Dog Breeds That Are Great Therapy Dogs

A therapy dog is not a service dog. It is a completely separate type of dog that performs a certain function. Therapy dogs are there to provide support to people with mental or social problems. Having a pet has often shown that it has positive influences on people. It is particularly good for young children as it helps them develop their character and create self-esteem. This also boasts well for adults.

But therapy dogs specifically cater to people who have a need for them. Battling depression or anxiety is not easy and these types of dogs have shown to be quite helpful in those types of situations.

Actually, studies have shown that dog owners display better social skills, are more physically fit, are much healthier, and are conscientious. So you can only imagine how much of a positive influence a therapy dog could have on a person with certain problems.

But which breed makes the best therapy dog?

We are here today to find that out!



The Newfoundlander breed is sometimes nicknamed as “The Gentle Giant.” They are originally working dogs and are characterized by their size and strength. However, they are also very gentle and sweet. They are known for being empathic dogs and they do create a bond with their master’s which makes them perfect therapy dogs. The best example is Archie the Therapy Dog, a Newfoundlander that became Casa Pacifica’s founding therapy dog. Archie helped a lot of people, particularly children in gaining confidence and developing their much needed social skills.

Labrador Retriever

The Lab is also known as the dog that is constantly smiling. As such, it brings joy to people’s hearts and makes them feel happy. The Labrador retriever is probably the most popular dog breed in the USA. The reason for that is that these types of dogs are very playful, kind, affectionate, sweet, and generally calm. They are perfect for being around children and, more importantly, great as therapy dogs. They can be used in all kinds of cases and can work with various age groups. Whether for an adult or a child a Labrador is a perfect pet to have.

Golden Retriever

Some people mix the Golden Retriever with a Labrador Retriever. The breeds can seem a bit similar but the Golden Retriever is recognized by its unique coat and for the fact that it doesn’t have a mean bone in its body. These types of dogs are great with children, especially when you pair the two of them when they are both young. They will grow into a bond that cannot be broken. The Golden Retriever is a calm, gentle, patient, and very smart dog. They are easy to train and it also helps them become the best therapy dogs. Their high intelligence and trainability are what make them perfect for such things.



Don’t be fooled by the fluffy exterior of a Poodle. This breed of dog is considered as one of the, if not the, smartest dog breeds in the world. Actually, if you take a look at them a bit closer you will show that in their stance they are able to show grace and intelligence beyond measures. A Poodle is energetic and has immense stamina. They like going on walks and will play with you all day long. Due to them being so smart, they are very easy to train. Making them perfect therapy dogs. A Poodle will bring joy to a person and make them feel unique each minute of the day. They are loyal and best work with older people that need this type of care.


If you’ve ever seen Lassie then you are probably aware how affectionate a Collie breed can be. They are perfect for children and make for awesome family pets. They are both protective and loyal and will do everything to please their masters. Due to their connection with kids, their role as a Therapy Dog would be perfect in a children’s hospital. Imagine just how many smiles they could bring to kids’ faces.


You wouldn’t instantly picture a Greyhound as your typical therapy dog. But you are way off if you think that they couldn’t function as such. They are usually connected with dog races as they are very fast and agile dogs. But at the same time, they are gentle and sweet. Greyhound enjoys spending time at home as well. They like being petted and will lay in your lap all day long if given a chance. Retired racing dogs usually end up as therapy dogs and they fill this role far better than you might imagine. If you knew who Santa’s Little Helper is then you can imagine how good a Greyhound can be both as a family dog and a therapy dog as well.