Are you trying to decide which are the best dogs for anxiety? I have compiled a list of the 10 best therapy dogs for anxiety, depression, and mental health disorders.
It’s a fact well-trained dogs can be of significant benefit to people that suffer disabilities, for instance, guide dogs for the blind. Especially since dogs can offer many therapeutic and health benefits.
Did you know there are psychiatric service dogs for anxiety?
These trained dogs help people with anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Service dogs for anxiety and depression have all received specific training for this purpose.
They put the dogs through this training to support the needs of the person they will work with.
The list of roles that the dogs perform is amazing. Some of these roles include:
Recognizing an anxiety attack is about to happen.
After the onset of an anxiety attack, they train dogs to bring medication and a phone.
The dog can act as an alarm to notify anxiety sufferers it’s time to take medication.
They can even act as a calming influence during an attack by pawing or licking the person.
A review carried out in 2012 suggested that pet ownership and service animals may have positive effects on humans. A few of the significant effects include:
People with pets have a lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Stress reduction in pet owners when the pet was present.
Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and skin conductance during pet presence.
Reduction of loneliness.
Improved social functioning.
Having a dog may even help a person live longer.
The American Heart Association has linked the ownership of pet dogs, to reducing heart disease and enjoying a longer life.
One reason for this is the basic human need we all have, and that is Touch!
Touching, stroking, and even cuddling a dog can help us ease stress and be calmer. If we live alone, dogs can help stop that feeling of loneliness. And because we need to exercise our dog, that gives us the exercise we need and more likely never get.
Having a dog is a wonderful thing for our own health. But which breeds are the best emotional support dogs for anxiety? Here is a list of 10 therapy dogs for anxiety to help you decide.
This list is not exhaustive, and I’m certain there are some other amazing breeds that do a wonderful job.
1.) Labrador Retriever
Everyone has heard of the Labrador and you would have expected them to be on this list. But not only this list. The “Lab” is on the top of any list for dogs. Its popularity knows no bounds, and with wonderful reason.
The Labrador Retriever is one of the best dog breeds for people who are suffering from stress- and anxiety-related issues.
Because of this breed’s dependable nature, they are one of, if not the most, popular service and support dogs for anxiety.
Labradors are best known for their intense bonds with their owners and are non-aggressive. They are friendly with strangers, eager to please, intelligent, easy to train, loyal, and dedicated. This dog will bring out a smile on your face no matter what you’re feeling.
This dog breed loves water, any kind of water. It’s said that humans seek water when they feel nervous and anxious. So there’s a brilliant combination.
Newfoundlands are family loving dogs. But their love of water and calm nature makes them ideal for water rescue services. The Newfoundland dog, while very intelligent and loyal, requires a lot of exercise. With that said, exercising is an option you should consider if you wish to fight anxiety.
3.) Great Dane
Never let this “Gentle Giant” give you the wrong impression. They may be one of the largest dogs, but at heart, they are a giant lap dog. Give them an opportunity and they will try to sit or lay on you.
Great Danes have a lovely disposition, play is their thing. But you will need an enormous yard and somewhere to let them run and play, to let off steam.
I wouldn’t say they are incessant barkers, but they will notify the house if someone approaches. If strangers coming to your home is a cause of stress, then they make magnificent dogs for anxiety support.
4.) Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire terrier has courage, high energy, and friendliness. Making him the perfect choice for those seeking a smaller but affectionate companion.
Yorkies love their owners and are proper lap dogs. Wherever you go, he will follow.
They can be a one-person type dog, making them one of the best small dogs for anxiety-related conditions.
The Yorkie, because of his affection and bond with you, will become your shadow as you go from room to room in the home. Being alone is not an option if you let a Yorkie into your life. But, if you are someone who enjoys their personal space, then this is not the breed for you.
5.) Cocker Spaniel
For those seeking a smaller breed easy to train and have a powerful desire to please, the Cocker Spaniel could be the perfect solution.
The Cocker Spaniel is not a breed that gets alarmed. He instead possesses a calm nature that enables him to be a quiet travel companion when you head outside. Nothing helps calm your nerves more than having a fur friend come along with you as you go about running your errands.
They make super companion dogs for anxiety sufferers.
6.) Welsh Corgi
Not only does the Welsh Corgi make an excellent companion dog, it’s also one of the best service dogs for anxiety and depression available. Few other canine breeds can rival the Corgi’s affection and attachment to their owners.
Welsh Corgi loves to learn new tricks, are easy to train, and are very protective of their family. But you shouldn’t choose a Corgi if you’re searching for a quiet home, because this is a breed that can get rowdy.
7.) Bernese Mountain Dog
If the Great Dane does not suit your needs, here is another fantastic gentle giant that could prove to be the perfect fit. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a joyful and happy disposition, and it has an affectionate personality. Although a little slow to mature and a bit too friendly with strangers, they’re still intelligent and very easy to train.
Are you searching for an affectionate, loyal, intelligent, and mild-mannered dog? Then look no further, “Lassie” is always a perfect choice.
The Collie gets along well with other dogs (and even cats), is protective of their loved ones, and makes an excellent watchdog.
Collies are not comfortable in the company of strangers. Yet, they’re still one of the most loving companions you could ever hope to find once you’ve earned their trust.
9.) St. Bernard
For those looking for a large but friendly dog, the beautiful St. Bernard could be what you have been waiting for.
A St. Bernard shows more patience than most breeds and is tolerant and loving of children. Making them one of the best emotional support dogs for anxiety.
Easy to train and intelligent, the St. Bernard is very protective of his family and seeks to please his owner.
10.) Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise often gets overlooked and isn’t always the first option for choosing a canine friend for anxiety sufferers. Yet he could be one of the best lap dogs for anxiety and other mental health conditions.
You could still give this little guy a chance because this high-spirited and energetic dog lives its life to please its owner. The Bichon Frise has a lively personality, and very sociable around adults and children.
A dog is a wonderful way to get those with anxiety out of the house to exercise. It’s a fact that exercise improves the symptoms of mental health conditions, including anxiety. It is good for physical health.
People with anxiety have a natural reluctance to be outdoors. Having a dog means you have to be outside, at least for some periods of time. One problem with never going outdoors is a lack of vitamin D. Having a dog can help solve that issue.
Anxiety is not only an adult problem. Many children have anxiety issues. A trained dog may reduce the effects of anxiety on those children.
If you suffer from anxiety, I hope this article may go some way to offer one solution that you might have never considered. Getting a dog could be what you need most.