Best Service Dog Breeds for PTSD and Anxiety

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: December 7, 2022

When it comes to PSTD and anxiety, some dog breeds are much better as service dogs than some other breeds of dogs may be. There are several breeds of dogs that are absolutely excellent choices to be emotional service dogs. This article will list several dog breeds that would be the best fit for those who suffer from symptoms of PTSD and anxiety. From large dogs to small dogs and all of those in between, there are many incredible dog breeds on this list. Some of these dog breeds might even surprise you. Stay tuned for the perfect list of service dogs for those suffering from PTSD and/or anxiety.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodles are a highly intelligent breed of dog. Due to this, they can be trained to notice the symptoms of those suffering from either PTSD or anxiety. Once they sense a symptom occurring, they can react accordingly to comfort and soothe their owner. They also tend to be very kind and caring, which are excellent traits for dogs that are being considered for service dogs or emotional support animals.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds make incredible service dogs. Their demeanor is the perfect mixture of loyalty, calm, and care towards their owners. German Shepherds tend to be extremely intelligent and therefore are able to learn many commands and are very easily trained. They are very protective of their owners and are firm but incredibly caring and loving at the same time. They are usually used by the police or military but can also be used as service dogs or emotional support dogs as well.


The initial appearance of Boxers may seem a bit intimidating, however, they can be extremely gentle and affectionate. Do not let their seemingly tough exterior steer you away from choosing a Boxer as a service dog or an emotional support dog. They are very protective of their owners. They also do not require lengthy training to pick up on things so they are great choices for service dogs.

Border Collie

Historically used as dogs for herding farm animals, Border Collies are extremely intelligent creatures. They are easily trained and can possess a great deal of physical strength as well. The affection that they show towards their owners is extremely beneficial to those suffering from symptoms of both PTSD as well as anxiety. Overall, they are a great choice to be service dogs.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos are small, furry, and cuddly. They might not be the typical breed that first comes to mind when you think of a service dog. However, their personality makes them great dogs to be emotional support animals or service dogs. They tend to be easily trained, incredibly happy, and so very loving towards both their owners as well as strangers. They are able to discern various moods from their owners and react accordingly. These qualities make Lhasa Apsos great choices for service dogs for those suffering from PTSD or anxiety.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds chosen to be service dogs or emotional support dogs. They are extremely intelligent and can sense the emotions of humans very well. This makes them an excellent breed choice for emotional support dogs or service dogs. They also tend to be very affectionate dogs which is such a great trait for a dog to possess if its destiny is to be a service dog or emotional support dog.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are usually chosen to be guide dogs for those that are visually impaired. They also make great choices for service dogs as well. Labrador Retrievers tend to be calm, patient, and intelligent. They are able to understand and obey a great number of commands from their owners. They are also great at sensing when there might be a danger for their humans. Overall, all of these qualities make Labrador Retrievers a great choice for emotional support dogs and service dogs.

Doberman Pinscher

While the appearance of Doberman Pinschers can be a little bit intimidating, this breed is one of the absolute best choices for a service dog or emotional support dog. They tend to form very close, essentially unbreakable bonds with their owners. They tend to stick very close to their owners at all times. This closeness, combined with the bonds formed, can be immensely beneficial for those suffering from anxiety or PTSD. Their size can also be incredibly comforting from a protective standpoint as well which can also be very beneficial for those in these types of situations.


Havanese dogs are small, fluffy, and so lovable. They love to love their owners by showing kindness and affection at all times. This gives their owners an overwhelming sense of love and emotional protection. They tend to be a very outgoing breed of dog and are usually friendly to all of the people that they come into contact with. Due to all of these fantastic characteristics of Havanese dogs, they make ideal candidates as service dogs or emotional support dogs for those suffering from PTSD or anxiety.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are overall very kind and loving dogs. Due to this, they tend to make incredible emotional support and service dogs. These dogs tend to be very gentle, sweet, kind, and they absolutely love to cuddle with their owners. This companionship between Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and their owners can work wonders with those that may suffer from either PSTD and/or anxiety.

Overall, there are several different breeds of dogs that are incredible choices to be service dogs or emotional support dogs. Intelligence, care, love, kindness, ease of training, and companionship are all key factors to consider when choosing a breed of dog as a service dog or emotional support dog. Dogs can be truly exceptional creatures and are truly able to help us so much in some of the most difficult moments of our lives. The dogs listed in this article are all amazing choices for service dogs in cases of PTSD or anxiety.