Animals can provide emotional support to their owners, thereby providing a therapeutic effect. Without any prior preparation, they will relieve feelings of anxiety and bring comfort to your social life. All dogs can help, and certain breed traits can show how successful a dog will be in this field. The main features are softness and ease of character; they lend themselves well to learning and are very friendly and sociable. Here are ten dog breeds to look out for if you’re looking for an emotional support pet.
ADVICE! TO BE CONSIDERED A PROFESSIONAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOG, THE ANIMAL MUST BE LICENSED AS A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. LACKING THE SAME RIGHTS AS THERAPY OR SERVICE DOGS, IT MAKES UP FOR IT BY BEING ABLE TO CIRCUMVENT SOME RULES AGAINST KEEPING PETS.
Often, we can feel emotional support from pets. Their presence has a therapeutic effect on us and can alleviate feelings of anxiety and give us peace of mind in everyday life. In this case, the pet may not have any preparation for this. Undoubtedly, all dogs can provide emotional support, but some breeds are better at this role. These are gentle, responsive, and sociable pets; they easily make contact and quickly learn new commands. Here are 10 dog breeds we suggest you consider if you are looking for emotional support from a four-legged friend.
ADVICE! FOR A DOG TO RECEIVE THE OFFICIAL TITLE OF “EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL, ” THE DOG MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY A LICENSED HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. IT WON’T HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS SERVICE DOGS OR THERAPY DOGS, BUT IT MAY ALLOW A PERSON TO GET AROUND CERTAIN RULES THAT PROHIBIT PETS FROM BEING IN AN APARTMENT.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Pit bull-type dogs have been unpopular for years – an unfortunate result of being raised by bad owners and having a bad reputation. But these friendly, loyal dogs are incredibly good at providing emotional support. With proper training and socialization, these dogs generally get along with most people in various situations.
- Height: from 35 to 41 cm;
- Weight: 11 to 17 kg;
- Physical Characteristics: Powerful dog of medium build.
- Possible colors: red, fawn, white, black, and brindle.
Retrievers have long been considered one of the most popular dogs in the US, both as emotional support animals and as pets in general. They are very patient and friendly, making them suitable companions for people with health problems. Well, an additional bonus is that golden retrievers perceive training remarkably.
- Height: from 53 to 63 cm;
- Weight: 25 to 34 kg;
- Physical Characteristics: Straight or wavy coat.
- Possible colors: from light to dark golden hues.
The Labrador Retriever is on any list of dogs that are emotional helpers, therapists, and service dogs. Labradors are very affectionate and friendly pets with a strong desire to please people. This breed is suitable for people who need a companion to get out of the house, as Labradors feel great exploring the world around them.
- Height: from 56 to 64 cm;
- Weight: 25 to 36 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Athletic build with short hair.
- Possible colors: black, chocolate and beige.
Corgis are not just the favorite breed of the Queen of England. These affectionate dogs get along well with people of all ages, and their intelligence allows them to achieve high results in training. But this breed needs mental and physical exercise, so you need to take this into account if you want to get a Corgi.
· Height: 25 to 30 cm;
· Weight: 11 to 14 kg.
· Physical Characteristics: Short stature and strong build.
· Possible colors: black, brown, fawn, red, sable with white markings.
What they lack in height, Yorkies make up for in their boundless trust and affection for their owner. They expect a lot of attention but also give it tenfold. Yorkshires are easy to travel with. If people on trips need emotional support, this breed will be a good option. And the fact that they easily adapt to change will be another bonus.
What Yorkies lack in size, they make up for in confidence and love. They require a lot of attention but return it tenfold. They are easy to travel with, which is good for people who need their emotional support while traveling. And Yorkies tend to adapt well to change, making them great travel companions.
- Height: 18 to 20 cm;
- Weight: 3 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Compact and a small dog with a silky coat.
- Possible colors: combinations of black, blue, red, and many other shades.
Irish wolfhounds are real defenders. And their sensitive nature helps them tune in to what their owner is feeling. But keep in mind that they have a relatively short life span of only six to eight years. Therefore, it will be more difficult for you to bear the loss of a pet if you get him for emotional support.
- Height: from 76 cm and above;
- Weight: 48 to 54 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Tall, long body with coarse hair.
- Possible colors: black, blue, cream, gray, and others.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is like a living toy. These dogs love to cuddle and are very friendly. In the homeland of this breed, they are often called “comforter dogs.” The Cavalier will be happy to communicate with his beloved family members, and he will also be delighted to go for a walk with you.
- Height: 30 to 33 cm;
- Weight: 5.8 to 8 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Medium-length, silky and wavy coat.
- Possible colors: black, brown, white and others.
The Chihuahua has a multifaceted personality. With proper socialization at an early age, they will become affectionate animals that can provide emotional support. Like Yorkies, they can easily endure trips over any distance and will be excellent companions. They do not need much physical activity, but they love it when the owners play with them and love hugs.
- Height: 15 to 23 cm;
- Weight: from 1 to 3 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: alert facial expression; smooth or long hair.
- Possible colors: black, brown, red and others.
German Shepherds are a very active breed and love to be given some work to do, which is why they are often chosen as working dogs. Their intelligence and desire to please also make them worthy representatives when it comes to emotionally helping a person. Most German Shepherds love to interact with their owners. And with enough training, they can make great companions in public places.
- Height: from 56 to 66 cm;
- Weight: 23 to 41 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Muscular body covered in medium-length hair.
- Possible colors: solid color or combinations of black, brown, and red shades.
Like all herding dogs, collies need to constantly check to see if their family is happy and safe. Most of the breed are able to pick up signals from their owners that something is wrong and strive to provide support as quickly as possible. Collies need a lot of exercises to be healthy, which is also a plus for their owners, as you will have to leave the house to walk your pet.
- Height: from 56 to 71 cm;
- Weight: 23 to 34 kg.
- Physical Characteristics: Coarse or smooth coat.
- Possible colors: white sable, blue merle, and others.
Breeds to Avoid
While any individual dog, regardless of breed, may be suitable for providing emotional support to a person, certain dog breeds are less likely to be ready for the role. For example, while the Shar-Pei is a loving dog that is ready to protect its family, it is not particularly fond of petting and socializing. Similarly, the Kerry Blue Terrier, Pekingese, Shiba Inu, and some other breeds are completely independent and often don’t need to share the love with their people in order to be happy.