These are the 10 breeds of empathic dog that can help people struggling with anxiety – including the loving Labrador Retriever

A large number of us decided to welcome new puppies into our homes last year – Kennel Club figures show dog ownership is up nearly 8 per cent – and post-lockdown demand for four-legged friends remains high.

As well as numerous crossbreeds, there are a whopping 221 different pedigree dog breeds to choose from, giving you a lot to think about before choosing the latest addition to your family.

Our lifestyle has a huge impact on what type of dog suits us best – if you’re short on space you might want to look at small dogs, while older pet owners should put certain breeds high on their wish list.

But if you’re looking for a dog to benefit your mental health, consider one of the breeds that have been shown to make good emotional support animals.

These are gentle, laid-back, and sociable pets that offer therapeutic benefits to their owners, including relieving anxiety and making them more comfortable in certain social settings.

They should also sense when you’re not at your best and shower you with extra affection to make you feel better.

Here are the 10 most empathetic dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club.

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The Labrador Retriever is arguably the most empathetic dog breed, with an innate ability to know how their owners are feeling. They are gentle, kind and eager to please. Anyone who’s ever owned a lab knows they can make any situation feel a little better. Their Golden Retriever cousins ​​also make wonderful therapy dogs.

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For a smaller emotional support animal, the Yorkshire Terrier is hard to beat. Yorkies are very affectionate and easy to take along, making them great mobile anxiety calmers.

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The Chihuahua is another small dog that can offer support in most social settings. It requires little exercise and is therefore perfect for people who are less mobile.

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Obedient and loyal, but not needy, Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgis make particularly good companion dogs for nursing home residents and those with disabilities. They stick to their owners like glue, always on their feet to support them when needed.

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