A therapy dog is one that is trained to provide comfort and affection to individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, hospices and other areas. Therapy dogs are also useful for children who have autism and various learning disabilities. What makes a therapy dog different from a service dog (such as those utilized by individuals with physical disabilities) is that they typically do not perform tasks. Because all that is required is an even temperament and a surplus of love and affection, many breeds make great therapy dogs. Here are our picks for Top 10 Therapy Dog Breeds.
Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever has consistently been named the most popular breed in the United States. Not only do these dogs make good pets, but they are also great as therapy dogs due to their intelligence and gentle demeanor. Labrador Retrievers take well to new people and they are very obedient when properly trained.
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 dogs are fiercely loyal and can be very gentle, which makes them an excellent therapy dog breed.
Greyhound: When you think of a therapy dog, the Greyhound may not be the first breed that comes to mind but they perform the role exceedingly well. These dogs are known for racing, but they are also quiet and affectionate as a breed. Greyhounds are also sensitive, likely to notice any sound that is out of place. This breed is particularly useful as a sleeping companion because they do not bark and they enjoy spending time curled up in bed.
Beagle: The Beagle is a small dog known for its floppy ears and its black, white and brown coloration. These little dogs are active and entertaining but they are also content to cuddle up for some quality time with a friend. 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.
Rottweiler: Though often assumed to be a dangerous breed, the Rottweiler is actually incredibly calm and friendly with people. These dogs exhibit all of the most important qualities in a therapy dog – a calm demeanor, confident attitude and great intelligence. The Rottweiler can be aloof around new people but once it gets to know you, you will have a friend for life.
Saint Bernard: The Saint Bernard is particularly popular as a therapy dog for children due to their thick, fluffy coats. These dogs are incredibly protective and obedient but they are also very patient – they will not snap or bark at a child pulling on its tail or fur.
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.
Poodle: The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there which means that they typically respond well to training. These dogs have thick, curly coats but they are generally considered to be hypoallergenic which makes them a good option for people with allergies.
Pug: The Pug is a small breed known for its wrinkled skin and big, puppy-dog eyes. These dogs have a lot of energy but they have a natural desire to please people. Pugs get along well with people of all ages, though they work particularly well with children suffering from various neurodevelopment disorders including autism.
French Bulldog: These little dogs are known for their short, compact structure and their bat-like ears. The French Bulldog, also known as the Frenchie, is an affectionate and non-confrontational breed. Originally bred from larger bulldogs to serve as lapdogs, the French Bulldog is perfectly content to spend the afternoon cuddling on someone’s lap.
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