13 Best Dog Breeds for Animal Therapy on College Campuses

Many of us have probably heard about dog breeds for rehabilitation sessions in medical centers or hospitals.

During such sessions, certain character features are developed, and the dog’s participation makes the work more dynamic and efficient.

Dogs can assist in many ways: they give some signals (for people with hearing problems) or warn of the danger (for patients with epilepsy and diabetes).

However, there are dog breeds that combine the qualities of rehabilitologists and helpers at the same time.

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They participate in therapy sessions on an equal basis, just like a specialist (physiotherapist, psychologist, educator, etc.) to motivate the patient.

So, what breeds are the best for animal therapy? Read on to find out.

Benefits of Dogs Therapy

  • Improves social communication skills;
  • Satisfies the need for physical contact;
  • Improves concentration;
  • Increases self-confidence;
  • Has an antidepressant effect;
  • Generates acceptance;
  • Overcomes anxiety and fears;
  • Improves empathy and increases self-esteem.

Labrador Retriever

Today it is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

These dogs have an outstanding intellect and extraordinary charm. Labradors are very obedient and friendly by nature.

Also, they are rarely prone to aggression. Due to their high intelligence and gentle nature, Labradors are not only loyal friends but, most importantly, excellent therapists. 

It’s easy to establish communication with Labradors and form a tight-knit dog-human team.

You’ll learn to work together and pronounce commands clearly. Since Labradors are traditionally active, you’ll move with the animal, strengthen the muscles and relieve spasms, if any. 

Golden Retriever

One of the most beloved and widespread dog breeds in the world, retrievers give others joy and positive emotions. They have a friendly, affable character and nice appearance.

Interesting to know, the golden retriever appeared as a result of long-standing breeding work.

The genes of these dogs are incredible: they combine the great flair of a bloodhound and the endurance of a setter with the wit of a Labrador.

Such a dog will surely give you a lot of energy, and we need it so much after a long day full of stress.

Given that students often combine study and work (including online tutoring), such a reboot is simply vital. Golden retriever will surely make you more trusting and open to the surrounding world and people in it.

German Shepherd

This breed is very versatile. Thanks to their natural perceptivity, these dogs can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including aid to those restoring the musculoskeletal system. Distinctive qualities of German shepherds are endless loyalty to people and an affectionate character. That is why they make amazing therapy dogs.

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American Staffordshire Terrier

Unfortunately, many people consider staff to be uncontrollable. However, with the right upbringing, these are loyal dogs whose courage is remarkable.

If the staff thinks that the human is in danger, it will immediately rush to the rescue, regardless of the size and number of opponents. 

The character of the staff has nothing to do with temper. On the contrary, they can be called easygoing. Another feature of the American Staffordshire Terrier breed is activity. The dog needs to move a lot, run and play. With such a dog, you will feel safe and use all your energy reserves.

English Greyhound

This is probably not the breed primarily associated with therapy dogs. However, they do a wonderful job, thanks to a high degree of sensitivity. Greyhounds rarely bark and love to sleep next to the human, curled up.


These small dogs are famous for their floppy ears and black and white color. Beagles are very active and funny. They are also quite affectionate by nature and love to spend time with people. Another positive quality is that beagles get along well with other pets. All these features make beagles incredible therapists.


Despite being considered dangerous, most Rottweilers are very calm and friendly. They have all the qualities that therapy dogs need: balanced character, self-confidence, and intelligence. The Rottweiler treats strangers neutrally, but it becomes a friend for life when it gets used to a person.

St. Bernard

These dogs are especially beloved for their thick, fluffy coats. They have highly developed protective qualities. St.Bernards are also obedient and very patient. For example, even if a child is dragging St. Bernard by the tail, the dog will never snap at them or react negatively. 

Pomeranian Spitz

These small, nice dogs are considered to be great companions. Pomeranian Spitz doesn’t need intense physical exercise but willingly gives people a lot of love and attention.


One of the smartest dog breeds, poodles train better than other dogs. They have a thick curly coat, but they are usually hypoallergenic and suitable as pets for people suffering from allergic reactions.


These tiny animals are known for folds in the skin and large expressive eyes. Pugs are very energetic and have an instinctive desire to please humans. They get along well with people of all ages, but they work especially well with younger people.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are heavily built, and because of their ears, they often resemble bats. They are naturally loyal and non-conflicting. Originally, French Bulldogs were bred from other, larger Bulldogs as companion dogs. One of their favorite activities is to lie on human’s knees.

Mexican Hairless Dog

This breed is rare, exotic, and interesting. It has a rather unusual appearance; namely, it has no hair.

The Xoloitzcuintli dog (its second name) is lively, cheerful, but calm and affectionate. They are intelligent and quiet. One of the indisputable advantages is that they are never aggressive.

To Sum It Up

Since ancient times, it has been known that communication with a dog brings people emotional and moral satisfaction.

Now, the benefits of human contact with animals have been scientifically proven.

Dog therapy has a positive impact on the nervous system as well as a healing and health-improving effect.

The mission of therapy dogs is to provide psychological comfort and warmth to people.

However, a therapy dog is not the same as a service dog, as it is not required to perform any tasks.

Mainly, the dog needs to have a calm, balanced character and a large supply of love and attention.

Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big, burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies—he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy cuddling!

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