Top 10 Dogs that Help Fight Depression

PetGuide
PetGuide logo

Here are the top 10 breeds that have a special way of bringing us up when we’re feeling down.

As pet parents, we know first-hand the comfort that comes at the end of a tough day when your little guy intuitively curls up on your lap, nudges your arm for a cuddle or jumps like a lunatic when the leash comes out and he gets to spend a little one-on-one time with you. Without question, the emotional benefits to loving and caring for another creature and having that affection returned are a tonic in itself. But did you know that some critters are better at helping to alleviate the blues than others? Here are the top 10 breeds that have a special way of bringing us up when we’re feeling down. (Photo credit: graphicphoto/Bigstock)

While the image of this visually expressive, bug-eyed little dog can’t help but make one smile, it’s his big personality that makes him so endearing.

Pug: While the image of this visually expressive, bug-eyed little dog can’t help but make one smile, it’s his big personality that makes him so endearing. Pugs are extremely loyal and would love nothing better than to follow their pet parent around all day, hanging on their every word. His positive attitude and inquisitive nature make him a great family pooch and for those yearning to feel special, this little guy is totally devoted; certain to scare away the blues and make you feel like a superstar each time you return home. (Photo credit: savytska/Bigstock)

This beautiful boy tops the list when it comes to dogs known to help those suffering from anxiety.

Labrador Retriever: This beautiful boy tops the list when it comes to dogs known to help those suffering from anxiety. The Lab’s friendly nature and sunny disposition make him an excellent therapy dog that is often found working in nursing homes, convalescent homes and with those who suffer from depression. And his gentle, outgoing nature makes him a wonderful companion dog that seems to want nothing more than to make people feel better. He offers his pet parent undying loyalty and unconditional love – what more could you want? (Photo credit: Jaromir Chalabala/iStockphoto)

For those looking for a true companion dog who wants nothing more than to “hang” with his pet parent, the Vizsla is for you.

Vizsla: For those looking for a true companion dog who wants nothing more than to “hang” with his pet parent, the Vizsla is for you. Affectionately referred to as “velcro dogs”, its assumed their need to bond harkens back to their hunting days when they never strayed too far from the hunter. But make no mistake, his clingy nature by no means makes this pooch a couch potato. He is highly active and makes a great hiking, biking or jogging companion. You’ll never feel lonely with this loyal dog in the house as he’s known to be quite vocal – moaning, grunting and barking throughout the day.  (Photo credit: enji1/Bigstock)

This mini but mighty little pooch is not only loyal but highly protective of his pet parent.

Dachshund: This mini but mighty little pooch is not only loyal but highly protective of his pet parent. For those who love a dog with a playful and inquisitive nature, the Dachshund is for them. In fact this pooch is known to consider himself an integral part of the family and his nosey nature means he will probably want to know what you’re doing at all times – in case treats are involved. He’s lively, considered highly empathetic and his loving yet determined demand for attention make him fun to be with and a great distraction from any woes. (Photo credit: ktsdesign/Bigstock)

Believe it or not, Boxers are considered real cuddlers who never lose their playful puppy need to play and romp.

Boxer: Believe it or not, Boxers are considered real cuddlers who never lose their playful puppy need to play and romp. They develop a deep attachment to their pet parent and become quite loyal and affectionate to those closest to them. This ongoing need for a nurturing relationship coupled with a boisterous and outgoing personality make them a tremendous distraction for those suffering from depression and this larger sized dog’s need for regular exercise means his pet parent will gain additional benefits from partaking in energizing outdoor activities. (Photo credit: DNF-Style/Bigstock)

The massive size of this gentle giant is matched only by his unassuming and soothing disposition.

Newfoundland: The massive size of this gentle giant is matched only by his unassuming and soothing disposition. In spite of being used for high drama water rescues, the Newfoundland’s calm, loving demeanor makes him a popular choice to visit those in hospital or institutional settings. This big boy loves to cuddle and with an instinct to assist in any way possible, pet parents may frequently find themselves with a furry lapful!  His love of all things “water” is just the tonic for those suffering from anxiety or depression – what better way to enjoy your day than watching your “Newf” paddling around a lake, pond or river. (Photo credit: spartika/Bigstock)

This sweet-natured, endearing little pooch is just the ticket from those yearning for companionship.

Cocker Spaniel: This sweet-natured, endearing little pooch is just the ticket from those yearning for companionship. The Cocker Spaniel’s affectionate nature and happy disposition are infectious and he is never more content than when he’s pleasing his pet parent. A snuggler by nature, he’s a happy camper whether hiking with his owner, playing in the yard or keeping his favorite people company on the couch. His large, soulful eyes, calm demeanour and trusting nature make him a wonderful confidante for those in need of a sounding board! (Photo credit: mandygodbehear/Bigstock)

Known for his long ears, long torso and big butt, the mere presence of a Corgi can’t help but boost the mood of his pet parent.

Welsh Corgi: Known for his long ears, long torso and big butt, the mere presence of a Corgi can’t help but boost the mood of his pet parent. With a strong desire to please, this playful and sweet-natured boy is known to be very sensitive to changes in mood and can often try to “cheer up” a depressed owner. In fact, Welsh corgi owners claim their dogs even have a great sense of humor! With a natural curiosity and desire to discover new sights and smells, this boy’s love of walks and exploration is the perfect solution to drive away the blues.  (Photo credit: CKellyPhoto/Bigstock)

A cross between an English Terrier and a Bulldog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is easy train and always keen to please his owner.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: A cross between an English Terrier and a Bulldog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is easy train and always keen to please his owner. This pooch is often confused with a pit bull because of his distinctive features and stance, but his good nature, loyalty and desire for human companionship sets him apart from that pack.  That said, his determination to be included in all things “family” means his pet parent will need to devote substantial time and energy to keeping this little guy active and busy. What a great distraction for someone suffering from depression. (Photo credit: ots-photo/Bigstock)

Dogs are endless fountains of love, affection and understanding – it’s in their nature.

Your Dog! Dogs are endless fountains of love, affection and understanding – it’s in their nature. He’s your best friend who never leads your side. When you’re feeling down or depressed, he’s got a furry shoulder for you to cry on. He’ll crawl into bed with you for a cuddle and will never tell you to get over it. Whether he’s purebred or a Heinz 57 mix from the pound, your dog is the best kind of dog there is to help you fight depression.  Let him comfort you with a lick, a hug and a wag of his tail – it’s the best medicine out there!  (Photo credit: graphicphoto/Bigstock)