I would have to say TX that I am with you in the area of wondering about a breed to use for a service dog. I had originally gotten Max to train as a service dog, but found that he was a washout because of his skiddishness to new things. Now I am seriously thinking about trying it again, but on the fence because then I would be responsible for two dogs. Also trying to make sure that the need is really there for me to have a service dog and what the benefits would be. For myself it would be for PTSD, depression, and anexity. It would definately open up my life, but its a big committment. Also not sure how my job would take it. I would love to get a shelter dog also and feel that you have a wonderful idea with training shelter dogs. I believe the program that the jails use for training service dogs comes from shelters so I believe that it is possible. I would think though that you would need to get a young puppy in order to train, just so that you know that it doesn't have any baggage to come with. I personally would be hesitant to use a rottie or pit bull. I know that they have a undeserved, bad rap; but the disabled that use a service dog fight access issues and I think it would just make it harder for them in the long run. Alot of business owners are worried about liability and rotties and pit bulls seem to have at this time seem to have that stamped all over them. Also the rottie that my parents had was prone to hip problems so I'm wondring if that is something that needs to be watched out for in that breed. I know that German Shepards that hip problems are always a worry. I think poodles are a wonderful choice but agree with you on the upkeep issue. They seem to be naturally smart, willing to work, and very gentle. I wondered about a poodle mix, but would need a standard poodle size because of my dizziness and disorientation problems from PTSD and medication. I've been thinking about contacting some local shelters and seeing if I can explain to them what I am looking to do and see if I could volunteer with them so that I could get a better idea, also build a rapport in the begining incase there is a dog I see that I believe is the right one. I really believe that it comes down to a case by case decision. But again labs, retreivers, and german shepards are choosen quite a bit and its hard to dimiss that.