Does my dog breed qualify as a PSD?
While we do love all dogs, not all breeds can qualify to be a PSD (but they always qualify as your best friend!).
The short: A dog’s ability to qualify as a PSD is contingent on their individual ability to provide support based on their owner’s disability. While some breeds are better suited to this than others, there is no specific breed requirement.
To elaborate a bit further:
Best Breeds for PSDs
Your Psychiatric Service Dog is trained to provide assistance and support based on your psychiatric disabilities or mental health conditions, and some breeds are better suited to this than others. While there are no specific breed requirements for PSDs, those known for their intelligence, trainability, and temperament make ideal service dogs. For example, retrievers are often used as guide dogs because they are intelligent, gentle, strong, and have a strong desire to please their owners.
Ultimately, it comes down to each dog’s personality and ability. If you’re deciding which breed is the best PSD for you and want the highest chance of earning a certification, here are a few breeds we love that are often most capable of supporting owners with qualifying disabilities.
Popular PSD breeds include:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Standard Poodle
- German Shepherd
- Border Collie
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Great Dane
- Doberman Pinscher
- Bernese Mountain Dog
Qualities of Top PSDs
There are a number of different factors to consider when choosing the right PSD for you. Here are some of the most important aspects to consider.
Temperament: A top PSD candidate has a calm, stable temperament, and remains focused and responsive in various environments and situations. They’re friendly, non-aggressive, and can handle stress or distractions without getting overly reactive.
Aptitude: Dogs that are trainable and intelligent are most suitable to be service dogs. They need to follow commands consistently and demonstrate problem-solving skills.
Size: The dog’s physical abilities should correlate with their tasks. Larger dogs may be better for deep pressure therapy, while smaller dogs may be more suited for navigating crowded spaces.
Health: A PSD should be in good overall health and have a reasonable life expectancy to ensure the longevity of their service work.
Compatibility: The dog should have a strong bond and compatibility with their owner. This connection is essential for effective teamwork and communication.
It’s important to remember that not all dogs of the same breed have equal ability to be a great PSD, and that even those who meet this criteria may not complete service dog training.