Breed FactsDOG GUIDETraining & Behavior

Service Dogs: Best Breeds and Ultimate Guide!

Picking a breed can be tricky! There are such considerable different classifications of dogs to choose from. And they all have different stereotypes that come with them! It’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve collected this list of the most common dog breeds used as service dogs. Whether you’re looking for a big lovable pup or an intelligent and dedicated puppy, these breeds will provide what you need!

But first, let’s identify what makes a great service dog.


service dog is an animal that provides assistance to people with disabilities. They help people with mobility issues, hearing impairments, visual impairments, and other conditions.

Service dogs receive special training from certified professionals who will teach them how to behave around other people. They must also be adequately vaccinated before they can work as service dogs.

Service dogs are similar to therapy dogs in that both types of animals provide comfort and emotional support for individuals with disabilities. However, there are some critical differences between therapy dogs and service dogs, such as having greater access and receiving specific training for a particular task.


Service dogs are judged on their behavior and not their looks. A service dog is not a pet. It is trained to do specific tasks for its handler, such as retrieving objects and opening doors. This means that a service dog can be any breed or size! But what are the characteristics of an excellent service dog? Let’s take a look at our list below.

? Sociability

Sociability is the first quality for a service dog to possess. A dog with a friendly and outgoing personality will be more likely to go up and greet people when they approach you. Being comfortable around strangers is another vital aspect of sociability. If your dog doesn’t like other people, it won’t be able to work as a service dog. The same goes for other dogs, children, cats, and any other animals the dog may encounter during their time together.

? Playfulness

Playfulness is an important part of a service dog’s training. And this is a sign that the pup is happy and comfortable with the world around them. They’ll show their playfulness in different ways! Some dogs will use their paws to grab toys, and others will nudge or nose you to get your attention. While still others roll over and show their belly.

Playtime is also important for keeping your dog healthy. It gets them out of their crate, helps them expend energy (which can help prevent obesity), and provides mental stimulation. A tired dog with lots of pent-up energy will be much better at focusing on tasks than one who hasn’t had any exercise!

? Trainability

One of the most substantial attributes of an excellent service dog is its trainability. A well-trained service dog will be able to respond to voice commands and hand signals, allowing their handler to give them commands without having to take their eyes off what they’re doing.

It’s also necessary that the service dog has the ability not to react when other dogs or people come up and start talking with their handlers. This can be a problem for some dogs who are prone to barking at strangers or trying to play with other dogs when they see them. But if your service animal reacts this way when out in public, you may have difficulty convincing others that they are actually working animals and not just someone’s pet.

? Curiosity

A service dog should be a curious companion. A dog interested in its surroundings and listening to the handler’s commands is a good indicator of intelligence. The more involved your dog is with what’s going on around you, the easier it will be for you both to work together as a team and complete tasks successfully.

? Confidence

A service dog should be confident in all situations. The dog should not be shy or timid but rather have a strong sense of self-worth when dealing with others. He or she must be capable of enduring loud noises and large crowds without becoming afraid. A service animal must also learn to co-exist peacefully with other people and animals, as well as accept constant attention from strangers.

? Friendliness with strangers

Friendliness is an important characteristic of a service dog. Your dog should be friendly and willing to greet new people.

To test your dog’s friendliness, try calling out “hello” while walking past someone on the street without your dog. If they ignore you, that’s okay! It just means they are engrossed in their phone conversation or aren’t really into making new friends right now. If your dog does not respond enthusiastically when someone greets him or her, however, it may indicate that he or she does not enjoy meeting new people (which is fine!) You can also train this ability by greeting random strangers every time you walk down the street together – once again, don’t worry if this takes some time!

? Tolerance of handling

The dog must be comfortable being handled by strangers. This means being touched, lifted, and restrained by people who are not familiar with him.

The dog must also be comfortable with grooming and vet visits. Grooming may include brushing, cleaning ears and nails, bathing, or clipping his hair or fur at certain times of the year. Vets can examine the dog’s ears and teeth; give vaccinations; take blood samples; inject medication if needed, or perform surgery on an injured leg or paw.

The owner should know how to restrain a dog when necessary, so he doesn’t hurt himself while riding in a car (for example).

? Interaction with other dogs and cats.

Your service dog should be friendly with other dogs and cats. As a rule, they are hardwired to get along with other animals. However, some dogs can be trained to ignore or interact with specific species. It’s important that you discuss your dog’s reaction to other animals with your trainer before you make any final decisions about their training. If your service dog is well-trained, he will respond appropriately when meeting another animal for the first time.


When you’re in need of a service dog, there are many factors to consider. Do you want a quiet, reserved dog or a more energetic one? Is your lifestyle active or more sedentary? How much span do you have to commit to training and taking care of your pup? It’s necessary not to make this judgment lightly because once it’s made, it’s permanent. So before deciding on the best breed for your needs as well as theirs (and yours), let’s take an analytical look at what makes some dogs great service animals while others aren’t cut out for the job at all.

?‍? German Shepherd

german shepherd service dogs
Photo credits: American Kennel Club

German Shepherds are a good choice for service dogs because they’re intelligent, loyal, and protective. They’re also versatile and able to learn many skills quickly. German Shepherds are frequently used as police canines or search-and-rescue dogs because of their intelligence and agility.

These dogs are also easy to train, so if you have some experience training dogs, or even if you don’t, you can get started with this breed right away. German Shepherds train well without constant corrections or harsh verbal reprimands and will even try harder when you praise them for their good work instead of solely focusing on what they did wrong.

If you’re searching for a puppy that will develop into a steadfast worker and companion through thick and thin, then the German Shepherd may be just what you’re looking for!

?‍? Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are a favored selection for service dogs. They’re also friendly, intelligent, and easy to train. They are also suitable with kids and other animals and have a mild-mannered temperament that makes them well-suited for those who need a low-key companion.

?‍? Golden Retriever

If you’re looking for a dog to train as your next service animal, the Golden Retriever is an excellent choice. They are highly savvy dogs that are easy to drill and adapt well to new situations. Golden Retrievers also have a naturally friendly demeanor, so they make great companions for children and other pets.

Additionally, this breed is very tolerant of strangers, so much so that many people use Goldens as therapy animals! If you want an energetic dog with a good temperament, look no further than this canine friend: he’s got your back (and every other body part).

?‍? Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers are one of the best dog breeds for service dogs. They are a small breed of dog with short coats and have intelligent, alert, and playful personalities. The Miniature Pinscher is easy to train as well as get along with other animals. The Miniature Pinscher has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years. However, their size and barking habits may not be the best choice if you live in an apartment.

?‍? Pembroke Welsh Corgi

corgi service dogs

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog breed that has a long body and short legs. These canine companions are friendly and energetic, making them great for families with children or other pets.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to be around people, so they’re not the best choice if you want a canine who will survive in one place all day while you work. But what they lack in staying capacity, they make up for in nature! These happy pups love nothing more than greeting guests at your front door or running around the park with their favorite humans.

?‍? Beagle

Beagles are adaptable, easy to train, and make good family pets. They are very loyal dogs that make good watchdogs but can also be stubborn.

Beagles are small dogs and require little space. They do need a yard or some sort of safe area where they can run around outside when they get bored indoors. Beagles naturally get along well with other creatures and children if mingled properly from an early age (or at least before the dog reaches adulthood).

?‍? Border Collie

Border Collies are highly intelligent, energetic, and athletic. They have been spawned for centuries to herd sheep, but they are known for their devotion to their human owners as well. Border Collies can be trained to help with a variety of tasks, including searching and rescue missions, as well as guiding the blind or deaf. Their intelligence makes them a great choice for service dogs because they can learn how to respond appropriately under different conditions. For example, when their owner needs help getting up from his wheelchair or when he is having an asthma attack in public.

?‍? Havanese

Havanese are well-known for their gentle temperaments and affectionate nature. They’re friendly, intelligent, and easy to train, making them ideal for working dogs.

They’re also tiny enough to fit easily into an airline-approved carrier bag or backpack. This makes them a great option if you want your pet around while traveling but don’t want to worry about inconveniencing other passengers with an oversized service animal.

Because of their sweet disposition, Havanese are known as “velcro” dogs. They love spending time with their owners and will follow them everywhere they go. If you have children or another dog at home already, this may be a good breed for your family!

?‍? Poodle

The Poodle is a smart and energetic dog breed, making them perfect for service work. They are easy to train, especially if you use positive reinforcement, and they have the energy to keep up with their human companions (if not surpass them). Poodles are not just popular as family pets; they’ve also been trained as seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs, and therapy dogs.

Poodles come in all sizes, so there’s one that will fit your needs exactly! You can get a miniature poodle that weighs about 15 pounds or opt for an extra-large size that can grow up to 70 pounds. If you don’t want to groom your Poodle regularly, then consider adopting from a shelter because most of these breeds shed heavily during certain times of the year (but more on that later).

In addition to being able to provide companionship for individuals who need it most, this breed makes excellent pets for families with kids due to its gentle nature around children, which makes them great playmates too! And since these guys love getting attention from both adults and children alike, having one around would mean everyone gets more hugs than usual.

?‍? Vizsla

The Vizsla is a medium-sized canine with a short, polished coat that comes in shades of gold, rust, and cream. It’s one of the most aged and most prevalent hunting breeds, and it’s no wonder why: the Vizsla is loyal, affectionate, intelligent, and energetic.

Vizslas thrive when they have lots of space to run around in. If you live on a farm or have a big backyard for your puppy to explore, this breed is perfect for you!


Not usually. While there are some special training requirements for service dogs, these can vary depending on the type of assistance they provide and the person they support.

Most service dogs are trained to be calm and focused during their workday, even in noisy environments or when other animals are around. They must also be able to ignore distractions like balloons flying past them or people asking them questions while they’re working.

In addition to this, service dogs must be obedient. They must know how to respond to basic commands such as “sit” and “stay,” which allow their handlers full control over them at all times. Service dogs should also not bark except under specific circumstances, such as when responding to an emergency alarm (such as someone knocking on a door). Finally, service dogs should be trained not to chew or bite things. They should let go of whatever object is in their mouth when told by their handler!


Yes, you can train your pet to work as a service dog. However, there are some rules and regulations you’ll need to follow. First, be aware that each state has different laws regarding service animals. Some states may require additional documentation in order for your pet to be a legitimate service animal. The second step is getting the proper equipment. You’ll need a vest and identification card stating that your pet is a trained service animal that must respond to commands such as “sit” or “stay” when entering public places with you. You can purchase these items online at places for relatively cheap prices (usually under $60).

Finally, you will need to get a permit from your city or county government office. This process usually requires filling out paperwork describing why you want one and then paying an application fee along with other fees associated with licensing dogs or cats within that jurisdiction.


Service dogs are trained to help people with a variety of disabilities. It’s important to remember that service dogs are not just for people who have mobility issues. They can also work to assist someone with hearing or visual impairments.

In fact, service dogs are helpful for people with mental and physical disabilities alike, and this is an aspect of what makes them so remarkable. Service dogs are taught how to serve as an extension of their handler’s body. They open doors, pick up objects, retrieve items from shelves, and get help when needed. In essence, they act as a second pair of hands for their owner.


? How do I know if my pup is great for being a service or emotional support?

The first thing to comprehend is that there are two kinds of service dogs: task and emotional support animals. A task dog can work in many different ways, but they all have one thing in common; the owner relies on them to perform tasks that help them function more easily or safely during daily life.

Examples of tasks include providing balance or stability, retrieving dropped items, and opening/closing doors or drawers. An emotional support animal is specifically trained to assist their owner with anxiety-related issues such as phobias or panic attacks through companionship and affectionate behavior alone.

? Where do service dogs go when they need a bathroom break?

When service dogs need to go potty, they’re trained to use a designated area in the event that there is no outside space. If there is not sufficient room for them to ease themselves, then you should take them outside.

? What happens if a service dog causes damage or is injured on the job?

If a service dog causes damage or injuries on the job, the dog owner is responsible for paying for any repairs or medical care. Additionally, if the owner’s dog attacks another person, that victim may be able to sue and recover damages from the owner.

? What are the rules about bringing my service dog into stores and restaurants?

Service dogs are allowed in all public places, including restaurants and stores. The owner of a service dog must be allowed to share a table with the dog if there is room available.

Service dogs must have leashes or harnesses and be under control at all times. They are not allowed on chairs, beds, or furniture. Service dogs must be well-behaved and do not need to wear training vests while they are working.

? How can I get a vest or identification card for my service dog?

You can get a vest or ID card for your service dog by making your own or purchasing one from an online store. There are many alternatives to evaluate when making your own vest: what color should it be? How big do you want it to be? What materials will work best? The answers to these questions are up to you and your pup!

Once you’ve determined the layout of your vest, follow these steps:

  • Write down all the information that needs to be on the tag (name of the person with a disability and name of an animal)
  • Cut out the lettering and glue it onto pieces of felt in order to create stencils. Make sure everything is readable and clear!


There are a lot of misinterpretations out there about service dogs and their handlers, but the most significant thing to recall is that their handlers are just regular people who need assistance. They’re not superheroes or superheroes’ pets. These dogs don’t have any extraordinary powers, but they just do what anyone would do if they had a disability and needed help getting around. We hope this article has answered some common questions about service dogs, but if you still have more inquiries after reading it, please feel free to our other topics that may be of your interest.

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