Good Dog Breed for Service?

I am having trouble finding the "right" dog breed for my family, and was hoping someone more knowledgeable might be able to chime in.

We are looking for a medium to large (Akita, German shepherd, lab) sized, medium-long haired (good run running your fingers through their silkyish fur), non-protective, very trainable dog.

Our situation is with two elderly, one that required no care other than the dog to be trained not to run him over and the other the dog needs to be trainable to stay clear of their medical equipment.

We have a large house with a large yard, and are willing to groom/exercise as much as needed within reason (romps through the yard, walks around the block). We work full-time and the dog will be alone with the elderly for 4-6 hours at a time.

Husky was the first thought and we both love it, but we have heard they are overly protective (we need a docile dog -- not a guard dog) and have a tendency to run away. German Shepard was next on the list, but again overly protective and the wrong coat type :(

If you have any thoughts or suggestions I would highly appreciate your input on what you think would make a good dog for these conditions.


I don't know if this helps but I just got a new Rottweiler for my service dog and she helps me with my seizures. She is only 8 weeks old and is already showing so many signs when I have a seizure. They make incredible service dogs! Especially when trained correctly:) hope that helps some!

Rottweilers can be very stubborn and independent, which makes training them a challenge. Great dogs, but maybe not a good fit for this fam.

Please don't take this offensively but I have two rottie sand my husbands father breeds them and has for years. They are not hard to train if you know what you are doing. My little girl knew 6 tricks by the time she was 7 weeks and was already helping me with my seizures since 8 weeks.

They are incredibly smart dogs. I have worked with a lot of dogs and I would definitely say they are one of the smartest dogs. I'm really not trying to be rude or anything, I have just worked with a lot of dogs but if your worried about rottie a being a challenge. I suggest a lab.:)

We own a chocolate one and they are really smart, loyal and really easy to train. They are amazing dogs just like rotties!:)

I have my first golden retriever. she is the best. Very docile, love people, kids, other animals. I feel the best dog would be a retriever or lab. Jean(4/2019)

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Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles are fabulous. I have clients that have both breeds for service dogs. They are smart, intuitive and compassionate. Great understanding of the situation at hand. And they are very affectionate.


Golden Retrievers make excellent family dogs. They are easy to train, and gentle with children and elderly. Like most dogs, they are hyper when young, but with proper training, they become excellent family members! I have a Flat coated Retriever (basically a golden retriever that is black) and they make excellent family dogs as well, but I think they are more hyper than the golden retriever. They do have beautiful silky fur that is great to touch, as well as admire! I used to have a Springer Spaniel that was excellent with my sick father when he came to live with me before he passed. Once again, Springers can be hyper if not exercised enough, but their size (medium) makes children and elderly feel more comfortable around them. I suggest you search in the dogbreedinfo site here: to find your perfect match.




Golden retrievers, Labradors, standard sized poodles, etc.


You need to make sure you do not get a high energy dog, as placing one in a home where they will not go for long daily runs is a recipe for disaster. A husky would be a total nightmare in that environment. I'm curious as what you mean by "overly protective". Do you want a dog who does not bark? German Shepherds are heavy shedders, but are absolutely not "overly protective".
I think what you are looking for is a breed who is not stubborn or high energy, so they will remain calm and sane indoors. Have you looked at Australian Shepherds or maybe a Newfoundland?

Lean towards breeds who have a docked tail, as a large dog with a large, strong tail could easily knock over medical equipment while going in for a pet from Grandma.


A Golden or a Lab hands down but and this is a big BUT, they don't like to be alone. They are family dogs, they want to be with you all the time. They are active dogs and you said you are willing to provide all the exercise they need so that will not be an issue. They are working dogs, they are happy when they are given work to do it's just the being left alone part they have issues with.


Yup.... A golden or lab... No brainier! The best!

Watch those tails, though! They might not be great around medical equipment.

Agree with Melanie--Golden or Lab.


Listed here are the ten of the best service dog breeds.

Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever is likely what comes to mind when considering a service dog. This breed is most commonly used as a guide for the hearing and visually impaired, as well as for those with mobility disabilities.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are another popular service dog breed, due to their willingness to learn, trainability, and versatility. For these reasons, Labrador Retrievers serve in nearly every service dog capacity.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are happiest when working and given a job to do. They thrive on attention from confident trainers, and bond strongly with a single individual. For these reasons, German Shepherds are often used for police, military, and search and rescue service.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers (commonly known as pit bulls) are among the most sensitive of dog breeds. Whether used as an emotional support animal, a search and rescue dog, or a dog trained to alert its owner to a specific medical need, such as epilepsy or diabetes, American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent service dogs.

Standard Poodle

One type of service dog is a Brace and Mobility Support animal. These dogs help owners who are in a wheelchair, have prosthetic limbs, or are unsteady on their feet. Any dog can be trained to be a Brace and Mobility Support Animal, although certain breeds are better for this job than others. The standard Poodle, thanks to their large size and vast intelligence, is one breed that is particularly well suited.


While a Pomeranian might not look like a typical service animal, this breed seems to have a natural talent for alerting owners to issues such as low blood sugar or an imminent seizure.


Collies are another breed that excels at nearly everything they are asked. Since Collies rank in the top 10% for canine intelligence, they are frequently used as mobility and support service dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Service dogs can take all shapes and sizes, such as a Bernese Mountain Dog. These gentle giants have been known to pull wheelchairs or wagons while providing mobility and emotional support.


The Newfoundland is the predecessor to the modern Labrador Retriever, so it is no surprise that this breed excels as a service dog. Whether providing mobility or emotional assistance, the Newfoundland does an excellent job attending to its human’s needs.


A Bloodhound’s nose has 40x more scent receptors than humans, making this nose one of the most sensitive on the planet. Therefore, bloodhounds are one of the best dogs for a very important service: search and rescue.