People who experience high amounts of anxiety may benefit from owning a dog. Not just any dog will do though. There are certain breeds that are naturally inclined to help their owners relax.
We’re not talking about the strong-willed hyper types that will drive you to the brink of insanity, but rather, the happy-go-lucky dogs that are also capable of being wonderful entertainers. Many of these breeds are regularly used as therapy dogs to help people who have been through traumatic experiences relax and cope with their anxiety.
Military veterans, accident victims, people with psychological disorders and many more have found relief from anxiety by simply spending time with these amazing canines. Here are 20 of the best dog breeds to fight anxiety.
Boxers are known to be excellent therapy dogs. They have a natural sense of knowing when someone is feeling sad, frightened or unhappy. They are known to gently nudge their owners as if to ask if everything is okay, or if there is something that they can do to help. There are also times when they will just sit by their owners side without making a sound.
These remarkable dogs are kind-hearted and quite understanding. In addition to all of this, boxers can be real characters. When a boxer is happy, he can be very entertaining and funny. They love to play and they also crave human companionship. Your boxer is likely to follow you from room to room if he senses that something isn’t quite right.
There are two reasons that he will do this. The first is that he’s concerned about you. The second is that he truly enjoys your company and just wants to be near you. He understands all about anxiety because the dogs in this breed are highly prone to separation anxiety. This isn’t a dog that should be left alone for long periods of time. By virtue of his happy go lucky and clownish personality, this born entertainer is a natural for relieving anxiety.
Newfoundlands are larger dogs who are at home in the water. If you’re looking for ways to ease anxiety, if you like water sports, this is the dog for you. He’ll participate in practically any kind of aquatic fun that you will allow. They are great swimmers and love going to the beach. Sometimes, just getting away and escaping to a more natural environment can be relaxing and healing.
Newfoundlands will follow you into the water and swim with you, then lie by your side on the beach to catch some rays. These kinds of activities can help to soothe jangled nerves. This intelligent dog is loyal to a fault. He’s easy to train and he loves to learn new things. He needs to get a lot of exercise and if you’re fighting anxiety, it’s probably good for you as well. Newfoundlands are loving dogs who enjoy cuddling with their loved ones so you’ll have a buddy to play games with, or just a pal to stick by your side and enjoy your company.
3. Great Dane
Great Danes are among the largest dog breeds and you may wonder how something so big could be relaxing. When properly socialized, these gentle giants are loyal, loving and very obedient. Great Danes are known for their gentleness. They love to play and clown around and can be very entertaining. This dog is trustworthy as well. Once trained, this smart canine is eager to please. He’s affectionate and enjoys spending time with his family. This big dog is fairly docile and is not inclined to bark unless it’s necessary. He’s a real lover with a kind and playful nature. Great Danes are good for helping to relieve anxiety.
4. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are a very small dog breed that are also known as teacup yorkies. These little pups are cute as a button and they’re fun to watch. They are brave and have a lot of energy. They are also extremely friendly and are capable of forming very close bonds with their owners. They are loyal and affectionate which is very helpful for some people who are struggling with anxiety issues.
Your Yorkie will become your buddy, your pal, and your little shadow. This is partly because he is nosy and also because he likes to be near you. People who are lonely and would enjoy having a close companion would benefit from owning a Yorkshire terrier. If you like to have your personal space, then this may not be the best choice for you, because Yorkies will invade your personal space on a regular basis.
5. Cocker Spaniel
Just sitting back and looking at a well-groomed cocker spaniel is a pleasant experience in itself. They are beautiful dogs with large, kind eyes and medium length curly coats. The ears hang down in a lovely manner that frames their gorgeous faces. They are a smaller dog that is intelligent and fast learners who desire to please their owners.
Most Cockers have a calm and steady nature that is relaxing to be around. They are not easily upset and are usually very tolerant unless pushed too far. Cockers are loving dogs who like to cuddle, but they are also capable of minding their own business. They can also be entertaining because they have a playful nature, but are not prone to being hyper. Cocker Spaniels are excellent dogs for reducing anxiety and inspiring relaxation.
6. Welsh Corgi
Welsh Corgis are a smaller breed of dog that are well known for their value as service dogs. They are among the most affectionate of all dog breeds and they form strong attachment to their owners. They tend to be quite protective of their loved ones. While not an aggressive dog, they will do what they have to to keep you safe from any perceived threats.
Corgis are smart dogs that are very easy to train. They enjoy learning new tricks and they are great entertainers. Corgis can be rowdy at times because they not only love to play, but they do get sudden bursts of energy. If you don’t mind a dog that makes his presence known and tears around the living room occasionally, this may be the best choice for you.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain dogs are also large dogs, in fact, they’re giants in the canine world, but for owners who don’t mind a big dog, they are among the happiest disposition dog breeds you can find. This breed is usually a joyful soul and they are affectionate to go along with it. They are so friendly that they don’t make great watch dogs because they seem to like company, and try to make new friends whenever they can.
This breed tends to take longer to mature and they stay in the puppy stage longer than most, but this means that they’re going to be entertaining for longer. They have a high intelligence level and train very easily. If you’re looking for a big puppy that will make you smile and laugh, then the Bernese Mountain dog may be the right dog for relieving your anxiety.
8. St. Bernard
St. Bernards are also very large dogs, but they are also very friendly. This is possibly the most patient dog breed on the planet. They are very tolerant of small children and other people and even smaller animals that can be annoying. They are very intelligent and easy to train. They will protect their families from anything that they believe to be a threat, but are not by nature an aggressive dog. They have been widely used as service dogs, particularly in search and rescue. They are loyal to their owners and they seek to please. This big goofy loving dog is good for relieving stress because it is an amiable breed that just likes to make you happy.
9. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a smaller dog breed that is also a good choice for people who are experiencing anxiety. They are an energetic and high spirited dog that love to please their owners. They are active and have entertaining personalities. These dogs enjoy entertaining and they’re very sociable.
They do enjoy getting attention from their pet parents, so if you would like to have a funny and smart companion dog, this may be a good choice for you. This breed is not the best choice for people who crave absolute calmness though. They relieve stress by making you laugh with their insane antics, then by sitting on your lap and cuddling when they’ve worn themselves out entertaining you.
10. The Dachshund
We can’t say enough about the benefits of owning a Dachshund if you are dealing with anxiety issues. These little dogs are natures best form of entertainment. They are born clowns that love to perform. They are often referred to as wiener dogs because of their short, stubby little legs and their long bodies. Don’t let this odd shape fool you though.
Dachshunds are agile and energetic little dogs and they’re also quite athletic. They are smart dogs that are easy to train and learn tricks quickly. You must be forewarned that they do tend to be nosy. They like to get into your business. They also like to do things their own way. They are fiercely loyal to their family and they are also affectionate dogs.
They are little dogs with personalities that are so big, you’ll swear they’re almost human. They believe that they are. What makes them so good for relieving anxiety is that they are very loving and compassionate, and they will keep you entertained. They’re good for helping you to forget your troubles because they’ll keep you distracted with their zany antics.
Pugs are the cutest little dogs with their very large eyes and faces that look like they’ve been smashed in. They’re comical without even trying to be with their little snorts and snuffles. They have an odd little bark that isn’t loud, but it is humorous. They are affectionate dogs who love to give and receive attention.
If you have more than one dog, they’ll get jealous and let you know about their feelings if you give the other pup too much attention. Pugs are an amiable little dog with expressive faces and eyes that can do their talking for them. They are wonderful dogs for relieving anxiety because they’re not only funny to look at or listen to, they are genuinely nice little companions who are mostly calm and uplifting to be around.
12. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are intelligent dogs who are among the most dependable breeds when they have received the proper training and socialization. They learn quickly and love to please their owners. They are one of the most widely used breeds to serve as therapy dogs. They form intense bonds with their owners and are friendly to nearly everyone they meet.
They’re a larger dog but are not aggressive. They enjoy learning new tricks or just playing a game of fetch with you. If you’re feeling down and want to sit in the quiet, your Labrador retriever will be content to sit quietly at your feet. When you’re feeling giddy, he’ll be right there to play a game with you or just to cuddle and be your buddy. This loyal dog makes an amazing companion and they are among the best breeds for relieving stress and anxiety.
13. Golden Retriever
The Golden retriever is one of the most highly prized breeds for many different reasons. This is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are solid and dependable when they receive the right training and socialization. Because of their high intelligence, they learn quickly. They are widely used as a working dog because of their dependability and eagerness to please.
They are used to work with people in a variety of capacities including as hunters, service dogs, therapy dogs, in search and rescue and simple and amazing family pets. This dog needs to get a good amount of daily exercise. If you are able to exercise safely, then taking this dog out for a good run will benefit both of you as well as strengthen your bonds with one another.
They are good for helping people to relieve their anxiety because of their calm and affectionate nature with those that they love and trust. All this dog will really ask in return from you is that you give him a bit of praise when he makes you happy.
14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This is a dog that was bred to be a lightning fast dog of small stature for fighting, but that was many years ago. The modern breed is a loving dog that enjoys being with their owners. They make amazing companions and although the look is a bit menacing, this dog is actually quite sensitive. They are known to be very good with children and they are a very patient breed of dog.
Even though this is the case, children should never be left unattended with any house pet. These little terriers don’t do well when they’re left by themselves because they get lonely and prefer human companionship. They like to stay close by your side. They’re friendly to people, but if another dog tries to move in on their time with you, they can get upset and may even issue a warning to the offender.
These dogs are good for relieving anxiety, and if you’re a homebody, they may be a good option. If you’re on the go and away from home a lot, it might not be in the best interest of this dog though. He would suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
15. Standard Poodle
Standard Poodles are the larger variety. They are among the best dog breeds for psychiatric service. They are extremely intelligent dog that are also very beautiful to behold. Because of their brains, they are easy to train. One of the best things about them is that they are very eager to please their owners. They are good natured and affectionate dogs who are known for their obedience, when properly trained.
They are highly loyal and offer a good resource for anyone who needs relief from anxiety. They are widely used as therapy dogs for people who suffer from panic attacks or depression.
Havanese are a small dog that has a great big loving hear. This affectionate little pooch is smart and very easy to train. He’s a lapdog for certain and he loves to cuddle with members of his family. He’s also very playful and entertaining with his silly antics. Havanese are used as therapy dogs for children with autism because they have the ability to help these kids bridge the gap that exists between the two worlds that they deal with on a day to day basis. They are also amazing dogs for relieving anxiety in adults as well.
17. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a gentle and quiet breed that are known to be very friendly with both people and other animals. They are very intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They are also known for being intuitive and this is the trait that makes them so very valuable as service dogs. They will stay by their owner’s side twenty four hours a day and seven days a week if necessary.
They are watchful and instinctively know when something is amiss. These dogs are highly effective in relieving anxiety in humans. They are highly adaptable and do well in larger homes and wide open spaces or in smaller and more confined living quarters.
18. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence that is nearly human-like. They are dogs that are calm in nature, and very easy to train. They love to learn and they love to work. They are obedient and seek to please their owners. They are also a loyal and gentle breed. They are fond of children and make amazing family pets as well as their ability to fit into a working role. German shepherds are the perfect breed of dog for relieving stress and anxiety.
19. Lhasa Apso
Lhaso Apso is a breed that originates in Tibet. It was originally bred to warn Buddhist monks if any intruders were nearby. They are alert and watchful, and a bit wary of strangers, but they are also very personable dogs at the same time. They form strong bonds with the person that is the closest to them and they are fiercely loyal to those in his family.
This dog is amazingly tactile. He is also a born comedian that will keep you entertained. He’s smart and easy to train. This dog is known for lifting the spirits of his owner and he’s an excellent resource for battling anxiety and depression. This dog is good as a companion dog for singles or as a family pet. They are adaptable and can live comfortably in a larger home or in a smaller area such as an apartment.
20. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are among the most giving and loving dogs on the face of the earth. They are capable of giving all their love and energy to their owners. Although they are small in size, they are quite comforting. They are easy to carry with you wherever you go. They enjoy being by your side through thick and thin because they are calm in nature and are happiest when they are close to you.
They make wonderful companion dogs and they can sense when something is wrong. They won’t abandon you in your time of need. These attentive little dogs have a way of connecting with you on a deep level and they easily form strong bonds with their family. They are good at relieving anxiety by easing loneliness and being a dependable friend that will be loyal until the end. If you are looking for a companion dog that is calm and for the most part, quiet, then you may want to consider adopting a French Bulldog.
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