Maryland Pet

The Best Dog Breeds for Emotional Support Animals

When you discover that you need an emotional support animal, the type of animal mostly amounts to personal preference and intended use. That being said, dogs tend to be one of the best choices for emotional support purposes, due to their unyielding loyalty and judgment-free love.

So which breed of dog should you choose? Again, it mostly comes down to personal preference. There are no requirements when obtaining a letter for an emotional support animal. However, there are a few breeds that stick out from the rest of the pack as having the potential to be incredible emotional support animals.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are the epitome of the loyalty and love that man’s best friend has to offer. They are renowned for their intelligence and affection and respond exceptionally well to training efforts. While Goldens were originally bred as a hunting dog, they have evolved to become one of the top choices for family pets over the years. Parents will be happy to know that Golden Retrievers are one of the best dogs to get if you have young children, due to their patience and strong bonding capabilities. With a great temperament and desire to please, Golden Retrievers are the top choice for emotional support animals.


If the constant grumpy face on a pug appeals to your mood, they may be the emotional support animal for you. Despite their apparent displeasure for all things based on their expressions, pugs are actually quite positive and friendly. They are a dog that enjoys lazy days on the couch and often struggles to breathe during strenuous exercise or hot weather as a result of their physiology. Pugs are a great choice if your mental health disorder limits your physical capabilities or if you have a small space in which to live.


Bulldogs, like pugs, love a relaxing, lazy afternoon at home. They also enjoy a nice, steady walk in the fresh air. These dogs offer a perfect balance for those needing plenty of rest and relaxation balanced with encouragement to get up and get moving. Bulldogs are known for their genial personalities and child-friendly demeanor. While bigger than pugs, bulldogs are still appropriately sized for apartment living. They are affectionate, playful, and easy to groom. One word of warning: bulldogs drool a lot, so keep that in mind if the idea of cleaning up dog slobber bothers you.


Beagles are small, affectionate bundles of energy that are sure to get you moving when you need it most. Their loyalty and keen sense of their surroundings make them ideal allies, and their activity levels and small size make them the perfect family dog. In fact, you may find that your children and beagle are able to tire each other out, giving you time to put your feet up and relax. Beagles were traditionally bred to help their owners with hunting and locating. This desire to please remains today, and they love to interact with other animals and make human friends.


When people find out that poodles make great emotional support animals, they are usually surprised. Despite their reputation for being classy show dogs, poodles are incredibly intelligent and respond well to training. As poodles have hair rather than fur, they don’t shed like their fellow canine companions, making them ideal for allergy-sensitive homes. Like many other pooches on this list, poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs. While their jobs shifted away from this focus, they still retain some of those ingrained instincts. Friendly and affectionate, poodles make great emotional support animals.

Adopted Mixed Breeds

Don’t let the purebred listings deter you from adopting a mixed breed. Rescue dogs often require an emotional support human to provide a loving and safe home after a traumatic experience. By choosing to adopt rather than shop, you’re helping a dog in return for their support. Could there be anything more beautiful?

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