Top 7 Dog Breeds for People Fighting Depression

As someone who has suffered from depression, I cannot express the value our dog Rollie has brought to my life. The happiness, the companionship, the responsibility, the activity, the touch, and the laughter.

While many of us have heard about the studies proving dogs reduce stress, tension, and depression – I’m here to convince you to take the next step. To jumpstart the mental process of actually picking up a pouch and taking a step toward a depression free life.

Being married to a dog groomer these past 4 years,  she’s taught me an abundance on our furry friends. Anything from breed characteristics and temperament to maintenance and health risks.

The key to choosing a dog to help overcome depression is quite different than choosing one for general needs. You’ll want to find a breed which is playful yet not overly energetic, loving and not independent, low maintenance, and somewhat portable.

Here is what my wife and I put together:

Top 7 Dog Breeds for People Fighting Depression

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Pros: Very affectionate, portable, easy to train, and great for apartments
Cons: They need to be groomed and they’re prone to heart issues.
Short Video on Cavaliers: http://youtu.be/rd5dR7YR2ig
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Photo by Sina Ettmer

2. Pug
Pros: Funny personality, portable, highly adaptable, and very positive temperament
Cons: Shedding, not good in heat, and potential breathing issues
Short Video on Pugs: http://youtu.be/8Kkrmubsgf8
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Photo by Swetha Manne

3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Pros: Energetic, playful, good with children, and low maintenance
Cons: Their stereotype
Short Video on Staffordshire Bull Terrier: http://youtu.be/8Jh2_2z92mw
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Photo by Arturas Kerdokas

4. Golden Retriever
Pros: Loving, athletic, easy to train, love to swim
Cons: Shedding, have been known to nip, need to be groomed, not great for apartments
Short Video on Golden Retriever: http://youtu.be/kI4EbABtJQ0
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Photo by Alexander Zachen

5. Poodle
Pros: Adaptable, long life-span, natural performer, great family dog
Cons: Professional grooming, prone to bloat
Short Video on Poodles: http://youtu.be/74mx2OWM6mE
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Photo by Byron Ellis

6. Labrador Retriever
Pros: Loyal, easy to train, and active
Cons: Potential hip and joint problems, needs space
Short Video on Labrador Retrievers: http://youtu.be/0cj81wHmfXc
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Photo by Alex Greenshpun

7. Vizsla 
Pros: Extremely healthy, athletic, very clean, loving
Cons: Needs space, not great with small children,
Short Video on Vizsla: http://youtu.be/U3ULwqhiBSE
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Photo by Tomáš Kopečný

What are your favorite uplifting breeds? Let me know in the comments below.

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Dale Partridge

About the Author

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Some know me as a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Sevenly.org, others know me as the guy who can ride a unicycle and still kickflip on a skateboard. I'm on a mission to inspire people. Will you join me?

“I hope my writings inspire you to live a life of purpose.”

About Dale

  • Lydia D

    You cannot beat a loyal and loving border collie! You will be so busy entertaining each other and working closely with him/her you won’t have any time to be depressed!

  • Bunky

    What a great article to put out there! Those who don’t have a dog don’t seem to understand the power of the love you give and the love you receive from your own dog. We have a 25lb. mini goldendoodle! She is the sweetest, funniest most playful little girl! From the moment my husband and I wake up in the morning, she makes us laugh and smile. Just to look at her warms my heart. We laugh and smile hundreds if times a day because we have her. She doesn’t shed, she has the spirit of a big dog, loves to play catch, wrestle around and is the best cuddler and nap buddy ever! We had a yellow lab who passed before her 10th birthday and we were heartbroken. Our little goldendoodle was a perfect addition to our family as we could never replace our sweet beautiful lab but we are experiencing a different enjoyment with our mini goldendoodle. Thanks for allowing me to share with the world the love and pride I have for our dog! ( and yes we are parents also to 2 sons but our dog can still steal our heart )

  • Renata Rodrigues da Silva

    My dog “Luna” is very lovely… i love my dog because she make me happy everyday …

  • Denise

    A Corgi! I have the happiest dog alive! You can never feel sad when he’s around!

  • Hayley

    Cocker Spaniel:
    Pros: loving, great with children, cute
    Cons: sheds

  • http://www.ohjoyphotography.com joy stclaire

    And please don’t forget the All American Mixed breed! My lab/greyhound mix was returned twice, but went on to become my 1 in a million dog & a Therapy Dog on the heart floor of a local hospital helping brighten the day of patients, families and staff.

  • Natalie

    I am so happy that you included the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. People think they are such horrible dogs because of the stereotype, but ours is the most loving, affectionate, gentle, sweetest girl. I couldn’t ask for a better dog. She truly makes my day happier. Great blog post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Alison Murray

    I am completely head over heels for my Mini Aussie, Lucky. She is intelligent, perceptive, playful and is a world class cuddler. Aussies are nicknamed the Velcro dog , since I work from home she is my constant companion. She can have stranger anxiety and she cannot be separated from our original dog (who is also wonderful, he’s a shelter special). We have had Dutch for 8 years and got Lucky to round out our family 5 years ago. I did not grow up with dogs, but having them gives me such a purpose and helps with my anxiety.

  • Paige

    I have a frenchie, and he’s absolutely fantastic when my moods drop. He doesn’t shed much, great temperament, incredibly easy to house train (too stubborn for some tricks, though), and he has such a fun, loving personality. He always wants to be RIGHT next to you. You can’t even pee in peace! They’re prone to a lot of the same heat/breathing problems pugs are, and they do fantastic in small places. They don’t need anything except you.

  • Angela

    I love my mini Schnauzers and my rat terriers. Both wonderful family dogs!

  • whylie2014

    Puggles are awesome as well

  • Ally

    Your no. 3 bull terrier should be taken off the list. As stated is good with children. This breed mauled a 10 mos old baby at their home in Evergreen, CO a few weeks ago.

  • Kimmie

    It is how they are raised. It is never a breed’s fault that people stereotype them and treat them badly. If you get a bull terrier as a pup and train them correctly they are very sweet and playful dogs. There is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners.

  • Danah Kee

    How does it get cuter than a deer face chihuahua ????

  • Foxburrow Vintage

    I have a corgi too – they have the best smiles, and the cutest butts.

  • Nancy

    Thank you for this. I appreciate the time and energy you put into our “list articles”. This one especially caught my attention since I am considering getting another Golden Retriever in the near future. I had a Golden, Reilly, who went to doggie heaven four years ago. He enriched my life more than I ever though could be possible. Since then, I found a wonderful organization, The Warrior Canine Connection, which has filled in the gap for my puppy needs. They breed Golden Retrievers and Labs to be service dogs for Wounded Warriors. I have learned so much through this organization. I volunteer time as a “puppy petter” when they have new litters of pups. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! : ) I’ve also had the opportunity to babysit for one of their star dogs, “Navi”, when her puppy mom has gone out of town. Navi did not quite make the cut to be a service dog (because she is too lazy to get anyone’s keys or remote control for them), but she sure has an abundance of love to give. She is a certified comfort dog and has a nine to five job working with veterans everyday who suffer from PTSD and Brain Injuries. I jokingly say she is one of God’s chosen dogs, but there is truly something so unique about her. She can reach into the depths of someone’s soul and bring more joy and comfort than any antidepressant or anti-anxiety pill ever could. As you can tell, I’m a bit of a Golden pusher. I’ve never met anyone who regretted having a Golden. The name says it all. And so do the eyes…. I want to upload a picture of sweet Navi Girl, but it’s not allowing it for some reason. It’s a face the world needs to see. So sad it’s not working.

  • Nancy

    OH MY!!!! I am so sorry!!! I didn’t think the eight times I tried uploading that it was working. I wish I knew how to take off the extra pictures. Please forgive me!

  • Nancy

    I hope you can fix this Dale. I did not mean to blow up this thread with pictures. I’m a first time poster….and maybe a last since I blew things up!!!

  • Amanda Wilder

    Pug video links to poodle FYI. Also good, but not as good as pugs;)

  • Amanda

    Dachshund!! <3

  • Dia

    I have to say while not very portable our Newfie Akita mix is awesome, he has the best of both breeds. He gives hugs and is sensitive to when I am upset, but a totally ham with a bounce when he is playing. He has been a huge blessing to our lives. He is now over 10 but still pretty peppy slower than he was but still a shocking amount of energy haha. The day my father passed away while I was laying down after a long night at the hospital he stayed by my side and never moved for hours til I got up. He was by my side for days. He brought me more comfort than anyone else.

  • Elizabeth

    I work in a vet clinic. I know a ton of bull terriers. All of them are amazing. A lady even breeds them and they are ALL (intact males included) therapy dogs for the elderly and young children with disabilities. These dogs are amazing with children I’ve seen it. With proper training they are great dogs. Don’t be apart of the stereotype. Get educated before you go judging something.

  • Danny

    Dobermans are amazing too! have never met a Doberman I wasn’t fond of. plus side, barely any grooming

  • Jess

    I agree. My sister has two pits and they are extremely sweet. Anytime I am upset they lay with me and cuddle. Love pits. Watch pitbulls and paroles to all those people who don’t like this breed. It will change your perspective.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    We have two 4.5’s (Goldendoodle’s) That’s why we are so happy!!!!

  • brittany

    Welsh Corgis!!

  • Sara

    I have two German Shorthaired Pointers. They have so much energy and keep me very active. They are very sweet, loyal, and affectionate dogs. One is a rescue!

  • Amy

    I’ve always had labs and goldens, and they’ve been amazing! My most recent addition to the fam though is a Bichon Frise! Such a personality!! So in love. :)

  • Rachel

    I love that you mentioned the Staffie. They are the most affectionate dogs and have this heinous reputation completely antithetical to their potential. I have a lab-Aussie mix, a lab-weimaraner-staffie mix, and depression. My girls make me get outside in the sun regularly and give me love all day long. :)

  • caz

    We have 3 beagles they are so affectionate and loving.

  • Travis

    Brittany Spaniels! They are so smart and easy to train. They’re loyal and good with kids. They don’t shed too much. The only con is that they need some room to run.

  • Samantha

    Ultimately any cat or dog can stimulate and be a good companion for anybody who is depressed or lonely. But even better than finding that perfect breed and spending a fortune (giving in to the unrealistic breeding industry), is to find an cat or dog at your local humane society who is also in need of a good companion. It is more fulfilling and humbling knowing you have rescued and animal instead of ordering it online through a breeder based on its looks and bred quality. Yes it is important to find that right fit for you and your home, but you can find that dog at your local humane society. We need to start taking care of the animals we have now and stop reproducing for superficial reasons. Thanks :)

  • Gina DePaul

    I have a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and she’s another great breed of dog. My mother took care of her for 1 month while I was away and she (my mother) lost 15 lbs and was the happiest I had seen her in a long while due to the joy my dog brought. Podengos are very healthy, have a great disposition, highly intelligent, highly trainable, portable, great with children and active but not overly energetic. I have the wire haired Podengo and she sheds, so I keep her hair short usually. I highly recommend the breed!

  • E

    Boston Terriers! Nuff said…

  • Duane Merz

    Nonsense. Regardless of breed,(yes, this includes pit bulls) you cannot in good conscience condemn an entire Bree’s based on the actions of a few, or single animal.
    To do so just reveals the ignorance and fear of those who would do so.

    Any dog can be made into a nightmare if not treated well.

  • Elizabeth Palumbo

    What about Boston Terriers? OMG! A MUST for this list.

  • Cobycash

    Deed NOT breed. Don’t be so stupid.

  • Cobycash

    Me too best little clown dogs! Smiles all round!

  • gareth

    Got to be a boxer

  • Lisa Martin

    Boxers are the best! They keep you active and always make you smile!

  • Linda Jean Guy

    My Boston Terriers got me through the loss of my husband.

  • Mikey H

    Corgi. How can you not love a Corgi?

  • Theresa Easley

    I have 2 pit bulls and they are fantastic companions for me while my husband is on the road. They are also very friendly and well-behaved around our grandchildren. They love children.

  • Gary Ray

    Most mixed are great companions and very loving. You don’t have to be exotic to be cool. My little Tia is all I could have ever asked for. Visit your local SPCA and adopt one. That’s where I found my little sweetheart.

  • Mary Bird

    We have had many dogs, cats, birds, horses, rats, gerbils and a bull. Most all were rescues or pound animals. Every one has brought joy to our lives in their own way. If there is a perfect breed of dog though, I would have to say newfies. Gentle with everyone, especially children and the elderly. Intelligent, sensitive, harder to train than some of the “smart” dogs because they are so smart that they know exactly what you would like them to do, but smart enough to know how to get out of doing what you may want. On the other hand they are so well behaved, it is not a problem. They don’t get over excited, don’t chew and by far the easiest dog to house train. Even our rescue newfs that have been mistreated are not a concern that they might bite or attack. They are so calm and gentle. They growl only as a form of talking and bark as a greeting. If you are threatened, they will stand between you and the threat but not growl or snarl. And hilariously goofy.

  • Rosemarie

    I have a black pug now he is wonderful, yes he sheds but that does not matter anymore I love him to death, I had a toy fox terrier she was amazing one of the best dogs I ever had she made me so happy.

  • Emily

    My border terrier is amazing he’s so loving and affectionate but playful and funny too! Everyone should have one!

  • Jane Lawrence

    Samantha, you are SO right!! All my pets have been waifs and strays, all have given so much joy and love and seen me through the dark times, and it’s wonderful to think I’ve given that back to them. Couldn’t contemplate a life without them!

  • Nicole E.

    Maybe it’s just me, but border collies are my dog of choice for not only depression but life in general. Believe it or not, they can be an indoor breed, and as incredibly energetic and (sometimes) destructive as they can be, once they give their heart to you you’ll never find another breed as loyal as a border collie.

  • Old Fogey

    I have a Lab/Pointer mix, and a long-haired Chihuahua. Both make lots of positive Contributions to helping with my depression. And both shed, the Lab worse than the Chihuahua! *LOL* However I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I have found that throwing a couple of balls of crumpled up aluminum foil into the dryer with my laundry helps tremendously with keeping the dog hair from sticking to my clothes quite so badly. P. S. Both are rescues

  • Kathy DeSeta

    Shih tzu hands down!!! Most lovable dog I ever had!!!

  • Rachel

    The fact is… way many more dog attacks by smaller breeds they just aren’t as deadly. You cannot condemn an entire breed just because of the actions of a few dogs. I have a family dog that is a pitt and he is the sweetest thing ever..Great with kids and a complete cuddlebug.

  • Dog Lady

    Huskies,

    Pros: incredibly loving, happy, hyper, get-you-out-the-house dogs, Mine don’t bark or howl (males, but females more likely to “talk”) Good with kids and cats (if brought up with them)

    Cons: Blow outs – fur sticks to everything! Can be boisterous. Can get into everything if bored!

  • Shelby

    I completely agree!

  • Nicole Niemeier Tjelmeland

    I’m kind of shocked that corgis aren’t on here! They are the happiest dogs on Earth! Personally I have a basset hound and love him to death, but my mom’s corgi is definitely the best anti-depressant out there!

  • Ajay

    Chihuahuas hands down. You will never find a more loyal, loving, low maintenance dog. My rescue chihuahua has truly made my life better.

  • Nic66

    We got our female Rottweiler as a puppy in August of last year. I suffer with depression. She gives me a reason to get up every day. A reason to go out and walk and appreciate the beauty of the place we live in, rain or shine. I love watching her run and smile. She is the most soppiest, gentle girl and she is part of the family. Every day she makes me smile and laugh and I go to sleep having had a cwtch with her before she settles to sleep at the foot of the bed, definitely a mood lifter!

  • nikki

    I got three pugs I love all of them but the two boys one is very protective over me and my son its hard to have them all out of thier kennels at once I got mama pug baby male pug and daddy pug. The daddy pug fights with the baby pug 4yrs old and I hate it I just want love from all at once.

  • Amy

    Our Parsons Jack Russell has such personality and energy you just can’t stay depressed long! He has the personality of a little kid! He is a fast learner too! Also had a Beagle and they are so easy to live with, loyal and loving. Both have long life spans.

  • Erp

    Boston Terrier. Frisky, loving, small, brave, funny, devoted. Needs exercise. Great companion.

  • Lance Quillen

    i love the breeds that look like wolves but i can only get a toy or mini for my apt.

  • Julie Wexler

    Every dog is an anti depressant! Doesn’t need to be a special breed! Just being a dog makes them the happiest part of your day!

  • Wendy Bourland

    Greyhound. I have endured clinical depression for nearly 25 years. I got my (first) dog in 2009. He is so comforting and fairly low-maintenance. He jumps up and down at the door when I get home from work each day. I love him dearly!

  • Bri

    I have 2 and they are my fur babies.

  • melita flynn

    sorry I can’t agree. in my book German Shepherd is the top and the very best of all

  • disqus_GXG6a3n1ue

    My Bulldog Papi..

  • supermomof4

    Research “Coton de Tulear” breed….they don’t shed (hypoallergenic), are very affectionate, good with children, and they like to act like clowns – dancing on their hind legs :) When I can afford one, I’m going to get one for sure!

  • LifeLover14

    My Beagle is my whole world. On days when I can’t imagine getting out of bed he lays on my chest and “loud yawns” until I get up and let him out. He’s affectionate, and extremely receptive to my emotions. I’m never alone, he lays beside me on the couch, sleeps beside me in bed, lays in the kitchen while I cook, and lays in the bathroom while I shower. He’s quite and gentle and always gets compliments on his behavior at the dog park or vet. He’s perfect!

  • Sandi

    Maltese, very loving, great for apartments. Very easy to walk and for people with health issues they won’t pull on leash and if they do it doesn’t matter because there so small

  • Jen

    Whippets! Sweetest dog we’ve ever had……miss our Leo every minute of every day!

  • Marge Shea

    St Bernard, so huggable!! And they just lay there & listen to all your problems!

  • Ann

    I have a Shitzu bischon mix and she is wonderful and so loving..love her so much!

  • Jess

    I have a siberian husky and a lab/retriever mix… They are my entire world. I’ve suffered with depression for a long time but these two can get me out of a rut better than anyone or anything. They are playful, energetic and make me laugh on a daily basis. I don’t know where I’d be without them.

  • Amanda Villarreal

    I have to say mine is the old English. Mastiff they are loyal. Loving, great with. Children, and not a bad temperant. At all, the are very similar to the pst Mrs Bird sent in about her Newfoundland,

  • AlNiMa

    ShihTzu, not great at house training, but lovable warm personality, loyal, calm and obedient. Or at least mine are…. Cons? Kidney failure quite common, constant grooming, fussy eater. Great for apartment living!

  • cas

    Dachshaund. Affectionate, loyal, small. Cons. Hard to train

  • littlefeatherrr

    I got my Border Collie mix specifically for my anxiety! He is amazing! He is calm and cuddly, but also playful and fun! He truly helps me every day!

  • Julian Hee

    Add the Rottweiler. Sweetest mate ever and forces you to walk it to get the sun and exercise for that much needed vit K and endorphin.

  • Jim Demestihas

    Samoyed is the best

  • Jess

    Vizsla’s need a LOT of exercise, and while that may be good to get people out of the house, it can actually be damaging to the dog psychologically if they’re not given the energy release they require on a daily basis. They can get destructive (ruin furniture, etc) and develop neurotic behaviors if they’re not properly exercised, so it’d be cruel to own one if you couldn’t guarantee giving it the exercise and mental stimulation it requires. Even people who aren’t depressed struggle to keep up. I’m sure there are exceptions but in general it’s not a dog for people who wouldn’t be able to exercise it properly (at minimum adult vizslas need 2 hours per day, and can handle up to 5 hours easily.)

    Otherwise, great list. :)

  • stef

    my pomeranian is my little hero. he saved me from a terrible bout of manic depression. hes so silly and happy, but also loving and has no problem being lazy with me. grooming him helps relax me as well. i always get compliments on how well behaved he is, he and i learned to be social beings together. every day for the past 8 years this little boy has made his mommy smile and laugh :)

  • marichelle

    St Bernard for me, Gina was the life of our house, she got all of us excited to get on with our days. She adored children. Grooming is a day long exercise, but we made it a family thing. She lived to be 11years old. If I ever have the space again, St Bernard will be my first choice!

  • Ava Reed

    Being owned by an English Bull Terrier is being guaranteed to enjoy a few laughs every day. They truly ARE the clown of the dog kingdom!!!

  • Ava Reed

    ALL of my dogs (and cats!) have been adopted from the local animal shelter or as strays and cast-offs over the years. Such a small price to pay for total devotion and love. They are the perfect “medication” for depression!!!

  • Ava Reed

    Until you’ve been owned by a bull terrier, you’ll never know what laughter one can provide.

  • Shannon

    I love number 3! Your first big dog choice :-) my Pitty boy is a absolute clown. Absolutely everyone adores his goofy personality, and always happy and loving temperament. He’s good with other dogs, cats, chickens, pretty much anything. He can be nervous around new people in loud environments but doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Only depressing aspect is getting over the stereotype. One day. It was the German shepherds, the Dalmatians, the chows, the rotts. Give it time, education, and good people working to have good examples of the breed!

  • Jennifer Colaizzi

    Who says? This is biased! I have two BOSTON TERRIERS, who I wouldn’t trade for the world…..this article is just a matter of opinion.

  • tgir

    Shin tzu. If you keep them cut short grooming is easier. Full of personality & fun. Portable & loving. Short walks out or a play session inside seems enough. Great snuggle buddies too.

  • MW

    We have two rescue dogs. Our big girl is a Great Dane/Black Lab mix. She is nothing but awesome. She’s energetic without being too hyper, and Loves to nap! Our little guy is a Min Pin/ Rat Terrier mix. He’s our watch dog, and gets along great with other dogs and people.

  • Jane

    Doberman for me. Our little boy is a goofball. And his favourite thing to do is snuggle with my son.

  • wanda

    Dec. 24, my husband died @ home unexpectly with a massive heart attack. First Responders tried so hard to bring him back, not to be. Daughters @ college 5 hrs away. No pets in our home. Wanted one short hair female doxie. @ Christmas time, no one had any pups. In end of Jan. someone had a litter, with 2 black & tan long hair boys. I could not seperate them, one 5 pds. Smokey, one 4.5 pds Bandit. Remember the movie ? They are my boys! I have a porch to my bedroom door, being small ,I have a kitty door they use to go in & out. I share their bed. They have helped me. The Church & my boys have kept me buzy.

  • xolomom

    I have a Xoloitzcuintli and she is my savior… I literally contemplated suicide, but couldn’t abandon ber… There is something about her nekkid snuggles…

  • Vicki

    Shetland Sheepdog ( Sheltie ) If not for my little guy l would not be here. He is my best friend, companion and offers unconditional love all the time. He loves kids and most adults

  • Animalresourcecenter Arc

    OMG – you have to have Beagle! Those dogs are the definition of joy of life! They always have a smile on their face, everything is exciting and worth investigating. They encourage you to get out and walk, stimulating your endorphins. Even when they mess up, they do it with a smile on their face!

  • Claire

    I have struggled with depression, anxiety, conversion disorder and panic attacks. I have a mini golden doodle (mix of golden retriever and mini poodle). He always cheers me up and even senses when I’m about to have an anxiety attack or a seizure. He stays at my side the entire time. Great family dogs with a lovable personality.

  • Seaglass66

    Any dog you love is the right dog. Having said that, I’m owned by several Cavaliers, and, yes, they’re w o n d e r f u l. The two oldest are 11 and 14! Just be very, very careful where you get one (unfortunately backyard breeders and puppy mills jumped on the bandwagon in very short order) if you think they’re the right breed for you.

  • lillyth2k

    Definately Pomeranians – mine dances, spins and wags his head and tail when i come home…never met a human with that much enthusiasm!

  • Gtplmpm4e

    I have a beagle terrier mix who is very calm, cuddly and sweet. She is 35 lbs but thinks she is a lap dog. She listens well and also loves to play in the yards for hours. She is great with other dogs, cats, all people and children of all ages. The only con I have found is that she has stomach issues, but not major issues. She just gets stomach viruses due to switching dog foods or eating table food, which I can’t narrow down so I just try not to give her any (which is difficult because my pug, has a stomach of steal). She potty trained fast and grazes, so I can leave food out if I will be gone all day (usually the bowl is half full when I get home which is good so I know she is not overeating). Initially, she was a foster dog, but after having her for less than 12 hours I decided to make her a member of our family. I love my Beagle Terrier Mix… What’s that called; Beaglier, or Terigle?! Idk, but anyway, the best dog and should be added to the mix, also she is still a puppy which says a lot because a lot of puppies are too much. She has also calmed my pug down a little which is great. I could go on and on, hope that helps!!

  • Rachel R.

    #3 covers a specific BREED of Pit Bull (staffie), but I’d have to say ANY pit bull type dog. They are almost OVERLY friendly, and incredibly low maintenance. Skin issues arise often in the light skin/haired variety, but with diligent treatment, it is not very difficult to control. Their smiles are so uplifting, and they are the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever met. I can proudly say I was really the one who was rescued when I adopted my Pit Bull, Ruckus. I’ve actively been supporting the “type” ever since, and I can say without a doubt that my life has been enriched as much as any of the dog’s. When it comes to fighting depression, there is nothing I have experienced that has helped nearly as much as Ruckus curling up with me, and kissing me when he knows I’m having a rough time.

  • Rachel R.

    AMEN, SISTER!

  • Ajay

    Lots of rescue dogs can do all those things too!

  • Kristen

    Every home needs a Maltese! They snuggle when you need one, but will do anything for a laugh. They are playful and sweet. Make sure they have toys and keep them in a puppy cut (or be prepared for ENDLESS painful grooming) and please don’t get them from a puppy mill… You want a healthy baby!
    I had one that was great with children/afraid of people on bikes and now I have one nervous around children but fearless otherwise. Everyone in our home loves him to the point I’m sure he feels smothered but he endures :)

  • zj sky

    I have a Yorkie and she is my heart! Very loving and 100% can not lay down without her butt touching me or my wife – yorkies rule!

  • zj sky

    Glad you were able to find such loving sons! I always say that no one ever on Earth will love you more than your puppies. Hope things get better for you!

  • courtney

    Weimarainer!!! A sister to the Vizsla fam

  • Miz

    Shih Tzu! My little boy is my life! He gives me a reason to wake up everyday when dealing with an autoimmune disease for over 2 years and suffering a miscarriage. He’s my best buddy and we do almost everything together. He’s always happy and it’s contagious! He’s never met a person or another dog that he didn’t get along with. No shedding, he was very easy to housebreak and learned the basic sit/stay/down commands. He does need to go to the groomer every 4-6 weeks but with a short haircut I only have to brush him about once a week. He’s only 13 pounds so he’s very portable but he’s also very sturdy so being around kids or bigger dogs isn’t an issue. Since he has a short snout he can’t be in the heat for long periods of time because he can have breathing issues (like pugs). He loves treats, food, short walks, playing fetch, car rides, weekend road trips, napping on the couch and most of all he loves me unconditionally!

  • Victoria

    You forgot the best dog in the world – The one you rescue for the shelter! My best dogs ever have been been rescue dogs. You have to get them young though – preferably as a puppy as older dogs have most likely been mistreated and abused and sadly have developed issues with people. So get a rescue puppy,
    Cheers,
    Victoria Hopkins
    Horse Whisperer
    Southern Highlands Australia

  • Sparks13

    Lots of other kinds of animals are also good for depression. Not just dogs.

  • Kayla

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi(:

  • lmentary

    Catahoula Leopard Dogs (Louisiana Catahoula Cur)… they are the most affectionate dog I have ever been exposed to! They are dogs that need constant love and give constant love!

  • lmentary

    I totally agree! Shelties are major love bugs!!!

  • tasros

    We have a chiahuahua and she is the most gentle and affectionate dog ever, loves LOTS of cuddles which always lifts the spirits. Plus she can be quite cute and funny.

  • hugs

    My lhasa apso keeps me calm and helps with my anxieties love him to bits x

  • Miracle Dogs

    My pekingnese. I was diagnosed with a serves and rare form of chronic pain. It is said to be “the suicide disease” because many can not deal with the pain and end up killing themselves. Well my dogs have kept me going and have kept me from falling into a depressing for the last 12 years. They stay beside me on my bad days, stay with me after my surgical procedures and surgeries and have kept me out of a wheelchair by walking outside with them. They are truly my miracle dogs

  • MeeMaKim

    Shih Tzu’s are the best breed in the world!!!!!!!!!

    We have a nine year old female and lost a female to diabetes 2 years ago. They are the smartest, most loyal and loving dogs I have ever had!!!!!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Their unconditional love and loyalty really is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I completely agree! :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Ah, chihuahuas are such loyal companions :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I’m not sure I’ve ever met one – hopefully someday I will get the pleasure to!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I love corgis!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    100% agree. Animals really have such an effortless way of comforting us when we need it the most!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Rescue dogs are awesome!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Haha “he’s portable”! ;) Awesome! Shih tzu’s are very sweet. Very appreciative to hear your story Miz!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    So sorry to hear of your loss. They really do work their way into our hearts, don’t they?

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    A gorgeous and very smart breed, indeed!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    haha cute!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I’ve never had a Maltese but this is all good to know. Thanks for sharing Kristen!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Absolutely – pits are some of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. Very energetic and loving! Love to hear how he lifts your spirits. :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Yes that helps a lot! Thank you so much for the info! :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    They really are very “bouncy”, aren’t they? :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    We love our Cavalier! :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Doodles are some of my personal favorites. So loyal and loving with such funny personalities!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Haha that is SO TRUE!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Wow sounds like your guy has had a major impact on your life – what an amazing thing. I’d have to say I’m in the same boat as you there :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Never heard of that breed, I’ll have to look it up! I’m so happy to hear you are still here. Your pup (and the world) need you! You matter and so does your pup. :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I completely agree with you! Thanks for taking the time to encourage others, I always love when people bond together.

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I am so happy to hear how your pooch has had such a positive and uplifting impact on your life! Very appreciative that you shared your story here!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Dobermans are so smart!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I bet your pups are beautiful! They sound like they have such different personalities – must keep you entertained! :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Good to know!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Haha indeed it is a matter of opinion. :) Boston terriers are great dogs too!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I couldn’t agree more. How you raise these pups is so important. I love pits – they crack me up :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Love this breed too :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    These really are GORGEOUS dogs. Gina sounds like she was a big sweetheart ;)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Thank you for sharing Stef! Poms are so full of personality :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    That’s really great insight, Jess — very much appreciate it!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Yes you’re right, Julian!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Ok border collie’s are incredible! And crazy smart. :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    You nailed it!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Great to know – thanks for the insight!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Mastiffs are so beautiful – love those dogs!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    My dog makes me feel the exact same way. No matter what kind of day I’m having, he always manages to get a smile out of me. :)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Haha Marge! This is so true!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I’ll have to look that breed up, thanks for sharing Jen!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Well that’s very good to know, Sandi. Thank you!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    I love beagles!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Haha I will do that! Thank you for the information!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Bulldogs are AWESOME… and so is that name ;)

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    German shepherds definitely have a special place in my heart too. They really are incredible.

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    Coming home to a dog that’s excited to see you has got to be one of the best things in life! Love hearing how your greyhound has lifted your spirits, Wendy!

  • http://dalepartridge.com/ Dale Partridge

    :)

  • Wendy Bourland

    Nero is, quite frankly, the best thing that has ever happened to me, companionship-wise. There’s nothing like unconditional love – giving and receiving it :-)

  • Lily

    I’m just wondering about the source material for the pick of these specific breeds. It’s for a project, and I really would like to know. Thanks.

  • Alyssa Fedorchak

    My Affenpinscher. He’s goofy, sweet, smart, small (8 lbs) and a great snuggler. He’s still young, (4 years old, I’ve had him since he was 10 months), but even being young and energetic, if I’m feeling depressed or my health is at a bad point and I can’t do much more than lie in bed, he’s right there snuggling with me. When I’m feeling good, he’s right there following me around and playing. I swear, he never has a bad day, and pulls me right out of mine. Love him so much! But I also agree with others that any dog you love will do the trick.

  • Geri Sue

    Poodles are also prone to ear infections. My aunt and uncle always had standard poodles, and when they got them groomed, they had the groomer put a bow on the ear that was infected.
    The dog we had when I was a kid was a mutt. He followed me home from school one day (no foolin’!!), and he was the best dog ever! The vet guessed that he was a terrier mix of some kind.

  • Nickie

    I am blessed to have 8 Cavaliers and 16 Golden retrievers in my life – with out them there would be NO LIFE

  • http://www.reachoutapp.org Jessica Tanner

    There is just something about dogs… it doesn’t matter how sad or angry you are… when you look at those loving eyes, you completely forget that you were having a bad day! Had my little baby dog for 16 years and miss her every day!

  • B. Kennedy

    That’s really easy…..there are dogs. And then there are Collies! Loving. Loyal. Gentle. Protector. Laid back. All around wonderful.

  • Brenda

    I have the best of 2 of your listed breeds, a goldendoodle. They come in a variety of sizes, don’t shed, have the brains of the poodle, the love of people and goofiness of the golden retriever. My Wilson is so sensitive to my moods and won’t leave my side when I’m sad. Probably the best dog I’ve ever had.

  • moddem38

    Cavs are the best! Cute and sweet, although they often have separation anxiety issues.

  • TerriG

    I have a dachshund as a bipolar/ptsd service dog. she is amazing.

  • Diana

    Boston Terrier. Our little guy never fails to make us laugh
    every minute of the day. He’s such a fun-loving, cute little character.

  • Krystine

    Pugs are the silliest, most loving dogs! My pug never fails to brighten my day. Shave your pug to deal with shedding (dog grooming tools are super cheap!) and watch his weight to help prevent breathing problems!

  • Meg Irvine

    My little shetland sheepdog got me through when I was unable to walk for months, he still makes me laugh and gets out every day.

  • miranda

    Hairless Chinese Crested! That’s what my baby is:) she is silly looking and personality wise. She makes me smile everyday! Every dog is a lovable dog

  • Isobel Gurney

    Border Collie, My Woo (yes, that is her name) has helped me deal with serious depression and chronic anxiety, she is the best present my parents ever got me. So many antics, she is smart and goofy and I couldn’t ask for a dog with more character.

  • Susan stewart

    Welsh Corgis. They make me laugh every day. And they know how to smile.

  • Kacie

    My Shar Pei is the greatest thing on earth. He’s so silly looking and sounding, as well as energetic. It’s hard to not laugh at him. Plus, according to lore, his black tongue is supposed to ward off evil spirits…and depression is kind of like an evil spirit.

  • Rachel

    My Maltese is my best friend. He’s always there for me, no matter what, and we always have so much fun together. He loves to be lazy and cuddle with me, but he also loves running around at the park as well! I’m living in a college dorm right now so my parents have him, but when I get my first apartment, he’s coming with me!

  • Leslie

    I have two rescue dogs, small mixed Chihuahua’s. I have been battling cancer for fifteen years and they have pulled me through every battle. They are so loving and grateful and have taught me to be thankful for the good things in my life as they have.

  • HelpOthersHelpYourself

    Personally speaking, I have difficulty understanding breeding and/or buying dogs* when there are so many homeless, shelter sweethearts just as in need of affection and companionship as those of us suffering from mental illness.

    I have PTSD due to child abuse and adopting Gordon was the best decision of my life. I didn’t even meet him before I made the three hour trek to a neighboring state to get him! I looked at several shelter sites, feeling certain that when I saw my new best friend, I would know. They didn’t know exactly what kind of mix he was, or if he was 1 or 2 yrs young. But he was housebroken and affectionate, except he seemed sad- like he missed somebody. No one came forward; abandoned by his owners as I was mistreated by my parents… we became kindred spirits. I trained him and worked with him on important socialization skills (he’s almost 60 lbs!), & tried to make him as healthy and happy as possible. I’ve had him about 1 1/2 yrs now and we just beat cancer! I am constantly being complimented on what a delight he is, affectionate and polite, and beautiful… I carry a keychain with me always that has a paw print imprinted on a silver heart and reads, “Who rescued who?”

    I’ve wondered about this often, and I’ve decided that we saved each other. I’m 27 and live alone, without much family and a stressful job. But now, even in my lowest times, I know there is someone that loves me unconditionally and depends on me. And his worst habit, wanting to kiss people’s faces, is what makes me smile again!

    *I do see why some decide to purchase purebreds, in fact there are plenty of reasons so I’m not trying to judge. I just prefer my purebred rescue ; )
    ALSO, it is extremely important to note that when adopting, knowledge is CRUCIAL. Know what you are and aren’t capable of e.g. housebreaking, time to commit to exercising and bonding, caring for a dog with special needs or one that has been severely abused (this can present a potentially dangerous situation if you don’t know what you’re doing or have other pets or small children).

    Thanks for reading!

    Hannah & Gordon

  • guest

    Pugs….so very yes. Mine makes me laugh everyday, they are the biggest goofballs

  • Stomps

    Can’t agree with you more on pit breeds, I used to be scared of Staffs because of their reputation, until I had a fight with my dad and ran to my mum and future stepdad’s house. He owned a staffy, and when nothing they could say would comfort me, Tig tried to lick me to death until it was impossible to feel sad. She carried on doing that for another 8 happy years and I miss her everyday. They are unconditional love : )