Many times I am often asked, what type of dog makes the best service dog?
Service Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and can consist of many different breeds. While most people when they think of service dogs they think of dogs such as the Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds being the most common type of service dog.
However, in reality a service dog can be most any breed. It all really depends on what the dog is trained to do. For example, just because a Chihuahua is a small dog, it can be trained as a diabetic alert dog or a seizure alert dog. The same is true for other small breed dogs. A dog’s small size does not mean the dog cannot be a service dog or therapy dog. In the case of the person with MS, you would not use a small breed dog for balance and mobility which is what service dogs in MS are used for.
Also, people think that only purebred dogs can be used as service dogs or therapy dogs. In fact, the truth is that even a mixed breed dog can be used as a service animal if its temperament permits it. As you scroll through the pictures on this page, you will see both purebred dogs as well as mixed breed dogs. The most common dogs used as service dogs for people with MS are the Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Great Danes. Yes, even a Siberian husky can be used as a service dog though it is not generally seen.
Each month we will be introducing you to a service or therapy dog and its handler and we will give you some background not only on the dog but its handler as well.
Also, there is a difference between service dogs and therapy dogs and we will explain the differences in the coming months.
Look at the pictures below. I want to introduce you to some of the dogs that are service dogs or currently training as a service dog. They are being trained by the Pawsitive Action foundation in St. Cloud, Florida. In coming articles, I am hoping to introduce you to some of these dogs and their handlers and tell you how they help their handler/owner or what they are being trained for.
Also check out Pawsitive Action Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the lives of veterans and persons with different abilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs with lifetime follow up and support.