When looking for a service dog candidate, there are many characteristics to take into consideration. The best service dogs will have a gentle demeanor, be highly intelligent, and be physically healthy and reliable. As service dogs often work in public and varying environments, it is important that they do not have any anxiety disorders or aggression toward people or animals. Additionally, they must be adaptable to different situations and comfortable around children as well as adults. Finally, service dogs must be willing to learn and very hard working. Working as a service animal will require a great deal of training, and these dogs will be “on the job” for most hours out of the day. It is important that they have the energy to keep up with the work, and the willingness to learn the skills necessary to fulfill their owner’s needs.
Labrador and golden retrievers are two of the most common service dog breeds, known for their gentle demeanor and intelligence. German shepherds are known for their intelligence, trainability, and loyalty, all traits of a good service dog. Poodles are generally an incredibly easy breed to work with and train. Boxers are highly intelligent and caring dogs. Finally, border collies are highly intelligent as well and have enough energy to remain “on the job” as long as their owners deem necessary.
At the end of the day, any breed can make a great service dog if it has the wanted traits. Nonetheless, this list should be a good starting place for those looking. The most important thing to remember when selecting a service dog is the traits of the individual animal and its compatibility with the owner.