A Dog Trainer’s Point-Of-View: Part One

Written by: 
Samantha Epstein

Service Dog Behavior

Not every dog is cut out for the working life. So what does it take? Here’s what our dog trainers had to say about what makes a seemingly ordinary rescue dog into a great service dog.



“Calm… eager to please… has the desire to be around people.”


“Has a stable, calm demeanor. Isn’t shy or overly reactive to stimuli. Capable of handling themselves in stressful situations. Not too submissive yet not too bold. Well- socialized, with no aggression or problem behaviors.”


“Happy-go-lucky temperament, confident. Friendly with people and other animals.”


“Affectionate and happy. Smart and willing to learn.”


“A dog that shows a drive and desire to work. Must have a loving nature. Eager to please.”


“Curious and healthy.”


Although their answers slightly vary - our trainers do agree that service dogs must possess a consistent desire to learn. Dogs that do not illustrate this desire would likely not be able to complete the service dog journey. Why? The desire to learn cannot be taught. Not only are service dogs required to learn skills that our warriors depend on, they must also retain what they learned to pass re-certification exams.

Blog Category: