Size is important, whether its a pony or a Clydesdale. In life, size is always an important consideration, even in service dogs.
If you’re a new human to the service dog scene, I’m sure you know about my brothers from other mothers; the Labrador, the German Shepard, and the Golden Retriever. They are awesome pals and love to play, but not every human matches up to America’s top favorite breeds. (Seriously, look at the AKC, Labs have been holding strong for years now!)
What our humans have to do is think of what they need from us. If we need to be strong enough to provide them stability when walking, or muscled enough to pull a wheelchair, tall enough to open doors. What our human needs us to do has to match what /we/ need them to do! It’s not a one way street, every kind of dog has their varied array of needs.
My fellow dogs, some of you have to run and play because you have a lot of energy. It isn’t fair to you to not get the recreation you need to be happy and healthy. A healthy dog is a focused dog. Many hard-working pooches get their exercise needs met by the tasks they preform or their humans and their significant others do so.
Not all humans can do that, or require the assistance my big-pawed brothers and sisters provide. Our needs and our humans must coincide, because above all else, we are a team.
Which is why it is so important for our humans to know what they can handle in the future. My human has peripheral neuropathy, which means her hands and feet are numb and weak. Something as simple as giving me a bath can be difficult and impossible if I were bigger. So when you think of what breed of dog you need as your service dog, first ask yourself, “What can I handle? Does the pooch need to see a groomer? Does he shed excessively? Is he hard to train? Will he need to run or have access to a dog park? Can we travel easily or need accommodations due to size? Do I have someone to meet the pooch’s needs that I’m unable to do?” All these questions and more you gotta ask and know the answer to. You may love one breed, but will you be able work with the needs of him/her?”
Because when we get down to the stuffing of our favorite toys; Size matters.