Small dogs that are easy to train make excellent candidates to be an emotional support dog, as well as perfect companions for seniors. While you will find many sizes and mixes providing support, there are some breeds that have inherent traits that make them viable therapy dogs for older owners.
Five breeds that make excellent emotional support dogs for seniors are:
- Coton de Tulear. An awesome candidate for a therapy or emotional support dog is the Coton de Tulear; these dogs usually weigh less than 13 pounds full-grown and are very trainable. The Coton has hypoallergenic hair, so they don't shed or cause allergic reactions. These sweet dogs are friendly, energetic, and strong for their small size. Look for Coton de Tulear puppies for sale in your area to see if this breed is the best fit.
- King Charles Spaniel. King Charles Spaniels have been lauded as being an ideal emotional support or therapy dog, due to their affectionate nature and ability to learn commands and tricks. These smart and charismatic dogs are small, typically less than twelve pounds, and their sweet personality can lift your spirits and battle the blues.
- Pomeranian. A Pomeranian is another type of dog that enjoys a good lap and lots of love. "Poms" are smart, lively, and a little bit bossy; they take direction well, though they may need socialization to be around other animals or dogs. Poms require fairly consistent grooming, as they shed quite a bit.
- Poodles. Poodles are notoriously smart dogs that are easy to train. Poodles are fiercely loyal and are found in tiny teacup to tall standard sizes. Poodles have hypoallergenic fur, so they don't provoke any existing allergies, though they will require regular grooming appointments.
- Yorkshire Terrier. "Yorkies" are smart, social, and small enough that anyone can transport or handle them with ease. Yorkies are brave little dogs that enjoy interacting with their humans. Yorkies should be socialized with other dogs early to prevent behavioral issues in homes with other pets. Curious by nature, the energetic Yorkshire Terrier makes an instinctual therapy dog for a senior.
Talk to breeders about training your new puppy to be an emotional support dog. These experts may be able to provide insight into the behavior and personality of each dog, pinpointing the best companion for you or your senior.
Looking for some support? These five breeds make exemplary emotional support and therapy dogs and are bred widely across the US. The health benefits of a canine companion are indisputable; buy or adopt your new best friend today!