The Best Service Dog Breeds: Our Top Picks

Service dogs can be almost any breed, especially if you take therapy dogs into account. That said, some breeds are better than others and before you consider adopting, knowing which breeds work the best for your situation is important. 

What’s more, some breeds might be better at different tasks than others. For example, larger dogs are better at performing physical tasks than smaller dogs, whereas smaller dogs can be better therapy dogs because you can take them on airlines.

While the process of choosing a service dog might seem complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn more about the best service dog breeds and how they can help your situation.

What Is a Service Dog?

Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities live a healthier and more independent life. These dogs can perform a wide range of tasks for their owners that range from providing comfort during a panic attack to opening doors and escorting people out of large crowds. 

Some common examples of service dogs you may be familiar with include guide dogs and mobility dogs that fetch items for their owners.

It’s also important to note that there are service dogs trained for specific tasks. Some guide dogs are trained to help people with mental health disorders (psychiatric service dogs), while others may alert someone who is hearing or vision impaired. Additionally, it’s important to note that some dog breeds can do these jobs better than others. 

The 5 Best Service Dog Breeds

There is no single best service dog breed. This is because some service dog breeds are good at detecting bombs, while others are better at comforting someone who’s having a panic attack from anxiety or PTSD. That said, some breeds are more popular than others, so we take you through a handful of the best service dog breeds below.

Labrador Retrievers 

Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular service dog breeds in the world because they’re easy to train, friendly, and highly social. This means they don’t struggle around large groups of people and they even get along with other dogs. Aside from their friendly personalities, Labradors are also intelligent, athletic, and strong.

All of these traits make Labrador retrievers one of the best all-around service dog breeds you can find. In fact, they’re a good fit for psychiatric and physical service dog work.

Golden Retrievers 

Like Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers are a great choice for just about anything because they’re easy to train and eager to please. That said, they’re slightly better at psychiatric work than physical work because they’re great at reading a human’s emotions and cheering them up. 

Some ways that Goldens can help in this regard include getting someone out of bed, fetching medications, and helping someone through a panic attack.

Additionally, golden retrievers are great at being a physical service dog. They can act as guide dogs, help people navigate crowds, open doors, and even pull a wheelchair.

German Shepherds 

German shepherds were introduced as guide dogs in the 1920s because of their intelligence, strength, and trainability. Ever since their introduction as guide dogs or dogs that serve the hearing impaired, they’ve remained a staple in the guide dog community. 

For these reasons, German shepherds are one of the best service dog breeds for guide dog work. Some other good roles for German shepherds include guard dogs and service dogs for people who need items fetched for them.


The poodle may seem like a show dog at first glance but they’re one of the most intelligent dogs around. What’s more, poodles come in a wide range of sizes that make them flexible in helping people with different disabilities. For example, smaller poodles are perfect therapy dogs because they can go on planes with people and fit through spaces better. 

On the other hand, larger breeds are smart enough to fetch items, open doors, and guide people to safety or get help for someone if they’re having a panic attack. 

The last thing to note is that they don’t shed a lot or have too much dandruff, which makes them one of the best service dog breeds for people who have allergies. Combine this with their trainability and mild temperament and you have one of the best service dogs around.

Bernese Mountain Dog

When it comes to physical service dogs, you can’t beat the Bernese mountain dog. These dogs are stronger than more dogs but have a laid-back temperament that makes them friendly and well-behaved in large crowds. 

Temperament aside, Bernese mountain dogs are the best service dog breed for physical applications that require strength. They’re strong enough to support an adult and pull wheelchairs through mud, dirt, and other harsh conditions. Just keep their size in mind when using public transportation because they’re thicker and taller than some smaller breeds.

Keep in mind that these are only some of the best service dog breeds. Depending on your needs, any dog can be a service dog! 

Register Your Service Dog Today

There are no laws that force you to register your service dog but it’s always a good idea to do so, this way you can avoid any trouble if any issues arise while you’re in public. The good news is that registering a service dog is simple and takes a few quick steps. 

Online organizations like US Service Animals provide a service dog certificate after entering some of your personal information, along with your dog’s photo and personal details.

You can also register your service dog in person and get a dog license from many state registrars but the steps to do so vary based on where you live. Register your service dog today and enjoy the best that life has to offer.

Joseph P-Little, the Content Manager at Cartwisely, is a seasoned wordsmith and content strategist. He's dedicated to helping brands reach their full potential through engaging, creative content. With a talent for storytelling and a commitment to excellence, Joseph transforms ideas into impactful narratives.