When it comes to service dog training, there is no better breed than the Labrador Retriever. Due to their temperament and physical build as adults, Labradors make perfect service dogs—especially when trained from birth.
Originating in the United Kingdom, Labradors became known as effective fishing dogs during the colonization of Canada. British royals took note of their strong abilities to swim and began refining the breed for retrieving fishing nets or items that may have fallen out of shipping boats used in fur trading.
Today, labs are the first choice of many service dog organizations because of a variety of factors. But what makes Labrador the puppies perfect animal to train as service dogs? Let’s dive in!
Broad Skull, Large Brain.
The structure of the Labrador puppy skull is quite broad, allowing ample room for the brain to grow and develop important neural pathways. This allows these puppies to learn complicated commands and interpret stimuli. Over time, Labrador Retriever bloodlines have been developed for intuitive intelligence that allows them to sense a rise in cortisol levels and other factors indicating a PTSD flashback or other stressor acting upon the handler.
Labs Have an Ideal Temperament.
Confident, yet forgiving—this is the disposition of Labrador Retrievers. As they grow, this general demeanor helps lead someone like a combat veteran suffering from PTSD out of a triggering situation. This temperament also helps labs to work effectively without growing weary of stressful outbursts from the owner.
Labradors are amazing working dogs. These animals are just as excited to perform tasks for their owners as they are playing with other dogs. This joyful demeanor is a great complement to their confident-but-forgiving temperament.
Less Hair, Low Maintenance.
One reason Labradors are such good swimmers is because of their short fur coat. This short hair allows adults labs to easily shake off water after a swim—which also means less grooming work for an owner. This is a great attribute in terms of reducing the cost of ownership for disabled owners.
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