Choosing the right dog can be life-changing for a child with anxiety. Certain dog breeds are known for their calm and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for anxious children. These dogs provide not just a company, but also a sense of security and stability in their young owners’ lives.

One of the best breeds for this purpose includes the Chihuahua, a small but devoted dog that loves to stick close to its human. Similarly, the gentle and cheerful Bichon Frise is always ready to offer affection and comfort. And let’s not forget the Great Pyrenees, a larger breed known for its calm, patient, and smart demeanor.

These dogs can create a strong bond with children, offering love, friendship, and a calming presence. This bond helps reduce anxiety, showing just how powerful the connection between a child and a dog can be.

Benefits of Dogs for Children with Anxiety

Dogs can bring many benefits to children with anxiety. By having a dog, children often feel a sense of comfort and companionship. This bond can be especially important for kids struggling with anxiety.

Petting a dog can reduce anxiety levels. Studies show that petting a dog for just 10 minutes can lower cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. This simple act can make a big difference in how a child feels.

We often see lower blood pressure and heart rate in children who spend time with dogs. These are clear signs of reduced stress, and when kids are less stressed, they can handle daily challenges better.

Therapy dogs and emotional support animals play a special role. They are trained to provide comfort and support, and they can help kids feel more secure and calm in stressful situations.

Dogs can also encourage play and physical activity. Playing with a dog increases a child’s energy level and can be a fun way to relieve stress. Kids are likely to feel happier and more relaxed through this interaction.

A strong bond with a dog can increase oxytocin levels. Oxytocin, often called the “love hormone,” promotes feelings of trust and bonding. Higher oxytocin levels can help children feel more secure and less anxious.

In our experience, dogs are more than just pets for children with anxiety. They are true companions that offer emotional support and help improve overall well-being.

Top Dog Breeds for Children with Anxiety

Finding the right dog breed can offer comfort, companionship, and a calming presence to children with anxiety. Each breed has its unique characteristics that can help ease anxiety and provide emotional support.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and gentle nature. They are highly trainable and often serve as therapy dogs and emotional support animals. Their calm demeanor makes them great companions for kids. These dogs enjoy being petted and are very affectionate, which can help reduce anxiety. Their loyalty helps build a strong bond with their owners, making children feel secure.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are another popular choice for families. They are friendly, outgoing, and very patient with children. Labs are often used as service dogs due to their intelligence and ability to learn commands quickly. They can provide a comforting presence and are good for socialization as they love to be around people. Their playful nature can help children engage in activities and reduce anxiety levels.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs with big hearts. They are very affectionate and enjoy spending time with their families. Known for their gentle and calm demeanor, these dogs are great for kids who need a serene companion. They thrive on human interaction and can help soothe anxiety through their loving presence. Their small size makes them easy to travel with and manage.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are energetic and affectionate dogs. Despite their small size, they have a big personality and love to play. This can be beneficial for an anxious child, as playing with a pet can be a great distraction and stress reliever. They are loyal and protective, offering a sense of security. With proper training and socialization, Corgis can be excellent companions for children.


Pugs are known for their loving and friendly nature. They are great with children and have a laid-back attitude that can be calming. Pugs enjoy being close to their owners, often following them around and providing constant companionship. Their comical expressions and behavior can also bring joy and laughter, which is great for reducing anxiety. Pugs are small and easy to care for, making them ideal for families.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small but full of love and affection. They bond closely with their families and are known for their loyalty. Despite their size, they have a courageous personality and can provide a sense of security to anxious children. Yorkies are also very adaptable and can live comfortably in smaller living spaces, making them a good option for many families.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are cheerful, playful, and gentle. They are hypoallergenic, making them a great option for children with allergies. These dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which can help reduce anxiety. The Bichon’s playful attitude and easy-going nature can provide comfort and companionship, helping to create a calm home environment.


Poodles, whether standard, miniature, or toy, are intelligent and highly trainable. Due to their adaptability and friendly nature, they are often used as emotional support animals. Standard Poodles, in particular, are larger and can provide a sense of security. Poodles are great with children and enjoy physical activity, which can help engage kids and reduce anxiety.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known as gentle giants. They are calm, patient, and affectionate, making them good companions for anxious children. Their larger size can be comforting and provide a sense of protection. Despite their size, they are gentle and easy-going. The Bernese enjoys being part of the family and offers a loyal and calming presence.


Newfoundlands are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their gentle and patient nature with children. They are protective and loving, providing a strong sense of security. Newfoundlands are excellent for families needing a calm and reassuring pet. Their friendly demeanor and loyalty help build a strong bond, making them ideal companions for kids with anxiety.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are friendly and affectionate dogs. They bond closely with their families and enjoy being part of the household. Cocker Spaniels are known for their gentle and sweet nature, which can help soothe anxiety. They are also very social, enjoying interaction with humans and other animals, making them great for families looking for loving and calming pets.


Havanese dogs are small, cheerful, and incredibly affectionate. They thrive on human interaction and form close bonds with their families. Havanese are known for their lively and friendly temperament, which can comfort children. Their playful and loving nature makes them excellent companions for those needing emotional support and a calming presence.


Beagles are friendly, curious, and great with kids. Their even temperament and gentle nature make them good companions for anxious children. Beagles enjoy being part of the family and are very loyal. They have a playful side that can help engage children in fun activities, which reduces anxiety and stress.


Dachshunds, with their distinctive long bodies and short legs, are known for their lively and courageous personality. They are affectionate and bond closely with their families. Dachshunds can be protective, providing a sense of security to children. Their playful nature and small size make them easy to handle, and they can be very comforting to anxious kids.