10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (2023)

Service dogs are woven through history for thousands of years, from herding sheep on a farm to accompanying their owner to their grave in ancient Egypt. Humans needing dogs isn’t anything new, nor is the fact that people have relied on them for comfort and companionship, probably longer than they have needed us. There is a long history of dogs being used as service animals, and as the years go on, and we learn more about these incredible creatures, they are being utilized for more reasons. What exactly does a service dog do, and how are they chosen for the job?

What is a Service Dog?

The definition of a service dog is “a dog that has been trained to assist a person who has a disability.” Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks, usually designated to suit one person who has difficulty functioning and completing those tasks.

Types Of Service Dogs

There are several different types of service dogs, each individually trained to meet their owners’ requirements. Each service dog is trained only for the specific job or jobs they will have and is usually trained for a particular person.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are used in a variety of places where people need help calming down or cheering up. Therapy dogs are often used in hospitals to visit sick patients, hospices, senior homes, and any other place where people are dealing with life-altering traumas or situations. The dog’s primary goal is to calm and make people happy.

If you or someone you love needs a therapy dog, there are specific places that train the animals. It isn’t as simple as going to the pound and getting a well-mannered dog; they need to be verified and trained, so they can enter buildings and other environments that other dogs are not allowed.

(Video) These Are Top 10 Service Dog Breeds Ever

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs can spend more time being a regular dog than most service dogs. Still, they are highly trained to precisely determine when their owner’s anxiety is rising, and they are at risk of having an anxiety attack. These dogs are usually homed with people who suffer from PTSD, autism, or those who suffer from depression.

Service Dogs

These dogs are trained specifically to help their owner, who is unable to perform tasks independently. These tasks might include opening doors, fetching items their owners cannot, leading a blind person safely through the streets, and being there for their owner for whatever support they need. These service dogs can even detect when blood sugar levels drop and alert the owner, or help when their human is having a seizure, or alert a caregiver of this fact.

What Makes a Good Service Dog?

Most dogs are fantastic and have outstanding, loving personalities, but they also get easily distracted and may even nip at their owners or even runoff. Service dogs can not do any of those things; they can only do what they are trained. That’s not to say that therapy dogs don’t get a chance to play around, but when the vest is on, it’s time to work – no exceptions.

Calm Temperament

A good service dog needs to have a good temperament and remain calm in hectic situations. A service dog is trained to remain calm and focus on their human while working, but the breed of dog trained needs to be conducive of an animal that can always be trained to put their human first. When a service dog is on a walk or in a public place, and a person or another animal rushes them, they are trained not to react in any way. Remaining calm despite a chaotic situation is one of the enormous differences between a trained service dog and a dog that’s just good most of the time.

Easy To Train

The breeds of service dogs typically used are those that have a history of being easily trained. These breeds are known to be highly intelligent and receptive to orders. They will learn how to do what is expected of them and perform the task.


Love To Work

There are certain breeds of dogs that love to play and would not make great service dogs, with exceptions in the breed, of course. The breeds typically used love to have a job to do and love to please their owner. The shepherds are used to watching over things, and retrievers love to retrieve things; the list goes on as the dog is chosen. After all, if a dog doesn’t love to work, the chances are that they will lose interest in serving their human too.

10 Dog Breeds Perfectly Fit For Service

Below is our list of the ten best service dog breeds. Let’s check them out.

Labrador Retriever

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (1)

With the popularity of this beloved breed as a family pet, it’s not hard to believe that they make fantastic service dogs as well. Labs are good-natured and friendly and always happy to have something to do, making them excellent service dogs. Labradors are perfect for anyone who needs help retrieving items since the task is right in their name, and the breed is also known for holding things very gently in their mouths, so anything they bring to their owner will not be damaged.

Golden Retriever

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (2)

The Golden Retriever has a soft nature, and like the Labrador, loves to work and retrieve things, which makes them great dogs for someone who needs a little extra help in their home due to mobility restrictions.

Golden Retrievers are smart, making them easy to train. They are also extremely friendly, making them perfect for work as an emotional support dog, especially for someone who has PTSD or suffers from anxiety.

(Video) Top 10 Emotional Support Dog Breeds

German Shepherd

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (3)

There is no question that German Shepherds make fantastic guard dogs and have been trained as police dogs for more than one hundred years, but they are also great service dogs. This breed is smart and easy to train and forms a strong bond with their handler.

German Shepherds are good service dogs for owners who may need help standing, sitting, or steading themselves. German Shepherds have a keen sense of smell, which makes them well suited as diabetic alert dogs.


10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (4)

Don’t let these dog’s fancy appearance fool you; they are knowledgeable. The smaller breeds can be easily trained to be emotional support dogs, while the standard Poodle is studier and can be used for physical support. The Poodle is a laid back breed and can adapt to different situations and ignore the chaos, making them the right breed for those who suffer from anxiety.

Great Dane

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (5)

These gentle giants have a calm demeanor that makes them a perfect fit for being an emotional support dog. Their size gives them the ability to help an owner who needs physical assistance or stabilization. Great Dane’s are receptive to strangers and stay calm in tense situations.


10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (6)

You don’t often see Boxers used as service dogs, but they have great personalities and love children. They are smaller dogs but are sturdy and capable of stabilizing children that may require a service dog. Boxers are high energy and need many exercises, but they will adapt to a more relaxed environment.

(Video) These Are 10 Best Therapy Dog Breeds


10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (7)

A pomeranian is too small to offer physical support or help its owner balance or walk, but it can help out with a variety of tasks that don’t require size or strength. Pomeranians are very attentive to their owners and, since they are small, do very well in a small apartment or house.

Bernese Mountain Dog

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (8)

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a sturdy breed that takes its job very seriously. They can perform physical tasks and help support their owners with standing or walking, and they have the intelligence necessary to do a variety of jobs for their owners. This breed is smart and loyal, but since they are large and shed a great deal, you’ll want to make sure you are willing to take on the responsibility of cleaning up their hair before you choose this breed as a service dog.

Border Collie

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (9)

Border Collies are considered one of the smartest breeds of dogs globally, so it’s no surprise that they can be easily trained to be service dogs. This breed loves having a job to do and has the energy to go all day long, so you need to give them lots of exercises and always have a toy on hand to stimulate them.

Border Collies are great emotional support dogs and are good with children, but their herding instincts may cause them to topple a small child over accidentally. Accidentally hurting a child should not be taken as an aggressive act, as they are only doing what they were bred to do.

Pit Bull

10 Best Service Dog Breeds in the World (10)

Wrongfully so, the Pit Bull is viewed by many as an aggressive and ill-behaved breed, when the opposite couldn’t be more accurate. Pit Bulls are a loving, gentle, and loyal breed that can provide emotional support and physical support to their owners. These dogs are easily trained and would make an excellent addition to the family.

(Video) Top 10 Best Guard Dog Breeds to Protect Your House and Family

Final Words

Just when you thought dogs couldn’t get any better, they became the literal lifeline to their person. Service dogs are a special breed unto themselves, and they will always hold a special place in the heart of their owners and the world around them.


What is the best service dog in the world? ›

With that in mind, here are a few of the dog breeds that make the best service dogs:
  • Labradors (American and English)
  • Golden Retrievers.
  • German Shepherds.
  • Poodles.
  • Boxers.
  • Great Danes.
  • Border Collies.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs.
15 Feb 2020

What is the most popular breed for service dogs? ›

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular service dog breeds, thanks in part to their friendly and easy-going nature. While sociable, Labs are also devoted and eager to please. This, coupled with high levels of intelligence, makes them both easy to train and attentive to their owner's needs.

What is the #1 guard dog in the world? ›

1. Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd is not only an extremely beautiful breed, but also makes a great guard dog. The breed is described as a "lean, tough ranch dog" by the AKC and is medium-sized.

What is the number 1 loyal dog? ›

Golden retrievers are probably at the top of your list when you think of friendly and devoted family dogs. Throughout history, these dogs have been known to be outgoing, powerful hunting companions with endless energy and loyalty.

What is the smartest service dog? ›

Border Collie

They are among the smartest dog breeds in the world, making them a great choice for handlers who need help with multiple complex tasks.

What breed of dog Cannot be a service dog? ›

Can service animals be any breed of dog? A. Yes. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.

What is the least common service dog? ›

5 Less Common, Impressive Service Dog Breeds
  • #1. Samoyeds. Samoyeds are dependable, sturdy dogs that crave companionship. ...
  • #2. Border Collies. One of the best dog breeds for children, Border Collies are reliable, energetic, and protective. ...
  • #3. Pomeranians. ...
  • #4. Cocker Spaniels. ...
  • #5. Old English Sheepdogs.

What breed of service dog is best for PTSD? ›

The best service dog breeds for PTSD are often considered dogs that are intelligent and even-tempered. For example, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and golden retrievers are commonly used as service dogs. These dog breeds are often well-behaved and intelligent.

What dog breed is best for anxiety? ›

Here are seven of the best breeds for anxiety and depression.
  1. Poodles. According to Stanley Coren's book The Intelligence of Dogs, poodles are the second most intelligent dogs after border collies. ...
  2. Golden Labradors. ...
  3. Chihuahuas. ...
  4. Yorkshire Terriers. ...
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. ...
  6. Pugs. ...
  7. Great Danes.
19 Jul 2022

What dog is the most feared? ›

Pit Bull

The Pit Bull is considered to be the most dangerous dog in America. According to dogsbite.org, between 2005 and 2014, 203 Americans were killed by a Pit Bull ad 305 people were seriously injured after a mauling. These dogs were originally bred to baiting bulls and protecting hunters from bear.

What is the most gentle guard dog? ›

If you want a very mild dog, smaller is easier to handle. Small dogs should not be considered guards though since they are not strong enough to attack a large thief.
Docile Dog Breeds
  • Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Great Pyrenees.
  • Newfoundland.
  • Leonberger.
  • Saint Bernard.
  • Great Dane.
  • English mastiff.
25 Jul 2022

What is the easiest dog to train? ›

Top 9 easiest dogs to train
  • #1: Border collie. No couch potatoes, border collies are athletes bred to work. ...
  • #2: German shepherd. ...
  • #3: Labrador retriever. ...
  • #4: Golden retriever. ...
  • #5: Australian shepherd. ...
  • #6: Standard poodle. ...
  • #7: Doberman pinscher. ...
  • #8: Papillon.

What dogs do the CIA use? ›

Most of the team are Labradors, a mild-tempered and clever breed of dog that can learn to sniff out 20,000 explosive scents. The CIA's 16-week training course starts with a six-week 'imprinting' class where K9s learn about explosives and are matched with a trainer.

What dog do special forces use? ›

The Belgian Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd, is the predominant breed utilized by SEAL Teams. Favored for their intelligence, agility, loyalty, and stealth, Belgian Malinois are fierce and fast with acute vision.

Why do service dogs have do not pet? ›

Don't approach or pet a service dog.

They're trained to stay attuned to the needs of their human, so petting or playing with them can distract them from their job. If you're interested in learning more, make sure to address the person first and always ask for permission before interacting with their service animal.

Why do service dogs fail? ›

The reasons are either health-related or behavior-related. Health-wise, dogs may suffer from eye issues like cataracts, joint problems, or have food or other allergies that make it difficult for them to be on top of their game at all times.

How do I choose a service dog? ›

Choosing Service Dog Breed
  1. A temperament that fits the job you expect him to handle.
  2. The proper size for your situation.
  3. The type of coat that fits your weather.
  4. The strength and intelligence to dependably assist you.
  5. The energy to handle your level of activity.
30 Apr 2018

What is the failure rate for service dogs? ›

As many as 50-70% of the candidates do not complete the training. This does not mean that the dog is not a wonderful animal. However, being a service dog means being put in many different environments and exposed to stressors that not all dogs are suited for.

Can someone ask me for papers on my service dog? ›

The quick answer is no. According to the ADA, employees at a business "are not allowed to request any documentation" for a service dog. The American Disability Act (ADA) prohibits both public and private businesses from discriminating against people with disabilities.

What are the best service dogs for depression? ›

The Best Service Dog Breeds for Depression
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
  • Pug.
  • Standard Poodle.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Border Collie.
  • Corgi.
  • Vizsla.
14 Oct 2022

Do retired service dogs make good pets? ›

Retired service dogs are well trained and fully bonded with their handlers. Although it may take them some time to bond with you, since they have previously bonded with someone else, their bond will be strong once it has been established.

Can dogs sense PTSD? ›

They can sense when you're having a trigger (a PTSD episode) before you know you're triggering,” explained Denise Wenz, a Wisconsin National Guard veteran who trains the dogs. The dogs even can be trained to nibble at a veteran's feet when they begin having seizures or nightmares.

What dogs help with mental illness? ›

Psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) are dogs that are specially trained to work with people who have certain kinds of mental illnesses or learning disabilities. These dogs can help their owners perform tasks that they otherwise might not be able to do or help them to live a more independent lifestyle.

What is the sickest dog breed? ›

5 dog breeds with the highest risk of health problems
  • Dachshund. The highly loveable Dachshund may look adorable, but the breed is sadly prone to painful and debilitating spinal and neurological problems that may require surgery to fix. ...
  • Pug. ...
  • German Shepherd. ...
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ...
  • French Bulldog.
17 Jul 2022

What is the top 5 smartest dog? ›

Top 10 Smartest Dogs in the World
  1. #1 Border Collie. The Border Collie comes in at number one.
  2. #2 Poodle. Easily trainable, steadfast, and sharp-minded, Poodles flourish in human company. ...
  3. #3 German Shepherd. ...
  4. #4 Golden Retriever. ...
  5. #5 Doberman Pinscher. ...
  6. #6 Shetland Sheepdog. ...
  7. #7 Labrador Retriever. ...
  8. #8 Papillon. ...
23 Feb 2009

What dog breed will protect you without training? ›

Dobermans can often do an excellent job of protecting with little to no formal training.

What dogs pick a favorite person? ›

Dogs often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality.
Breeds that tend to bond strongly to one person include:
  • Basenji.
  • Greyhound.
  • Shiba Inu.
  • Cairn Terrier.
18 Nov 2022

What is the most stubborn dog to train? ›

Top 11 Stubborn Dog Breeds
  • #1 Akita. The 80 to 90-pound Akita is a gorgeous pooch, but it is the most stubborn, according to dog owners and experts. ...
  • #2 Shiba Inu. ...
  • #4 Jack Russell Terrier. ...
  • #5 Beagle. ...
  • #6 English Bulldog. ...
  • #7 Dachshund. ...
  • #8 Siberian Husky. ...
  • #9 Chihuahua.

What is the easiest dog to walk? ›

If you want some company on your treks, check out these top breeds to find the most pawsome walking companion for you.
  • American Staffordshire Terrier. ...
  • German Shorthaired Pointer. ...
  • Brittany. ...
  • Border Collie. ...
  • Siberian Husky. ...
  • Australian Shepherd. ...
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback. ...
  • Bernese Mountain Dog.

What dogs do Navy Seals use? ›

The Belgian Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd, is the predominant breed utilized by SEAL Teams. Favored for their intelligence, agility, loyalty, and stealth, Belgian Malinois are fierce and fast with acute vision.

What breed of dog is best for an anxiety service dog? ›

While any dog can provide companionship and love, some breeds are better suited for people suffering from anxiety and depression. Although similar species will work, one of the best breeds for people with these conditions is the Labrador Retriever.

What are failed service dogs called? ›

There are many national dog organizations that adopt out canines who fail to make it through training. You'll often see these dogs referred to as “career change dogs,” since they're simply changing careers from service animal to pet.

What is the official dog of the Marines? ›

The Marine Corps has Smedley Butler to thank for the adoption of the English bulldog as its mascot. Following the end of World War I, public interest in the military waned. In 1919 Brigadier General Smedley D.

What dogs do Army Rangers use? ›

About 50 to 90 puppies are born into the program every year. The only breed the program raises is the Belgian Malinois – considered ideal for the military because of their high energy, strong sniffers, trainability, agility, speed, drive, work ethic, loyalty and, when needed, fierceness.

What dog has the strongest bite? ›

The Kangal is a large, muscular dog that typically weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. They have been trained to guard sheep and other flocks against giant predators such as wolves, jackals, and bears. The Kangal has a mighty bite, with a bite force of 743 PSI. It is the highest bite force of any dog breed.

Are male or female dogs better for service dogs? ›

Generally, both males and females make excellent service dogs. Some handlers prefer one gender over another, but the only time it really matters is if a larger dog is needed in order to perform weight-baring tasks. In cases like that, the boys tend to be a safer option.

What dog breed is best for mental health? ›

Golden Retrievers, Greyhounds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are among the top dog breeds to benefit your mental health, new research has found.

What breed of dog is best for anxiety and depression? ›

Here are seven of the best breeds for anxiety and depression.
  1. Poodles. According to Stanley Coren's book The Intelligence of Dogs, poodles are the second most intelligent dogs after border collies. ...
  2. Golden Labradors. ...
  3. Chihuahuas. ...
  4. Yorkshire Terriers. ...
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. ...
  6. Pugs. ...
  7. Great Danes.
19 Jul 2022


(Amazing Channel Top10)
(Animal Tube)
3. TOP 10 Service Dog Breeds of Armed Forces! DogCastTV!
4. Top 10 Work and Service Dog Breeds
5. TOP 10 THERAPY DOGS. Which Breed Will Come Out Top?
(Fenrir Canine Show)
6. Get to know them - 10 BEST SERVICE DOG BREEDS • Animalia Realm
(Animalia Realm)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated: 28/09/2023

Views: 6481

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.