Best Emotional Support Dog Breeds

Are you considering getting an emotional support dog? The first step is getting an emotional support animal (ESA) letter. You cannot have an ESA dog without one. Once you have your ESA letter, if you don’t already have a dog in your life, then your next step is choosing a dog breed.

Are There Breed Restrictions?

There are no breed restrictions, anything from a Bulldog to a Beagle and from a Dachshund to a Dalmation, can be an ESA dog.

Although there are technically no breed restrictions, be aware that some airlines have policies that could impact your ESA dog from traveling with you. If you fly often, take this into consideration when choosing a breed by reviewing the various airlines’ policies.

For example, part of the American Airlines policy reads: “…fit on your lap, at your feet, or under the seat, and cannot block the aisle.” Delta will only allow animals that do not “exceed the footprint of the passenger’s seat.”

Traits to Consider in an ESA

Dogs make great emotional support animals because of their ability and willingness to offer unconditional love and support. They can also give us a sense of physical security with their natural instincts to protect.

Although all dogs are individuals, they often share certain traits with other dogs of the same breed. For example, if you have anxiety, you might not want a breed that is known to be hyperactive and quick to bark at any unfamiliar noise.

When you are considering an emotional support dog, some of the breed traits you are looking for might be:

  • Affectionate
  • Calm
  • Loyal
  • Friendly

You should also take your particular situation into consideration, so you pick a dog that is a size you can comfortably manage and that doesn’t need more space or exercise than you can provide.

What Breeds Make the Best Emotional Support Dogs?

Depending on your specific needs, the best emotional support dog breed for you might be on this list of breeds that tend to be successful as ESA dogs (listed in alphabetical order):

Bichon Frise – sturdy, cheerful, and affectionate

Cocker Spaniel – compact, easy going, and gentle

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – graceful, gentle, and affectionate

Dachshund – energetic, loyal, sensitive

English Bulldog – friendly, sensitive, and dependable

French Bulldog – small, even-tempered, and social

German Shepherd – large, adaptable, and protective

Golden Retriever – playful, tolerant, and smart

Great Pyrenees – trustworthy, well-mannered, and gentle

Labrador Retriever – outgoing, affectionate, and adaptable

Maltese – social, playful, and loving

Poodle – intelligent, energetic, and loyal

Pomeranian – affectionate, active, and clever

Pug – solid, outgoing, and laid back

Pembroke Welsh Corgi – intelligent, agreeable, active, and family-oriented

Saint Bernard – placid, tolerant, and gentle

Yorkshire Terrier – feisty, good-natured, and loving

Spend time when going through the selection process for the best emotional support dog breed for you. Do the research necessary to find the size and personality traits that will fit with you and your needs. Both you and your dog deserve a good match.

How Do I Get an ESA Letter for My Dog?

An emotional support animal letter gives your dog the ability to travel with you in the cabin of a commercial airplane and to live with you in almost any housing — including those with “no pets” policies. An ESA letter must be written by a licensed mental health provider and meet certain requirements.

A fast, easy and affordable way to get your ESA letter is through the DOGtor and our extensive network of healthcare professionals. You’ll discover why our 100% refund guaranteed service makes the DOGtor one of the largest and most trusted names in getting Americans approved for ESA dogs.

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