What Breeds Make Great Therapy Dogs? (April 11: Dog Therapy Appreciation Day)

April 9, 2021

Any dog can be a therapy dog if they have the right temperament and training. That is because therapy dogs work in a wide variety of settings. You can find over 50,000 therapy dogs in the United States in places from hospitals, schools, disaster areas, and even rehabilitation centers.  

What Do Therapy Dogs do?

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. A service dog provides specific support for a person with a disability. They have a strict “no petting while working” policy as it could prevent them from doing their job.

Petting is very much recommended when interacting with therapy dogs, who also receive training and must pass certification as therapy dogs. However, they perform a completely different type of job: to provide affection and comfort to people. 

10 Breeds Best Suited as Therapy Dogs

There are no specific therapy dog breeds. Their personality and training are what matter the most. However, certain breeds may have temperaments that make them more suited to the task.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are intelligent, eager to please, and easy to train. They are gentle dogs with a calm, patient, and affectionate temperament. They have no problem spending loads of them with any one patient.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are easy to train, and are reliable and consistent in working roles. Like the Labrador Retriever, they are intelligent, gentle, and friendly. They are especially suitable for working with children.


Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, and they are pretty easy to train. They work as service dogs, guide dogs, and even as truffle hunters. They are also very intuitive and are good at reading people and picking up on their emotions.  

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are intelligent and easy to train, which is why they are often chosen as police dogs. They are especially suited to activities requiring lots of energy and physical support, for example, helping with physical therapy. And despite their large size, they are gentle and friendly, and great with kids. 


Greyhounds love lounging around being petted for long periods of time, which makes them great companions. They are highly trainable and have a calm temperament. They love people and are not easily distracted, which is great for visits to hospitals and other institutions.

Border Collie

Border Collies are intelligent people pleasers who love learning new tasks and receiving praise for performing them. They are great working dogs who are good at focussing on the task at hand. Moreover, they love people and do not like to be alone for too long.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are a smaller breed that is intelligent and trainable. They have a sweet temperament and are good with strangers. They are also quite intuitive at picking up on the emotions and moods of the people around them.


Pugs are even-tempered dogs that are easily trainable. They love people and attention, and love being touched. They are also highly intuitive regarding the emotions and moods of a person.


Dachshunds are very social dogs that love being around people. Aside from being intelligent and highly trainable, they have a playful and energetic disposition. They are well suited for people with anxiety and depression.


Pomeranians are little balls of fur that pack a ton of personality. They are intelligent, obedient, love being touched. Because of their small size, they are suited for people who are home-bound.

Find Your Therapy Dog Through Furry Babies

If you are looking for great therapy dogs, book an appointment with Furry Babies in Aurora, Lombard, and Rockford. Furry Babies work with professional breeders across the country that are licensed, regulated, and inspected. You will receive information on your puppy’s breeder, along with inspection reports, to ensure you make a confident decision when choosing your new therapy dog.