Dogs are loved for being adorable and loyal, and they can also bring positive changes to your life. Reduced anxiety and enhanced moods are among the most important benefits of spending time in the presence of a canine. Numerous studies have demonstrated how having a pet can help lower the resting heart rates and blood pressure levels in people compared to those who don’t spend enough time around dogs.

At K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore, we cherish our mission of bringing loving and attentive dogs into the life of children of all age groups. Our K9s undergo training and testing to become certified reading buddies. This guide sheds light on how to choose the right canine to overcome anxiety and improve your life.

What are the Key Elements to Consider?

Even the CDC recommends to do some research to help you select the right dog as your companion. Everyone, including humans and dogs, have specific needs.

Knowing the most important elements can help you choose the right dog breed for you. This includes:

i. Temperament

Breeds with a calm temperament tend to be less reactive, have lower prey drives, and are less likely to react or bark at the drop of a hat. A more relaxed dog will help keep your anxiety levels down.

ii. Energy Levels

Many people can overcome anxiety better by engaging in exercises and physical activities. If that is the case with you, choose a breed with high energy levels. If you are less inclined to live an active lifestyle, you should choose a breed that loves to lounge at home. 

iii. Trainability

Canines that are fast learners can help reduce anxiety. They learn your cues and respond quickly. 

iv. Size

Many people have social anxiety. If you need a companion dog that can accompany you wherever you go, it is better to choose a smaller breed.

What are the Best Canine Breeds for Fighting Anxiety?

Here is a list of the best dog breeds to help you overcome anxiety:

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breed for therapy, rescue, guide, and reading buddy dogs. They can provide high levels of emotional support. This breed is easy to train and highly intelligent. Additionally, their temperaments can quickly shift between calm and playful.

Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are playful and want to please their handler. They are known for their high energy levels and, like Golden Retrievers, are quick learners.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

This affectionate and adaptable breed can be the perfect companion for a person suffering from anxiety. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can quickly adapt to a routine. Their low prey drive makes them great walking buddies.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

This sweet and adaptable breed is cherished for its loyalty and obedience without being needy. These are just some of the reasons why Pembroke Welsh Corgis are trained to become companion dogs at nursing homes and those with disabilities.

Cocker Spaniels

A canine that is happy and sweet can be great company for you. Cocker Spaniels can be childishly-friendly, and this is why they make great friends for children with emotional or mental challenges. 

Miniature American Shepherds

Miniature American Shepherds have high energy levels, are easy-going and intelligent. These medium-sized canines tend to be exceptionally loyal. 


If Pugs are not on your list of K9s to help overcome anxiety, you should give them a second thought. They are charming and adaptable and have centuries of tradition of being bred as loyal companions for Chinese emperors. They are easy-going and have tons of love and devotion to offer.

French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are small, make perfect lapdogs, and are known for their even-tempered and affectionate nature. Whenever you feel like snuggling away your emotions, you can rely on French bulldogs. You may find training slightly challenging, but they make perfect companions. 

While many breeds have common traits, every dog has a unique personality. 

How Do Service Dogs for Anxiety Benefit You?

Now that you know some of the best K9s to help you overcome anxiety, it is important to understand the specifics of the benefits you can gain from the company of canines that have been trained as anxiety service dogs. These breeds can make great therapy dogs, reading buddies, and guide dogs. 

  • They can detect signs of anxiety attacks before they can happen
  • They can alert others to help you if you are in distress
  • They can fetch medication or even water when you have an anxiety attack
  • They can calm you down during an anxiety attack by distracting you. Everyday actions include providing a paw and licking the face.
  • They can prevent strangers from approaching you when you are in distress.
  • They can retrieve a phone when you have an attack.
  • Some anxiety service canines can also be trained to provide deep pressure therapy for a soothing effect.

Many of these breeds also make great reading buddies. At K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore, we run many programs for children to help them overcome their reading challenges. Our programs involve the participation of the best canine breeds that help children overcome anxiety and focus on the task at hand.

For more information about K-9 Reading Buddies, feel free to contact us. You can contact us by filling out and submitting this online form.