Can German Shepherds Be Service Dogs? Find Out!
The German Shepherd is cute and friendly, but how well would it do as a service dog? Can German Shepherd be service dogs? Well, In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about German Shepherds as service dogs.
German Shepherds as Service dogs will make you smile with their big, wide-set eyes and cute faces, but they must also be able to do tasks and be your eyes as a service companion.
If you have a German Shepherd, you may have wondered if it could also help as a service animal to you.
Even though German Shepherds might not make the best guide dogs, a lot of people have them trained and certified as a therapy or Emotional Support Animal (ESA).
German Shepherds are always one of the most focused dogs in the pack. They might even be able to focus very well, which will helpful if you need a dog to help you cross the street when you can’t see.
The most important thing to think about is how your own dog acts. You might be able to train your German Shepherd to be a great service animal if they have the right attitude.
German Shepherds as Service dogs
Can German Shepherds be service dogs?
Service animals are dogs that have been trained to work and do things for people with disabilities.
Out there, there are also different kinds of service dogs, like guide dogs, dogs that help with mobility, dogs that help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and dogs that alert people to seizures.
Some German Shepherds may be able to work as service dogs, but their size and personality don’t make them good for every job.
Here are some of the most common things a service dog does, according to the American Kennel Club:
- They help in getting the medicine.
- In case of a night terror, turn on the lights and wake the owner up.
- Helping people who are too alert by searching their homes.
- Bringing handlers peace of mind during stressful and dissociative episodes.
- Distracting a owner when he or she has too much to take in.
- Putting owners on the spot when they have a flashback.
- If the owner is blind, guiding them through dangerous situations.
- If their owners are disabled, walk with them.
- In case of alarms, they can hear for their owners.
- When changes in blood sugar are found, owners are told when they need insulin.
This includes a lot of different kinds of service animal tasks, but it’s up to you to decide if your German Shepherd has the personality and temperament to do some of them. For more details, read here about German Shepherd temperament.
Most of the time, German Shepherds are the best dogs to help with mental health issues because they can calm their handlers during an episode or give them comfort in stressful situations caused by Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The German Shepherd likes to be right next to you, so it makes sense that they would be a good service dog.
German Shepherds are usually calm and even-tempered, but sometimes they aren’t. Before you sign up for service companion training, it’s very important to look at your German Shepherd aggressive behavior. They might bark and jump.
Most German Shepherds act like the people who own them. If you’re calm, quiet, and friendly, they’ll do the same, since they’re usually sweet and affectionate pets.
For a German Shepherd to be trained as a service animal, it must be able to help its owner in dangerous situations, like pulling on a leash in a certain direction to show where to go if its owner can’t see. For more details, read how to train your German Shepherd to walk on a leash.
If they see something dangerous, they should be able to give you a warning bark so you don’t walk into the danger.
Another thing to know is that service dogs are usually bigger breeds, like Golden Retrievers or Labradors. For more details, read here about German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix.
The reason is because they might have to fight for you or pull hard on the leash to stop you. German Shepherds can learn to do things that service dogs do perfectly.
Also, German Shepherds are very smart, so it’s possible that they could be trained to be great service pets. This needs to be done before your German Shepherd can be certified as a service dog.
Tasks for German Shepherds as service dogs vs German Shepherds as dogs that help people feel better
The National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) is where you get certified as a service animal.
Most service dogs also have to be guide dogs. This means that they can help people who have some kinds of disabilities, like being blind or deaf. They can also be taught to smell very strongly, like diabetic alert dogs do.
All these service dogs also have to go through proper training and get a service certification.
Most of the time, their senses and skills are trained to help handlers with certain disabilities. For example, a blind handler might learn how to lead the dog in public or a person with epilepsy might learn how to get their medicine.
German Shepherds are smart and very active, so they can learn to do many things that a service animal can do.
If you think your German Shepherd has what it takes, he or she will still need to go through training and get certified.
Once they are certified, service animals can go almost anywhere with their papers.
One of the main problems with some German Shepherds as service animals is that they don’t pay attention and then suddenly become very interested in one thing.
As a service animal, it might be hard for a German Shepherd with this kind of personality to stay alert, watchful, and quiet for certain tasks.
But the term “service dog” can also be used to describe animals that help people with their emotions.
These dogs don’t need any formal training, and they usually help their owners with anxiety, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
They are able to manage a room and may visit hospitals, nursing homes, or cancer units to brighten someone’s day. A German Shepherd is special because of this at first.
There is no official certification for an emotional support or therapy dog, so they can’t go to malls or other public places like a service animal can.
How Would You Train a German Shepherd to Be a Service Dog?
If you believe your German Shepherd could still make an excellent service dog, you should look over the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to better understand what that definition entails.
This is important for passing the certification test, because it may not make sense why your German Shepherd has to learn different tasks even if it won’t be around a certain disability, like alerting an owner of low blood sugar after sensing.
Like any other dog breed, German Shepherds can be trained to be service dogs. Even though any breed can be a service dog, they tend to work best in different situations.
But there are no rules about what kind of service dog your German Shepherd can be or how it can be trained. It really depends on how you see your dog’s character.
Service dogs need to be in good health, which is something to keep in mind. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will check your German Shepherd’s age and health to make sure they are fit for the tasks that need to be done.
Some dog breeds that are easily scared or prone to being aggressive are not always the best for this kind of work. German Shepherds, on the other hand, are the most friendly and active people you could ever meet.
Step 1: Find someone to train your German Shepherd.
Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t say you need a professional trainer, it’s sometimes best to start by working with a pro to learn what you need to teach your pup.
But training a service animal doesn’t have to happen in a building. It’s easy to do at home. You and your German Shepherd will become closer if you train your dog yourself.
Almost always, if you’re going to be in charge of your German Shepherd, it’s best to work with it yourself.
Step 2: Teach your German Shepherd as service dog to do things
You’ll need to put in some time if you want your German Shepherd to become a service animal.
Even though the law doesn’t say how long it takes, most people train their dogs for at least 120 hours or over six months.
Also, 30 to 50 of those hours should be done in a public place, where there are lots of people and things to distract the dog.
The duties that are related to your disability or those that you want your service dog, German Shepherd, to learn are going to be the most crucial.
Let’s say for instance, if you want your puppy to bring you medicine or learn how to calm you down when you’re scared, you’ll have to teach it how to do those things.
You can find out what to expect and how to get ready by reading the International Association for Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)’s Minimum Training Standards for Public Access.
Step 3: Test your German Shepherd for the public
When you think your German Shepherd can do certain tasks well, he or she will need to pass the certification test.
To pass, it’s important to do these things:
- The dog doesn’t act aggressively.
- Doesn’t use sniffing unless it’s part of a task.
- Doesn’t ask other people for love or food.
- Does not get too excited and move around too much in public.
According to the National Service Animal Registry, if your German Shepherd has been properly taught, you can take the Public Access Test to determine whether or not your canine companion is up to the duty.
Also, the handler must have a disability in order to get a service animal. When you sign up your German Shepherd as a service animal, you’ll need to give this information.
Step 4: Get your German Shepherd licensed and ready for public places.
You might have to show proof that your German Shepherd is fully trained and certified as a service animal. To make it clearer in public places, you can get a service dog ID card or a service dog vest.
What’s good about German Shepherds as Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
German Shepherds are active, fun-loving, and just plain weird. They know how to make anyone feel better, and because they are so in tune with people’s feelings, they are a real blessing for people with depression, autism, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.
Because they pay close attention to their handlers and need to be close to them, they can also help a lot with social anxiety.
Some of the good things about a German Shepherd Emotional Support Animal (ESA) are:
- Being emotionally smart.
- Active and easy to carry.
- Very close to their handlers.
- They do well with all kinds of people and dogs.
Do you meet the requirements to get a German Shepherd as a service dog?
If you want to take your German Shepherd with you into public places as a service dog, you need to have a disability.
The rules have recently changed, so this is important. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you have to have a disability in order to get your German Shepherd certified.
When you are allowed to bring your service animal with you, it must be able to go everywhere with you and not get angry or stressed out.
For instance, they must be able to help you on a plane while it’s in the air. This means that you might also need to buy things like National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) pet carriers, which are made just for service dogs.
Even if you can’t get a service dog, your German Shepherd can still be an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).
But stores, airplanes, restaurants, and other public places are not required to let in an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) like a certified service dog.
Should you train your German Shepherd to be a service dog or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
In conclusion, Can German Shepherds be service dogs?
Your German Shepherd may be the best choice for handlers with disabilities because they are quick, loyal and smart.
These German Shepherds love their owners very much and will do anything to be close to them, but that doesn’t mean they can always be used as service animals.
But they can still be great Emotional Support Animals (ESA) who go with you to hospitals and help you feel calm when you need to.
Training is the main thing that will tell you if your German Shepherd is up to the task.
When you’re about to send your German Shepherd to training for different tasks, you’ll quickly be able to tell if their personality is good for service training or not.