Suffering from depression is a challenge that people erroneously try to overcome alone. It is proven that a partial solution to depression is the support of a loving presence, either human or animal, in the household. This is the most effective way to dissipate the murky emotions that arise during an episode. It also helps to avoid that the person suffering is alone.
Still, the feeling of desolation prevents us from connecting to others, and vice versa. However, the altruistic love and support of a pet, namely, a dog, can certainly be the much needed solution to close the gap that separates us from other people when we feel depressed.
Which dog breeds are best for people who suffer from depression?
Not all dogs are the same. Like people, each breed has genetic predispositions and personality traits that make them unique. Here are 8 breeds that are most likely to make you smile, based on their typical dynamics with humans, and their ability to show affection.
1. Labrador retrievers
A worldwide favorite breed, Labrador Retrievers are active, loyal, very affectionate, and become really attached to their families. They are one of the largest dog breeds, which means that they will require physical interaction with their owners either by taking long walks, running, or even swimming! As large dogs, they also tend to have longer lifespans, for which medical checkups are advised for a good quality of life.
“Labs” are easy to train, and very intelligent. The fact that they are energetic would require the owner to leave the house, get fresh air, and enjoy a good walk. Labs will motivate you to move, which is a first step to recovery. Moreover, the typical dynamics between big dogs and their owners are usually mutual care for one another and mutual protection. That alone is a great reason to consider this breed of dog.
Good to know:
These dogs are so full of energy that they tend to use their whole bodies to express it. They chew on everything, jump, swim, run, and take up more space due to their size. As long-haired breeds, they also tend to shed. These are just minor issues compared to the benefits that they bring to people with depression.
Think of Poodles like a smaller-sized Labrador Retriever. They share a lot of personality traits with Labs, and make some of the best service dogs due to their smaller size and willingness to work. It is no accident that they are universally recognized as “lap dogs,” but many people are unaware of the fact that they are also very good hunting dogs, as well
Poodles love their owners. They are also intelligent, hard working, and affable. Someone with depression will probably encounter in a poodle that support system that they lack from other people. Being small, Poodles may end up sleeping, eating, and even sharing all kinds of space with their owners.
Good to know:
Poodles do not shed, however, their hair grows very easily and needs to be groomed for their own comfort. They are also hypoallergenic and a great breed of choice if there are children in the household.
According to petbreeds.com, Pugs have the personality and physical charms to reverse and/or deflect the symptoms of depression. Their pretty faces, although appear to be grumpy, open up to a wide-open smile once they start to play, or seek affection from their owners. They are quite popular dogs, and their stocky, small bodies are made for walking and sharing games.
Pugs have huge personalities, and are interact a lot with humans. They are loving, loyal, cheerful, energetic, and very affectionate. They can also be stubborn, but this quality is far outweighed by how funny and outgoing they are.
Good to know
Pugs need exercise. They do not like heat too much, and they sometimes have breathing issues. In order to prevent health issues, it is recommended that they are kept under a veterinarian-approved eating plan, and that they are walked every day. The walking part is also a great deterrent of depression symptoms for those who suffer from it.
4. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkies have “toy” status. This means that they are small enough to carry everywhere. However, as with many small dog breeds, they make up for their size by displaying big personalities and by bonding strongly with their owners. They are easy to train, and their size lets them fit anywhere.
Yorkies tend to attach themselves emotionally to their owners. They will share space with them as much as they can and they absolutely love close proximity, that is, to feel their owners near.
Good to know
Yorkies are like little kids. They seek the company and support of their owner as much as they give their own. However, they can be trained to feel reassured and calm, even when the owner is not around. Other than this, these dogs will never leave your side.
Clean, hypoallergenic, loyal, and attractive, the Vizlas are mainly known for their need to be near their owners at all times. They require exercise, but they do not perspire like other dogs. This breed may be one of the best choices for people with depression because of the dogs’ love of company and close proximity to their human families.
Vizlas are like cats. They tend to groom themselves and remain clean. According to owners, they do not smell “like dogs.” They also do not suffer from health genetic pre-dispositions. They do not shed, and are naturally slim and muscular.
Good to know
Vizlas are very smart and self-sufficient, but they do require movement. They have long limbs, which means that exercise is vital to them. Open spaces are essential for them to thrive and keep in shape. Anyone with depression will likely enjoy watching these loving dogs enjoy nature and take on their environment.
6. German Shepherds:
Far from the strict, bomb-sniffing dogs of the K-9 unit, a typical German Shepherd is playful, intuitive, loving, energetic, and loyal to no end. Like most dogs, they recognize commands and human speech. Despite their size, they can be quite gentle.
German Shepherds are perfect for people who have depression and live alone. These dogs are easy to train as watchdogs that can also be affectionate and kind to their owner. They can therefore, provide safety, company, and altruistic affection.
Good to know
German Shepherds are comparable to clumsy teenagers. They do not realize at times how strong and big they are, so they tend to knock things down with their sudden movements. Owners are sure to love them for a long time, as they also enjoy longevity and have no genetic problems.
This breed would be a good choice for people with depression because of their high social skills. They also feature a face that seems to be always smiling. They are strong, energetic, and great with children. If you like a bigger version of a pug, a boxer is all you need.
Boxers can be trained as therapy dogs due to their great ability to interact with people. They are highly sociable, gentle, kind, and peaceful. They do love to play and run round, but are obedient and often balance out their energy.
Good to know
It is important to check boxers for hyperthyroidism, and do heart check-ups twice per year. Other than keeping Boxers healthy, owners have nothing else to do but enjoy their company and let them love them.
8. King Charles Spaniel
The angelic face and small size of the King Charles Spaniel comes with an equally angelic personality. They are “portable” enough to take everywhere, and they will want to share as much space as possible with their owners.
Spaniels are adaptable, intelligent, very patient, affectionate, fearless and playful. They will provide owners with constant company, as they tend to become very attached to their owners, even though dogs in general, tend to do this, as well.
Good to know
Spaniels need at least an hour of exercise per day. They also need to keep their long furs trimmed and taken care of. This breed of dog needs regular cardiovascular check-ups, and special care should be placed in watching how they walk, since they tend to displace their hips. Once they are well taken care of, the King Charles Spaniels will take care of you as well.
When selecting a dog breed to help with your depression issues, be realistic as to what you can do for your dog, and not just what the dog can do for you.
Dogs, especially these breeds, will give you the love and comfort you seek almost guaranteed. However, for there to be a true, strong and healthy bond between owner and pet, you must be willing to take good care of your pet, keep up with health check-ups, and ensure that you feed them well and exercise them regularly.