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I'm trying to figure out which dog breed would work best for me. The dog would be a psychiatric service dog and would have to be at least medium sized.
I want a dog that bonds closely to one person but also does not show aggression towards strangers. I realize individual personality and the way puppies are raised plays a big part, though.
I don't want anything too active and I don't want it to have a prey drive as I have horses, cats, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I really like Dobermans but haven't seen many as service dogs, anyone know why that is?
Anyway, any suggestions with reasons would be appreciated!

*Also, I'm not ruling out adopting from a shelter/rescue!
 

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I have most definitely seen Dobermans as service dogs, for the blind, people with epilepsy, and more. If they have the right nature they can make very good ones. Highly intelligent, loyal, they bond close to their handlers, and have the strength and physicality to carry out service dog work. In fact, I recently read that Dobermans were one of the choice breeds to be seeing eye dogs decades ago, but due to their "scary" reputation (they were the Pit Bulls of the 70s), they stopped using them much. While they aren't as feared as they were in the past, they are still viewed as a "dangerous" dog and occasionally banned, so you have to think if you're comfortable about that. I would consider them a cat chasing breed, so they do have some good degree of prey drive, but many larger breeds do. However I can't say if I've heard much about their behavior around horses. But if raised around them, and trained to let them be from puppyhood most dogs can learn that cats and horses are friends that should be respected.

If you did want to pursue a Doberman I would seek out a breeder who has bred his/her stock to be therapy or service dogs. Then of course there are the classic breeds that are used, Labs, Goldens, German Shepherds. Standard Poodles are good too, just don't fall into the "doodle" trend. Seeking out a mixed breed from a shelter with the right temperament can be good too. If you do the shelter route, I would recommend getting one from puppyhood, who was raised in a foster home and well socialized. Also read up on dog training, make connections with a dog trainer, as well as people who have trained psych dogs.

You also have to open yourself up to the possibility that the dog might fail out of "service dog school". Are you willing to keep the dog if s/he will just be a pet? Do you have to have the dog be a service dog in order to keep them in the place you live? Just some things to think about. Update us on this process or if you have any other breeds or questions in mind.
 
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I'm trying to figure out which dog breed would work best for me. The dog would be a psychiatric service dog and would have to be at least medium sized.
I want a dog that bonds closely to one person but also does not show aggression towards strangers. I realize individual personality and the way puppies are raised plays a big part, though.
I don't want anything too active and I don't want it to have a prey drive as I have horses, cats, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I really like Dobermans but haven't seen many as service dogs, anyone know why that is?
Anyway, any suggestions with reasons would be appreciated!

*Also, I'm not ruling out adopting from a shelter/rescue!
Possibly look into a show line german shepherd. Alot of the show lines have very low prey drive and dont require extensive exercise that a working line would. They also bond very closely and are proven therapy/service dogs
 
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