In the service dog industry, breed selection is a debatable subject. But it shouldn’t always be like this because dogs are not a fashion item. While most breeds meet service dog requirements in Texas, the best options are not easy to come by when it comes to best psychiatric service dog breeds.
Behavior evaluation specialists are hired to pick prospective candidates and they must do a thorough evaluation on the puppies that may qualify for psychiatric services. Mostly, the breeds that clients want them to assess turn out to be ineffective and these are what we call herding breeds. They still make quality service dogs in Texas since they are well behaved, intelligent, and handler-oriented. Many of the herding breeds have a trait that makes them inappropriate for psychiatric disabilities. This trait is their protective nature.
- What is wrong with being protective?
Protectiveness may sound like a wonderful quality but in reality, it is a downfall for patients with PTSD, phobia, and anxiety. A psychiatric service dog must not be protective to avoid endangering the public. Some people might interpret the trait as aggressiveness.
Herding dogs normally pick even the most subtle body language changes. What’s more, they are developed to react swiftly to circumstances. They need to do it to help the people they serve make independent decisions in Texas and gain better control when circumstances arise. This is very relevant to service work because the dog remains aware of the body language of the handler. Note that the instincts tell the dog to react all the time.
Suppose the dog handler is very anxious and doesn’t like to see people wearing particular colors. The service dog breed should be genetically wired to pick up any nervous reactions of the handler. Such reactions include sweating, escalated pulse rate, and faster breathes. The patient may try to hide how they feel but the dog will notice. Many dog breeds can notice these changes too but not all of them react like herding dogs.
Herding breeds notice everything in the surroundings within a few minutes of watching. They then relate the scenarios to the reaction of their handlers. If a red shirt seems to put their handler in danger, they can start barking, or perhaps bite the person wearing it. The dog usually notices the dangers even before its handler does. This is very true with dogs that are bred to be protective. The other thing that a herding breed in Texas can do is show uneasiness, panic, or look stressed when a dangerous object or individual approaches.
Sometimes, it is possible to have a dog without any of the mentioned characteristics in spite of its genetic makeup. Smooth collies, for instance, have successfully graduated into psychiatric service dogs. But the vast majority of herding breeds are not recommended for the mentioned reasons. Some of the best breeds for this career include standard poodles, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers.
If you are finding how to get a service dog in Texas and looking for a PTSD service dog for your loved one, we advise you against herding breed due to their over-protectiveness. But you can always use them for other purposes like general service.