A few breeds likely come to mind when you think about service dogs, like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. While these dogs make excellent service dogs, other breeds have a lot to offer as well.
Poodles are known for the ability to detect food allergens by detecting their scent. For people with life threatening allergies, this can be a literal lifesaver. The poodle is medium sized, friendly, curious, and eager to please their owner.
This makes them great dogs for other types of service as well. They can be taught to help people with limited mobility by picking up dropped items, opening doors, and turning lights on and off.
The German Shepherd shines in nearly every service dog category, but it is particularly suited for being a Guide Dog. A guide dog's purpose is to help its blind owner get safely from one place to the next.
They help guide the person and alert them to potential dangers. their size and strength allow them to provide balance and stability when needed as well.
Pomeranians are vastly different than most service dogs, but they seem to have a special talent as a medical alert dog. A medical alert dog can let you know if you are diabetic, hypoglycemic, having an asthma attack, or a heart attack to name a few.
Pomeranians can also be used as hearing dogs. People who are deaf, partially deaf and even those with some mental disabilities can struggle with things like a knock at the door or a ringing phone. Pomeranians can easily let them know when there is a sound they should pay attention to.
Golden Retrievers are beloved family dogs, but they are excellent service dogs as well. Their kind and gentle temperament make them wonderful for children with autism.
They can alert a child to sounds they may not be paying attention to. They can also intervene physically if the child is harming themselves, and distract a child before they have a meltdown. In addition, they provide both physical and emotional stability for the child.
Collies are friendly, loyal, and highly intelligent. They have been gaining popularity as a service dog in recent years. Collies have been shown to be able to detect seizures in advance. Collies and other breeds used for this purpose are called seizure alert dogs.
Collies are also excellent psychiatric service animals for those with conditions like anxiety and PTSD. Their herding background also makes them a good choice for search and rescue missions.
Bernese Mountain dogs are gentle giants. They are a large breed, which makes them excellent for bracing and mobility. These dogs must able to support the weight of their owner and/or pull a wheelchair.
They may also perform other tasks in case of a fall or other emergency situation. These can include getting help, retrieving medications, and opening the door for emergency services.
These tasks require the dog to be good at problem-solving as well as physically strong and to have a patient and gentle temperament.
Some of these breeds aren't what you may picture as typical service dogs. However, they all meet the requirement of performing tasks for the benefit of someone with a disability. Given the right training and proper temperament, a dog can become a service dog to help those with disabilities because there is no set breed for being a service dog. These dogs can make life much easier, and in some cases can even save your life.
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