What Breed Is Best For A Service Dog?

Some of the most common dogs in America also make for some of the best service dogs. German Shepard, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. These dogs are intuitive, sensitive, and hardy enough to assist owners with almost any task. So which one is the best? Welcome to the service dog breed showdown!

Golden Retriever

Training: The golden is classically an easy dog to train and eager to please their human. They require fewer repetitions and can obey the most specific of instructions. They are a bit sensitive so some harsh scolding will not go well with these guys. But in general one of the most intuitive breeds to train.

Temperment: Golden retrievers easily get along with children and their friends and members of their friends tribe. Also they are usually gentle with other dogs and have even been known to take a cat or two as a friend. Who wouldn’t want to hug a golden retriever!?

Health: Golden retrievers are susceptible to genetic disorders and other diseases like Hip dyspalasia. Also of note, these dogs can get big, and not in a good way. Obesity is problem with golden retrievers and you shouldn’t allow your puppy to eat too much during his meal times.

Adaptability: Not great, it needs regular exercise and is best with a large backyard to run around in.



Labrador Retriever

Training: Labrador’s are easy to train, but have a bit more in the stubborn tank than Golden’s. Still you should have no trouble getting this breed to “sit” and “come” from an early age

Temperament: Labrador’s are high energy loving dogs. They come from a long ancestry that has built in them the innate desire to please their masters. And though they can be a bit rowdy and jumpy at times, the Labrador is a great dog for kids at an early age.

Health: Hip, eye, and heart problems are common at an older age. Similar to the golden retriever though these guys usually experience problems at a later age (year 7 rather than year 5.) And for that little nugget they still maintain a star rating of 4 for their general longevitiy compared to other breeds.

Adaptability: Labrador’s can handle any weather most of the time despite their stocky build. But because they are retrievers they need lots of exercise and a nice big backyard to roam around and chase leaves in. Expecially when they are puppies they are highly active. If your disability prevents you from going on long walks with this one, you might want to look elsewhere.



German Shepards

Training: “A good German Shepherd with a stable temperament is one of the most capable and trainable breeds in all of dogdom.” It’s no mistake that these dogs are used by the military and police to perform some very specific and dangerous activities. Heroic, and most of the time easy going, there may not be a dog easier to train than this one.

Temperment: Good guard dog and a solid choice for families anywhere. Intensely loyal to a fault, if the dog is not associated with other humans from an early age the German Shepard can become protective over its primary owner which may be a good thing depends on what you want

Health: Skin and infamous digestive problems are a concern for this breed. Though with a longer than average lifespan (11 – 13 years.) Hip dysplasia can also become a factor as with all other retriever breeds.

Adaptability: The German Shepard is not a dog that can sit still outside for long and be expected to remain still. That being said, this is a fairly adaptable dog for a retriever in its versatility. Depending on training the German Shepard can be molded into a docile housedog or a drug sniffing informant. This dynamic capability is unique to the German Shepard and a one-dog-fits all solution for many owners.


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But really any one of these three will make a fantastic companion. The German Shepard tops out on our list because of its versatility and longevity. Happy breed shopping!

About the Author Adam

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