One owns a dog to relieve oneself from physical, mental, and emotional health. This is why there are many shreds of evidence and examples available for the best breeds for therapy dogs.
Such dogs are specially trained to fulfill this particular function and are called as therapy dogs. You should know that any breed of dog can be trained to become a certified therapy dog. In this article, you can know about such dogs and the advantages they give if you keep them as a pet.
Therapy Dogs : Definition
Therapy dogs are specially designed to support their owners at the time of their distress. They are made to give support and comfort to the people in need especially in hospitals, retirement homes, or any disaster areas. Therapy dogs are different from service dogs as they master in their service in a particular task while therapy dogs accompany the owner.
Such dogs have to pass a series of tests to become a successful therapy dog, and such dogs are usually categorized into two categories.
1. Therapeutic Visitation Dogs
2. Animal-Assisted Therapy Dogs
The former ones are usually the household pets who their owners take to institutions such as nursing, care centers, and hospitals. Such dogs are trained to engage with the people socially while the latter one trained to provide specific support and are trained to develop social skills among the patients.
Characteristics of Best Breeds for Therapy Dogs
Any dog can be trained to play the role of a therapy dog; some particular traits should reflect in such dogs –
One of the most excellent qualities of therapy dogs is its intelligence. The dog should be good at reading people’s minds and then perform his task accordingly. Such dogs should know when it’s the right time to play or just to stay calm. They should also be able to adapt to changing situations and should be comfortable meeting new people. In short, they should able to pick up and learn according to their surrounding environment.
A therapy dog has to be successfully trained in every task. These particular breeds should know how to lead patients through particular activity and should also be highly controllable in the environment of the institution in which they are working. Therapists and patients should feel at ease to call such dogs and command them according to their needs. Only highly trainable dogs can become the best breeds for therapy dogs, and they should also be able any new command after seeing it five times while normal dogs take at least 100 times to learn a particular command.
The environment in which such dogs work is vulnerable and turbulent. The area is filled with noises of people and many sorts of distractions. This is the primary reason that such therapy dogs should have a high focus on their task. Patients who are suffering from social anxiety will not feel comfortable if such dogs get easily distracted by the coming of a new person or any noise generated in the environment.
Calm and Social able :
Therapy dogs should have a calm temperament, and it is necessary for the situation they are dealing with. They should not jump and play with any new people they meet. They should also be experts in sitting calm along with their patients for hours to support them.
On the other hand, such dogs should be friendly too, so that they do not hesitate to meet new people. Dogs that get anxious or excited while seeing different animals, kids, or crowds are not fit to become a therapy dog. They are required to form bonds with their within no time and help them with their troubles.
Comfortable While Touched :
Not every breed of dogs likes to get touched but in the case of therapy dogs, they should be ready to get touched by different patients. Patients should also be ready to touch them without any fear. Dogs who are comfortable with touching make an excellent therapy dog.
Gentle and Clean :
Many dogs are extremely friendly but forget that they are powerful and can damage the former with their strength. Therapy dogs should know their strength and try to be soft towards their patient and smoothly engage them. They should also have the ability to keep their mouth soft to play so that they do not damage the things they play with.
Therapy dogs should be clean, and it is important because of the environment they work in. They should also be groomed regularly.
Some Of The Best Breeds for Therapy Dogs
Labrador Retriever :
Labrador Retriever dog breeds are perhaps on the top of such therapy dogs. They are suitable for nearly all types of work and possessing every quality that a therapy dog should have. They are intelligent, easy to train, adaptive, and calm. No matter that, these dogs are relatively large from other breeds of dogs, but they act gently to people without causing them any harm.
Poodles are also the best therapy dogs. These breeds were specially developed to act as a companion, and so they also love being around people and having interactions with them. They are also good at reading people’s minds and moods and easily picking their emotions.
Poodles are also intelligent dog breeds and quickly learn new things. They come in a variety of sizes and so can easily be fit in any sort of situation. Many of the patients also love to groom the coat of the people for several hours for relaxation.
These are also best to act as a therapy dog, and patients love to cuddle them as they are cute. Due to their personality and traits, people also fall in love with them easily. The breed is also intelligent and obedient and so gets fit in the category of therapy dogs.
French Bulldog :
This is also one of the best breeds that can act as a therapy dog. French Bulldogs are good at estimating the moods and emotions of the people around them and also adapts well in changing atmosphere. They are easy to train and learn the concepts and commands very quickly. The dogs are sweet and love to meet many new people without any hesitation. The breed is also small, and so do not require much space and much exercise. They are also comfortable in areas that are full of people.
People think that Greyhound dogs are too energetic for therapy kind of work. But this is not entirely true as these dogs are too lazy and can also work in a confined space. These dogs can be easily trained and require minimal cleanup.
These are also among the best breed for therapy dogs as they are small-sized and happy to remain in the lap of the patient who needs their support. They love if someone cuddles them up or carry them in your hands. Pugs do not have much stamina, so they are easy to maintain and control according to their needs.
These dogs are highly social and love to spend time around people. They are also fearless, active, and fun-loving too. Dachshunds are also famous in doing interesting things that divert the trouble of the patients and engaging them. They are easy to control and train. As they are smaller breeds of dogs, they are comfortable in moving with their patients, which the larger breeds of dogs cannot do. One should also know that they have the tendency to bark on the people for no reason, but proper training can remove this habit.
Other than the above German Shepherd, Border Collie, Beagle is also some good breeds of therapy dogs.
Common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :
Q1: What breeds are right for therapy dogs?
Ans: Many breeds are considered best for therapy dogs. Some of the important ones are Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Poodle, Bulldog, and many more.
Q2: What breed of dog is best for emotional support?
Ans: German Sheperd, Poodles, Corgie, Pug are some best dog breeds for emotional support.
Q3: What is the best therapy dog for anxiety?
Ans: Boxers, Labrador, Huskies are some of the breeds known as best therapy dogs for anxiety.
Q4: What makes a perfect therapy dog?
Ans: Several factors make a dog a therapy dog; some qualities are intelligence, focused, calm.
Q5: How do I certify my dog as a therapy dog?
Ans: Adopt a dog and trained it with a mild temper, and if you feel they are ready, get it certified.
Q6: Can I buy a trained therapy dog?
Ans: It is not recommended to buy certified therapy dogs as they may not be compatible with you. It is useful if you train the dogs according to your need and then get them certified.
The Final Words
We all know that dogs their owner an emotional lift, and so the best breeds for therapy dogs become popular to serve this purpose. Many experts also say that Labrador and Golden Retriever are best for such purpose and are friendly and intelligent to serve their particular purpose.
In case you are interested in smaller breeds, French Bulldogs and Pomeranians are the best choices. So, in case you are one of those who need a friend in your desperate time, you can select any one such breeds of therapy dogs.