The Best Dog Breeds for Service Animals
April 21, 2021
Some dog breeds are more trainable than others, making them better service animals. What breeds are among the most popular? Read to find out!

What is a service dog? A service dog receives specialized training to carry out specific tasks, and the law protects these animals and their owners as they assist individuals. Moreover, since they receive special training, they may accompany their owner into various public locations that otherwise may not allow dogs.

Expectations for a Service Dog

Service dogs complete various tasks and come in all shapes and sizes; nearly any dog is available if they pass the tests and meet regulations. However, some breeds are more suitable than others. When on the job, these working dogs must keep their focus, remain calm, and avoid distractions—for this reason, individuals should not pet a working service animal. 

Some of the best dog breeds for service animals chosen to guide those who are blind, alert individuals about low blood sugar, or otherwise assist those with varying disabilities include:

Labrador Retrievers

Among the many dog breeds, Labs are among the most popular; they often aid people with disabilities because of their sweet, outgoing personalities. Labs make great service dogs because of their:

Due to their high level of intelligence, they’re easily trained and know how to behave in the many social situations they may encounter while assisting their owner. Moreover, Labradors are especially helpful to those who are mobility impaired, as the breed has a soft mouth that allows them to fetch objects without breakage.

Golden Retrievers

Known for their compassionate nature, goldens make great service dogs for many of the same reasons Labs do; they’re:

Many recommend golden retrievers to those seeking out a service dog for PTSD and other emotional support, as they enjoy showering their owner in love. Due to their large size, the breed also has an easy time carrying out essential tasks.

German Shepherds

While many associate German shepherds with police dogs, this loyal breed is an exceptional service dog because of several key traits, including:

Furthermore, due to their powerful sense of smell, they’re often recommended to those who need an alert dog for monitoring blood sugar levels. Still, these dogs are also great for those with mobility struggles, as they’re strong enough to support their owner. 


Finally, poodles are also one of the best dog breeds for service animals because of their:

While service dogs are often on the larger size—and a standard poodle meets the qualifications—smaller dogs are necessary for those living in apartments, who fear large dogs, or who have other challenges. Keep in mind that any furry friend can be a service animal, so long as they’re friendly, intelligent, calm, and pass the required training class. 


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