For many people, nothing calms nerves and lifts the spirits like the love, attention, and security provided by a dog. But before you go out and get a dog to help you with anxiety you need to consider which breed is right for you.
When you pick a pup to help you with anxiety you want to make sure the dog is friendly, outgoing, calm, affectionate, confident, loving, and loyal. All of these personality traits are very important.
That does not mean you should have a dog that is unintelligent. It all depends on the owner. Highly intelligent dogs can cause headaches for some owners.
Small dogs vs. Large Dogs
The biggest decision you will need to make before picking an anxiety-reducing pup is the size of the dog you want. Bigger dogs work for some people while smaller dogs work for others. You need to figure out which size works best for you.
Bigger dogs are harder to take everywhere with you, but they are great for snuggling. If you are concerned about your personal safety a bigger dog will be a better option for you. Large dogs tend to cost more to feed, keep entertained, housed, and in good health. If you have not owned a dog before bigger dogs may not be a great idea because of how much it takes to care for them and keep them in control. It is sometimes also harder to rehouse a bigger dog if you find that owning a dog is not the right thing for you. Larger dogs tend to be less vocal about things that are going on within or outside the house.
Of course, that still depends on the dog.
Smaller dogs are easier to take anywhere with you. Small dogs can fit into carrying bags and can be easily carried in your hands. Smaller dogs will be happy to sit in your lap, but may not be right if you are looking for a full-body snuggle. Feeding, entertainment, housing, and veterinary bills are much less expensive for smaller dogs. Smaller dogs are also better for first time owners.
Best Large Dog Breeds
Poodles make great companions and their tidy coats make them easier for those who have allergies. Poodles are very smart, friendly, and have an optimistic demeanor.
Labrador Retrievers are used for many different purposes, so it is not a surprise they are good for therapy. There are few breeds as loving and gentle as labs. They are known to be good with children and the elderly.
Golden Retrievers are very similar to labs. Retrievers are characterized as calm, compliant, and compatible. This breed often needs just a little training to be perfect for stress-reducing work.
This breed is described as calm, patient, and smart. They are also very affectionate dogs. However, Great Pyrenees are very large so you need to make sure you have the room for them.
Best Small Dog Breeds
Pugs are not for everyone, but they will shower their owners with extreme amounts of love and entertainment. It is often said that Pugs have human-like expressions.
Also known as Yorkies, these dogs tend to develop very strong bonds with their owners. Yorkies love to be wherever their owners are.
This breed is great for people who want a dog that loves to be by their side all day every day. Pomeranians tend to be distrusting of strangers and kids so you will need to socialize your dog early and often.
When looking into an anxiety-reducing dog do not go out and purchase a dog without doing some research. You will find the perfect companion for you if you do.