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No specific breed will help. A dog with the correct temperament (which is genetic) coupled with service dog training by a professional is what will help.

I have seen dogs of various breeds that could be service dogs. ALL have the same basic genetic temperament. If you think you will just go get a dog of a certain breed, raise it and train it yourself having no service dog training background yourself, you are probably mistaken (and you MAY have that background but your question would indicate probably not). There is a reason service dogs cost so much money. The training and the genetics are not random and are specific to the individual dog, not necessarily a specific breed of dog.

I know someone who was on the ground floor at FIDELCO years and years ago. They bred dogs for service work. Many dogs washed out because they simply did not have the temperament to be good service dogs. They were good dogs with good temperaments but not good service dogs.

I would first look at what you need the dog to do and be very specific as to those needs for your child. Then talk to people who successfully train dogs to do those tasks. Talk to people who train the dogs what they look for in the dog and what the dog needs to be able to do. Then find out how they train all of that. Then decide if you are even remotely up to the task yourself.

Good luck. Panic attacks are miserable.
 

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I know someone who was on the ground floor at FIDELCO years and years ago. They bred dogs for service work. Many dogs washed out because they simply did not have the temperament to be good service dogs. They were good dogs with good temperaments but not good service dogs.
This. It's a small percentage of dogs, even from breeds ideal for it and lines bred for it, that make it all the way through selection and training.

My standard poodle puppy is from a breeder who produces service dog candidates, and I got my pup because he didn't pass the initial temperament test (basically he was too excitable and highly gregarious). He has a great temperament, the product of good breeding and excellent early care, but they could already tell he probably wouldn't be successful.

Years ago my parents adopted a yellow lab that washed out of seeing eye dog training near the end of the program - she was the nicest dog in the world, and wonderfully trained, but just didn't display the 100% consistency that was needed, because she could be distracted by small animals.

That said - a calm cuddly dog can really help people with anxiety even if it's not a service dog proper, yeah? If you're just looking for a soothing pet, I'd be looking at friendly, gentle, mellow adult dogs without particular regard to breed.
 

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All this reminds me of Ryker. He looks like a super fun dog, but maybe not cutout for the service dog world.

That said, I had dogs from a very early age and they were everyone my best friend and companion. If you're not looking for a true service dog but rather a companion to help ease anxiety with love and companionship, I think what dog you get depends a great deal on the kid it's for (and the answer maybe no dog at all). However, if you're looking for a true service dog for anxiety that you can legally take everywhere, it's probably best to find a good professional service dog trainer and spend some big bucks on a ready made "Psychiatric Service Dog" fully trained for the job. Breed does not matter.
 

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Like others have said, if you want a service dog that will go everywhere with the child, you will want to consult with professionals who breed dogs specifically for service work and for your unique needs. You will likely see many Labs and Golden Retrievers doing service work, but really any breed with the correct temperament can do it.

If you just want a companion animal that loves children and is willing to be a comfort to them, you may want to look at Labs or Golden Retrievers. There is a reason they are most often used for service work! If the dog is going to be a companion for a smaller child, I would recommend a larger breed of dog simply because they're less likely to be injured by a clumsy child if it is seeking comfort (hugging, cuddling). There are many calm adult dogs in shelters who may fit the bill, as well. Personally, that's where I would look first, because if you get a puppy it will be 2-3 years before they are considered calm and I would trust them to mind their manners with a child!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am going to get a Retriever. They have been declared as one of the most popular dog breeds. Despite the variations in size, both types of Retrievers — Golden as well as Labrador are a storehouse of immense love and affection for its owners. They are highly responsive and one of the best breeds when it comes to being a physical training partner.
 

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There are many labs and goldens who have bitten children too.
So definitely do your research and find a reputable breeder. Preferably a breeder who breeds for therapy work or regularly sends dogs into homes for that purpose (which should not be hard to find in those two breeds). Look for OFA records and other documented records of health checks. There are more bad breeders than good breeders for both breeds, as they are so popular. Certain issues like hip dysplasia are pretty common. Cancer is running rampant in goldens. Degenerative myelopathy is totally genetic (I personally know two young labs who have been euthanized for this), preventable, and tragic.
 

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yes what Canyx said.. From experience of having a GSD vet appointment on Lab day at the vet clinic.. There was some really nasty/ aggressive behaving labs in that group. even the best of breeds can come in all kinds of individual temperaments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, if we can not select a particular breed, should we try giving training to the dog before introducing it with children?
 

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Yes, make sure you purchase your dog from a reputable breeder who does health tests for genetic diseases, and who breeds for the correct temperament above everything else. You may want to look for breeders who breed dogs for therapy or service work. You do not want a backyard bred dog whose breeders really did not take into consideration their breeding stock's temperament or health before putting them together and hoping for puppies.
 
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