21 Best Therapy Dog Breeds

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The history of using dogs in therapy goes back to the Second World War but it didn’t become everyday practice until the 1970s. Today, therapy dogs are used to help people overcome adversity and live a fuller life in nursing homes, hospitals, retirement homes and even disaster areas.

Most dogs can be trained to be therapy dogs, but there are still breeds that are somewhat more suitable for this. These are mostly gentle, sociable and calm breeds that make great companions. If you think we left out a breed, let us know in the comments.

1. Golden Retriever

The golden retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world and there are plenty of reasons for this. They are beautiful, majestic animals who are also incredibly clever and eager to please. They are also fantastically gentle and they always seem to know how people around them are feeling.

These are all traits that make golden retrievers among the best therapy dogs for pretty much any occasion. Their cheerful disposition makes them great for people battling depression while their gentle nature is the reason why they are often used as therapy dogs that “work” with children.

Actually, the dog which inspired Elaine Smith to start with the systematic use of dogs in therapy was a golden retriever. So, you might say that golden retrievers are the “original” therapy dogs.

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