There’s nothing more magical than the unconditional love, affection, and security of a cuddly puppy. For owners who have anxiety, puppies are the ultimate best friend. Puppies are amazing at calming down nerves and lifting people’s spirits—whether it’s through kisses or cuddles! If you’re wondering how puppies have this ability, there’s one thing to blame: hormones.
As presented in a study by Frontiers of Psychology, interacting with an animal increases the level of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is the famous “love hormone” that helps us feel happy or relaxed. Just looking into a puppy’s eyes or petting their fur makes you feel better after a bad day. And the best part? Puppies feel the same way about us when we’re affectionate with them!
While you can bond with any puppy, some special dog breeds are talented at alleviating your anxiety. Here are 9 of the best dog breeds for owners with anxiety:
Bulldogs are the type of dog that’s ready for any activity. Whether it’s lounging on the couch or cuddling with you, Bulldogs are your ideal best friend. Sweet, gentle, and happy, this breed does not need a ton of exercise. They’re just happy to be around you and will give you extra comfort during tough times. At home or the dog park, your Bulldog buddy will never complain!
2. Golden Retriever
It’s impossible to feel anxious around a happy and smiling Golden Retriever puppy. Golden Retrievers have a reputation of being one of the most easygoing breeds—and it’s all true! Along with having a gentle nature, Goldens are sweet, friendly, and calm. They’re rarely ever aggressive, even with other dogs. Their kindness and lovable nature allow owners with anxiety to relax, making this breed the perfect companion.
3. Saint Bernard
A lovable, eager-to-please dog, Saint Bernards are one of the best breeds for owners with anxiety. These dogs are giant teddy bears, not just in size but in personality as well! Saint Bernards are cuddly and calm. Their favorite pastime is to spend time with you on anything you decide to do. Despite their size, Saint Bernards do not need a heavy amount of exercise. This breed is naturally a homebody and their patient demeanor makes them great companions for anyone with anxiety.
4. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie is a perky little dog with an abundance of love to give. If you are ever anxious about making new friends, make sure to have a Yorkie with you. On the streets or at the dog park, Yorkies easily capture people’s attention due to their bold personality. This breed is also super talented at lifting people’s spirits. Take a look at history as an example. During World War II, a Yorkie named Smoky entertained and lifted the morale of soldiers through countless tricks she learned. After the war, she also served as the first-ever therapy dog at hospitals, helping many patients with her humor and talents. All Yorkies tend to build strong friendships with their owners. Their affectionate nature and love for adventure make them great buddies for owners with anxiety.
With its large eyes and button nose, a Pug is a little dog that was designed to give love. This breed is well-known across the nation for its charming, friendly nature. Pugs are outgoing and a little mischievous so you’ll never feel alone or anxious around these fur-babies. They give love and affection to everyone, even strangers. Their strong friendship will help soothe your nerves and calm your anxiety immediately.
What isn’t there to love about a Dachshund? Playful, affectionate, and fearless, Dachshunds are your fur-ever best friend. This breed never judges or demands attention from its owners. They’ll cuddle up with you or invite you to playtime. Dachshunds are also complete goofballs. You’ll be so entertained by their daily shenanigans that you won’t ever have time to feel anxious.
7. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are very talented at many things, but they’re especially gifted as therapy dogs. Peaceful, sweet-natured, and serene, Labs are a great breed for owners with anxiety. Labrador Retrievers are attuned to the emotions of their loved ones, and their gentle disposition allows owners to relax. Labs are also incredibly sweet towards children, disabled persons, and older individuals. This breed does not discriminate against strangers, showing their easygoing nature as well. It’s no wonder that Labrador Retrievers make excellent service dogs.
Poodles make great furry besties for those in need of stress reduction, and their tidy coats make them a breed welcome in homes with allergy sufferers. Poodles are very smart, friendly, and have an optimistic demeanor, which can’t help but rub off on their owners.
9. Cocker Spaniel
Not too big and not too small, Cocker Spaniels have a loving and patient personality that will delight the whole family. This popular breed is great with kids and easy to train, too. They love going on walks and getting plenty of exercises, which can help inspire you to do the same.
As wonderful as they are, dogs also present challenges to their owners. Make sure you’re ready to learn about your dog and deal with any challenges that come your way. There are also countless other breeds beyond this list that can make wonderful furry friends for you! For more cute breeds, check out our blog, 8 Cute Long-Haired Dog Breeds.