Therapy dogs are a great way to create a positive impact on our society. Whether they’re with you at work, at school, or in the park, they offer companionship, help children and adults during difficult moments, and keep us healthy by raising our spirits.
Therapy dogs have even been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels. And best of all? Therapy dogs are just plain adorable! But which breeds of dogs are best suited to be Therapy Dogs, and could you benefit from one?
Before you go any further on, though, you should take some time to consider whether you have the time to care for a dog – a Therapy Dog is still a creature that needs love, time and commitment. Check out “The Clock Is Ticking. Do You Have Time For A Dog?” for some things you should consider before adding to your family. If you’re certain that you’re ready to take the plunge, then read on!
What are the benefits of Therapy Dogs?
First of all, it’s important to note that Therapy Dogs are not the same as Service Dogs. Whilst a Service Dog is trained to aid their owner with physical tasks, a Therapy Dog is there to provide comfort and affection to help improve its owner’s mental health.
Essentially, a Therapy Dog is there to help keep you mentally happy, and feel loved. We’ve already seen the benefits that owning a pet can have on your mental and physical health, so it’s no surprise that the cute canines can actually be used as a legitimate therapeutic resource!
Who can benefit from Therapy Dogs?
Therapy Dogs have a wide range of benefits. They offer companionship to anyone, especially those who need it. And their presence in the workplace or classroom can help students and adults alike perform better.
Therapy dogs also help reduce stress and lower blood pressure levels, which are both important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, Therapy Dogs can also benefit those who have suffered a physical injury as they offer emotional support during the convalescing period, and comfort to ease the pain.
The Top 10 Breeds of Therapy Dogs
1. Golden Retriever
2. Labrador Retriever
4. German Shepherd
7. French Bulldog
8. Shih Tzu
However, as therapy dogs become more common and their potential is noted, further research has shown that any friendly dog breed can provide the support needed by a Therapy Dog.
In fact, some breeders have been specifically breeding dogs for this purpose, such as the aussie cobber dog, which has been noted for its high intelligence and sweet temperament – making it one of the best choices for a Therapy Dog. Other intelligent breeds such as the border collie have also been a favorite due to their high energy levels, affectionate nature, and trainability.
Having an intelligent breed as a Therapy Dog can be an excellent choice in the long run, as often, they can be trained to act as a Service Dog as well. So not only will you get the love and affection of a life-long friend and companion; but also a helper to ensure that you can get by every day without too much physical strain.
Therapy dogs help many people with their mental health by providing mental support and physical affection. They help children with their social development, help seniors with their quality of life, and provide some people a sense of companionship – and unconditional love.
Whilst there are some specific breeds that work particularly well as Therapy Dogs, a friendly and loving dog is all you need – and you can find that in any breed.