What exactly is an Emotional Support Animal?  ESAs are animals that provide emotional support and comfort for individuals that need therapeutic relief. These animals are not to be confused with service animals, as they are not the same thing.  ESAs do not require the same amount of training and are not assigned to perform a specific task. They are also not given the same rights as service dogs, but are allowed to bypass other no-pet policies when it comes to housing and visiting some other public places. However, emotional support animals do require a letter from a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor. ESAs provide support, comfort in social situations, companionship, and relief from anxiety and depression. 

All dogs offer unconditional love and support, but there are few breeds that are used more often as emotional support animals.  This is because of their calm, well-behaved, and gentle demeanors. Listed below are the top most used breeds.

Labrador Retrievers

Labradors make great emotional support animals because of their calm, friendly, and gentle nature. Labs create strong bonds with their owners and love being surrounded by their loved ones. They are extremely intelligent and easy to train. Their energetic and happy approach to life can brighten up almost anyone’s day. This breed is really great at helping individuals that struggle with leaving the house, because labs love the outdoors and exploring. 

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are intelligent, obedient, friendly, and easy to train. Their sweet and gentle nature makes them an ideal emotional support animal for individuals suffering from mental health issues. Goldies love to be loved and give love. Their patient and kind attributes make them one of the most popular dog breeds in America. 


Pomeranians have tons of love to give despite their small size.  This breed is attententive and love having a job to do. They give plenty of affection and require little exercise which makes them ideal for elderly individuals in need of an emotional support animal. 

Border Collies

Border Collies are one of the smartest dog breeds and are very easy to train.  Their friendly, energetic disposition makes them ideal for individuals with mental health issues. Collies are great at picking up subtle cues and can tell when there is something wrong. They love nothing more than to be able to provide comfort, security and happiness to their owners. 


Poodles are intelligent, obedient, and dependable.  Their social nature makes them ideal for working with children. This breed is very easy to train and loves to learn new tricks. They are hypoallergenic and do well adapting to new environments. 

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are known for their adorable little size. They are intelligent, loyal, loving, and fearless. This bread creates strong bonds with their owners and expect a lot of love and attention. Yorkies are great travel companions as they adapt well to changing environments, which is great for individuals that need to take their emotional support animal with them. 


Corgis are affectionate, even tempered, and obedient. These dwarf shaped dogs have a friendly disposition and happy attitude. They require plenty of exercise and attention, and are a great fit for individuals suffering from depression. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Spaniels are as loyal as them come. They love to provide comfort and emotional support to their owners. This breed enjoys cuddling and being a lap dog. Their calm, friendly, and energetic temperament makes them a great emotional support animal for anyone in need. 


Pugs are filled with tons of energy and lots of love. Despite their pint size, this breed has a natural desire to want to make others feel better and are highly intuitive, which makes them wonderful emotional support animals for individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. Once this breed has bonded with their owner, they love to stay close by their side. Their friendly, gentle, and playful temperament makes them an ideal match for children in need of emotional support. 

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are intelligent, easy to train, and form strong bonds with their owners. They love having a job to do and are eager to please. This breed is great at engaging with the people they love and provide a lot of support and comfort. It is also important to note that German Shepherds are very protective of their owners, so it is imperative to make sure they are properly trained to overcome this part of their temperament.