10 Best Dog Breeds for Emotional Support


Emotional support is something we expect from our loved ones during trying times. However, there are moments when we feel like our family members and friends cannot always be around to support us.

This is when our pets can become our best companions. If you have a cuddly dog, which is also friendly and good-natured, you already have an emotional support animal.

Does the term Emotional Support Animal apply to all dogs, given that they are called “man’s best friend”? Or are there dog breeds that are more emotionally supportive than others? Read on to know if your buddy qualifies as an ESA.

What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal or simply a “support animal” is intended to give their owner companionship and affection. Providing emotional comfort is their primary role. A dog does not really need to undergo a special training to be considered an ESA.

An ESA does not have to be as socially adjusted as therapy dogs, which need to have around 50 completed visits to be granted the title. They also do not need to be trained so much like service dogs.

A person does not have an emotional support animal just because he wants one. More often than not, it is advised by a doctor that he has one. A therapist or a psychiatrist will be the one to determine if the person needs an ESA.

An ESA is used to help a person with physical and psychiatric issues. If the owner is disabled, the emotional support animal should be able to help him or her function better. Their warm presence can also help people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

According to the rules made by the legislative bodies, disabled people should not be denied housing their ESA given that they can meet the general rules of tenancy. If the owner can still clean up after the dog and walk him in designated areas, they should be allowed to keep the pet while they are a tenant.

Below are the most popular dog breeds known for their natural ability to provide comfort, which means they don’ really need an extra special training to be considered as therapy dogs.


The standard poodle is the best breed to have when you want a long-living dog. But more than their long life expectancy, poodles are also fun-loving and lively.

This dog breed does not want to be left alone so you can count on them for a company. They are slightly ridiculous but they are amazingly smart and easy to train.

A poodle’s size makes it an ideal pet for families with young children. Their cuteness makes them easy to handle and to cuddle with. They will not show aggression unless they are put in a negative situation.


Labrador retriever

History tells us that these retrievers used to be the helpers of fishermen in North Atlantic. Fast forward to the present day, we still hear a lot of stories of how hardworking Labrador retrievers are. Because of their intense energy level, they can be very playful at times.

You will not have a dull moment with your Lab because this dog breed is generally friendly. They are best for families, even those with young children. They are not just affectionate towards the people they know. Most Labrador retrievers are friendly even with strangers.


French Bulldog

Even during the ancient times, the French bulldogs were already known for being companion dogs. Frenchies would appreciate socialization because they behave well even in front of new people.

They are known for being great companions especially for the elderly and young children. Playtime with these dogs is not that hard because they are usually content chasing balls. You don’t need to give them a lot of physical activity since they don’t require a lot of exercise.

A 15-minute walk each day will be enough to keep them in good shape. They can easily adjust to any living space, regardless if you are in a spacious area or in a small apartment.



It is amazing how Beagles can cheer you up when you feel so down. They are very affectionate and are nice to be around children. This makes them a perfect fit for families looking for pets.

They are notorious for being friendly. In fact, they enjoy the company of others a lot and they crave a lot of playtime with their owners. If a Beagle is close enough to you, he will see you as a member of his pack.


Yorkshire terrier

Yorkies are notorious for their big personalities, in spite of their small size. Most Yorkies delight in the attention they get from others, as well as being surrounded by people. When you give your Yorkie the attention that he needs, he will return it with twice the affection.

They have the tendency to bark excessively so they get mistaken for being aggressive. But this only happens when your Yorkie does not get enough socialization. Therefore, it is important that you give him time to be with other people as well as animals.



They are not just the perfect breed to get when you want an easy to train dog. Aside from being smart and active, Dachshunds are also very friendly towards people. They are among the most loyal dog breeds, and will go to a certain extent just to protect their owners.

You will not feel so alone when you have a Dachshund because he will tag along wherever you go. They are fond of being in a pack so it’s natural for them to love being around families, especially those with young children.


Golden retriever

They are dubbed as one of the best family dogs because of their cheerfulness. They tend to bark towards others but they don’t show it in a very aggressive manner. In fact, their barks signal a welcoming remark when someone visits your home.

They are also very peaceful. The best part is that your Golden Retriever appreciates cuddles from their owners. So when you need a hug and some warmth, you can turn to your Golden Retriever for a cuddle.



Pugs love having fun and playing around the house. They like attention and would go wherever you go. Most of them are clingy so they are nicknamed the “shadows” of their owners.

Because of the positive vibes they give, they are known to be a joy to be around. If you don’t mind having a playful and an energetic pet, then a pug would be the right one for you.

In terms of living arrangements, pugs can be suitable in apartments given their small size and their mid-level energy. They are intended as lap dogs and don’t really need a lot of time exercising.


Border Collie

Collies are called the “Houdini’s” because they are good at escaping. In reality, these dogs just have a penchant for exploring their surroundings. Because of this, you would often see them jumping or even digging surfaces.

As long as you give them a couple of hours per day of physical and mental activity, you will not have a problem dealing with their behavioral problems. These dogs need a lot of space because they like running around and playing.

Collies have the tendency to be reserved and show aggression so it is important that you provide them early exposure to people and experiences. The key to keeping them happy is to give them lots of activity.

When socialized early, collies can be the perfect emotional support animal. They are easy to train because they possess a high natural intelligence. They like being challenged not just physically but also mentally and that makes them great at solving problems.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is quite larger than the rest of the toy breeds. They may be small but they have a big affection towards their owners. They are great for families with young ones, because these dogs are truly kid-friendly.

You would not feel so alone when you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They cannot tolerate being alone, which makes it natural for them to be companion dogs. They have the tendency to worry if you leave them alone.


As you can see, there are certain dog breeds that are more emotionally supportive than others. But just because your dog’s breed was not on the list that doesn’t mean he cannot qualify as an ESA. There are other factors that impact a dog’s affection levels. We stated earlier that there is really no special training given for a pup to be considered an emotional support animal.


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