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These Dogs Make the Best Service Pups

Not every dog is cut out to be a service dog, which comes with the responsibility to help people with disabilities, such as seizure disorders or visual impairments, and navigating daily life.

brain scans may reveal best service dogs


  • Even with the best training, up to 70% of dogs from service dog programs end up being unsuitable for service
  • Emory University scientists turned to fMRI to see if it could predict whether a dog would be a successful service dog
  • After undergoing brain scans, certain dogs had higher activity in the amygdala, which is linked to excitability — and these pups were more likely to fail the service dog training
  • Dogs with stronger activity in the caudate brain region were more likely to be successful service dogs
  • Overall, fMRI helped improve the ability to identify dogs that would not make good service dogs — from about 47% without a brain scan to 67% after fMRI

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