- Best emotional support dogs
Service dog breeds

Best service dog breeds for emotional support

Emotional support dogs Best Dogs for Emotional Support

There is no denying that all dogs are equally capable of boosting your mood and making you feel happy. After all, they are considered to be man's best friend! However, some breeds are especially suited to this role.

Emotional support dogs are naturally intuitive and can console their humans at the right moments. These breeds are often chosen as emotional support animals or therapy dogs. So, which breeds are perfect for your emotional and mental wellbeing? Find out below!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Surprisingly enough, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel tops the list of dogs who offer excellent emotional support. This is because you would be hard-pressed to find a breed that is more people-oriented than this one. At any given moment, Cavaliers are ready for a cuddle.

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What's more, these dogs have been bred to be comforter dogs and, as such, are excellent for lifting your spirits. They are playful and looking to constantly interact with people. Since they are apartment-friendly and adaptable, they work well in most environments. They are also intelligent and can pick up on several verbal commands.

Now, Cavaliers can be prone to certain genetic health disorders. Due to this, it is important to select a good breeder who works with dogs who have been tested. This greatly reduces the chance of your pooch developing serious health issues.

Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds around. And, when you understand what their personality is like, this isn't difficult to comprehend at all. On average, Golden Retrievers are good-natured and love spending time with their humans.

They are also eager to please. So, if you start training them at a young age, there is no end to all the tricks and activities they can learn. Since they are quite intelligent, they can help you with many tasks as well.

Golden Retrievers do need a fair amount of exercise, but this can come in handy for certain individuals. People with depression can often find it difficult to get out of bed or leave the house. However, as US Service Animals notes, this breed can give such individuals a sense of motivation and purpose. In addition to helping their mental wellbeing, this can be a good tactic for boosting general health as well.

Labrador Retriever
There are a great number of similarities and differences between these two breeds. However, Labs, like their Golden counterparts, are incredibly friendly animals. This is one of the reasons that they work so well as family dogs. They give and require affection on a near-constant basis.

Even though Labradors get pretty big, they will never feel like they are too large or too old to try and crawl in your lap. Prepare to hand out plenty of pets and belly rubs and to receive lots of wet kisses in return. It is difficult not to smile when a Lab is around.

They do require quite a bit of upkeep, though. From grooming to exercise, a Labrador needs to be well cared for if they are going to be healthy and happy. Once again, though, many find that such routines to give them a sense of purpose.

Most people associate poodles with blue ribbons at dog shows. And, if you aren't familiar with this breed, they may seem like regal and distant creatures. Nevertheless, this isn't the case at all. Poodles are incredibly affectionate. This is one of the reasons that they make such great family dogs.

What's impressive about poodles, though, is that they are quite intuitive. They tend to pick up on what humans are feeling and act accordingly. This breed is intelligent and trainable. As such, they can be trained to notice various emotional needs.

Poodles can also be rather playful and it is always fun to engage with them. As an added bonus, they are hypoallergenic, making them a great choice if you can't have other breeds of dogs.

American Staffordshire Terrier
On the surface, a dog that belongs to the pit-bull category may not seem like the best companion for someone with emotional needs. However, despite what the media would have you believe, these pups are loving and friendly. From the moment you bring them home, they will make themselves a part of your family.

This breed is loyal, trustworthy, and intelligent. These characteristics, along with an innate desire to please, mean that they are rather easy to train. These terriers can be a huge source of comfort to their owners. In particular, they may benefit individuals suffering from PTSD or social insecurities.

Although they have a lovely nature, most people are careful around these dogs. So, if you don't like being approached by strangers, this terrier will certainly limit strange visitors.

There is no denying that these pups are a delightful bundle of fluff. While their appearances may capture most of your attention, their personalities are pretty dazzling as well. They love being around people and excel in most social situations.

Now, there are two kinds of Corgis - Pembroke and Cardigan. The Pembroke is more lively and spirited. So, if you are looking to break out of a rut or be encouraged to go on more adventures, this is the dog for you. On the other hand, if you are on the lookout for a calmer breed, opt for a Cardigan. They are more mellow and calm.

Corgis are also ideal if you are looking for a dog that is easy to train. They are diligent and love learning tasks. So, the training will be pretty straightforward, even if you are a novice.

German Shepherds
German Shepherds are one of the better-known service animals. They have long been used to help people with physical disabilities. At the same time, these pups are just as great for emotional needs and can make excellent emotional support animals or therapy dogs.

While most people focus on the physical capabilities of GSDs, they are incredibly loving and affectionate as well. When trained, they are also excellent at being calm and helping their humans remain calm too. Their intelligence means that they can be trained to carry out many different tasks.

As such, German Shepherds are great for people who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and similar conditions. A GSD can be trained to intervene when undesirable symptoms arise or to help their humans remember to take medications.

Scottish Collies
This breed is known to be sensitive and intuitive about the people (or animals) around them. Due to this, collies do make excellent emotional companions. They can typically pick up on anything that goes wrong and comfort you when you are upset.

Collies are also very people-oriented and don't like being left alone. This means you will have a faithful friend that will quite happily follow you around. As a result, you will never feel like you are alone.

While they were bred to herd sheep and require plenty of exercise, most modern collies only need moderate amounts of exercise. Still, you will be better off with a Rough-haired breed as they will not be as closely linked to their herding ancestors.

French Bulldogs
If you are in the market for a smaller breed, French Bulldogs make excellent emotional companions. They have essentially been bred to be lapdogs and, as such, will constantly look to you for affection. Be prepared to hand out plenty of cuddles, belly rubs, and have them spend a great deal of time near you.

Since they are easy to train and eager to please, you shouldn't have too much trouble getting your Frenchie to learn various tasks and commands. Since this breed demands a fair amount of attention, you will be occupied with their antics and will certainly not feel lonely at all.

What's more, they are playful and intuitive and are bound to keep you appropriately occupied. And, since they are rather social creatures, they can help you to make plenty of friends in the process.

Chihuahuas get a bad rap as being yappy dogs. The truth, though, is that they are incredibly loving creatures. They will readily cuddle up next to you and are more than happy to follow you around. Since they are so small, Chihuahuas can easily be transported. So, if you are constantly on the go or travel a lot, they may be the ideal companion to take with you.

It should be noted that Chihuahuas should be socialized when they are fairly young. Otherwise, they may end up monopolizing your attention and scaring off anyone else who tries to spend time with you.

These are the top breeds that make excellent emotional companions. Some of the breeds on this list may be more obvious while there are a few surprising contenders, as well. Regardless of whether you need emotional support or are simply looking for a friendly dog, these breeds make the best pets. They are sure to be your friends and family for life.

Betterpet's fully accessible guide to training an emotional support dog
If you qualify for an ESA (Emotional Support Animal), don't let the cost of professional training hold you back. In this guide you'll learn which breeds make the best emotional support animals (ESAs) how to train them, and the most important ESA rules and regulations. Training your own ESA can seem intimidating, but with the right information and a little determination almost anyone can do it.

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