Service dogs are intelligent, eager-to-please pups that are trained to perform tasks for individuals with a disability. They are incredibly diligent and considered working animals, not pets. There are several types of service dogs, from guide dogs to diabetic alert dogs, and each play important roles in the lives of their handlers.
The most popular breeds for these kinds of jobs are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Poodles...but with the proper training, any
dog can be a service dog! Take a look at some of the less common, but just as committed, service dog breeds.
Samoyeds are dependable, sturdy dogs that crave companionship. They enjoy plenty of exercise and are skilled at strength-based dog sports
such as pulling sleds. Because of their heavy, fluffy coats, this service dog breed does especially well in the cold.
Samoyeds additionally make great mobility service dogs due to their large size and pleasing nature. Mobility service dogs assist individuals with physical impairments, disorders, or disabilities that affect their movement, such as Muscular Dystrophy and Cerebral Palsy. These pups are often trained to physically brace against their handlers, which is why the Samoyed’s size and power is so significant. For handlers in wheelchairs, Samoyeds can also train to retrieve objects, open doors, turn lights on and off, and aid in wheelchair transfers.
#2. Border Collies
One of the best dog breeds for children
, Border Collies are reliable, energetic, and protective. They are skilled athletes who love a good challenge, especially when it comes to agility, and enjoy plenty of vigorous exercise. These highly intelligent guide dogs can also quickly learn new commands.
Border Collies make fantastic guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired because of their stamina and strong work ethic. They are adept at remaining focused and acting as the eyes of their handler. With training, Border Collies can perform complex tasks alongside their handlers such as crossing streets, boarding public transportation, and safely navigating other potentially dangerous obstacles.
The enthusiastic and alert Pomeranian packs plenty of big-dog energy. While they may be tiny, these small service dogs boast large, bold personalities. Their protective nature and loyalty toward their pet parents also make them effective watchdogs.
When it comes to Pomeranians as service dogs, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; Pomeranians serve as excellent medical alert dogs! These types of service dogs are trained to help those with medical disabilities, such as COPD and heart disease. Medical alert dogs can signal handlers of an approaching medical emergency, remind handlers to check their oxygen levels, activate a medical device or alarm, retrieve medication, find help, and more.
Pomeranians are especially great diabetic alert dogs because they can be taught to sniff out biochemical changes in the body and detect diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic alert dogs are specially trained to inform their handlers of potentially dangerous swings in high or low blood glucose levels. How they notify their handlers depends on their training.
#4. Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels are affectionate dogs with beautiful brown eyes and long, velvety ears. This small service dog breed is gentle, sensitive, and fond of walks with family members. Because they are people-pleasers, Cocker Spaniels respond well to obedience training
Cocker Spaniels are terrific service dogs for hearing impaired individuals. They love having a job to do and can pick up noise exceptionally well. As hearing service dogs, Cocker Spaniels alert their handlers to common sounds like doorbells, alarms, sirens, and the calling of names. They do so by nudging their handlers or making certain movements, such as pawing. Most of these hearing service dogs are then trained to take their handler toward the sound’s source.
#5. Old English Sheepdogs
Big and able-bodied, the Old English Sheepdog is a shaggy pooch with a mellow disposition. This large service dog breed has a special bear-like gait and tends to move at a relatively slow pace. It’s hard not to love such a jolly, patient, and easygoing pup!
Old English Sheepdogs are known for being one of the best dogs for kids with autism. These sweet, comical canines are very task-oriented and can help children struggling with communication issues feel more comfortable. By working as autism service dogs, Old English Sheepdogs can disrupt repetitive or negative behaviors and assist during sensory overload. This large service dog breed can also be trained to track and restrict movement, increasing an autistic child's safety.
Sometimes autistic individuals handle these dogs themselves. Other times, trained adult handlers, such as parents or school aids, give autism service dogs special commands.
There are many different types of service dogs, each with varying tasks. While some breeds are more popular than others for certain roles, dogs of any breed can become service dogs if given the proper training. We acknowledge these dogs and the significant work they do to make people’s lives better and brighter.