Service Dogs: Top Mobility Assistance Dog Breeds Service Dogs for People Wheelchairs – Animal Facts

Service Dogs: Top Mobility Assistance Dog Breeds Service Dogs for People Wheelchairs – Animal Facts

Top Mobility Assistance Dog Breeds – Service Dogs for People in Wheelchairs Dogs 101

Service Dogs in this list:
1. Golden Retriever
2. Labrador Retriever
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Standard Poodle
5. English Springer Spaniel

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Perhaps more than any other type of assistance dog, mobility assistance dogs are what most people think of when they hear the term service dogs.

Mobility assistance dogs perform a variety of tasks for their human partners, like bumping the button on automatic doors, retrieving dropped items, and bringing out-of-reach objects to hand, such as a ringing phone. For dogs that will be placed with someone in a wheelchair, the animal can assist with pulling a wheelchair up a ramp if necessary. Other dogs may serve as a brace for people who are ambulatory, but suffer from balance and strength issues. With a properly retrofitted home, a mobility assistance dog can tug open doors, close them again, turn lights on and off, and summon help by finding another person in the house. In public, the mobility assistance dog is an invaluable helper, quietly serving its partner with tasks that would be difficult or impossible to do on their own.

In order to achieve maximum performance from a mobility assistance dog, frequent verbal rewards and encouragement is a must, as are play times—such as a game of fetch with a favorite toy. The mobility assistance dog who finds a human partner that is consistent in training, is willing to motivate and praise and set aside time for daily fun and genuine affection, is the dog who often works the hardest.


  1. you are way off on some of the breeds you are quoting for mobility work. light mobility is minimum 30% height weight ratio for dog to handler. heavy mobility is 40 to 60% height weight ratio for heavy mobility. for an average person a shepherd is the smallest dog you would use for heavy mobility. danes mastiffs doberdanes Dobermans rotties bull mastiffs are your heavy mobility breed. and English springer spaniel would be to small and light for mobility work. many labs and goldens are too.

  2. My late pitbull husky mix was a regular at a dog park from age 2 to 13 or 14. Most of the dogs were other pitbulls, huskys and german shephards. There were very few labs and no golden retrievers. 1 of the labs was very agressive towards any dog that would come towards the baby pool to cool off. Others had always shared the pool or taken turns and if our dogs acted like that lab acted we would have taken our dogs out of the park. Luckily the other dogs decided after the 2nd or 3rd attempt to go play with eachother on the other end of the park. The 2nd most breeds at the park were grey hounds and great danes. We also had 1 newfoundlan and some small breeds but not as many as the above mentioned. i stopped listening when you said gsds are too protective. Ppl forgot germany had the very 1st service dogs ever. They were seing eye dogs. They were gsds. When the usa fallowed suit and also started training dogs which were just seing eye dogs and got their very 1st seing eye dogs they also used gsds. They have to know when to listen and when not to listen like when a handler wants to guided across the street when cars are coming If you ever went on vision walks to help train guide dogs most if not all the dogs being used by the blind are gsds who walk next to eachother and next to pet dogs who come in all shapes and sizes. Labs came much later along with the falls rep that all gsds are aggresive. Most are not. Ive only met 2 that were and i met so many gsds that i wouldnt know how to count them all. The vision walk had what felt like a gazzillion gsds. The 2 aggressive ones were not part of theirs and they are the only 2 that had to have the agression trained out of Them. Goldens are too small for heavy mobility work and in the service dog community while they are recomended for many service dog jobs using them for heavy mobility is considered very unethical since although they are big dogs they are way too small and not enough muscle for mobility work. That 1 lab you used is also way too small. There are large labs but this one is not and like someone said it is more ethical to use muscle breeds like gsds and others for mobility work but for ppl who want a popular breed labs and standard poodles and labradoodles would be ok if they are at least fifty percent the handlers weight. Im not suscribing cause the info is all wrong and unethical and im not the only one in the service dog community who believes its all wrong. Someone else here commented the same thing. Really you used a beagle ? In the service dog community a video of a beagle being used for mobility was shown as an example of what not to do and what breeds not to use cause they are way too small. i guess i might grinch and watch more missinforation if i can handle it just to see what you are using the beagle for.

  3. Our young hostess has a case of terminal cuteness! Great video, too. I’m thinking of getting an English Mastiff for mobility service.

  4. I’m going with a breed of service dog most say no to; Siberian Husky!

    It’ll be a big one if I get the one I want.

  5. so if you get disabled later in life and you already have a dog who is the right size and excells in weight pulling competitions would that dog be able to use that to be trained to pull a wheelchair ?

  6. As someone who has a service dog for walking purposes and more I can’t 100% agree with this German shepherds and labs? Yes they are great service animals but not for mobility. They have thee most hip problems it’s ridiculous. For a mobility dog you need something that will hold your weight and pressure. I’m sure they can do it for awhile but years? You’re going to be taking care of that dog more than yourself. I have a giant schnauzer.. which in my personal belief is the best kind of mobility dog. If you can’t get a giant schnauzer then there’s a ton more of huge dog breeds that can be an amazing mobility dog for years upon years. My first dog was a giant schnauzer and helped me for 13 years before retirement.

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