Best Service Dog Breeds for PTSD and Anxiety

What are the best service dog breeds for PTSD and Anxiety? This article is a detailed review of all the dog breeds which can help deal with PTSD and Anxiety. The article also provides empirical evidence about how dogs can help, as well as where to buy them.

What are the best dog breeds for stress and depression?

Given below is an extensive list of dog breeds, which helps deal with PTSD and Anxiety.

Golden Retriever


Labrador Retriever

German Shepherd

Pit Bulls

Border Collies

Great Dane

Bernese Mountain Dogs




Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Yorkshire Terrier 


Bichon Frise 


Miniature Schnauzer

Lhasa Apso

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterised by extreme nervousness, anxiety, anticipation, and concern. These conditions affect a person’s emotional processing and behaviour, as well as causing physical symptoms. Mild anxiety can be disturbing and uncertain, whereas extreme anxiety can have a significant impact on daily life. In the United States, 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorders. It’s the most common form of mental disorder in the United States. Only 36.9% of people with anxiety disorders, on the other hand, undergo therapy.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition in which people suffer from a wide range of symptoms after experiencing a traumatic incident. Flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive thoughts, anxiety, avoidance, and mood and thinking shifts are all possible.

PTSD affects 6.8% of adults in the United States. Reliving the traumatic experience, avoiding reminders of the trauma, being quickly startled, and developing negative thoughts and opinions are all possible symptoms.

How do dogs help with PTSD and Anxiety?

Emotional Support dogs offer help in settings such as funeral homes or disaster situations, while Service Dogs assist the physically disabled. Psychiatric Service dog breeds, on the other hand, are qualified to provide one-on-one care to people with autism, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, and other psychiatric difficulties.

The Psychiatric Service is a division of the Department of Psychiatry. The primary function of a dog is to preserve the emotional state of its handler and to perform work or activities that the human is unable to do. A psychiatric support dog, for example, may be trained to disrupt an individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder’s repetitive behaviour, provide an environmental evaluation, or even remind their handler to take their medications.

Pet ownership and animal support in rehabilitation and education have become more generally recognised in the last decade as having a variety of beneficial effects on humans.

Let’s have a look at the different types of support dogs. We’ll also talk about what traits and breeds are best suited for the job.

What is a Service Dog?

Many people with disabilities rely on service dogs to help them work and engage in daily activities. A service dog, according to the ADA, is a dog that has been specially trained to perform specific duties for a person with a disability. The dog’s duties are specifically linked to the individual’s condition.

What kind of services do PTSD Dogs provide?

Service dogs help people with disabilities, whether they are blind, deaf, or profoundly disabled, by behaving in response to their needs. PTSD Dogs have a sense of caring, good companionship, obedience when conditioned, stress reduction, and the ability to meet new people.

These dogs can individually act, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs, by:

  • Assisting in medical crises
  • Assisting in treatment by subtle reminders
  • Giving the individual a sense of security
  • Helping the individual handle emotional trauma through companionship

How effective are PTSD Service Dogs at treating PTSD?

Many research on service dogs have shown that they can help people with physical disabilities. However, numerous studies are still being conducted to assess how useful service dogs are for mental health. Service dogs, according to reports by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense, can support traumatised soldiers.

Such findings, however, have little validation, and future trials will only help to answer the remaining questions and provide a greater explanation of the psychology of how PTSD dogs treat people with PTSD. Purdue University study shows that there is a scarcity of longitudinal research on the efficacy of PTSD service dogs, leading to mixed model outcomes.

What are the Different types of Service Dogs?

Help dogs are divided into three groups (with some overlap here and there). Therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, and service dogs are all available.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs aid in the relaxation of people who are stressed or anxious. The best therapy dogs will brighten a room and make those who are around them feel more comfortable. 

Therapy dogs are usually used to comfort other people rather than the dog’s owner. They regularly visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities to spread their love.

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs assist their owners in coping with emotional problems like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. A caring dog’s simple presence and company can have a calming effect. 

Dogs have a lovely purity to them, and an emotional support dog’s natural companionship can be invaluable to those suffering from mental or emotional trauma.

Service Dogs

Service dogs are specially trained to assist people with disabilities with various tasks. These duties range from supporting a blind owner down the street to notifying a deaf owner of vital noises like fire alarms, doorbells, and ringing telephones.

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides the most legal protection for service dogs of the three categories of support dogs (ADA). As a result, people who have service dogs can carry them virtually anywhere and cannot be refused access legally. 

Top Traits to Look For in Service Dogs

Although any dog can be a service dog if they have what it takes to live up to the title and complete the rigorous training programme, certain dog breeds are naturally more inclined and capable of performing the work of clinical service dogs.

Friendly Nature

It’s critical that your service dog is friendly rather than overprotective. 

Your dog can be expected to manoeuvre through crowded, potentially noisy, and unpredictable environments on occasion. When your service dog is around other people and animals, it is important that he keeps his calm and does not get distracted.

Strong Desire to Help

Depending on the breed, some dogs have a deep urge to support and be put to work. Some of the other adorable canines, on the other hand, aren’t quite as cute. If you’re looking for an emotional support dog, this isn’t necessarily a big deal. However, if you’re looking for a service dog to assist you with vital tasks on a daily basis, it’s critical to find a dog with a deep willingness to help.

Bonds Emotionally

You want a dog with a deep emotional attachment to its owner. You and your service dog would be completely reliant on one another, so choose a dog you can trust. 

Some dog breeds are more self-reliant than others. You don’t want a dog that is too territorial, but you do want one that maintains a close relationship with its owner.

Calm Behaviour

Cool, calm, and collected service or support dogs are ideal. The best support dogs aren’t too excitable or reactive in public around other pets or people. 

It’s impossible to predict how other people’s pets would act in public. Service dogs are trained to avoid hyperactive or irritating pets.

Best Service Dog Breeds

Certain features differentiate certain dog breeds when it comes to assisting with various mental or physical traumas and illnesses. Your unique requirements will assist you in determining which service dog breed is the best match for you.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers have a cool, gentle temperament and a strong work ethic. They are fast learners due to their intellect. Of course, among the best service dog breeds, intellect will be a recurring theme. 

They’re also very friendly and non-intimidating, despite their larger size, which you may want to remember when looking for a dog to accompany you to public places.Golden Retrievers are suitable for helping in emotional therapy. They’re also great with young children and children. It should come as no surprise that they are often used to aid in the care of autistic children. 

Gold retrievers are also one of the best service dog breeds for PTSD, and are often the first choice for veterans suffering from the disorder.


The Pomeranian is an ideal choice for small service dogs. They aren’t ideal for jobs that require a lot of strength or height, but they are ideal for a variety of support and service-related tasks. They’re great at being medical warning pets.

Pomeranians are intelligent and develop close emotional bonds with their owners. Their diminutive size can also have advantages. For example, they might be more convenient to carry with you to public places in some circumstances. They can also do better in small apartments than a larger dog.

Labrador Retriever 

One of the best breeds for mobility service is the Labrador Retriever. They can be gentle as well as strong. They are polite yet concentrated, and they want to assist you in any way they can. They’re very intelligent and can be used in a variety of ways.

Labrador retrievers make excellent guide, hearing, and emotional support dogs. Thanks to their light and gentle grip when fetching things, you won’t be shocked to learn that they also excel at retrieving objects for their owners.

The best thing about Labs is that they strike a wonderful balance between being relaxed but still being guided and inspired to assist.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds may be the first breed that comes to mind when you think of service dogs. German Shepherds tick almost every box for a great service dog: they’re quick learners, intelligent, and develop deep emotional connections with their owners.

They’ve proved to be excellent guide dogs and have a keen sense of smell, which comes in handy when tracking their owners’ blood sugar levels. They’re also outstanding psychiatric support dogs.

Pit Bulls

Pit bulls make outstanding support and aid dogs. You’ll be glad to learn that the unjustified stigma that once overshadowed Pit Bulls is slowly dissipating. They are really loving and caring creatures, as well as intelligent and hardworking.

Border Collies

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more intelligent dog breed than the Border Collie. They are devoted, obedient, and highly hardworking. Seizure detection dogs are also praised because they have a knack for identifying seizures before they occur.

They are, however, very caring and would make an excellent emotional support dog if you can provide them with enough exercise.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is a strong and gentle giant. This makes them ideal for mobility assistance and assisting their owners in standing or walking. 

They are also very affectionate and do well in public. They are a good choice for a service dog because they are not too excitable.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are also a great option. Their ability to mix intellect and power is exceptional. If you’re searching for a bigger support dog, a Bernese Mountain Dog is a perfect option. 

They’re great for opening doors, assisting with wheelchairs, and a host of other emergency care situations.


Poodles, in particular, make excellent support dogs. They are one of the most common therapy dog breeds, as well as being intelligent and hardworking. Your poodle’s loyalty and willingness to learn complex tasks will be appreciated. 

Poodles make excellent counselling and social support animals. They’re also known for having a keen sense of smell. They’re fantastic for detecting allergens.


Boxers are another excellent service dog breed that possesses all of the essential characteristics of a wonderful friend. They’re strong, but also kind and self-aware. They are happy to assist. They are, however, moderately high-energy dogs.

Best Service Dog Breeds for PTSD and Anxiety:

Dog BreedsDetails
MicrochipNeutered KC Registered
Golden RetrieverX 
Pomeranian  X  
Labrador Retriever X X 
Pit BullsX  
Great DaneX X
Bernese Mountain Dog  
German ShepherdX  
Border ColliesX  

FAQs(Best Service Dog Breeds for PTSD and Anxiety)

Does PTSD qualify for a service dog?

A psychiatric service dog (PSD) is a form of service animal that has been specially trained to help people with mental disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are only a few of them. You’ll almost certainly need the assistance of a service animal.

What do emotional support dogs do?

Emotional Support Animals, or ESAs, are animals that offer psychological benefits to people suffering from anxiety, phobias, or post-traumatic stress disorder. An emotional support animal, like all medicinal solutions, must be prescribed by a licenced mental health professional.

What is a PTSD service dog trained to do?

PTSD support dogs can be trained to sense physical symptoms of anxiety and depression in veterans, alerting them to and interrupting anxiety and panic attacks during the day, as well as nightmares at night.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!