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What are the Best Dog Breeds for Anxiety and How Dogs can Help Ease Anxiety

When you’re feeling low, there’s nothing like reaching for a comforting furry friend to help lift your spirits. Companion animals are often recommended to those looking for a way to reduce daily stress. Living with animals may help alleviate anxiety and depression whilst exerting a positive effect on an individual’s emotional well-being. The use of pet companionship as a form of therapy is still being studied, to understand just how and why it helps some people. Before we share with you what are the best dog breeds for anxiety, let’s see how dogs can help with anxiety.

How Dogs can Help Ease Anxiety

Dogs in particular are used in pet therapy, due to their calming effect. They offer unconditional love and affection, are aware of illness or sadness in their companions, and try to provide comfort for those they love. The physical contact that one receives with another living creature can help divert attention from personal problems, and may help release loving feelings that can leave you feeling calm and soothed. The responsibility of owning a dog may also help divert attention from stress and anxiety, giving those who are depressed a reason to get out of bed and face the outside world.

Most if not all dog breeds could potentially be useful for those suffering from anxiety, for these reasons. Yet there are a few stand-out breeds that are particularly well known for their calming and gentle dispositions. Before choosing a service or assistance dog to put your dog collars on for pet therapy, you’ll want to research various breeds carefully. Some dogs require more space or exercise than others, so it’s best to find one who will suit your lifestyle while offering empathy and love.

Read also: The Best Natural Ways to Deal With Anxiety. Think Positive Thoughts and Whistle a Happy Tune

best dog breeds for anxiety

What are the Best Dog Breeds for Anxiety

Qualities of the Best Service Dogs

As you start to research different dog breeds for anxiety relief, you’ll want to look for ones with a few key features. Placid, gentle, and docile dogs tend to fare best. They must be able to tolerate strange people, cats, and other dogs without getting over-excited. The best dog breeds for anxiety will have a laid-back, happy go lucky nature; to both lift spirits and get the owner out of the house and into fresh air. Dog breeds that are easy to please are also easiest to train, and it helps if they have a natural sensitivity to their owner’s needs. They must be calm, safe for children to pet, and able to ignore all outside distractions to stay attuned to the owner.

The Best Dog Breeds for Anxiety

Golden Retriever

Labradors and retrievers are probably the best dog breeds for anxiety. They are the most popular breeds for seeing-eye dogs, and their happy, calming nature also suits them well as service dogs for those with mental disorders. They bond intensely with their owners, are friendly with strangers of all ages, and are very eager to please.

Newfoundland

A working dog originally bred by fishermen working in the Dominion of Newfoundland, these large and friendly dogs are happy by the water. They are often used for water rescue and lifesaving, and the same qualities that make them useful for these purposes also make them ideal for easing anxiety. They enjoy cuddling with people and are strong, calm, and quiet. Newfoundland dogs are extremely loyal and intelligent, though they do require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Great Dane

Despite their enormous size, Great Danes are extremely gentle in disposition. In fact, their nickname is the “Gentle Giant.” These affectionate dogs are playful, patient with children, and trustworthy. They only bark when necessary, and are very protective and loving with their owners. They make good watchdogs as well as service dogs.

Yorkshire Terrier

High in energy, courageous, and affectionate, the Yorkie is a popular option for those seeking a smaller companion animal. One of the reasons why they are very popular dog breeds for anxiety is that they form extremely close bonds with their owners. They will follow you from room to room, so you will never feel alone when you have a Yorkie around!

Cocker Spaniel

This small breed is eager to please, and responds well to training. They are quite amiable and get along with people as well as other animals. Spaniels aren’t easily alarmed, and their calm nature makes them a good choice to take out in public crowds wearing their favorite dog coats.

Corgi

The Welsh Corgi is the Queen’s favorite, yet also boasts many qualities that make it stand out as an excellent service or companion dog. Traditionally used as herding dogs, these same protective qualities make them loyal companions and good dog breeds for anxiety. They grow fiercely attached to their owners and to children, guarding and protecting their loved ones. Corgis learn new behaviors easily, making them easy to train. Yet one consideration for those who prefer a quiet home is that they are quite vocal.

For any of these breeds to excel as a working service dog, they will need to have received the proper training. You can speak to your therapist about whether or not a therapy dog could be beneficial for you.

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Photo: photography.andreas

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