Emotional Support Animal

Top 10 Emotional Support Animal Dog Breeds

In Dogs, Emotional Support Animal by Emotional Pet Support Team71 Comments

Ever wanted to know what the top 10 dog breeds are? Well, here’s the list:

1 Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are happy and energetic and will encourage you to perk up even when you’re not feeling too great. Not only do these dogs make good pets, but they are also great as Emotional Support dogs due to their intelligence and gentle demeanor.

Emotional Support Animal Labrador Retriever

2 German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a highly versatile breed, namely because its intelligence enables it to be trained for a variety of different purposes. These guys can surely make great emotional support animal dogs!

Animal dog German Shepherd

3 Poodles

Poodles are also born performers, super social, great with kids, hypoallergenic, great at adapting to their environment, and they typically live longer than most other dog breeds, too. However, like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, poodles require some serious grooming. (Their hair literally never stops growing, and they don’t shed.) If you don’t mind being responsible for a dog who’s more high maintenance than you are, then you should seriously consider adopting one of these cuties.

Emotional Support Animal dog poodle

4 Yorkshire Terrier

Did you know that Yorkshire Terriers can help ease the symptoms of depression? Their intelligence and tendency to form strong bonds with their owners makes them one of the most loyal, loving, and trainable breeds out there. Also, Yorkshire Terriers are a very small and cute kind of dog to have if you live in an apartment or are renting a housing room in a house.

5 Beagle

The Beagle is a small dog known for its floppy ears and being pure and soft. They’re also so loyal and beautiful. These little guys are very active and entertaining and they’re also content to cuddle up with! Beagles are very friendly with new people and they also tend to get along well with other animals, all qualities that make for an excellent therapy dog.

6 Corgie

Corgis can make excellent therapy dogs. A member of the herding group, the corgi is an even-tempered and affectionate breed. These short and sturdy dogs are known for both their obedience and friendly attitudes. Originally bred to be herders on farms, Corgis make excellent companion dogs for people in nursing homes or with disabilities.

7 Pug

Pugs are a small breed that are well-known for their wrinkled skin and big, puppy-dog eyes. These guys are very energetic, and they also have a natural desire to make people feel better. Pugs get along well with people of all ages, though they work particularly well with children.

Emotional Support Animal pug

8 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These lovely little guys are named after King Charles II of Britain. They were bred to be a loyal companion dog. These dogs are quite noble and royal as well! These centuries of companionship have given the King Charles spaniel lots of practice in providing comfort to their owners. That’s why they may be considered an Emotional Support Animal dog or a Service dog or even a therapy dog!

Emotional Support Animal dog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

9 Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a very small breed often favored by elderly individuals who need a companion at home. These little dogs require relatively little exercise but they will take all the love and affection they can get.

10 Golden Retriever

Coming in at number one is the golden retriever, which is well known for being energetic, loving, and comforting. They’re super social and if you can handle a lot of dog hair in your house they’ll be perfect for you.


  1. Exactly what I was looking for, appreciate it for posting.

    1. I have a rare breed (short haired toy russian terrier)
      Great breed for an ESA

  2. Thanks !! I’m a disabled guy with depression looking for a therapy emotional support dog thanks

    1. Hi Dave, I wanted to ask how you are doing and if you also found a dog. My son has anxiety but see depression in him as well.

  3. Thanks for this article! I’m a disabled guy looking for an emotional support dog because I have anxiety and depression

    1. Dave,
      All though undergrad school, I did lab work in veterinary hospitals where I was exposed to countless dogs and all breeds imaginable. Golden retriever. Hands down, hard to go wrong. Many years later, my wife and I volunteer with our golden as a therapy dog. She’s our second and I doubt we’ll ever have anything else.
      Give them a good look and all the best,

    2. You are not lonely my friend. Labs are awesome as I have one too. But I pray for you that you come out of depression and be a winner. Lots of love from India.

  4. My Papillion is perfect. He loves being held like a baby, and would let me hold him all day long if needed. Very comforting.

  5. Thank you so much for this article! I have anxiety and needed this information to know what type of dog would be good for my Anxiety.

  6. I have a Cattle dog mixed with a German shepherd, Black lab, and a Aussie! He’s in training to be my ESD.

  7. I have pretty severe Anxiety and depression, as well as moderately severe hearing loss, would I qualify for a emotional support dog or a service dog? Either way id love a golden retriever for the comforting vibe they put out
    – a disabled teen

    1. Author

      But, you would have to take our online assessment so that one of our mental health professionals can determine whether you qualify or not.

    1. Author


      Any dog breed is fine but, it depends upon your preference. Do you like fun and playful dogs like golden retrievers or do you like cute and small dogs like yorkies?

  8. I have just been approved for an ESD, live in an apartment and need a dog (or animal) that is easy to travel, will get along with cats, and will be there if I need her. I have a shelter cat, and she is sweet but has trauma issues. Plus, cats really don’t make good support animals, it seems. I am concerned about looking in a shelter for a dog, though I go there first for pets. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Debbie,

      Be sure to find a local and authentic service animal training facility and try to get yourself a well-trained and real service animal from them.

    1. Author

      Hi Betty,

      Please check your nearest animal rescue place to find a special dog for you.

      1. Hi ESP Team !

        I share similar diagnosis to Betty. My income is SSD . Is training a dog to be an ESA expensive ? If so, are there assistance programs ?

        1. Author

          Hi Heidi,

          Thank you for the post! ESAs don’t need to be trained, they simply need to help alleviate any symptoms for your mental health disability (ptsd, depression, anxiety, etc.). Service animals and therapy animals actually do need to undergo expensive training.

  9. I’m glad German Shepherds are on the list, since I’m thinking of adopting one and training it to be a service dog! 🙂

  10. My daughter suffers from extreme anxiety and she has a prescription/letter for us to match her up with a dog that must be hypoallergenic. We were told to consider getting a golden retriever-poodle mix…a labradoodle. They are so wonderful, friendly, very hypoallergeniic!! She/we’d love dog that she can take to school and anywhere she goes.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Corinne, an ESA animal cannot be taken just anyplace, only true Service Dogs. ESAs legally(Federal trumps any State laws, btw) can only be 1) allowed in housing for Free even if the complex/place doesn’t allow animals or charge a deposit/monthly fee.
      2) On airlines, dogs (only) in the cabin with you. Though most airlines need you to call a few days ahead so they can accommodate you & your dog in an area of the cabin. And then International flying, the country you are flying to has to allow the animal.
      Florida has passed a law with fine and charges for those who fake “Service Dogs”, giving more rights to establishments to ask for proof.

  11. Great! I was told by my therapist that I should get a ESA dog. I would use my dog, but she’s too old to train and she’d stupid lol. I’d also use my cat but he’d run off. I was thinking about getting a golden retriever puppy to train. I suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD. I’m actually suicidal ( from being raped for six years ;c ). So I thought I’d look around for breeds of dogs to use as a ESA. I’d really help me since on the 17th of July of last year, I lost my cat…my world….my best friend….I’ll never forget the way my mom woke me up in tears saying that she was hit by a car and she didn’t think she was going to make it. I’m crying right now, but it’s good to cry right? In my mind, I am drowning in my tears. I’ve cried so much that my tears burn. Then I found out that I have to move. I’d have to ask my mom if I could get a golden retriever, hopefully we can!

  12. I suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD ( all diagnosed), my therapist said I should get a ESA. I can’t afford to get a golden retriever and train it, but I’ll save up I guess. I wish there was a way to make it cheaper. I’ve tried to end my life three times and it’s worse bc today is the one year anniversary of the day my cat died. I get multiple panic attacks daily to the point where I pass out or collapse.
    -A very depressed teen ( in October (

    1. Author


      If we can help you, please consider taking our exam.

  13. Hi im Samantha and im 13 years old, I feel like I need an emotional support dog…I have sevier depression and bad anxiety…I have panic attack almost everyday, I love dogs and they make me happy but I can’t get one. Any suggestions?

    1. Author

      Hi Samantha,

      Be sure to consult with your parents and psychiatrist before considering an ESA or our services. Also, please have your parents aid you when taking our assessment.

  14. I have an Australian Shepherd named duke and he’s not trained but he helps me so much when i have panic attacks or my anxiety or depression gets really bad i love him soooooo much!

    1. Author

      Hi Kylie,

      Yes, those can serve as a great ESA animal! You may want to read about how they are, what they like and, other unique features about them. Most importantly, how to properly take care of such an ESA.

    1. Author

      If it can comfort you and help alleviate distress, then yes.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this i have major depression anxiety. Disorder and my health care doctors are recommending i get an emotional support animal and i have always loved dogs gtew up around collies.Now my husband and i know better what to look for at our animal shelter here in kentucky.thank you so much for posting this and God bless you always. Julie chapman Bowling green kentucky

    1. Author

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you! You are most welcome. We continue to provide more helpful information as well.

  16. Dose enyone know good retrivers but not golden and not a howlers or barkers

  17. “Coming in at number one” and all I can think is, “But it’s number 10 on this list???”

    1. Author


      As long as they provide you with emotional comfort and help alleviate any distress symptoms then yes.

  18. Thank you! i have a 2 year old lab- grey hound mix and i was wondering if he would be good to start training as a therapy esa,

    1. Author

      Hi, remember that ESAs only need to be a companion animal to properly serve as an ESA.

  19. Great site. I suffer with PTSD and have a German Shepherd support dog. Just in the process of getting another for her to work with before she gets to old. Wondering if I should get another GS.

  20. my yorkie has been amazing in under grad for emotional support and he doesn’t shed! he’s my best friend and life line. Additionally, yorkies are perfect apartment dogs because they’re so small and easy to potty train. he knows when i’m feeling depressed/anxious and always gets super cuddly. he’s small enough to sleep in the bed with me, which also helps when I have sleep paralysis in some cases!
    I highly recommend a yorkie for college students!!!!
    -depressed college girl

    1. Author

      Thank you for the friendly suggestion. We hope that others out there consider a yorkie as an ESA. Yorkies are small and very friendly dogs and many of our patients do have yorkies of their own.

  21. Thank you so much! Exactly what I needed to know for my change in attitude! 🙂

    1. Author

      You’re very welcome! If you or a friend needs our help or would like to take part in our services, kindly refer them to us.

  22. Doing a school project on dogs. This website was very helpful. I think any dog is amazing for emotional support.

  23. My doxie has been a wonderful ESA. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old and I am training her to be a therapy pet for my private Counseling practice. She is a perfect lapdog and very affectionate as well as playful. She greatly improves the quality of my life. Doxies are also incredibly smart, and with patience can be trained very well. My Doxie knows a couple of personally created signs (sign language signals) to indicate what she wants.

  24. Hi, I have PTSD, anxiety, depression and four years ago I was lucky enough to find an amazing border collie. She has been my rock,, and the best listener that I could ask for! She senses my mood and helps me to stay calm and focused. Two years ago my family added a male black lab/Sheppard to the aquasion and he is also a constant shadow. The two make me want to get up everyday and greet me with unconditional love!

  25. I qualify for ESL and have a Boxer. Can I get turned down on a rental because she is not listed in these breeds?

    1. Author

      Hi Brenda,

      ESAs are not supposed to be a certain breed, they can be any animal that alleviates the symptoms of a mental health disorder.

  26. I have epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Would a king Charles spaniel be a good fit for me . There are many breeds i love.

    1. Author

      As long as that ESA provides comfort and helps alleviate your emotional distress symptoms, the breed of it won’t matter.

  27. I really want an ESA / SD for multiple reasons….let’s just narrow this down to anxiety and depression…I have a Beagle but he doesn’t really help me at all when I’m having a panic or anxiety attack….Skipping a whole tangent I’m debating between a “small” / medium sized dog like a Cavalier King Charles or a larger dog..I’d like a dog that could fit between / under my legs at school and or work…..OR a larger dog such as a Malinois to be a larger presence.. I have problems ( bad anxiety ) confronting people ( strangers and sometimes family ).

    I don’t know…what would you guys say? Hyperalergenic dog too. I don’t have allergies but out of respect to those who do

  28. 10 years ago I bought a mid-size poodle with wavey hair, not curly hair, five months old. At first I thought he was miss behaving but I came to realize he was just a happy-go -lucky boy and wanted to visit the neighbors. As time went on I had several heart attacks. At first I wasn’t sure he was taking care of me but as time went on it was obvious he was. He would stay near me, walk slow or fast, whatever I wanted. If he noticed my breathing was labored he would stay by my side until I told him it was ok, and then he would walk ahead a little. All this was his own instinct, I didn’t train him at all.
    He died last Feb. 3rd because he had a tumor in his bladder and there was nothing anyone could do.
    I was with him when he died. He was my heart and my sole.
    I haven’t stopped crying since then and was wondering if I should or not, look for a dog. I’m afraid my mood would not be good for a new dog. I have Insomnia, R.A., Diabetes, A Fib. I hate living alone, even as a kid, and am not fond of crowds. I haven/t talked to anyone except for my two daughters who trade off calling every other week, in almost 3 months. I have walked once or twice but it’s not the same. And I just don’t want to meet anyone I know just yet.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  29. Hi. I am depressed and this is hopeful. I hope to have an emotional support dog when I have my own place. Thank you for the article.

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