6 Dog Breeds That Make The Best Emotional Support Animals

When it comes to giving us emotional support, our dogs are always there for us. However, some people need a little extra care from their pets, especially if they suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. That’s where emotional support dogs come in.

An emotional support animal is not the same as a service animal. They have different roles, duties, and requirements for certification. That said, all of these animals provide their humans with assistance they would have a hard time getting anywhere else.

Any breed of dog can be an emotional support animal with the right training and disposition. But there are a few dog breeds who are naturally prone to the affection and devotion required to be an emotional support dog.

Here are six dog breed who make the best emotional support animals.

6. Chihuahuas

Chihuahua giving man its paw.

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Chihuahuas may have a reputation for being yappy and nippy, but they’re actually very loyal and loving companions. They also have the advantage of being small, which can make them easier to travel with and groom.

Those who have Chihuahuas in their lives can tell you these little pups are great snugglers who never want to be away from their humans’ sides for long.

5. French Bulldogs

Freelancer working from home and playing with his dog

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French Bulldogs, or Frenchies, also have the advantage of being compact and easy to travel with. Although, they’ll need a vet checkup before they travel by plane, as the altitude can make it difficult for them to breath.

This is a low-energy breed, perfect for people with mobility issues that prevent them from taking long walks or engaging in highly active play sessions. They’re also super affectionate and will practically never turn down an opportunity to cuddle.

4. Poodles

Therapy Dogs on sidewalk receiving attention from passersby

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Poodles may be one of the most intelligent dog breeds in existence. They’re highly trainable, and their “hypoallergenic” coats tend to not bother allergy sufferers as much as other breeds.

Poodles can perform just about any task you give them. They’re great with nose work, and they love learning new tricks. The only trouble you might have is challenging them enough to prevent them from getting bored. That said, they’re also happy to slow down for pets and love.

3. Golden Retrievers

Woman petting dog in group therapy session

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There are many reasons Golden Retrievers regularly top the list of most popular dog breeds. They’re smart, loyal, and affectionate dogs who absolutely love their human families. In fact, you’d have a hard time finding something not to like about them.

The only issues you might have with Goldens are their tendency to shed quite a bit and eat too quickly, which can lead to life-threatening bloat. But as long as you slow their eating and don’t mind a little hair stuck to your clothes, you’ll have a dog who will tend to all of your emotional needs with enthusiasm and love.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Father Carrying Child and Dog

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Few dogs have a higher cute factor than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs have expressive eyes, floppy ears, and soft coats that make them an absolute pleasure to hold and shower with love. After all, they were bred as comfort dogs!

Dogs of this breed completely fall in love with their humans. When owners look into their eyes, many swear they see an empathetic soul looking back at them. As far as emotional support goes, these pups couldn’t be much more up to the task.

1. Bernese Mountain Dogs

Young woman with dog

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If you want a dog with gorgeous looks and a personality to match, you’d hit the jackpot with a Bernese Mountain Dog. These pooches have an affectionate and friendly disposition, they’re smart enough to be trained for just about any task, and they love to be with their humans.

The only disadvantage is that you’ll need to have room for a larger dog if you want to bring one home. Their size might also make them more difficult to travel with. However, if you have room in your home and heart, these dogs will provide you with all the emotional support you can handle.

Remember, you can find a dog of just about any breed from a local shelter or rescue. Check out our adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code. Adopt! Don’t shop!

What other breeds make great emotional support animals? Should any others be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!