Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend” and nowhere does that show more than in pet therapy. One of the most commonly used pets is dogs. They have been our faithful companions for centuries and now are also being seen as homeopathic healers.
What is it about dogs that makes them so lovable? For one, dogs, like some other animals, mirror the emotional states of those around them. This is why you come home from a long day feeling a bit melancholy and your favorite poodle companion dutifully lays at your feet or in your lap on the sofa to try and brighten your mood. They sense that something is going on. There have even been examples of dogs saving their owners from sudden medical disasters by alerting others to get help.
Here are the top ten breeds of dogs that are suitable as therapy dogs for those in need.
1. Labrador Retriever – These big mutts are so lovable, even by people who do not consider themselves to be dog lovers. They love to run and play as well as be petted and generally love their owners all day long. Simply petting them or having them lay their head in your lap can bring about feelings of contentment.
2. German Shepherd – These dogs have long been bred as service dogs even though we are talking about their use in therapy here. They are highly intelligent, protective and able to be trained for a variety of different purposes.
3. Greyhound – This dog is sleek, beautiful and fast. But, he is also a great companion, especially for those who have trouble sleeping. Greyhounds are quiet and will lay down with you and keep you company until you fall asleep.
4. Beagle – We always knew that Snoopy was the best dog to have around. Beagles are small, active, friendly and love to cuddle with others.
5. Rottweiler – This dog looks lethal but they were bred to be guard dogs who subdued their prey without hurting them. They are calm and intelligent.
6. Saint Bernard – This dog is big and furry and lovable. They are good with kids because they are infinitely patient when kids handle them roughly.
7. Pomeranian – This small dog doesn’t require a lot of space to move. They are great for elderly folks who want a dog they can pet and who will sit on their lap and enjoy endless cuddling.
8. Poodle – These dogs are hypo-allergenic so people with allergies don’t have to worry. Poodles are intelligent so they can be trained for a number of tasks.
9. Pug – He is small and funny looking but a great little guy. They love to please people and are amenable to young and old alike.
10. French Bulldog – With their short legs and bat-like ears, they are cute and inquisitive. They are non-confrontational animals and perfect lap dogs.
Looking for a dog for a pet therapy program? These ten breeds are up to the task.