What is an emotional support dog? Many people have heard of service dogs, and though it is a similar idea, emotional support dogs are different. Emotional support dogs don’t need any special training. They provide comfort to those who may need it for other reasons. Emotional support dogs can help people who suffer from various disorders.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An emotional support dog will help with any mental or emotional condition where the patient may require comfort.
If you think you may benefit from an emotional support dog, check your region’s laws and regulations surrounding them. Some establishments allow emotional support dogs inside, and some do not. The rules may be different for emotional support dogs than they are for service dogs.
Do You Qualify?
If you have an emotional or mental disability, you may qualify to have an emotional support dog. You would have to visit a mental health professional to determine whether you would be a candidate for an emotional support dog.
The professional will have to determine if your mental health impairment causes a disability that would be made better with an animal’s support. If an emotional support dog would help you function at a higher level, you should qualify.
Suppose the medical professional agrees that you would benefit from having the emotional support a dog can provide. In that case, the practitioner will issue and emotional support animal letter. The letter will allow you to qualify for a pet accompanying you in situations where dogs may not usually be permitted.
The Training Of Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional support dogs do not require special training, but that does not mean that they should not be trained.
If you want a dog that you can have with you in public places, he will need to have manners!
Delta Air Lines banned pit bulls from traveling in the cabin with passengers. In 2018, a pit bull had bitten another passenger, prompting the airline to respond. Other dogs are allowed in the cabin, so you will not want to choose a pit bull as a breed for emotional support if you plan to travel.
Choosing The Breed For You
People connect with different breeds of dogs for various reasons. If you need an emotional support dog, you will want to look for a breed that suits your preferences and your living situation.
Some people are drawn to little lapdogs who will sit and cuddle contentedly, while others like larger breeds that will snuggle up and let you use them as a pillow.
You need to be aware of your own needs and desires before you start your search for the perfect emotional support dog.
Top Dog Breeds For Emotional Support:
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever comes in at number one for emotional support. These dogs are energetic and can help you to find some energy too. Labrador Retrievers are great emotional support dogs because they are gentle and intelligent.
2. German Shepherd
If you like larger breeds, the German Shepherd can offer emotional support as well. German Shepherd emotional support dogs are highly intelligent and can be trained for public places. They make great snuggle buddies and are happy to be around their owners.
A Poodle can be high maintenance in terms of grooming, but it will make an excellent emotional support dog. Poodles are social dogs, and they are also good with children. Another benefit of having a Poodle as an emotional support dog is that Poodles tend to have a longer life span than some other breeds.
4. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are known to help relieve symptoms of depression. They are an intelligent breed, so they are also good dogs to take out in public. This breed is also very loyal to his owner. A Yorkshire Terrier emotional support dog is a good choice if you live in an apartment as it is a smaller dog.
The Beagle is also a smaller breed good for emotional support. They have a lot of energy, but they are also content to snuggle up. Beagles are friendly dogs making them another good choice for public places. Beagles are friendly toward other animals and people, making them an all-around great emotional support dog.
The Corgi was bred as a herding dog, but he also makes a great emotional support dog. He is affectionate and will snuggle up with his owner. This smaller breed is also suitable for apartment dwellers or others who live in smaller spaces. Corgis have been known as excellent companion dogs for the elderly and those with disabilities.
The Pug is an adorable little dog who makes a loyal companion. Though they have a lot of energy, they are also known for having a natural desire to make people feel better. If a Pug notices someone who is unhappy, he will be by his side, giving out some love. Pugs love everybody, but they are especially fond of children and make great emotional support dogs for the younger set.
The Pomeranian is excellent for people who can’t be particularly active. They are a preferred breed of emotional support dogs for seniors who may not be able to get out much. Pomeranians do not need a lot of exercise, and they are a very affectionate breed.
9. Golden Retriever
Back to the larger breeds, the golden retriever also makes an excellent emotional support dog. The Golden Retriever is active and needs space to run. He will also shed a lot, so he requires some regular grooming. That being said, he is excellent for emotional support as he is friendly, loving, and comforting. The Golden Retriever makes a great snuggle body and will let you use him as a pillow.
You never want to get a dog on a whim. Pets can be a lot of work, and you are responsible for your pet, so be sure to make an educated decision. Do some further research into breeds you may be interested in before weighing in with a final decision.
Stephanie was born and raised in Saskatchewan and currently lives in Alberta, Canada. She started her career as a school teacher twenty years ago and has taught English Language Arts to students in grades three through twelve. She is currently exploring her love of writing and exploring topics she is interested in while also learning more in her field of expertise. She is passionate about lifelong learning.