We rely on the use of puppy prospects from reputable breeders, rescues and shelters.


Texas Service Dogs is always on the look-out for potential service dog candidates. We encourage and appreciate puppy donations from reputable breeders. Most of our service dogs begin training between 8 to 12 weeks of age, however, we will consider dogs up to 2 years old from rescues and shelters. We evaluate and perform a temperament test on each dog that we consider for our training program.

Unlike many service dog programs, Texas Service Dogs relies on donations of puppies from reputable, responsible breeders, rescues, and shelters. We seek donors whose priorities are the health and temperament as service dogs require a very special type of working ability.

We use primarily golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, poodles and their mixes. We find those breeds are typically the best fit due to their size, retrieving ability, motivation and friendliness. It is possible that other breeds can fit these qualities, so we are open to evaluation invitations. We have also used Mastiffs and Great Danes for their size for individuals with mobility impairments. We have found that prospects who come from long lines of calm, confident, working dogs and who receive important intellectual stimulation and physical handling in their first weeks of life have the best probability of becoming service dogs.

Initially, we look at conformation, making sure the body does not have any structural abnormalities, particularly in the hips, back and rear. Then we look at temperament. We look at how the prospect responds to other dogs (small, large, male, female, puppy, adult) as well as people (all races, ages, sizes,) and animals (cats, rabbits, rodents). We want dogs who are not at all aggressive or too reactive (barking, jumping, overly excited) to new situations and environments. We also want dogs that demonstrate minimal to no separation anxiety. We seek dogs under 2 years old, that love people and are food motivated. We prefer dogs who do not pull on leashes, although it is something we can fix!


Think you may have the right dog for the job? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to meet with you to determine if the pup would be a fit for our program.


  • friendly, but able to ignore distractions such as people and animals when working
  • calm and patient, but motivated and happy to work
  • confident when exposed to unfamiliar environments, people, animals, and objects but also gentle enough to allow handlers who may have little to no physical control take charge
  • a natural retriever and easily motivated by positive reinforcements such as treats and praise


  • never have met a person or dog he/she didn’t like
  • not be overly sensitive to sounds or loud noises
  • be confident and quick to warm up; not be fearful of anything
  • be comfortable with being touched and handled everywhere and by anyone
  • be happy and fit to work


  • health clearances and parents with health testing/clearances
  • titles and/or awards


Your donation enables us to raise future service dogs, equip our trainers, cover operational costs and place highly qualified, task-trained canines with disabled individuals.