Top 10 Service Dog Breeds
Unlike some popular animals (we’re looking at you cats!), dogs have always had a deeper purpose that mere companionship. In fact, dogs have helped us humans out for hundreds, even thousands, of years. These animals aren’t just our fluffy friends, they are useful members of society. When humans started using dogs to help us out, some types of doggos were specifically bred for a particular job or task. While times have certainly changed since then and these animals may not necessarily be needed for the job they were bred for, there’s still much work for them to accomplish. Dogs are our helpers, not just our buddies.
Thankfully for us, these special canine skills have translated to help people in need. Now we have a variety of valuable service dogs such as seeing-eye dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs. These are incredible special animals and not all pooches are up for these important tasks. There are specific breeds of doggos out there who are particularly gifted at serving as service animals. Want to know which type of dogs we’re alluding to? Given that you clicked on this headline, it’s safe to assume you are hear to unlock that knowledge. So, let’s stop dilly-dallying and get to the good stuff. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Service Dog Breeds and what makes them such wonderful candidates for these special doggy jobs.
Labrador Retriever: Not only is the Labrador Retriever the most popular breed in the country, but this family favorite also makes a great service dog. Incredibly smart and exceptionably trainable, labs are commonly used as assistance dogs for the disabled, sniffer dogs at airports, search and rescue, and even tracking down certain bugs for pest control companies. So, while you may have merely considered these pooches to be perfect family pets, the truth is that they are actually talented workers as well. There’s almost nothing that Labrador Retrievers can’t do! They are truly good boys and deserve all of our love and affection. (Photo credit: Capture Light/Shutterstock)
Greyhound: The Greyhound may not be what you picture when you think of a service dog, but this breed much more than quiet and affectionate family pets or high speed racers. This breed loves to spend time with people and they are a highly sensitive breed, likely to pick up on even the most subtle social cues if something is not right. That’s why they make invaluable companions to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other health issues that limit mobility. So many of our revered veterans would never have been able to thrive back home were it not for the love and care of Greyhounds. So the next time you see a Greyhound marching down the street, feel free to salute them. These dogs deserve it. (Photo credit: nathanclifford/Bigstock)
German Shepherd: As one of the most intelligent and trainable dog breeds out there, the German Shepherd is highly versatile as a service dog. Want to know why? Well, this breed boasts natural protective instincts, making him a popular choice for police and military duty. The German Shepherd is as gentle as he is loyal, which means he’d also make an excellent Seizure Alert and Guide dog. Quite frankly, it’s tough to think of a service dog position that a German Shepherd wouldn’t succeed at. So if you’ve got a fresh flock of German Shepherd pups and have been thinking about donating one to the service dog industry, definitely go for it! Your pup is practically guaranteed to do you proud by serving someone in need. (Photo credit: lisafx/Bigstock)
Rottweiler: The muscular build of this doggo breed sometimes makes it look a little intimidating. You might think that these large and active animals might be a little too rough to serve as a service animal. However, that’s just not the case. In fact, Rottweilers are calm and gentle in disposition, as well as being smart and easy to train. Once used to guard a farmer’s herd, the Rottweiler now takes his role in the K9 police and military service seriously. These animals aren’t a danger to society. Quite the opposite, actually. Rottweilers are gentle giants who serve and protect us all! (Photo credit: Lilun/Bigstock)
Beagle: He may be small, but the Beagle is a versatile breed. Still popular as a hunting dog, the Beagle’s excellent scent detection (combined with athleticism and stamina) makes him perfect for the role of a scent detection service dog – he’ll sniff out bombs, drugs, and illegal agricultural products. These aren’t simply cute little pups who put smiles on faces. They are also dedicated service animals who sniff out criminals and keep us all safe. (Photo credit: L. Nagy/Shutterstock)
Pomeranian: Due to his small size, this breed is probably not what you would think of as a service dog. These seem more like cuddly teddybears than any sort of dog who can accomplish difficult tasks. But don’t let the diminutive stature and adorable face fool you, the Pomeranian can be trained to alert owners of impending effects brought on by chronic medical illnesses. This breed is also being used to aid people who are hard of hearing, alerting them to sirens, fire alarms, and door bells. So believe it or not, these little cuties are actually quite valuable members of society. (Photo credit: Jakkrit Orrasri/Bigstock)
Saint Bernard: The Saint Bernard has to be one of the most well-known service dog breeds. He puts his natural protective instincts and patient attitude to work as a search and rescue dog on the ski slopes, and is often called upon to help the wounded after an avalanche. However, if you ever see a Saint Bernard out to help your in the slopes, don’t expect him to arrive carrying a barrel of brandy. That is a pop culture myth. You’ll have to get drunk on your own. This dog is only there to help you out, not double as your bartender. (Photo credit: swisshippo/Bigstock.com)
Border Collie: Widely regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, the Border Collie has been gaining popularity as a service dog. Taking advantage of their natural herding instincts, this breed is used for search and rescue missions, Seizure Alert Dogs, PTSD and anxiety disorders. Move over Lassie, there’s a new helpful Collie in town! (Photo credit: Bigandt_Photography/Bigstock)
Poodle: The Poodle is an all-around excellent dog breed, thanks to their gentle temperament and ability to learn. Poodles are also a lifesaver for people who need a service dog with a hypoallergenic coat. They are happy to help out anybody with mobility issues and can warn their owners about emergencies before they happen. (Photo credit: OneToRemember/Bigstock)
Golden Retriever: Like the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is a natural when it comes to serving others. Their gentle demeanors makes them naturals to work with children who need a calm and understanding furry support worker. These dogs can also be trained for a variety of duties including search-and-rescue, seeing-eye, and hearing dogs. There’s next to nothing the Golden Retriever can’t do. These aren’t just gorgeous animals. They are here to help! (Photo credit: Eastimages/Shutterstock)
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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