Service dog too breeds - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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This is very far into the future, but my surgeon is encouraging me to look into a service dog. He believes I will need one in approximately 4-5yrs. My disks continue to deteriorate, and have started further down my spin. I will likely be wheelchair bound, and will need a dog to perform tasks for me.

So the hard part is what breeds I should be researching? I have a strong dislike of labs and Golden’s, and don’t think I could get into either of the breeds. I don’t want to add another GSD, but have been doing some research on Shiloh Shepherds (I know, not a real breed). I’ve also looked into Rottweilers as I have extensive experience with them. But I’m not sure it would be a good mix in my home. Lyka will likely have passed on to a pain free world by then, so it would put Crios at 6-7 years old, and the pups at 4-5 years old. What breeds do those with service dogs have? What are the drawbacks? The positive side of the breed as a service animal?

I’ll need a dog to open doors, grab stuff for me (quickly losing all feeling in both feet and hands due to disks crushing nerves, have very loose grasp, and often drop things). I’d also use him in therapy as an assistant when I am doing physical therapy so I don’t have an atrophy happen. If I could get one that sweeps and mops too, I’d spend all the money in the world for that 😂.

But seriously, does anyone have pro’s and con’s in breeds relating to service work???

Last edited by Jchrest; 09-27-2019 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Title should have read “service dog breeds.”
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 05:15 AM
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Does it have to be a service dog? What about a capuchin monkey,

The most obvious difference between capuchin monkeys and other service animals is their dexterous hands and amazing fine motor skills. This enables them to perform tasks such as:
turning pages
scratching itches
retrieving dropped objects
inserting straws into bottles
turning on buttons/switches for remotes, phones, computers, etc.
repositioning limbs on a wheelchair
Other differences include:

their long life span of 30-40 years
small size which allows them to cuddle in their human partner’s lap or nook of their neck
monkeys have hair, like humans, which helps to alleviates problems with fur-related allergies
Monkeys also have a strong sense of hierarchy which provides the motivation to care for and be cared for by their human partner. Helping Hands trainers and placement staff utilize this natural hierarchy to create a mutually beneficial and nurturing relationship between the monkey and the recipient

https://www.monkeyhelpers.org/
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 08:39 AM
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I * think* monkeys have much fewer rights to access as compared to dogs but you should look into that yourself.

For what it's worth I thought I could not stand to be partnered with a lab but now that he is here, I think he is perfect. So maybe try to keep an open mind about breeds you think you don't like.

Also, don't you have a relationship with a shelter? They might let you foster trial likely dogs and you could just try any dog that came through there that seemed like it might have a shot and then you might wind up helping a dog out and getting yourself a SD. If you wanted it to do actual physical mobility assistance I'd want to do X rays before going forward, even with a rescue.

Labs really do rock at retrieving and doing stuff with their mouths, too.

Some people who need bigger dogs for mobility use Greater Swiss-- I've heard but do your own research that there aren't as many major health problems as the Berner.

Anything in the shelter under approx 2-3 years that appears confident, mellow, easy going with people and other dogs, trainable, wants to work, without sensitivity to noise etc, might be worth fostering for a bit to see if it pans out. You could take the dog on outings to pet friendly stores or locations to try and assess temperament in a new place.

My opinion so take it with a grain of salt...I would not choose a bully or pit mix for a candidate no matter how they seemed-- one huge reason being that you are setting yourself up for more conflict as a handler that could easily be avoided.

I've known some flat coat retriever SDs too. Depending on what you don't like about labs and goldens you might not like a flat coat either, but they are somewhat different. I personally would not consider using a dog for myself that could mat--or that had excessive grooming requirements and that's what struck goldens off my list.

Grooming and upkeep is another HUGE plus for my lab so far. It takes a fraction of the time to keep him looking great as it does the shepherds. He stays fit on less food, he never gets an upset stomach

You can't beat a great German shepherd has a service dog but I don't know how easy it is to find that great shepherd...I haven't been able to....although this time around I had already decided to try another breed
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 08:49 AM
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I missed the part about the wheelchair-- if you are comfortable with Rottweilers and need wheelchair pulling as a task that might actually be a good breed.....

I am not a fan of that breed so I've never considered them for myself and don't have really any idea how hard it would be to find the type of breeder that might produce dogs that could do it.

@stevestrom had/has rotties?

Or really consider a program dog--- they will provide you with a fully trained finished dog.

Because say you raise a rottie from a pup and it washes, then you're stuck with another dog in your household taking up the space you need for a SD. You have to think stuff like that through if you decide to owner train.

Any time you go for a breed like that which isn't really widely used, I think it is just much harder to find the breeder and good dog-- because they aren't being widely bred for that, and statistically your chances of success go down.

Also any time you use a breed that protects and guards your chances of having to wash the dog for that goes up. They certainly can do it and do great---it's all a numbers game to me...what's the most likely to succeed, least likely to fail for whatever reason
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:14 AM
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You might consider a collie. Smooth or rough depending on how much grooming you'd be up to! They have some of the traits as a German shepherd, a collie is the next dog I plan to have partly because of that! I've seen a website for mobility/service collies, But from a good breeder you may find a good candidate.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
I * think* monkeys have much fewer rights to access as compared to dogs
You are correct. Only dogs and miniature horses have access rights. All other species have no access rights at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
For what it's worth I thought I could not stand to be partnered with a lab but now that he is here, I think he is perfect. So maybe try to keep an open mind about breeds you think you don't like.
Excellent advice. It is very hard to find a dog with the right temperament for service dog work, so getting picky about breeds can make things difficult. Although my girlfriend and I have always insisted on GSDs as service dogs, we would use almost any breed of suitable size if we could not find a GSD that could do the job.

As for Shiloh Shepherds, which JChrest mentioned, they used to be outstanding potential service dogs. But the breed has deteriorated to the point where they are often skittish nervebags. I don't even recommend them as pets anymore.

I've also mostly given up on shelter dogs as potential service dogs. But here's an exception: JChrest, why don't you train Floki to be your service dog? From your earlier posts, he sounds like he has the right stuff, and you could use a service dog now. You decide when to get a service dog, not your doc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
I would not choose a bully or pit mix for a candidate no matter how they seemed-- one huge reason being that you are setting yourself up for more conflict as a handler that could easily be avoided.
I totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
You can't beat a great German shepherd has a service dog but I don't know how easy it is to find that great shepherd...I haven't been able to....although this time around I had already decided to try another breed
It has gotten harder and harder. In recent years, I've had the best luck with GSDs from good quality American lines.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readaboutdogs View Post
You might consider a collie. Smooth or rough depending on how much grooming you'd be up to! They have some of the traits as a German shepherd, a collie is the next dog I plan to have partly because of that! I've seen a website for mobility/service collies, But from a good breeder you may find a good candidate.
Excellent suggestion. Can you post the link for that website?
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 11:03 AM
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kingsvalleycollies.com, i don't know anything other about them except for seeing their website.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 11:10 AM
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I don't have any good experience here except that I know of a standard poodle raised locally who is now a service dog. Smart, trainable, and no shedding! :-)
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 11:13 AM
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According to their website, romanycollies.net are wanting to start a service dog program.
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