Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

Dog Breeds that make the Best Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals fulfil various roles in their owner’s lives, but not all dogs offer the same benefits. The relationship between ESA and its owner is personal, but some breeds undoubtedly make more successful ESAs than others. Here, we have compiled some of the best ESA breeds, including what makes them so special. Let’s jump in!

Golden Retriever

The breeding history of golden retrievers is potentially what makes them such a popular choice for emotional support dog registration. Their primary purpose has always been companionship. They are one of the friendliest dog breeds around while maintaining a solid commitment to discipline. Owners receive all the benefits of a bubbly dog without having to deal with uncontrolled energy.

Emotional support isn’t the only way golden retrievers prove themselves to be helpful. They have been called into action numerous times in the past, especially in the aftermath of crises. Their enormous hearts and unbreakable loyalty make them perfect companions, either as pets or ESAs.

Labrador Retriever

Sticking with the theme of retrievers, the classic labrador makes a fantastic emotional support animal. They are quickly becoming one of the most popular breeds, and it is easy to understand why.

Labradors are tremendously friendly and always love to play, but they can also be docile and soothing. This combination of unbridled joy and relaxation makes them perfect ESAs.

Yorkshire Terrier

While both retrievers above make for great companions, they are on the bigger side. The size could be overwhelming for some. Luckily, that’s where Yorkshire terriers can save the day. These compact bundles are perfect for cuddling up on your lap and won’t demand large amounts of exercise.

They are also incredibly affectionate, often following their owners from room to room. This dependency can help anyone feel needed and wanted, two things that mental illness can diminish. They love physical contact, so you can expect lots of cuddles throughout your time with them.


If the idea of a smaller ESA appealed to you, then a chihuahua could be a perfect choice. They usually weigh between 3 and 6 pounds, making them exceptionally light, and they have an approximate lifespan of up to 18 years! Though they may have garnered the reputation of being a ‘handbag’ dog, they are actually a highly intelligent breed.

This level of intelligence makes them very easy to train, lending themselves well to their owner’s needs. They can accompany you just about anywhere without causing inconvenience, thanks to their tiny stature. As far as ESAs go, there isn’t a breed much easier to incorporate than the friendly chihuahua.

German Shepherd

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the potentially surprising addition of the German shepherd. These dogs have a reputation as excellent guard dogs, and while this is true, they also make fantastic companions.

Their suitability for companionship is primarily due to their incredible intelligence and loyalty. They respect their owners profoundly and seek to please at every opportunity, which is why they are so often the canine of choice for police dogs.

If you are looking for a docile ESA that requires little exercise, then the German shepherd isn’t for you. However, if you want your ESA to encourage you to get outdoors and improve your physical wellbeing, they are a superb choice.

Don’t worry—they aren’t going to exhaust you. But they will encourage you both physically and mentally. They are also very healthy breeds, so visits to the vets will be infrequent.

The Choice is Yours!

There is no particular breed that makes the best emotional support animal. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and living circumstances. Go with your gut and pursue the pup that you think will make you happiest. That is all the criteria you need!