Chihuahua and french bull dog

Best Dog Breeds for Emotional Support

7 min read

Have you ever thought about what makes dogs so attached to humans? Someone has once said that a dog is probably the only creature on our planet that loves us more than we love ourselves. Indeed, the dog’s nature could never be expressed in a better way. And you’ll probably agree that sometimes we require such unconditional love more than anything else in our lives.

It will hardly surprise you if we say that dogs have their own incomparable way of shaping relationships with humans. And this is exactly what makes them the best-matched pets for the role of emotional support animals. Along with unconditional loyalty, they offer companionship and support which automatically translate into emotional stability and well-being. These are the key reasons why having a dog around can seriously improve your psychological state and bring perceptible therapeutic benefits to your mental health.

It’s also true that certain dog breeds are particularly suitable for this task as they are unbeatable winners in showing affection for their owners. Some of them go beyond all possible limits of loyalty and companionship. Others are simply gentler than any of their counterparts and know good manners better than the rest of dog breeds in this world. Anyway, here are the top 6 most lovable dog breeds that are likely to achieve excellence as your devoted ESA pet.

  1. Chihuahua

Small chihuahua dog

Some of you might be surprised to find this dog breed on top of this list but despite their negative image, these little creatures can become your most affectionate and loyal companions. You might have heard that Chihuahuas are mostly known for constant barking and yapping and they may also display fear and anxiety a bit too often. But don’t be discouraged too early – all these things may only happen if they feel ignored or abandoned as they are just too sensitive.

On the bright side, these miniature doggies love nothing else but being together with people. They may even follow their caretakers from place to place with a hope to get snuggled in their owners’ arms. And even this is not the only reason why Chihuahuas are great as emotional support animals. That’s because their small size also makes them incredibly portable so you won’t face any inconveniences while traveling with your pet anywhere you wish.

Just because Chihuahuas don’t want to be away from their owners for too long, their loving and affectionate nature is likely to translate into the psychological support and companionship. And isn’t that exactly what you need so much? Believe us or not, these little creatures will never let you feel sad or lonely.

  1. Collie

Rough Collie

A collie can become a number-one emotional support animal simply because these noble and sweet creatures are especially sensitive to how their owners feel at the moment. In fact, they always know it when you need something or feel insecure. This is exactly what makes them ideal for keeping an eye on kids’ wellbeing. And it also seems like they dedicate all their effort to making sure everyone around remains joyful and happy.

What’s more, collies usually require pretty much exercising and this is another thing that can be really helpful if you need emotional support. Why? Just imagine – wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time trying to keep your dog active and making it learn some new tricks as a way to distract yourself from gloomy thoughts? Indeed, collies would never let you stay in a bad mood. Instead, they would give you some extra purpose in life making your daily activities a bit more meaningful. And this is perhaps what every emotionally unstable person would be glad to achieve.

  1. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound dog

This dog breed is perhaps the most amazing one in the whole world of canine species. If you don’t know what they are, just look at the picture of these “gentle giants” and you’ll immediately see what we mean. These massive yet gentle animals usually weigh around 120 pounds but some of them often exceed this measure and may reach 150 pounds or even more. Despite their huge parameters, they move with surprising elegance and grace. Besides, they also don’t mind showing how speedy they can be by chasing anyone they find attractive whenever they are in the right mood.

The good news for anyone who has a mental illness is that these dogs are protectors at heart and they can easily get in tune with your emotions and feelings. If that’s what you are looking for, consider taking an Irish Wolfhound as an ESA dog and you will hardly regret your choice. But beware of one thing – they have a comparably shorter lifespan than other breeds (around 6-8 years), which could be emotionally hard to put up with, especially if your mental health is out of order.

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Couple Cavalier King Charles Spaniel against a white backdrop

Anyone would agree that only a few dog breeds are as cute and charming as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Who would deny that their emphatic brown eyes and delightfully soft fur make these dogs fabulously sweet? And it’s always a real pleasure to hold them in your arms. Indeed, these adorable creatures are simply perfect as emotional support companions and they are always ready to share love and affection with their owners without asking too much in return.

But even if good looks are not particularly important for you, there are many other reasons why you might still fall in love with these pups. What makes this dog breed special is that they never get tired of cuddling and never stop being friendly to everyone around, both adults and kids. Sometimes they are even called “Comforter Spaniels” which is definitely a good enough reason to make one of them your ESA pet. And if you do, you’ll soon realize that Spaniels are equally happy to not just cuddle with their favorite caretaker but also be your trusted companion on a long walk. All these things make them ideal therapy animals for anyone who’s trying to live through the times of psychological distress. 

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier

Strong and beautiful American Pit Bull terrier portrait

Most people would hardly expect to see this dog breed here but the truth is that Pit Bull Terriers are not as bad as everyone thinks. Their bad reputation is just a result of careless ownership and too many negative stereotypes. In reality, however, anyone who’s been a pet parent of these devoted and loving dogs wouldn’t argue that they can actually become the best-matched support animals ever. All they need is a loving attitude. If you have it, you’ll make friends with them in no time.

Surely, just like other dog breeds, Terriers also need a bit of training to turn them into well-mannered animals. But if you are looking for a loyal and supportive companion that will never betray you, the Pit Bull is likely to become a winning bet. Despite all myths, these dogs love to spend all their time with their favorite people so you’ll hardly find any better option if devotion and loyalty are the two values you seek most of all.

  1. Poodle

poodle dog lying on a white background studio

No doubts, poodles are all about intelligence as they might just as well be the smartest dog breed out there. What’s more, these pups never lose interest in training and you can teach them to perform almost any task you can think of. They really enjoy learning something new. As if that’s not enough, you may also find it useful to learn that this dog breed is safe for those who can’t tolerate dog’s fur. That’s because their coats are absolutely hypoallergenic.

But what’s really important is that poodles may actually become your next best choice if you are thinking of getting an ESA dog as they are also good at showing sympathy. You only need to remember that they are really fond of dynamic activities and can get bored very easily. That’s why the only problem you might face with these dogs is how to keep them entertained for longer. But if you need a truly lovable pet, go take a poodle and it will keep you busy most of the time distracting you from unhappy thoughts.


Looking for unconditional love? Go get a dog! Need emotional support? Pick the right dog breed! In fact, there are many reasons why getting a pet dog would be a perfect option for anyone who struggles with emotional distress or other mental health issues. And it’s also important to choose the most suitable dog breed for your needs.

While some dogs need a special approach, others require only a loving attitude. At long last, it’s up to you to decide which one to pick. But no matter what you choose in the end, an ESA dog will give you good chances to get what you need most of all – an effective remedy for your mental problems. And this is definitely the main reason why you should go for it.

Want an extra portion of doggy devotion? Get in touch with a certified therapist and check if you qualify for an ESA letter!

by GetESA

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ESA 101: Educational