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Home » 7 Dog Breeds for Emotional Support

7 Dog Breeds for Emotional Support

7 Dog Breeds for Emotional Support

In a world where individuals face physical and mental challenges, man’s best friend is there to help.  Service dogs assist those covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); therapy dogs visit schools, hospitals, and other social settings where emotional boosts are needed; and emotional support dogs are prescribed pets for those with conditions and disorders affecting one’s psychological and emotional wellbeing. 

A great number of these patients suffer from anxiety.  While emotional support dogs are not covered under the ADA, they are companion animals that improve one’s overall wellbeing when needed most.   

All dogs have the potential to help owners build healthier lifestyles.  Having to feed, exercise, and groom a dog forces a person into a routine that requires organizing time.  It gives a person a purpose, requires exercise, and builds self-esteem.  Four-legged companions relieve feelings of isolation, too. 

Not only is the dog there, but when it accompanies its owner in public, it’s a great conversation starter that can lead to building meaningful relationships with neighbors.  Many dogs can sense an owner’s symptoms of anxiety.  The dog provides a perfect distraction from the causes of fear and anxiety.  Some breeds, however, tend to make better emotional support dogs than others.  Here’s a look at seven of the best breeds of dogs for providing emotional support. 

Golden Retriever

One look at a golden retriever and your heart is sure to melt. As with most of the best emotional support dogs, the golden loves people of all ages and is friendly with strangers. This breed loves outdoor activities and exercise. Its long hair will need frequent brushing, which is one great grooming activity that relieves anxiety.

Labrador Retriever

Gazing into the expressive face of a Lab can make anyone feel loved unconditionally, a feeling needed by many struggling with loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Like the golden, Labrador retrievers are easy to train as they are food motivated. Their happy, playful nature and desire to please makes them an instant member of the family. They’re especially good for older owners who need to stay active.


Ranging from toy to large in size, poodles love to socialize. They easily adapt to their environment which is key to those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Besides being smart and cute, they are hypoallergenic. Grooming is required, but for one with an allergy to dogs, they are a good match.


These silly creatures love being with their owners. Their social nature makes them an ideal emotional support pet to bring around strangers. As with many of the best emotional support dogs, people aren’t afraid to approach pugs. Pugs require a little exercise and a lot of petting.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies don’t know how small they are. They can be brave, curious, and protective. They are loyal, loving animals with incredible agility. Daily brushing strengthens the bond Yorkshire terriers form with their owners.


These easy-going dogs are eager to please. They love people of all ages, food, barking, and exploring. Beagles do well with persistent training and fenced-in yards to roam. Beagles are great for people who want companionship while they are out and about the world.

German Shepherd

Unlike beagles, German shepherds are one of the easiest breeds to train.  Intelligent and obedient, German shepherds know when to be protective and when to be calm.  As a working breed, they are quite athletic.  This breed is ideal for those needing emotional support in many ways, but its loyalty reassures a person who’s feeling scared or anxious. 

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that not every dog within a suggested breed will make a quality emotional support dog. Each dog is an individual. Training and temperament influence a dog’s abilities differently. This is also why there are dogs from breeds unmentioned that are fantastic emotional support dogs.

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