Many things need to be considered when choosing the right emotional support dog for you or your loved one. It’s not just about falling in love with those puppy dog eyes and fluffy fur!
Is the breed active or relaxed? Will they require lots of maintenance? Are they good with kids and strangers?
If you’re unsure of where to begin, here are the most popular types of dogs according to the American Kennel Club. These types of dogs are family-friendly and easy to find, so consider whether one of them would be the bestESA dog for you.
There are actually six types of retriever, but the two most common are the Labrador and the Golden Retriever. Both of them are super lovable, gentle and eager to please the ones they love.
Both Labbies and Goldens can be boisterous but as long as they’re getting a daily walk or run, they won’t get out of hand. They are both easy to train, which is helpful.
Both of these dogs have made the AKC’s list of top 5 most popular dogs in the USA for many years—the Labrador has been top since 1991! Given their lovely demeanors, it’s not hard to see why they’d make great ESAs.
Both the English Bulldog and the French Bulldog have also made the top 5 list for a good few years running. They may make great ESAs for those who are housebound or live in smaller spaces.
They’re both loyal and loving and make excellent companions. Although their build may suggest otherwise, they still need exercise otherwise they risk becoming obese.
French Bulldogs tend to be a little more bouncy, but both types are fairly docile and have a calming demeanor.
The Beagle was a top 5 contender in 2016, but has remained firmly in the top 10 for the last while. These little dogs are happy and smiley, and any human spending time with them can’t help but be cheered up by their antics.
Beagles are great ESAs for children. They are easygoing and can be goofy, and will happily play with a child for hours. They love being part of a family, and although not the most fluffy, they’re always up for a cuddle.
German Shepherds may seem intimidating if you’ve never had one, but they’re loving, intelligent, easy to train and keen to please their owners. Those fluffy coats are wonderful for hugging, but be aware that these big pups shed a lot.
They’re loyal and protective of the ones they love. This makes them great family dogs, and despite their size they can be extremely gentle.
Poodles come in a variety of sizes—standard, toy, and miniature. There’s one to fit every lifestyle! Poodles, no matter their size, are extremely smart and can be easily trained.
They’re people-oriented dogs, and will do what they can to please the ones they love. Poodles need a good bit of exercise too, and could be the perfect companion to those who enjoy spending time outdoors with their ESA.
Those curly coats are also easy to cuddle! If you choose a Poodle, you’ll need to either keep them trimmed or brush them daily to maintain that fur.
Any dog can make an amazing emotional support animal if they have the right temperament. But if you’re looking for a breed that would make an excellent family dog while offering support to you or a loved one, these 5 are widely regarded as being the most popular breeds in the country.
If you have another breed in mind, be sure to do your research and find out if the breed’s temperament suits your situation. Any dog can be loving if it’s treated the right way, but some breeds are naturally more suited to being ESAs.
Bio: Mike Powell is an enthusiastic dog-lover whose experience with his father’s military dogs helped him understand how dogs can be so much more than just companions. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion about pups, dog nutrition, accessories, and health over at Dog Embassy.