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Finding The Perfect Fit: Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy Work

Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy

Whether you’re looking for a furry friend to provide comfort during tough times or want to get involved in therapy work, selecting a dog breed for therapy work is an important decision.

Veterans Benefit Greatly from Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are becoming increasingly popular in hospitals, schools, and other settings. These furry friends provide comfort and companionship to people of all ages, and there are many reasons why therapy dogs are so great. Veterans, in particular, have been helped a great deal by therapy dogs.

You can find therapy dogs at VA nursing homes, and PTSD therapy sessions. Therapy dogs are specially trained to be gentle and loving. They know how to approach people in a way that is non-threatening and calming.

This makes them ideal for Veterans who may be feeling anxious, afraid, or stressed.

Why Therapy Dogs are Important to Veterans and Everyone!

Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy
Frank Spady, Veteran, with his therapy dog, Gunner. Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy Work is an Important Task!

When most people think of therapy dogs, they think of hospitals and children. However, therapy dogs are becoming increasingly popular with Veterans as well.

Veterans often suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and therapy dogs can help them cope with these conditions.

Therapy dogs provide companionship and unconditional love. They can help Veterans feel less isolated and more connected to the world.

Veterans often form strong bonds with their therapy dogs, which can help them feel more comfortable opening up about their experiences.

Therapy dogs can also help Veterans in more practical ways. For example, some Veterans have service dogs that help them with tasks like picking up things or opening doors. Others have been trained to alert their owners if they are having a nightmare or panic attack.

Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy. Different Types of Therapy Dog Breeds

There are a wide variety of dog breeds that can be used for therapy work. The perfect breed for therapy work depends on a number of factors, including the type of therapy being provided, the setting in which the therapy will take place, and the preferences of the therapist or owner.

Some common breeds that are used for therapy work include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Standard Poodles. These breeds are typically calm, friendly, and intelligent, which makes them well-suited for working with people.

Other breeds that can be used for therapy work include Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. These breeds are often less common than the aforementioned breeds, but they can still make excellent therapy dogs.

While all dogs have the ability to bring joy, some breeds are better suited for therapeutic purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the best traits and dog breeds for therapy work, based on factors like obedience, intelligence, and trainability.

Different Breeds to Consider when Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy Work

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers make good therapy dogs because of their outgoing and friendly personalities. They are also gentle, patient, and intelligent, which makes them good at comforting people who are sick or injured.

Labrador Retrievers are also easy to train, so they can learn the specific tasks that a therapy dog needs to do.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities and their love of people. Here are some reasons why golden retrievers make great therapy dogs.

First, Golden Retrievers are very patient dogs. They are gentle and loving, and they enjoy spending time with people. This makes them ideal for therapy work, as they will not get impatient or annoyed with patients who may take a long time to respond or who need extra attention.

Second, Golden Retrievers are trainable and intelligent dogs. They can be taught to perform a variety of tasks that can help patients in therapy sessions. For example, they can be trained to fetch objects for patients who have difficulty reaching things or to provide gentle pressure on patients who are experiencing anxiety or pain.

Finally, Golden Retrievers have a calm demeanor.

Standard Poodles

There are many reasons why Standard Poodles make excellent therapy dogs. One reason is that they are very intelligent and easy to train. They also have a calm and gentle demeanor, which makes them perfect for working with people who may be nervous or anxious.

Standard Poodles are also hypoallergenic, which is important for people who may have allergies to other types of dogs. Overall, Standard Poodles make great therapy dogs because they are intelligent, gentle, and hypoallergenic.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are often thought of as loyal, obedient workers. But they also have a lot of love to give – which is why they make such good therapy dogs. These intelligent, loving animals are natural-born comforters. They have a keen sense of empathy and can quickly learn to respond to the needs of those around them.

German shepherds are also highly trainable, making them ideal candidates for therapy dog work. With the right training, these dogs can provide much-needed support and companionship to those who need it most. They can be an excellent pick when you are selecting a dog breed for therapy.


While most people think of therapy dogs as coming in the standard poodle or golden retriever variety, greyhounds are increasingly being recognized as excellent therapy candidates. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Greyhounds are gentle giants. They may look like they could knock you over with one swat of their tail, but they’re actually very sweet and docile by nature. This makes them ideal for working with people who might be intimidated by a more energetic breed of dog.

2. Greyhounds are easy to train. Because they’re so intelligent, Greyhounds pick up new commands and tricks quickly. This means that they can be ready to start working as therapy dogs sooner than some other breeds.

3. Greyhounds make great lap dogs. Even though they’re big, Greyhounds love to snuggle up close to their favorite person.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise have been increasingly popular as therapy dogs in recent years. There are many reasons why the Bichon Frise breed makes such a good therapy dog. One reason is that they are small enough to be easily carried and transported, yet they are also large enough to provide comfort and support.

Another reason is that they have a very gentle and loving nature, which helps to put people at ease. And finally, Bichon Frises are very intelligent dogs, which means they can be easily trained to perform various tasks that may be required of them during therapy sessions.

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are small dogs that make great therapy dogs. They are affectionate and loving and love to be around people. Yorkies are also very intelligent and easy to train. Therapy dog training is not difficult and it can be a fun way to bond with your dog.

Yorkies make great therapy dogs because they are so loving and affectionate. They enjoy being around people and making them feel comfortable. Yorkies are also easy to train which makes them ideal for therapy dog work. If you are thinking about getting a therapy dog, consider a Yorkshire Terrier.


Goldendoodles can make excellent therapy dogs because they are gentle, loving, and have a calm disposition. Many of them are hypoallergenic, which is important for people who have allergies.

Goldendoodles are intelligent and easy to train. They make great companions for people who need emotional support and are good dog to consider when selecting a dog breed for therapy.

Mixed-Breed Dogs

Mixed-breed dogs make great therapy dogs because they are typically less aggressive and more obedient than purebreds. They are also less likely to suffer from health problems common to purebreds. mixed breed dogs are more adaptable than purebreds, making them ideal for working with a wide range of people in diverse settings.

Temperament Testing for Therapy Dogs when Selecting a Dog Breed for Therapy

Your dog is your best friend. They provide companionship, love, and support during difficult times. But what if your furry friend could also provide therapeutic benefits? That’s where temperament testing comes in.

Temperament testing is a way of measuring a dog’s personality traits and how they respond to different situations. This information can be used to match a dog with the right owner or family or to find the best career path for them.

There are many different temperament tests available, but not all of them are created equal. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable test that has been validated by experts.

With the right temperament test, you can find the perfect fit for your therapy dog. This will ensure that they’re able to provide the maximum benefit to their owners or patients.

The AKC recommends the American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS). They are a non-profit organization that promotes uniform temperament evaluation of mixed-breed and purebred dogs.

Canine Good Citizen Certification for Therapy Dogs

The Canine Good Citizen Certification is a certification that proves that your dog has the training and manners required to be a therapy dog. There are many benefits to having a therapy dog, including providing comfort and support to people who are struggling with physical or mental health issues.

The certification process is not difficult, but it does require time and patience. Here are some things you should know about the Canine Good Citizen Certification for therapy dogs.

The first step in becoming a certified therapy dog is to take an obedience class. This will teach your dog the basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down. Once your pup has these commands down, your next step is to take a temperament test.

The purpose of the temperament test is to make sure that your dog is good-natured and will not be easily agitated in stressful situations. If your dog passes this test, you will then be able to take the Canine Good Citizen class.

This class is specifically designed for therapy dogs and will teach you how to handle your dog in different situations. It will also test your dog’s knowledge of the 10 tests that he or she should have passed in the first place.

The Canine Good Citizen class is a great opportunity for you and your pet to work together as a team and is something that you will find beneficial in your everyday lives.

Is there Licensing or Certification for Therapy Dogs?

Yes, there is some licensing and certification for therapy dogs. The process to become a licensed therapy dog begins with finding a reputable organization that offers certification, such as the Alliance of Therapy Dogs or Pet Partners. Next, you will need to have your dog registered and then complete a training course. After your dog has passed the final test, you will be issued a license that may allow you to visit facilities with your therapy dog.

Breed-Specific Legislation

Some states have enacted breed-specific legislation (BSL) to mitigate the number of fatal dog attacks. BSL is most often applied to pit bull breeds, rottweilers, and chow chows. BSL is controversial, as it is not supported by evidence that one breed of dog is more likely to bite or attack. In addition, BSL has been shown to be difficult to enforce and often results in the euthanasia of dogs who may have done nothing wrong. Take this into consideration when selecting a dog breed for therapy work.

Are Vests Required for Therapy Dogs?

Vests are not required for therapy dogs, but they may be helpful in some situations. Therapy dogs provide comfort and companionship to people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings.

They may also visit schools and provide support to children who are dealing with difficult situations. Vests can help therapy dogs to be easily identified by staff and visitors in these settings.

Therapy dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes, so there is sure to be one that is perfect for you and your lifestyle.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion on Selecting A Dog Breed For Therapy

In conclusion, when selecting a dog breed for therapy, it is important to consider what breed may be best suited for the job. While all dogs have the potential to provide therapeutic benefits, some breeds are better equipped than others to handle the challenges that come with the job.

With the help of a professional trainer, you can select the right dog breed for therapy work and provide countless hours of comfort and support to those in need.

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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is a lifelong dog lover who shares her life with a beloved Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle. Known among friends and family as the 'go-to' person for dog-related advice, she cherishes every moment spent with her four-legged companions. Her days are often filled with outdoor adventures and cozy evenings, all enhanced by her dog pals.