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Top 10 Therapy Dog Breeds

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Dogs are much more than companions. There are pooches who are born to help. Here are our picks for top 10 therapy dog breeds.

Dogs play so many important roles in society. They are our friends, our family, our saviours, our companions, and sometimes even our therapist. It might sound a little silly given that dogs can’t talk, never mind attend several levels of post secondary education and order the specialized leather couch necessary to become a therapist. But of course, therapy dogs aren’t that literal in their profession. If you’ve ever owned a pup, then you can probably guess how doggos are able to provide therapy to their owners. However, if you’re a little confused then let’s get into the details.

A therapy dog is one that is trained to offer comfort and affection to individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, hospices, and during a crisis. Therapy dog breeds are also useful for children who have autism and various learning disabilities. Essentially, the job of a therapy dog entails providing emotional support, relieving stress, and brightening lives of humans in need. The service that these dogs provide is extraordinary and important. It takes a special type of pup to be up to the task.

Even though it might seem like all dogs could be therapy animals, that’s simply not the case. Only a few doggos are capable of delivering on the tasks required for a therapy dog. In addition to the fact that the canine in question must enjoy their position, they must also have a pawesome personality to become a therapy animal in the first place. These dogs must be able to stay calm in a busy setting, be sociable and friendly to strangers, and of course, have a lot of patience and plenty of love to give. Naturally, there’s also the question of passing rigorous training course with flying colors. Again, that’s not exactly something many dogs can do. Or even humans, for that matter!

To get your dog certified as a therapy animal, you’ll have to make sure that your own personality makes you a good match for the role of a therapy dog handler. Unless you’re a patient yourself and are looking to get a dog that would assist you personally, you’ll have to be ready to take out your pooch to mingle with people and be responsible for their actions. Also, you’ll have to work with your dog and teach them the specific manners that will ensure they are always on their best behavior. In other words, you’ll have to be a part of a pawesome therapy duo and not just a proud pawrent to a wonderful pooch! This is a big responsibility for owners as well. It’s not to be taken lightly, but the rewards are plentiful and undeniable.

What makes therapy dog breeds different from service dogs (such as those utilized by individuals with physical disabilities, like  seeing eye dogs or hearing dogs) is that they typically do not perform tasks. They are not supposed to remind a person to take their meds or alert them of a seizure beforehand. They certainly are not trained to do work for people either, such as guiding them through the street or pulling their wheelchair. These are all responsibilities of service dogs. Because all that is required is an even temperament and a surplus of love and affection, many breeds make great therapy dogs. It’s a very different skill set that requires a very different type of pooch than a service dog. So which dogs are best suited to be trained as therapy dogs? Well, that’s why you are here, so keep on reading for our picks for Top 10 Therapy Dog Breeds. (Photo credit: tomaszm/Bigstock.com)


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