If you’re looking into a therapy or emotional support dog, there are a ton of breeds to choose from. Ideally, you want a dog that’s happy, trainable, and loving. All of the dog breeds below share these qualities, but different breeds have different personalities. Here are ten different breeds that make excellent support dogs:
- Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are excellent with children, intelligent, and affectionate with anyone. An excellent breed for a daily companion and can be trained to perform many tricks and tasks! This breed is pretty mellow, calm, and well-behaved when trained properly.
Labradors have all the benefits of golden retrievers, but don’t have the long fur. They’re highly affectionate and are always ready for cuddles! These dogs love humans and are highly trainable. Labs love the outdoors – which encourages any owner to take some time for a walk or fresh air.
- King Charles Spaniel
Spaniels have beautiful fur coats, are very smart for their small size, and are highly affectionate. Spaniels are great lap dogs, easy to train, and are low maintenance compared to some of the larger breeds on this list.
While they’re best known as racing dogs, greyhounds are very affectionate, with very little aggression. Greyhounds are social and are always ready to get pet!
Poodles are often referred to as one of the smartest dog breeds. They’re also highly athletic and very affectionate. Another advantage for poodles is that their coat is hair, not fur – so it doesn’t shed! This is very useful for clean environments like hospitals and nursing homes. Poodles also come in all different sizes to suit your preference.
Corgis are outgoing and social and are one of the most fun small dog breeds. Their short legs large heads give them a unique appearance. Don’t let their small size fool you – corgis have big personalities and a ton of energy. For a therapy dog, their personalities always brighten your mood and light up a room.
Beagles are a favorite for elderly owners because they’re low maintenance, friendly, and affectionate. Beagles are known as smell hounds – very useful for elderly owners if trained to detect things like blood sugar issues.
- St. Bernard
This may seem like a surprise on this list, but don’t let their size fool you! This breed is known as a “Gentle Giant” – St. Bernards are affectionate, calm, and great with children.
- Bichon Frise
Bichons are cheerful and playful, but gentle for down times. Their coats shed, but they’re considered hypoallergenic because allergens such as loose hair and dander don’t escape their coat.
Pugs love people, love attention, and are a goofier breed of dog. Pugs are also predictable and trainable because they’re so even tempered. However, this breed tends to overheat in warm climates, and their facial structure causes frequent snoring.
You can’t go wrong with any of these breeds. They all make excellent support or therapy dogs. However, because they differ in personalities, it’s all down to preference.