You won’t believe these top 10 therapy dog breeds. Number five just may surprise you.
Last spring, SCC brought therapy dogs on campus for the first time in an effort to reduce student anxiety during final exams. Anxiety and depression are on the rise among college students. More than 11% of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year, and more than 10% reported being diagnosed or treated for depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Over half of college students feel overwhelming anxiety that strain their academic abilities, according to a recent report from the American College Health Association. As college administrators seek ways to boost student success, the use of therapy dogs on college campuses has gone from nearly nonexistent to the norm.
Which breed offer the most therapeutic benefits?
1. The Labrador Retriever has consistently been named the most popular breed in the United States. Not only do they make good pets, but they are also great as therapy dogs due to their intelligence and gentle demeanor. Labs take well to new people, and they are very obedient when properly trained.
2. German Shepherds are fiercely loyal and can be very gentle, which makes them an excellent therapy dog breed. They are a highly versatile breed, largely because their intelligence enables them to be trained for a variety of purposes.
4. Beagles are very friendly with new people and also tend to get along well with other animals, both qualities that make for an excellent therapy dog.
5. Though often assumed to be a dangerous breed, the Rottweiler is actually incredibly calm and friendly with people. These dogs exhibit all of the most important qualities in a therapy dog: a calm demeanor, confident attitude and great intelligence.
6. Saint Bernards are popular among children due to their thick, fluffy coats. This breed is incredibly protective and obedient, but also very patient.
7. Pomeranians are the perfect breed for elderly individuals who desire a companion at home because they need very little exercise and take all the love and affection they can get!
8. The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there, which means they typically respond well to training. These dogs have thick, curly coats but they are generally considered to be hypoallergenic, making them a good option for people with allergies.
9. Pugs have a lot of energy, but they also have a natural desire to please people! Pugs get along well with people of all ages, though they work particularly well with children suffering from various neurodevelopment disorders, including autism.
10. French Bulldogs are an affectionate and non-confrontational breed. Originally bred from larger bulldogs to serve as lapdogs, the French Bulldog is perfectly content to spend the afternoon cuddling on someone’s lap.