When it comes to finding the right service or therapy dog, the breed is one of the most important considerations. It’s really not something you want to overlook during your selection. The question, then, is which dogs are the best companions for those who have issues with anxiety, depression, or other illnesses that can affect their lives.
So, let’s dive right in and we’ll show you the best dogs for keeping yourself mentally healthy.
The Corgi is an excellent, intelligent companion that’s been noted for it’s high sensitivity to human emotions. These daring, energetic little cattle dogs are perfect for those who want a dog to help maintain their sense of peace.
Well attuned to their owners and intelligent enough to know how to act well in public, the Corgi makes for an ideal therapy dog. They’re a bit short for serious service applications, however.
They’re remarkably even-tempered, making for a predictable companion for those who have some extra worries and the breed is generally welcome just about anywhere. They’re a delight whether they’re trained emotional support dogs or not.
There are a couple of varieties of them out there, but the iconic Pembroke Welsh Corgi is always a good breed to look into. Take a look at the breed if you’re planning on getting an emotional support animal, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog in the United States is also a fantastic therapy dog. Intelligent, loyal, and very affectionate they make an excellent emotional support animal. Due to their intelligence, they also find a lot of use as service dogs, a far cry from their hunting origins.
They’re famed for being even-tempered and great with children and nervous people. They’re quite friendly but usually manage to not be overbearing like some of the more boisterous breeds of dogs out there.
As an emotional support animal, there are few out there that equal their ability to keep up with their humans. They’re quite sensitive to their people’s emotions and can be trained to learn signs of distress in cases of things like PTSD.
The breed is definitely worth a shot if you’re looking for a personal emotional support animal and due to their popularity, they’re also easily found for those in need.
3. Border Collie
Border Collies are frequently considered the smartest dog around. The coolest part is that while canine obedience is frequently used as a measure of intellect, Border Collies are actually quite independent as well. Add in a bit of fluff and you have an animal which is prime material for both emotional support and service dog work.
They’ll need to be properly trained and may not be the best for those who aren’t active. They’re one of the easiest dogs around to train, however, and have a degree of emotional sensitivity which borders on the best of them.
Still, a well-trained Border Collie is exactly what many people are looking for. Unlike some smaller breeds you won’t be able to just pick one out and hope it works but when trained properly their high intelligence makes them one of the best breeds around to help maintain emotional well-being.
While they look like a goofy ball of fluff, Pomeranians are actually a great emotional support dog and highly sensitive to their owners. Their soft fur and easy demeanor also make them great as general therapy dogs, especially for visits to the elderly and children.
Pomeranians can be fierce with other dogs, unfortunately, which makes them unsuitable for some people. They do love to be the center of attention so if you’d like a dog that is right there with you at all times an outgoing Pomeranian may be just what you’re looking for.
Despite their minor case of “small dog syndrome” they’re remarkably intelligent and can be trained to perform service tasks like fetching keys as well.
A Pomeranian can be quite a handful of fuzzy joy, but for those who can put up with them and are willing to train them, they’re a godsend.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
You’re not out of luck if a Pomeranian is too much but you’d still like a smaller dog to accompany you for your mental health. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great dog for these purposes, combining small size and a lot of affection into an easily manageable package.
This breed is easily trained, great with kids and pets, and generally an affectionate little fluffy ball that will help keep your spirits up. They do require daily walks, however, so they’re not the best for those who aren’t able to commit to a bit of daily exercise.
If you can make the commitment to keeping them healthy, however, then you’re in good hands with one of these affectionate companion dogs.
6. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are another small breed of dogs that finds frequent use as emotional support dogs. They’re small enough to take anywhere, socialize well, and when properly raised don’t tend to be as “yappy” as you’ll find with many small dogs.
Yorkshire Terriers are renowned for being affectionate and easy-tempered. They can be energetic but are just as comfortable sitting around with their people which makes them a great dog for those who find themselves suffering from depression.
They’re also great for those who live in tight spaces. Don’t mistake being content for being low energy, however, they’re feisty companion dogs that most will find to be fast companions.
Finding the Right Emotional Support Dog
Emotional support dogs come in all shapes and sizes, there’s definitely something out there for everyone. The above is just the start of a list, there are a couple of dozen breeds commonly used in the role and sometimes standout individuals in breeds that generally aren’t first in line for consideration.
The choice is yours in the end, but having a great dog for mental health support might be the best decision you’ve ever made.