These dog breeds tick all the boxes for the ideal emotional support dog—they’re beautiful and cuddly but most importantly, they’re completely dedicated to your comfort and pleasure.
What is an emotional support dog?
Emotional support animals (ESA) give comfort and attention and can be of any animal kind. We’re most familiar with dogs as the principal animal in this position. When individuals care for their dog, whether it’s feeding, grooming, or walking, it gives them a sense of purpose and helps divert their focus away from the things that are creating anxiety and other mental health difficulties. While dogs can’t give counsel, they are marvelous audience members (or give off an impression of being) — which is a colossal advantage for people who need to work it out without being judged. They all amount to the most faithful and well-disposed canine varieties you might actually want, whether they’re an enchanting small dogs variety or a beautiful gigantic one.
Service dogs vs. emotional support dogs
Service dogs are taught to perform specific duties for people with disabilities. A seeing eye dog, for example, assists persons who are blind or have vision impairments in traveling safely. Therapy dogs are generally tracked down in clinics and nursing homes. They give a decent interruption to patients and buyers by showering love and nestling administration. At the point when the canines have gotten done with “working,” they are gotten back to their overseer and dealt with like pets.
Can emotional support dogs really make a difference?
According to a 2018 study, dogs can help people with mental illnesses. A University of Toledo study found that persons who acquired companion animals had less despair, anxiety, and loneliness. Though additional study is needed, studies so far indicate that companion animals are a positive partner in human health and well-being.
What makes a good emotional support dog breed?
Emotional support dogs should be tuned into their people and react to what their human says or does. If a person does not already own a dog, the connection component is just as vital while seeking for an emotional support dog. Furthermore, the dog should already be well-mannered at home, in public, and with other people and pets.
Emotional support dog breeds
Emotional support dogs are naturally suited to calm dog types with easy-going temperament and loyal dog breeds who will never leave your side. Keeping this in mind, our experts revealed some of their own favorites. Please keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Any breed, or mix of breeds, has the potential to be an effective emotional support dog.
1. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
Cavaliers were bred to be companion dogs, so their genetics run deep as loving comforters. They are unquestionably adorable, well-mannered, and little in stature, making them ideal apartment dogs. “The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a fantastic selection for a canine buddy for folks who seek the company of their emotional support dog in a metropolitan location,” says Stacy Chocznski Johnson, DVM, veterinary specialist for Pumpkin Pet Insurance. Dr. Chocznki Johnson describes them as “irresistible to pet on a city street” because they like humans, Children, and animals. They could act as an icebreaker, help you in socially tricky conditions, and console or mitigate you when you get back.
2. Labrador retriever
As one of the most well-known dog varieties in the country, it ought to shock no one that the adorable Labrador retriever is likewise a fantastic everyday encouragement dog. They have a charming, easygoing demeanor, and nothing appears to concern them. They are dependable and consistently prepared to lick your face — or your frozen custard. “This breed is extremely food driven,” explains Nicole Ellis, licensed professional dog trainer and Rover Pet Lifestyle Expert. As a result, it’s simple to train and teach them useful duties like lying near you, resting their head on you, or offering deep pressure treatment, which is believed to assist alleviate anxiety.
“Corgis are joyful, lively, easygoing dogs,” explains Dr. Chocznski Johnson. “Anyone may be entertained and delighted by seeing a Corgi play. It’s hard not to smile when you see them speed around with their short legs and plump rear ends.” You may also choose between two Corgis: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The Cardigan is somewhat bigger and has a bushy tail like a fox, whilst the Pembroke has a docked tail. They do have similar temperaments—fun-loving, lively, intelligent, affectionate, and brave. After all, they are herding dogs with a strong urge to defend their humans.
4. The Great Pyrenees
“If you find stress relief in repeated actions like hair brushing, this is the dog breed for you,” says Dr. Choczynski Johnson. “They demand a great amount of upkeep for their thick rich coat.” And there will be a lot of hair at approximately 100 pounds. (If you don’t want to deal with excessive shedding and combing, choose one of these equally adorable non-shedding dog breeds.) The Great Pyrenees is also incredibly quiet and mellow, and they aren’t particularly energetic, making them an excellent match for someone who prefers a leisurely stroll than endless games of fetch.
5. Standard poodle
The standard poodle is the biggest of the three poodle sizes, weighing between 50 and 60 pounds. If you’ve ever seen a show poodle, you might believe they’re too “foo-foo” and self-absorbed to be emotional support dogs. No way—they’re actually pretty lovey-dovey, eager to please, and easy to be around all the time. Poodles have human-like hair growth when it comes to grooming. “These non- shedding dogs are frequently playful and have an upbeat disposition that will undoubtedly rub off and brighten your day.” “They’re also quite intelligent and can typically read their pet parents,” Ellis explains.
6. Great Dane
With its towering stature, the Great Dane creates quite an impact. That might be highly enticing to someone looking for a four-legged bodyguard or a buffer zone when engaging with others. The Great Dane is not unpleasant, but as a guard dog breed, its devotion, protection, and affection are first and foremost with you. They are reserved towards strangers yet extremely friendly with their person. “I like Great Danes because they are true gentle giants.” “Their warmth and compassion are limitless, and since they are so enormous, a nice snuggling can assist with some deep pressure treatment,” Ellis explains.
The Maltese may be the emotional support dog for you if you’re seeking for a silky white pint-size cuddle bug with huge expressive eyes. When they’re not snuggled up on your lap, they’re the life of the party, even if it’s just the two of you. “The Maltese is an excellent choice for a single adult since they are a particular individual to whom they cling,” explains Dr. Choczynski Johnson. They can’t give you medical advice, but they can console and calm you with a lick or a muzzle hug. The Maltese is likely to be close most of the time as an emotional support animal. Nonetheless, keeping them in mind is beneficial because they are one of the dog breeds.
Do you want a soft and cuddly travel companion? The Havanese is a versatile breed that can travel by air or road. “Choosing a non-shedding dog with a calm disposition will be respectful to other travelers and will assist to set the tone for continued airline sector adjustments,” Dr. Choczynski Johnson said. Tiny dog breeds like Havanese and other small dog breeds that fit in a carrier can still ride with you if they are stored under the airline seat. Whether traveling or not, the Havanese are extremely social and instantly make friends with everyone they encounter, taking the spotlight away from you.
9. Golden retriever
Dr. Choczynski Johnson, the golden retriever’s most valuable skill is loyalty. “Their traditional embrace consists of a heart-melting heavy chin on the lap and an upward stare.” “This type of attachment and emotional support, along with boundless pleasure when returning home, makes the golden retriever an excellent prospect,” she explains. A dog’s feeding, walking, and grooming regimen gives steadiness. They are happy to see you, but like other dogs, they want to stretch their legs and get some exercise—and after a delightful stroll and a few rounds of fetch, the golden will be glad to stay out with you.
10. Yorkshire terrier
Aside from being one of the cutest lap dogs, the Yorkie is an excellent candidate for an emotional support dog for a variety of reasons. For starters, Yorkshire are easily transportable. They’re small pop tarts, weighing five to seven pounds and standing eight inches tall—ideal for times you need a feisty and confident companion to help you negotiate awkward social situations. They’re active, enthusiastic, and oh-so-adorable snuggles at home. Yorkshire are not scary guard dogs by any means, but they are naturally protective of their owners. As such, they are excellent watchdogs and will bark if they notice something unusual.
Breeds to avoid
We cannot emphasize this enough: every dog is unique. Purebreds, mixed breeds, and rescue dogs may all be loving, affectionate, perceptive, and emotional support dogs. However, other breeds, such as the Chow Chow, Boerboel, and Tibetan Mastiff, may not be ideal for this job due to their innate independence, dignity, or strength of will. Different varieties, for example, the Australian dairy cattle dog, German Pinscher, or Bergamasco sheepdog, are designed to be vigilant, brave, and persevering guard dogs or crowding canines. Some breeds with a high hunting drive, such as the Kerry blue terrier, Saluki, or rat terrier, may be more interested in pursuing a squirrel than in comforting you when you’re having a bad day.