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What Are The Best Service Dog Breeds For Seniors?

Senior citizen with service dog on beach.

Many seniors find Service Dogs helpful in maintaining their independence while dealing with mobility challenges. Fortunately, Service Dogs are able to travel with their owners wherever they go.

In order to certify your dog as a service dog, you will need to train the animal to provide a task to help with your disability. Although it is not required, you may also submit your dog’s information to get your ID and service dog certification online and enroll it in a national database that is easily searchable.

While most breeds can be trained as a Service Dog, you will want one that can meet the physical demands of the job. In this article you can find some of the more popular breeds for Service Dogs that work best for seniors.

To register your dog as a service dog in our national database, click on the link below to get started.

Service dog certification and registration button.


Both Golden and Labrador Retrievers are common choices for Service Dogs. Gentle by nature, Golden Retrievers are popular with families that have young children, but they are also excellent companions for seniors with mobility issues. Goldens are very intelligent and easily trained. In addition to their other wonderful traits, they are large and strong enough to provide physical support for a person with mobility challenges. For example, they are good at carrying things—as their name suggests—and can help provide support for a person who has balance issues or difficulty standing.

Golden Retrievers make perfect Service Dogs
Golden Retrievers make all-around perfect Service Dogs.

Labradors are also very intelligent, and have sharp hearing and a strong sense of smell. Like Goldens, they are easy to train, with friendly personalities and a strong desire to please. They also have the strength to assist with a wide variety of physical tasks.


Poodles make great Service Dogs
The friendly Poodle will not disappoint.

Poodles are usually medium-sized dogs, and are able to perform several tasks, such as carry objects, fetch things, turn lights on and off, and open and close doors. They are also known for their ability to sniff out allergens in food, so if you have a severe food allergy, they can be an excellent choice. Also friendly by nature, Poodles are easy to train.

Service dog registration guide infographic.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds make great Service Dogs
German Shepherds are strong and guide you safely through life.

Like Retrievers, Shepherds are large dogs that do well at physical tasks like providing support and helping people get around. However, they test well in all Service Dog categories, and make excellent guide dogs for the visually impaired. They can help you move safely through your home and the outside world, as well as give you extra support if you need assistance with standing, walking, or other movements.


Pomeranians are a smaller breed, and not as well suited for a person who needs a lot of physical support. Some people think they are too small to be Service Dogs, but this is a common misconception. They make excellent medical alert dogs for people who may have sudden changes in condition—such as people with diabetes, heart conditions, epilepsy or other neurological issues. For example, they can let you know if your blood sugar has fallen too low, so you can eat something or seek medical attention.

Pomeranians make great Service Dogs
The small Pomeranian is your nurse on four paws.

Pomeranians are also great for people with hearing impairments. They can be trained to alert you to sounds you wouldn’t otherwise notice, like a knock at the door, a ringing doorbell or phone, etc.

Service dog certification and registration button.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs make great Service Dogs
The strong, kind Bernese Mountain Dog can take on any task.

This is another large breed suitable to be a Service Dog for owners with physical support needs. In training, they have to prove they can support the weight of their owner and pull a wheelchair in order to be of assistance. Friendly and intelligent, Bernese Mountain Dogs are capable of a variety of other tasks, including picking up items and even opening the door for emergency services personnel if you have an emergency and need help.


Many of us have seen reruns of that old TV show about the Collie “Lassie” who was always running for help when her young human friend was in trouble. As it turns out, Collies really are very intelligent, and great at caring for their human companions. They are large enough to help with physical tasks, but are also known for their ability to detect seizures in advance. If you have epilepsy, a Collie may be trained to let you know before a seizure starts, so you can call for help, take medication, or make sure you aren’t in an unsafe place (like a bathtub).

Collies make great Service Dogs
The Collie is your smart companion.

Collies are also great at providing emotional support for patients with mental health issues like anxiety and PTSD. However, as a long-haired breed, they do shed sometimes, so you will want to find a good vacuum cleaner for picking up dog hair.

If you are ready to take your Service Dog with you after you’ve gone through proper training, you may considered ordering your Service Dog a vest and ID card and registering their information into Service Dog Certifications’ global database. For more information, click on the image below.

Service dog registration banner with border collie and certification information.

About the Author: The writing team at Service Dog Certifications is made up of folks who really know their stuff when it comes to disability laws and assistance animals. Many of our writers and editors have service dogs themselves and share insights from their own experiences. All of us have a passion for disability rights and animals.


    • Kelli Dawn Hornsby says: June 27, 2023
      • SDC says: June 30, 2023
        • Robert Ferguson says: February 23, 2024

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