25 Dog Breeds That Double as A Therapist

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Did you know dogs can double as your therapists? Of course, not all breeds. But some dog breeds are as if they were made to provide comfort and companionship to us humans. Here are 25 dog breeds that are great as therapy dogs.

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Beagles can be so much more than just good pets. They are lively and affectionate. They are friendly and curious and make great companions, especially children and older adults. Since they look for close bonds, they can be very comforting to those who need it. Beagles thrive in places like nursing homes, schools, and hospitals, bringing joy with their playful spirit​​.

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Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise are the cheerful ones who love human interaction. They are great as therapy dogs because of their friendly and gentle demeanor. Moreover, their hypoallergenic coat is beneficial for people for whom allergies may be a concern. Bichons are also very attentive and responsive, capable of providing emotional support and engaging in therapeutic activities.

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Border Collie

Border Collies are among the most intelligent breeds in the world. And that applies to both emotional and logical intelligence. Loved for their dynamic nature, Border Collies are loyal and can be great therapy dogs once you know how to use all of that energy in them. They are also great for active environments such as schools and rehab centers​​.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavaliers have forever been bred as companion dogs and for all the right reasons. They are like that friend who knows when to simply sit and listen. Their size and gentle nature make them perfect for laps and easy handling, ideal for therapy visits where space and calm are at a premium.

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French Bulldog

The French Bulldog can be your best friend. Ready to hear you, comfort you, cuddle with you. They offer a mix of humor and serenity. They are sturdy, yet their laid-back personality means they are content just being close, making them perfect for emotional support. Their quiet demeanor is a bonus in noise-sensitive environments.

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Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are often considered the gold standard for therapy dogs for good reason. They are patient, intuitive, and universally friendly, making them excellent for anyone facing emotional or physical challenges. They have a way of offering silent support that speaks volumes.

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Labrador Retriever

Labradors are synonymous with loyalty and versatility. They are naturally well-behaved, soft, and adaptable, capable of fitting into many different therapy scenarios quite easily. Their eagerness to please and gentle disposition also make them invaluable in therapeutic settings.

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If you thought Poodles were just for their sophisticated looks, you are wrong. Poodles have a sharp intellect and an intuitive sense of human emotions. Their hypoallergenic coats are a practical benefit if you have allergies. They can adapt and behave fitting in various situations, making them a versatile choice​​.

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Yorkshire Terrier

Despite their small size, the Yorkshire Terrier have a brave and curious nature. They bring a sense of importance and zest to therapy sessions, ideal for invigorating environments and stimulating engagement. Their size makes them highly manageable for individuals with physical limitations.

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This breed is unique for its affectionate and gentle nature. They are particularly good at providing comfort showing resilience and warmth. Their muscular build belies a soft heart, ideal for those seeking a strong yet tender companion. These dogs are known to make people feel special and are great at providing affection, essential qualities for therapy dogs.

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Great Dane

Their size might be intimidating, but Great Danes are gentle giants known for their friendly demeanor and ability to provide comfort. Their calm presence can give a sense of protection and stability in therapy sessions. They are especially good in settings where their large size is not a limitation, as in bungalows, farms, and homes with big open spaces​​.

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Great Pyrenees

Known for their calm and loving nature, the Great Pyrenees have an innate wisdom that makes them excellent therapy dogs. Their calm, composed nature makes them excellent for settings that require a soothing presence. They are goofy and have a distinctive personality of their own. Their calm presence is soothing to an anxious mind.

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Despite a racing background, Greyhounds have a sweet and sensitive nature. They work excellently well for therapy work, especially with people dealing with anxiety or PTSD​​. The Greyhounds are very active animals, and becomes a great companion to your fitness journey.

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Irish Setter

Irish Setters are elegant dogs particularly known for their affectionate and sensitive nature. They easily bond with families and even strangers. Their energy and enthusiasm can brighten therapy sessions, making them suited for active environments where their cheerful disposition can motivate and uplift.

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Havanese dogs are small in size but big on heart. Havanese is great for cuddling and showering people with love. They are particularly good with children and seniors, making them versatile therapy dogs​​. They have created close bonds, offering warmth and affection in one-on-one interactions.

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Labradoodles combine the best of Labradors and Poodles, offering a blend of intelligence, warmth, and hypoallergenic traits. They are adaptable, friendly, and capable of performing a wide range of therapy roles. They are often a companion to people with PTSD.

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The Newfoundland dogs are natural-born nurturers. Their size and strength are matched by their gentle approach, making them especially good for physical support tasks in therapy, as well as offering emotional comfort. They are excellent for providing comfort, especially in settings near water​​.

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Pugs have a sparkling and amiable personality. They are known for their playful yet comforting presence, making them excellent at lightening the mood in therapy settings with their comedic timing and expressive faces. Pugs love to interact. From kids to the elderly, they are an amazing therapy dogs.

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Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are affectionate and adaptable, thriving in environments where they can offer comfort and receive attention. Their friendly nature makes them effective at engaging with a wide range of individuals. They are suitable for emotional support roles due to their gentle and affectionate nature.

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Maltese dogs are gentle and loving and thrive on companionship. Their small size and quiet nature make them perfect for therapeutic settings that require a subtle, comforting presence. These little dogs are often deployed in disaster areas and hospitals to offer much-needed comfort.

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English Setter

Gentle, happy, and friendly, English Setters love making new friends and have a calming presence. English Setters are excellent at making connections with individuals, offering a soothing presence that’s ideal for therapeutic interactions. They learn quickly with positive training methods and have great potential as therapy dogs​​.

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Known for their playful nature and being good at supporting people in times of stress. Dachshunds bring a unique combination of humor and courage to therapy work. Their determination and lively spirit can inspire those they work with, providing a distinct form of emotional support.

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English Springer Spaniel

These dogs are energetic and affectionate, capable of bringing a lively presence to therapy sessions. Their enthusiasm for interaction makes them great motivators. They encourage discipline in people as they are great training dogs. They are great volunteer dogs for community centers and support dogs for juveniles in detention.

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German Shepherd

A breed known for its intelligence and loyalty, the German Shepherds make excellent therapy dogs once trained. They are quick learners, obedient, and have a protective instinct, all of which make them reliable in settings where security and emotional support are key. The German Shepherds are amazing mental support dogs; their calm resilience is soothing.

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Samoyeds are more than just stunning dogs with a smile that can light up a room; they’re incredibly social, friendly, and gentle. Known for their fluffy coat and “Sammy smile,” they have a disposition that’s ideal for melting hearts and easing worries. Their patience and joyful nature make them excellent for therapy work, bringing a sense of warmth and happiness to those in need.


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