Dogs are truly a man’s best friend. Not only that he is a great house pet, but we can also depend on them to accompany us when we need them the most. From being a sedentary house pet, they now evolved as a mobility service dogs that assist us to perform certain tasks that we cannot do. This is more particular to those people who have a disability.
However, what service dog breeds for mobility are best to choose? Here we will guide and give you the list of the top service dog breeds for mobility. But first, we will give you detailed information on what is a mobility service dogs, their task and how to find a good one.
What is a Mobility Service Dog
An Assistance Dog or a Service Dog provide assistance to an individual with a medical condition to make necessary works creating to have a better and brighter life ahead. Moreover, a Mobility Service Dog does lots of job for his human teammate. Including in their works are button pressing on automatic doors, picking dropped objects, and getting objects that are far from their reach like a phone that is ringing.
Some dog can also assist someone in a wheelchair by drawing it up a ramp when needed. Other dogs may serve as a brace for people who are not able to stand and walk on their own and suffer from balance and strength issues. A mobility assistance dog can shut the doors and even switches the lights. They can even look for help by finding another person in the house.
Moreover, in public, the job of a mobility assistance dog is no worth at all. Serving their partner with jobs that are hard and not feasible for them to do is their role.
What are You Looking for in a Mobility Service Dog
Generally, there is no dog breed that cannot undergo training and become a service dog. However, some breeds are more suitable for service work than other breeds. This is simply because of certain temperaments, traits, and physiques that make it easier for a dog to learn and perform the variety of tasks of a service dog.
Based on physical traits, they require adequate size, strength and stamina to perform the specific duties his human partner need him for. These may include things like handling heavy objects, giving aid for balancing issues, or drawing a wheelchair. They also need to be easy to get instructions, where individuals trust on the work that he is doing that can save his life as well.
This task also needs a better agreement of intellectuality and compliance. However, this also requires awareness and a determination to be mentally prepared and always look for solutions. These dogs must be well-mannered in all kinds of challenges and environments. They should also be prepared to know the fact that many individuals with a disability aren’t capable to physically need a furry buddy.
How to Find a Suitable Candidate for Mobility Service Dog Work
Almost all strains of any breeds of dog have been experimentally drafted into the field of a service dog. The Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever are the most popular for breeds for service dog work. Moreover, types of newer strains reflect promising career in this service work like the Coated Collies and Samoyeds. The uncommon strains that also assist individuals with a disability are Dalmatian, Pointer, Irish Setter, Papillon, Otter Hound, and Greyhound.
Factors to Consider in Making a Breed Choice:
Size at Maturity
In selecting a breed for mobility service work, it is very crucial to check for the size range of the breed. As a general rule, a minimum of 22″ tall and weigh a minimum of 55 lbs. a service dog is applicable for wheelchair assistance work if pulling a child or a small woman. For pulling adults weighing over 130 lbs., she needs a dog with 60 lbs or greater in size.
Further, dogs that have training for walker dog support work have a minimum height of 23″ for an average size woman. This is much suitable if a harness is available with a sturdy handle tall enough to bridge the gap between the human’s hand and the dog’s withers.
Moreover, if a disability is just gripping an ordinary nylon harness for balance support, she needs a much taller dog which is 27″ to 30″ tall. The purpose of this is to make the person’s hand rest on the dog’s back.
Another thing to put into consideration when selecting a dog strain for mobility is the average life expectancy of a strain. One example is the lifespan of the Bernese Mt. Dogs breeds that only live to be about six years old. Most breeds with huge body build have a lifespan of about 10 up to 12 years. Small and medium size dogs might enjoy living with their teenage life. Moving further, one very huge breed can only live for four years, while another can make it up to ten years. However, if you are not sure of the lifespan of the dog, better consult for the help of a professional.
One of the vital things to consider in choosing the dog strains is both the physical and financial capability of a service dog human teammate in managing his grooming requirements. There are some that invest almost two-hours per week to comb their long hair. Meanwhile, other strains only need just a simple pin-brushing
A Standard Poodle is a type that is very expensive to maintain. A combing regimen and a schedule in a grooming salon per week is a must. On the other hand, Labrador Retriever only takes five minutes of brushing per week because of its short-haired. Bathing of this type is only on an annual or semi-annual basis to maintain his health. Moreover, it doesn’t mean to have minimal shedding if your doggo have shorter hair. Shedding every day is a must.
The coat of the Samoyed is totally odor free as well as some other strains. While Smooth Coated Collie are odor free especially when bathed most of the time. On the hand, strains like the Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever, have an unpleasant aroma especially when wet from the rain. However, the odor is not an important concern for most dog owners. However, if there is someone around the owner that complain of the dog’s odor, this is very crucial to account for in selecting a strain.
Hereditary Breed Traits
There are dog strains that generally possess aggressive behavior. Examples are Fighting Dogs and Guard Dogs. Human partners who do not know how to control such behavioral problem should not go and look for these dog types.
However, if you still want to pursue to be partnered with these strains, you must have to accept its negative traits. The owner must know the ways to prevent the onset of it and do not mind the possibility of not understanding each other. The genetic characteristics of a dog may be taken into account for most times when selecting a breed.
Compared to a male, a female dog is smaller in built and do not have more feathers and long coat. However, competency between the two does gender becomes the same when the female is spayed. But, she becomes useless for sometime when her bi-annual menstruation occurs after spaying. On the other hand, the intact male is easier to control especially when an unspayed female is around.
The age of the dog is one of the factors in making decisions. It is choosing to be a little pup or go for an adult canine aging from 18 months up to 3 years. Selecting an appropriate age in which it can readily begin training as soon as possible.
Top Service Dog Breeds for Mobility
The following breeds are considered as the best service dog breeds for mobility. If you are looking for a mobility service dog and still thinking what is the best dog breed to choose from, one of the breeds below may be the one that you might consider.
1. Golden Retriever
When we say service dog, the first breed that comes to our mind is the Golden Retriever. They commonly use this breed as a guide for the hearing and visually impaired individual, as well as for those with mobility concerns. The Golden Retriever possesses natural behavior of sympathy for the needs of his owner. They also have high intellectual capacity and very trainable in following different instructions.
Moreover, the Golden Retriever is very delightful in finishing a task. They are not even dominating. Golden Retriever also mingles well with the kids and other kinds of animals. They also have the appropriate build and stamina to give support to an individual. Lastly, they are responsive without being hyperactive. They are compassionate and reliable, as well.
2. Labrador Retriever
Another well-known service dog strains for mobility is the Labrador Retrievers. This is due to their willingness to learn, trainability, and versatility. For these reasons, Labrador Retrievers serve in nearly every service dog capacity.
They are alert but not compulsive. Also they have enough strength, and very interested to do lots of works and aiding his human partner. They usually very close to their owner and remain reliable. However, they don’t tend toward bad behavior. In fact, they are very sociable with everyone, including people they don’t know, children, and other kinds of animals.
Furthermore, Labrador retrievers are also highly trainable, equipped with their curiosity to do different kind of tasks. They follow instructions with respect. In addition, many Service Dog Schools go after a mix strain of Labrador-Golden Retriever. The result is the combination of variety of characteristics that makes them an excellent dog in this service.
3. German Shepherd
The fact that the German Shepherds are very jolly even in times of hard difficult work. The German shepherd usually craves for attention from their skilled trainers, and creates a good relationship with every person. Because of these traits, German Shepherds are very applicable for services like police, search and rescue, and military works.
This breed possesses a intellectual capacity and very reliable. They are enthusiastic to finish all the tasks given to him. These traits make him highly trainable for a variety of jobs. They have lots of determination to work and have enough strength to accept new challenges. Their huge body built also defines their ability to cater support.
But, his protectiveness is one key obstacle in having the German shepherd as a service dog. This usually leads them to bad behaviors and disturbs them in public places. These dogs should be trained properly and completely to control his temperament. Best to pair them with individual who are authoritative.
4. Standard Poodle
A Brace and Mobility Support animal is one type of service dog. The tasks of these dogs are to help owners who are in a wheelchair, have profulletic limbs, or are unsteady on their feet. Because of their large size and vast intelligence, the Standard Poodle is one breed that is particularly suitable for this work.
The Standard Poodle is among the most intelligent and most obedient dogs that you can find. Combined with his curiosity and eagerness to please, this the makes him easy to train and dependable. They are valued for their assistance work because of these qualities which make the breed popular today.
The Poodle accepts tasks that uses their mind and their body. They have a natural behavior of recalling and also has the ability to cope up to different places and challenges. Due to this, they always keep their eyes on tasks at home and in all kinds of public events. Moreover, the Poodle is approachable but not very excited around strangers or other animals.
Thus, they well-mannered and very keen to their duties outside the house. Being alone for a long time is the thing that they don’t like. Having Standard Poodle as a service dog breed for mobility is a mutual relationship between the dog and the owner.
5. American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terriers or commonly known as Pitbulls are among the most sensitive of dog breeds. Because of their sensitivity, they are the best fit for emotional support work and search and rescue task. They are also be good at giving signal to its owner about their medical needs. Because of this, the American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent service dogs.