People today suffer from many psychological, mental, emotional, or physical challenges that are not curable by the medicines alone. They need a well-trained service dog to help them meet these challenges successfully.

Dogs are generally very loving, obedient, intelligent, and very obsessed with their owners. They have a strong bonding with their owners and try to please them by every possible means. This gives way to the concept of ‘Service Dogs’.

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What are Service Dogs?

According to the definition of the American Disability Act (ADA), a service dog is a specially trained dog for the assistance of disabled people who are not able to perform their tasks well alone. These service dogs are trained to assist their human partner in their specific disabilities. The dogs with certain traits, temperaments, and outlook are selected and trained for this purpose. Service dogs can assist humans in many ways like helping in a walk, providing audio and visual aid, monitoring blood sugar level, emotional support, etc.[/box]

The Top 10 Service Dog Breeds

Best Service Dogs

Let us see how the top service dogs with the above-mentioned characteristics, are providing their services to human beings.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever holds the number 1 rank amongst all the dog breeds in the world. It is the best dog breed to keep as a pet as well as the best breed to be trained as a service dog. Labrador Retriever is a sharp, intelligent, and obedient dog with a friendly and calm personality. It builds strong ties with its owner and stays loyal till its last breath.

Labrador Retriever has a strong build and can help its owner to stand, walk, or drag something heavy. They are the Retrievers with a soft mouth. It means that they grab things by mouth without causing harm to them.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are the second well-known dogs in the world. They have a natural tendency to guard and protect but they are very intelligent and can be trained as service dogs.

Like Labs, German Shepherds also have a strong bonding with the owner and they are ready to fulfill every command given to them. They are muscular, strong, and heavy and can easily assist their owner who is handicapped or mobility-impaired. They are best for a diabetic alert with their strong sense of smell.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is a strong dog with a gentle and sweet personality. They are friendly and easy to train. These traits make Golden Retriever the best service dog to be used for reducing anxiety and PTSD.

Their innocent face makes people quite comfortable with them and helps them get over with their anxiety. Golden Retrievers are also used to guide the blind people, and fetching things for the handicapped.


The fancy look of a poodle makes people think that it is just a pet dog that can only amuse the owners. In reality, a Poodle is capable enough to do the same jobs that the other muscular service dogs can perform.

A standard poodle has a strong body that is capable to perform certain tasks for the owner. Poodle can be easily trained and it has a great capacity to do work with calmness. Poodles are intelligent and they can generalize their training in new situations. This makes them helpful as a service dog.


Most of the service dogs belong to the large breed but Pomeranian is the small breed dog used as a service dog.

Due to its small size, it is not able to assist you in walking or maintaining balance, but it can assist in grabbing lightweight items for the handicapped. They are very obedient and attentive towards their owners and are very fast at doing their little tasks. They are easy to train and can be carried along easily in a backpack. They are sweet and innocent dogs that can be a source of fun in the public.

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are mostly negatively portrayed as aggressive and dangerous dogs. In reality, they are very calm, friendly, and loving dogs and can be efficiently used as service dogs.

Pit Bulls are strong and muscular dogs that can help in guiding deaf and blind, can help in standing and walking, and can drag heavy loads as well. A well trained Pit Bull is a friendly, well-behaved, smart, and easy-to-train service dog.

Great Dane

Great Dane is the dog breed with pretty much strength and large size. These are the muscular dogs, well suited to work as a service dog.

They are very strong and can easily assist a handicapped person to stand and walk on his foot. Their friendly and calm demeanor makes them ideal for emotional support.

Border Collies

Border Collies are considered as the smartest and most intelligent dog breed which makes them suitable to be a service dog. They are quite easy to train dogs and love to do any kind of job given to them.

Border Collies have a high energy level that requires a lot of jobs to burn their energy positively otherwise they can become mischievous. They are pretty good with kids and can be given tasks related to assist people with kids’ stuff e.g. as a babysitter.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are famous for having some special traits like intelligence, strong work ethics, with a friendly and calm nature.

They can smartly learn to perform complex tasks and their strong body can provide several physical services to their owners.


Boxers are the strong dogs with the traits of a service dog but they are usually not used as service dogs. They are smaller in size but are strong enough to perform given tasks quite well.

They are friendly, loving, and attractive dogs and love to spent time with children. They can easily adapt to a small house or apartment where they can have some exercise.

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Prominent Characteristics of a Service Dog

Every dog is intelligent and sharp to get trained but there are some particular characteristics based on which a service dog is selected for training.

Tending to strong bonding

Not all, but most of the dogs have a loving nature and they tend to have a strong bonding with their owner. This is the trait that is much required in a dog to be trained as a service dog. A dog having strong bonding will serve the owner in the best way.


Pet dogs are usually not very intelligent and smart. They ought to be loving and obedient to the owner. But a service dog needs to be intelligent as it has to perform some complex tasks to assist his owner.


A service dog has to assist the owner at home as well as in the public. So a service dog should have a friendly attitude towards the people and other animals. An aggressive, overprotective, and reserve dog can be the pets but it will not be able to assist in the public properly.

Calm Conduct

A service dog must have calm conduct in public. It must be capable to ignore and avoid the interfering acts of the other dogs. Otherwise, it can create a scene in the public if a service dog becomes aggressive to the other dogs.

Strong and Active

Most of the dogs are strong and active and always try to find a job to do. Some dogs are lazy and inactive and love to stay on the couch, take nap, and scratch their tummy. Such dogs are good as a pet but a service dog must be strong and active and always ready to perform certain duties.

End Note:

For centuries, dogs have a special space in the society, being the best companion of a man, apart from other human beings. In some cases, dogs prove to be even better companions than humans in many aspects.

Apart from these dogs, there are exceptions and you can find the traits of a service dog in many other dog breeds. We would love to know if you want to share something about your service dog…!

Nathan Carlton

Nathan Carlton is an executive editor at He is an avid dog lover and holds a degree in "Holistic Health & Puppy Care" from The British College of Canine Studies. He has been parenting dogs since age 10, when he developed a strong bond with his father's Bull Dog. Today, he has a German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, who he calls Joani and Saga, respectively.