweet Boston can be not only a companion but a significant help for social and psychological disorders. Her diminutive stature makes her more suited for children, especially with issues such as anxiety and depression. And registering her might enable you to take that assistance everywhere you go!


Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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