In order to be a successful service dog, there are specific qualities that a canine must possess. One of the most important characteristics is confidence. Warriors rely on their dogs to get them through moments of high stress. Dogs that become fearful easily could increase a warrior’s anxiety levels instead of decreasing them. Service dogs also need to be calm. If a dog is aggressive, it can create a negative experience for the warrior while also becoming a safety liability. Dogs who exhibit any form of aggression – whether around humans or other animals – will not be permitted to work as service dogs.
In order to retain training requirements, service dogs must also possess intelligence. Although most dogs are smart, not all possess a consistent desire to learn and work. Service dogs need to be motivated to support their warriors. Dog size is also a big factor. Because many of the warriors in the K9s For Warriors program have mobility issues, dogs must be big enough to support the weight of a warrior who may need assistance with moving around. Service dogs also must be in good health because they are expected to work for the warrior on a daily basis. K9s For Warriors is always very selective when choosing service dogs for our warriors.