Service dogs are increasingly in the news for both good and bad reasons. But do you know what a service dog is and which breeds are the best?
Over the last few years, there have been an increasing number of instances of dogs being called service dogs without ever receiving proper training. Essentially people are claiming that their untrained pets are service animals in an effort to either take their pet with them wherever they are going, to have specific breed of animal that would usually be turned away, or even to get a discount on things like rent and pet deposits.
The problem with this is that legitimate service dogs are being turned away, and it is causing problems for the people who need these animals. But do you know the difference between all the different types of support animals? From service dogs to emotional support dogs, there are actually different levels of training that go into each animal.
For service dogs, the Americans with Disabilities Acts defines them as dogs that have been specifically trained to perform certain tasks for someone who is disabled. Typically, the task performed is one that the disabled individual cannot complete on their own or have issues with doing alone.
While there are certainly mixed breed dogs that are trained as service dogs, there are specific breeds that have traits that make them especially well-suited for offering assistance to people in need. Thanks to Dogster, we have the list of the top five breeds that make the perfect service dogs.
Up first is the German Shepherd. And as we wrote in our special Breeds 101 special, the German Shepherd is hardworking, extremely loyal, and also highly intellectual. We look to these dogs to be the perfect choice for not only service animals, but also as police dogs and Military Working Dogs.
German Shepherds are typically chosen to work as hearing assistance animals, as well as general guide dogs. They are some of the best sight dogs as well, as they are trained to be obedient and intelligent as they guide their handlers.
The second breed listed as one of the best service dogs is the Labrador Retriever. When we talked about the lovable Labrador in the past, we learned that these pups are able to endure extensive physical activity thanks to their energy levels, and yet they are also able to be patient and wait for their handlers.
These dogs have a good disposition and are very perceptive. Overall, these pups are excellent for detecting diabetes, helping people who are vision impaired, and even detecting anxiety attacks (in this case the dog must be specifically trained for this task in order to qualify as a service dog).
Up next, we have the Golden Retrievers. In our Breeds 101, we talked about the fact that this noble breed has a gentle nature and a skill when it comes to being a working dog. This pup is known as a people pleaser, as well as a dog that wants to learn new things.
Overall, these dogs are very vigilant, while also being tender, calm, and strong in their own way. While Golden Retrievers are accepting of strangers, they know not to get wild and crazy around new people, as they are responsible for another human.
The fourth dog on the list might seem like a surprise to some people, but the Standard Poodle really is a perfect service dog in many ways. Poodles are actually very dependable, while also being loyal and very easily trained. And if you suffer from allergies, these dogs have coats that do not shed as much as other dogs, which can be a positive.
The Standard Poodle is highly curious and enjoys being stimulated. They want to solve problems, which is what makes them such solid service dogs.
Finally there is the Pomeranian, a breed that definitely shocked us when we were looking at the perfect breeds to act as service dogs. While we have not done a Breeds 101 on the mighty (but tiny) Pomeranian, these pups are self-assured, bright, and enthusiastic.
These dogs are excellent for helping people with PTSD, as well as other invisible disabilities. This means that while they may seem like they wouldn’t be good as service dogs because of their size, they really are hard workers ready to help whoever needs them.
Service dogs are extremely important. And while not all dogs are cut out to be of assistance to people in need, these particular breeds have the highest chance of being excellent when it comes to their work as service animals.
It is important for all of us to be honest when it comes to our pets, and if they are not actually service animals, do not portray them as such. Overall, remember that every dog is different and their individual traits can make them an excellent candidate to be a service dog, and these five breeds are at the top of the list.