Best Service Dogs for People with Physical Disabilities

From Labradors for Golden Retrievers, service dog breeds provide an invaluable service to those with mobility limitations. Acting as loyal companions, these pups can help alleviate feelings of loneliness, break down barriers and make day-to-day work a little easier.

“In addition to love, companionship and focus, the main benefits we hear from our customers are that our dogs give them more confidence and independence, which can be life-changing,” said a spokesperson for Dogs for good tells Country living. “Our dogs are trained only using positive reinforcement methods and see the task work they undertake as games they enjoy doing and get satisfaction from completing.”

In addition to offering friendship, these help dogs practically helping people with tasks such as unloading the washing machine, opening and closing doors, retrieving or collecting items, and removing various items of clothing. By doing these simple tasks, these dogs can save energy for those who are less able and help them do things they enjoy.

Check out the full list of varieties below…

1. Labradors

a labrador outside

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Friendly Labradors are brilliant service dogs for those with physical disabilities, thanks to their good-hearted, sociable and playful nature. They are also incredibly easy to train making them great service dogs that change the life of the family.

“The Labrador is a member of the hunting dog group, which was originally bred to find and retrieve shot game,” said a Dogs For Good spokesperson.This means that Labradors are often highly motivated to hold objects. From a young age they will pick up and carry their toys (very cute). This natural desire to fetch is especially useful as service dogs as our clients may need assistance to pick up things or to pick up important items like a phone.”

Kat, a Dogs For Good trainer, tells us, “All you have to do is watch a Labrador and they wag their tail! They have a friendly nature and enjoy being in the company of their human handler They are an intelligent breed and enjoy training They seek out human interaction so training is the perfect way to do this They have the energy needed for a working dog but also have the ability to be calm as a family dog .”

2. Golden Retrievers

golden retriever in the field with yellow flowers

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Social Golden Retrievers have a number of strengths that make them perfect partners for people with disabilities. From their good manners to being stable on a leash, they are a very popular choice when it comes to service dogs. According to Dogs For Good, they are highly motivated to pick up and carry things in their soft mouths, and can gently deliver items without marking or damaging them.

Dog trainer Clare adds, “From a training standpoint, a Goldie needs to feel like anything you ask of them is their idea. You need to make things really fun so they don’t ‘know’ they’re in a formal training session. Also make sure you don’t ask them to learn many different things at once. Teach them one thing at a time, to the point of success, and you’ll be a happy, motivated Goldie.”

3. Labrador Cross Golden Retriever

a labrador retriever dog in the park

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“The Labrador Cross Golden Retriever tends to be stable on a leash, has a strong sense of smell and an incredible visual memory,” says Dogs For Good.

“Both breeds are confident and tenacious, which will serve them well as they learn to respond to their humans. They make wonderful companions because they are even-tempered and love their job. That’s one of the reasons they make such great service dogs for are us! And because they like to take on and carry out tasks, they are reliable partners to offer more independence to people with disabilities.”

4. Cockapoo

ginger cockapoo puppy in a field

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According to Dogs For Good, cuddly Cockapoos are also brilliant service dogs for those with physical disabilities. These puppies are often very devoted to just one family member, making them excellent choices for creating a spectacular bond with someone who needs it.

The team explains: “Cockapoo’s are small, portable and can be accommodated in any type of accommodation. It’s one of the (many) things we love about them in our job because they give us more collaboration options than we would have with a larger breed of dog. Since the cockapoo is a hybrid dog, you will see a variety of different traits and personality types, but they are all intelligent and loyal.”

For more information on choosing the right service dog, visit: dogforgood.org

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