20 Dog Breeds That Are Best as Service Animals
Service dogs are the superheroes among our four-legged friends, as they help people with physical or mental disabilities to lead a more independent life.
These dogs are then trained to work and perform certain tasks until the animals understand when to take certain actions to help.
Dr. Mary Burch, director of the American Kennel Club (AKC) family dog program, believes that good service dogs can come in all shapes and sizes.
She told Newsweek, “A dog’s size can help depending on what it’s being trained for.
“For example, a larger breed is a better option than a smaller one for those who need help with mobility assistance.
“Smaller breeds like miniature poodles can be good as attentive listening dogs.”
And she adds, while certain breeds are suited for a particular role, in general they should be “trainable, focused, and willing to work with their owner.” [and] Reliable.”
She said, “Many breeds can be used as service dogs. On rare occasions, owners will train the dog they currently have as a pet to be a service dog.
“In other, more frequent cases, a service dog is acquired that has been specifically bred to work as a service dog.
“Some breeds are used more often as service dogs because they are very trainable and docile.
“Every dog within a particular breed (even if the breed is known to work well with service dogs) may not be an ideal choice for a service dog.
“Not every breed is a logical choice for working with service dogs, although there can be exceptions.”
Newsweek is counting down the most suitable breeds for life as a service dog.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are popular family pets for the same reason that they make excellent service dogs
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Labrador Retrievers are popular family pets for the same reason that they make excellent service dogs.
Not only are labs friendly and good-natured, they are also good with people and enjoy their work.
2. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are a popular choice when deciding on a service dog
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Bring a similar breed to Labradors, Golden Retrievers are also a popular choice when choosing a service dog.
Not only do they have a firm and gentle demeanor that can calm anxious people, but they are big enough to help people walk.
3. German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherds possess many of the same characteristics required when choosing a great service dog
German Shepherds possess many of the same qualities required in choosing a great service dog because these dogs are intelligent, well behaved, and easy to train.
And this breed, often associated with guarding, is of sufficient size and strength to help mobility impaired people get around.
4. Doberman Pinscher
The exceptionally energetic and intelligent Doberman Pinscher does an excellent job as a service dog
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Doberman Pinschers are considered a mix of many breeds, including Rottweilers, Black and Tan Terriers, and German Pinschers.
And these exceptionally energetic and intelligent dogs do excellent service as service dogs, especially because of their pronounced sensitivity and loving nature
Look beyond their squeamish stereotype, and poodles are extremely intelligent and capable service dogs
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Look beyond their squeamish stereotype, and poodles are extremely intelligent and capable dogs who love to play a role.
This breed has proper service behavior and these dogs are very easy to train, despite being unable to perform particularly physical roles.
6. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs embody the most coveted character traits that one could wish for in a service dog
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Bernese Mountain Dogs embody the most coveted character traits that one could wish for in a service dog, such as a friendly demeanor, impressive intelligence and a good work ethic.
This breed is also large and powerful enough to perform physical tasks while being smart enough to perform complex tasks to help their human.
7. Great Dane
Great Danes are the perfect stature and strength to make excellent service dogs
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Great Danes are affectionately known as the “gentle giants” of large dogs, which means they have the perfect stature and strength to physically support their attack.
This breed is also believed to be one of the best-natured dogs, which, when combined with their intelligence and trainability, makes them an excellent candidate for a service dog.
8. St. Bernard
The St. Bernard breed has long been associated with helping people
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The St. Bernard breed has long been associated with helping people, typically as rescuers from the lonely snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
These large and muscular canines are more commonly used as service dogs these days, largely because of their friendly, gentle, intelligent, and affable nature.
Pomeranians are the perfect pint-sized service dogs
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While many service dogs are oversized, the Pomeranian is a smaller breed that is more than capable of assisting with service-related activities.
While incapable of helping in physical roles, poms are extremely attentive to their owners and can be carried anywhere they are needed for assistance.
10. American Staffordshire Terrier
The majority of American Staffordshire Terriers (also known as pit bulls) are loving, gentle dogs that are intelligent enough to be easily trained as service dogs
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While these dogs are often excellent service dogs, owners may need to be prepared to deal with false negative public perceptions of the breed.
The majority of American Staffordshire Terriers (also known as pit bulls) are loving, gentle dogs that are intelligent enough to be easily trained as service dogs.
Although boxers are underutilized when working with service dogs, they display many of the traits that are preferred in the role
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While underutilized when working with service dogs, boxers display many of the qualities preferred for such an important task.
This breed is strong enough to perform physical tasks, enjoy human company, and have high enough energy levels to perform such an all-consuming role.
12. Border collie
Few can deny that Border Collies are wonderful service dogs
Widely regarded as the most intelligent breed in the world, few can deny that Border Collies are wonderful service dogs.
But while collies are also very easy to train and enjoy doing tasks, they can be a little naughty when under-challenged. So make sure they have plenty of exercise options and brain-stimulating interactive toys on hand.
Bloodhounds are considered calm, loyal, intelligent, and affectionate, which makes them an ideal breed as service dog companions
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Bloodhounds are considered calm, loyal, intelligent, and affectionate, which makes them an ideal breed as service dog companions.
These dogs also have a particularly strong sense of smell, which means they can easily spot blood sugar levels that may be problematic for diabetics.
The Havanese is known for his loving nature and his very adaptive personality
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This little family dog is popular for his loving nature and very adaptive personality.
Their friendly and outgoing nature makes them popular with everyone they encounter, and Havanese are often the breed of choice for those affected by depression.
15. Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers like Stanley can make excellent service dogs
Miniature Schnauzers are an affectionate and cheerful breed that is eager to be part of a human family.
Her positive personality makes her a high-quality companion, while her petite proportions make her a perfect companion for adults and children.
16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Although Cavaliers come in a small package, their oversized personalities and even bigger hearts make them great service dogs
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Although Cavaliers come in a small package, they have plus-size personalities and even bigger hearts.
In addition to their regally good looks, this breed is valued for its exceptionally sweet and loving nature, which is always seemingly receptive to a calming cuddle.
Labradoodles are a cross between Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, two of the top breeds with the characteristics of a reliable service dog
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Although rarely recognized as a service dog breed, Labradoodles are a cross between Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, two of the top breeds with the characteristics of a reliable assistant companion.
With the intelligence of the former and the adaptability of the latter, Labradoodles are great candidates as service dogs for people of all ages.
18. Lhasa Apso
Provided this breed is well trained as a psychiatric service dog, Lhasa Apso’s cheerful demeanor can be an invaluable asset to those suffering from PTSD, depression, and bipolar disorder
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While these attentive and personable little dogs may be suspicious of strangers, the Lhasa Apso is enormously loyal to those who are closest to them.
Provided this breed has been well trained as a psychiatric service dog, Lhasa Apso’s cheerful demeanor can be an invaluable asset to those suffering from PTSD, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Mobile and friendly, the popular Beagle is a great service dog
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Mobile and friendly, the popular Beagle is a great service dog, especially in larger households and when there are high concentrations of children.
Be aware, however, that the Beagle breed has an independent character and some may refuse to accept the training well enough to earn the grade as a service dog.
20. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are excellent service dogs because they are very intuitive.
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Brave and curious, little Yorkies can be eager to try anything, which means they can be an excellent choice for a service dog that doesn’t require physicality.
This intelligent breed loves to serve a purpose, so Yorkshire Terriers are useful for getting medication in an emergency or pressing an alarm button when they are intuitively doing something wrong.