The 10 Best Service Dog Breeds for PTSD and Anxiety

Yellow Labrador in a blue vest laying down outsideAnxiety and PTSD are two of the most common mental health disorders that people struggle with daily. For some, their symptoms are manageable, but for others, coping with all the negative and scary emotions may feel like an uphill battle they are losing.

While there are a variety of treatments available for these disorders, one option would be to get a psychiatric service dog (PSD). Not only will this dog provide comfort through love and companionship, but this type of service dog is highly specialized and can perform tasks that help manage PTSD and anxiety.

Though any dog with the right disposition could be a fantastic service dog, we already know which developed breeds are likely to make the best service dogs. Especially if you plan to train your own service dog, you’ll have a greater chance of success if you choose a breed known for excelling in service work versus a pup with unknown origins.

Of course, even if you won’t be training the dog yourself, knowing about different service dog breeds is valuable. The more you know about them, the better you’ll be able to understand if a certain breed would be able to fit into your lifestyle.

Today, we’ll share information about the different types of assistance animals available and what traits to look for if you’re considering a dog for service work. Finally, we’ll provide you with a list of 10 of the best service dog breeds for anxiety and PTSD.

Types of Assitance Dogs

Before we get into our recommendations, let’s talk about the different types of assistance dogs available. Service dogs are incredibly helpful but can also be expensive and require intensive training that takes years.

Some people suffering from anxiety or PTSD may not need a service dog but could still benefit from a support animal. Here, we’ll explain each type of assistance animal so you can make an informed decision about your needs.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are typically brought to visit people in places like nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. Therapy dogs aren’t necessarily for personal use, though bringing joy to others can often benefit one’s own mental health as well.

Therapy dogs don’t require training as intense as the training service dogs go through, but they must pass the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test to be eligible for therapy dog certification. Passing this test proves that the dog is obedient and well-mannered enough to safely interact with people in public places.

Emotional Support Animals

If a service dog is unrealistic for you, whether that be due to financial or time restraints, an emotional support animal (ESA) may be a good alternative. Emotional support animals can be any type of animal that is legal to own as a pet.

Of course, dogs make for some of the best emotional support animals due to the strong, loving bonds they can form with their owners. A dog that is serving as an ESA does not have to undergo any special training. Their presence alone can provide comfort.

To have your dog (or other furry friend) designated as an ESA, you’ll need a letter from a mental health professional. You’ll be able to use this letter as proof that you need the animal for your disorder. With this letter, you’ll be able to live with your ESA even in rentals that don’t otherwise allow pets without incurring extra charges.



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