The Best Dog Breeds for Emotional Support: Top 10 Breeds

Few things can calm the nerves like the unconditional love and security from a dog. These affectionate animals are comforting, especially to those that suffer from mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. 

However, some dog breeds are more inclined than others to be ultra-sensitive to their owner’s emotional needs. This makes these breeds better suited for registration as Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

If you’re looking into getting an ESA dog and don’t know which breed to select, we’re here to help. Here are the top ten emotional support dog breeds!

1) Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle is a very smart, obedient dog, which makes relying on them as emotional support animals very simple and straightforward. Standard Poodles have adventurous spirits, but they’re also perfectly content sitting by their owner after a long day. The breed’s coat is hypoallergenic as well, so they are perfect for people who have allergies. Their happy attitude is why they make great ESA dogs: you can’t help but feel their good vibes when you’re around one.

2) Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is the ultimate happy, loyal, and friendly dog. Since they are retrievers, they love to learn new things and are extremely intelligent. 

They love a good play session, but like the Standard Poodle, they can also be calm and compliant. They make excellent service dogs and ESA dogs because they can carry out simple therapy functions such as fetching telephones or medication. Golden Retrievers have few health issues and are great with kids as well. 

Overall, Golden Retrievers aren’t just a great family dog but also great Emotional Support Animals.

3) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you’ve ever met a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you know that they’re very extremely loving and affectionate. They are one of the few small dogs that have the patience to be ESA’s (unlike the Chihuahua, for example), which puts them on our list for the top ten best ESA breeds. 

They have a beautiful charm that is soothing to everyone, which makes them a great option.

4) Labrador Retriever

The hardy Labrador retriever is known for being a jack-of-all-trades of sorts. They are great family dogs, but they are also excellent seeing dogs for the blind, service dogs, show competitors, therapy dogs, and search and rescue dogs. 

They are especially good at comfort and support: since they’re so smart, you can teach labs tons of tasks. They are also gentle and friendly with their owners and great with kids and very sensitive to their needs. 

Labs are a great ESA breed!

5) Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers have a reputation for being bold, intelligent, and confident, three traits that people who need an ESA might need help with. 

If you have a generalized anxiety disorder, these dogs can help you come out of your shell. They are sensitive to your feelings and love being lap dogs, but they won’t let you sit in your home all day doing nothing. They require attention and care around the clock, which can be beneficial to those with specific emotional disorders. 

If you want a dog that’ll keep you on your toes without being overwhelming or annoying, the Yorkie is the way to go.

6) Corgi

Corgis are dogs that love to be around people. There are two types of Corgi: 

• Pembroke Welsh

• Cardigan Welsh

The “Pem,” as it’s affectionately called, is a bit more demanding than the “Cardi,” but both are all about cuddles and love. 

Like the Yorkie, you want to make sure you’re okay with indulging in this breed; they need quite a bit of attention, so they are great for people who need a bit of a push to get up in the morning. 

You might be grumpy that they need care around the clock, but once you see that smiling face, you’ll wonder why you ever lived without one.

7) Great Dane

This dog breed may come as a surprise to some people. The Great Dane is a massive dog–some can be as tall as 3 feet high at the shoulder, and even taller when they stand on their back legs. 

Despite their size, they are known as gentle giants. They’re calm, confident couch potatoes; They are famous for not knowing their size, so don’t be surprised when this dog the size of a mini-horse comes climbing onto your lap. 

If you’re looking for a big dog with lots of affection, check out the Great Dane.

8) Pug

When you see the small, wrinkly face of the Pug, you can’t help but smile. They have a ridiculous amount of love in their small stature, and their human-like expression will always make you smile. They’re warm, loyal, kind-hearted, and establish powerful connections with their owners. 

A pug will always sit by your side, happy to sleep next to you as you relax. 

9) Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, happy-go-lucky little dog and is one of the friendliest pups you’ll find. They are friendly to everyone. Adults, children, cats, other dogs, and other pets are no match for the Bichon’s big puppy eyes. 

However, they would always rather be by your side. They’re very smart and easy to train, so they won’t give you many problems. They require some grooming, but that’s just part of the ESA package. 

Give them lots of attention, and they’ll reward you with more love than you think you can handle.

10) Border Collie

Border Collies are natural herding dogs, and you and your family are the leaders. That makes them extremely protective and loving. They will constantly make sure you are healthy, happy, and secure, which makes them excellent ESA’s.

They are very skilled at picking up cues from their humans, and they will quickly swoop in to save the day. They need exercise, but this means they can get you up and out of the house. 

Overall, the Border Collie is a great choice for an ESA.


Lots of dog breeds can be emotional support animals. However, these breeds have a more loving, caring nature that makes them more inclined to be good ESA’s. 

We hope this list has helped you narrow down your search for an emotional support animal. If you need more help, make sure to contact a real health professional at ESA Registration today!