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10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, and it’s no question dogs can improve man’s livelihood as is evident with this list of the 10 best autism service dogs for adults.

Autism can be detected in a child as early as eighteen months old and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 68 children is affected by the autism spectrum disorder. Autism affects the way the brain functions and results in difficulties in communication and social skills. Researchers are still conducting studies to determine the cause of autism, but some believe it is possible that it is genetic and can be inherited. The earlier it is detected in a child, the better, as the best treatments can be determined for the child, enhancing their chances of growth and improvement. Unfortunately, autism is a relatively “new” thing and many don’t understand it or are just ignorant to what someone with the disorder is going through. Depending on where someone falls on the autism spectrum, they may not be able to develop speech, where others may experience hyperactive behavior or suffer from seizures. Regardless of how someone is affected, it’s important to not ostracize them from society.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults


As a result of the studies conducted for autism, there are ways to improve the behavior of a person with it. There are treatments available like behavioral training and management, specialized therapies, medicines, and community support or training. Medication can be used for treating effects like hyperactivity, depression, or anxiety. Nowadays, dogs are a common companion for people with autism and many other health disorders. Dogs are loyal companions and can sometimes serve a much better purpose for someone than any medication could do. So, what does an autism service dog do? For starters, like with any service dog, an autism service dog must be trained, but it also must be the right breed because not all dog breeds qualify. There are certain dog breeds for autism and some of them, you will find, are included on our list. For someone who suffers from seizures, a service dog is able to detect the seizure before it happens and is trained to warn its owner. A service dog could also prevent a person from harming themselves especially if they are an adult with autism who also suffers from depression. An autism service dog training is usually done by an organization who specializes in the training and allows people to adopt the dogs. The autism service dogs are also evaluated based on what duties they excel in doing as well as their weaknesses. They can be trained to become an alarm for their handler to wake them up at a specific time, they can lead their handler in and out of buildings in the event of an emergency, and conduct a number of other skills. These are just a few of the autism service dog tasks. 

Many people want to know how to get a service dog for autism. The answer to that question may vary based on the qualifications set by the organization on where you will apply for a service dog. There is a minimum age requirement, and if you have seizure attacks, many organizations require that your seizures must occur at least once a month to qualify. In some cases, you may also be required not to have any other dogs at home. The owner must be capable of participating in the training process so you can also be independently training your service dog.  It’s important to note that you need to be cautious with where you find an autism service dog for sale as these dogs might not be trained to meet your needs. And finally, the autism service dog cost will vary based on the dog breed you get and the services it can perform.

While people with autism don’t all have the same weaknesses or strengths, there is also no service dog which acquires all the qualities an autism service dog should have. There are dogs who meet the qualities for a child with autism, which you can learn more about with our list of 11 Best Therapy Dog Breeds For Autistic Children. For our adult list, we have gathered the best autism service dogs for adults from the experts on this topic like Autism Service Dogs of America, Pet Guide, and Autism Anchoring Dogs. Other dogs trained by these organizations fit the qualifications of a service dog for a child with anxiety. Each dog possesses different qualities but they will surely help an adult who has autism, so we did not rank the dogs on our list in any order. The breeds included on our list are there because we found the most information and better reviews for how those dogs are able to be trained for adults with autism. Some dogs on our list are big dogs and are dogs that can detect seizures and can assist their adult owners better. These dogs are also well suited for children with autism because they can anchor them, especially if they are hyperactive.

Let’s take a look at our list of best autism service dogs for adults.

10. Labradinger Retriever

Another name you can call a Labradinger Retriever is the Springador and the breed is often used in the U.K. It is a cross breed of the Labrador Retriever and the English Springer Spaniel. This intelligent breed is easy to train and great around family, children, and other pets or animals. However, as with most dogs, patience and consistency are needed for her to achieve the best learning. Early socialization is highly recommended to avoid a Labradinger chasing after other animals or pets.

9. Saint Bernard

 Next on our list of best autism service dogs for adults are Saint Bernards that have gentle temperament, but they need to be brought up socializing, not just with people, but with other animals as well. This is necessary because Saint Bernard’s tend to sometimes be possessive. If you remember the family of Wendy in Peter Pan, their nana is a Saint Bernard which is a reflection of how great this dog is for families with children.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Florin C/

8. Newfoundland

Labradors, Great Pyrenees, and Tibetan Mastiffs are a combination of breeds that make the Newfoundland dog.  The resemblance is more of a Great Pyrenees, but with the color of a Labrador. This dog with a big heart is easy to train, calm, gentle, and intelligent making it a great service dog. Don’t use a loud voice though because Newfoundlands are sensitive.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Pixabay/Public Domain

7. Leonberger

Positive reinforcement is the most effective method of training for a Leonberger. Just like with other dogs, consistency is the key for this intelligent being to learn. The Leonberger is the product of various cross breeding of Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Great Pyrenees breeds. This dog has a gentle and calm temperament too. Let’s see what’s next on our list of best autism service dogs for adults.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Pixabay/Public Domain

6. Goldendoodle

A Goldendoodle is a crossbreed between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. The temperament of a Goldendoodle depends on how well socialized it is, as well as the genes the puppy inherits from the parents.  You can easily see this when a puppy would let you approach him which is a good sign of its social skills. Positive reinforcement is also the key for training, so that a Goldendoodle can absorb what it learns. This crossbreed is smart and highly trainable.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Pixabay/Public Domain

5. American Pitbull Terrier

On the fifth spot of our list of best autism service dogs for adults is the American Pitbull Terrier. This dog loves to be around people and the people love him for it. As much as they are friendly even with strangers, their loyalty is incomparable. They will protect their owner or family even if their life is on the line. A proper training is needed though since they tend to mess around with other animals or pets if not properly trained.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Eric Isselee/

4. Labradoodle

A mix of the Labrador Retriever and Poodle is the Labradoodle. Poodles are known for their high intelligence while the Labrador Retriever loves being around humans. This combination of traits in the Labradoodle makes it highly trainable and intelligent, and they are also sociable and friendly.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults


3. Golden Labrador Mixes

At number three on our list of best autism service dogs for adults we have another highly trainable breed of a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever and that is the Golden Labrador. Again, positive reinforcement methods are also the highly suggested methods in training for this breed of dog. Happy, energetic, clever, and affectionate are just a few words to describe the temperament of a Golden Labrador.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults


2. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever just might be the poster child for all dogs. They are intelligent and easygoing, while having a happy and gentle temperament. What more could you want in a dog? One of their most important characteristics is versatility which helps them to be highly trainable. An ample amount of time for training is recommended for a better result of having a Lab as a service dog.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults


1. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is basically tagged as the perfect family dog. A Golden Retriever rarely attacks visitors or strangers because of its affectionate character towards humans. This dog is also highly trainable, calm and well-mannered. They are constantly learning new tricks and would make a great candidate for a service dog.

10 Best Autism Service Dogs for Adults

Grigorita Ko/

There may be a lot of choices of dogs and their breeds but these are the 10 best autism service dogs for adults.