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Which Breeds Make Good Service Dogs?

We all know how amazing our dogs are when we need them. They certainly have a sixth sense for when we’re distressed or bothered by something… and they all do their level best to make us feel better, whether that’s through lots of kisses and cuddles, bringing us their favourite toy or something else.

Of course, those without precious pups in their life might scoff at the idea that dogs can display empathy in this way but, in fact, studies have been carried out that prove they really do care when we’re upset and that they’ll do all they can to lend a paw when we’re in need.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping people and certain breeds of dog make for excellent service companions, capable of being trained to assist people with disabilities, mental health conditions, impairments and so on.

One of the most common service dogs you’ll come across are guide dogs – and labradors in particular seem to be the top choice for assisting blind and visually impaired people. 

This breed is renowned for being very trainable, intelligent and loving, and because they’re one of the most popular dogs out there they represent a friendly face when out in public, allaying the fears of those who may be afraid of pups. 

Incidentally, if you’d like to read a wonderful book about labradors as guide dogs, put Emma & I by Sheila Hocken on your reading list for 2024.

German Shepherds are another fantastic choice for service companions and have long been used as guide dogs, hearing dogs and psychiatric assistance dogs. 

There’s a reason why the police use them consistently in the force, after all, and they love having work to do that makes good use of their intelligence. They also love being with people, so they’re a fantastic choice if you need a service dog.

Other breeds that make for wonderful service dogs include golden retrievers, standard poodles, border collies and Australian shepherds. Generally speaking, bigger dogs are better options than smaller ones because they’re better able to provide physical support for their owners when necessary.