Which Breeds Make Good Service Dogs?

I really want to get a dog as a pet, but also as an assistance dog for my daughter. She is disabled (wheelchair/non-verbal/epilepsy), and I think it would be so great to have a wonderful dog for us.

I wonder what is the best breed for this type of thing? They, of course, have to easily trainable, smart, not too big, but big enough to do some service work, like picking up an item and giving it to my daughter in her wheelchair. I'd also prefer a short hair, but I can bend on that one. Any breed/type suggestions?


By audreyaries from Oak Park, IL

May 18, 20090 found this helpful

I've often heard mix breeds are the best. We had a beagle/lab mix that was extremely easy to train. Anything with Shepard in it would most likely be also. Check your local animal shelter, they may even have a great dog in mind as they already know the temperament and train ability. There may even be some programs in your area. Do some searches and see if you can find one that is already in training or has been trained and ready for service. Labrador retriever German Shepard

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May 18, 20090 found this helpful

A female German Sheperd or a female Lab.


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May 18, 20090 found this helpful

Golden Retrievers are wonderful service dogs. I was in a class with two deaf people and they had goldens. Each said they had owned a couple of them and wouldn't consider another breed. A blind friend has a golden. Theyre very kind and patient and will obey quite easily and will withstand a fair amount of "abuse" (hair pulling my children, climbing on ...that kind) without reacting.

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May 23, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with Glen's Mom. Goldens are great service dogs. So are shepherds and many other breeds, but Goldens are fantastic dogs all around. Since you'd prefer shorter hair, Labrador Retrievers are also fantastic all around. By this I mean they are great family dogs besides being extremely smart and trainable for being service dogs. There are many Labs and Goldens now being used as service dogs.

Here are some links for you to check out:



Good luck, and I know whatever dog you get will quickly become an integral part of your family and your daughter's life.

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May 24, 20090 found this helpful

There are many breeds available for training as service dogs. Much depends on what type of tasks you want the dog to do. After sitting down and making a list of what I needed a dog to do, I made my choice. I, personally, have a mixed breed rescue. I chose this route because I have some experience in training dogs. If you don't have experience, I recommend finding a school or finding a trainer who trains assistance dogs.

Please understand, a service dog, once trained is a working dog and no longer just a pet. They are entitled to be with their partner wherever they go. Their function is just like any other assistive technology a disabled person uses.

That said, may I suggest you check out these yahoo groups to get more and perhaps better feedback for this question:



if you would like further info, feel free to email me at hotmail.

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May 26, 20090 found this helpful

Service dogs can be many breeds. Knowing how to train a service dog is really the challenge. I have a mixed breed therapy dog who is well trained but I do not really know how to go about training a service dog. Usually service dogs are trained by professionals and families apply to agencies to obtain one. Therapy dogs are just well trained family dogs that go about spreading good will in schools, hospitals, and other places. They just need a good temperment and their Canine Good Citizen and get hooked up with Therapy Dog Inc. or Therapy Dog International. I'd look up an agency if I were you.

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

I am 75 years old and have a service dog. Bubba is a shih tzu. He is the second shih tzuI have had. He is very, very loving and always by my side. When eating out he takes a nap and never begs for food. Bubba is my ears. A couple of months ago he woke me up growling at 2:00 am. . He had never growled before. I saw a shadow pass my window and then come half way back. He has also warned me when a dog is coming toward up barking. Since I don't hear very good he has kept me from being bitten. Bubba is my life and best friend. He waits for me to wakeup in the morning and then he crawls up and kisses me on the chin.Before my other dog died he stepped on the place I had cancer. I had just had a check-up and doctor didn't find any cancer. I had stage. 2 breast cancer. He probably just stepped on the right spot when he wanted me to pet him but if it hadn't been for him I might not be here. So I recommend a Shih Tzu. It's easy to train them, they are quite and so loving. They said a Service Dog cannot be a pet but I've never met anyone that doesn't love their dog. Check with your local SPCA for whatever kind of dog you decide on. Check out the ADA for rules for service dogs. Best of luck to you and your new dog. opps, BTW they have a lot of hair so I would recommend a puippy cut.

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