Dogs have a reputation as man’s best friend and with good reason. They’re loyal companions that just want to share love, dedication, and affection with humans. This is what makes them such a strong resource when it comes to working with children and adults with disabilities. Service dogs and emotional support animals are trained to help individuals with specific tasks that their disability would otherwise hinder them from completing, as explained by the Americans with Disabilities Act:
“Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind.”
The 6 Best Dogs for Autism
If one of your children has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), finding a service dog to add to the family is a simple way to give you peace of mind and ensure your child is getting the attention they need to thrive. Even if you don’t need a service dog, bringing a furry friend home can help teach your children meaningful lessons and create a new and important bonding experience in their lives.
Considering bringing a furry friend home? Here are the best dogs for kids with autism.
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are known as the perfect family dog, but they’re also one of the best dogs for an autistic child. They have a caring, joyful personality that makes them fun to play with. They are also patient, gentle creatures that have nothing more than love to give. Because of their smarts and calm demeanor, they make the top of the list of best dogs for autistic children.
The Labradoodle, the crossbreed between the Labrador and Poodle, is another friendly dog for children with autism. These dogs have a reputation for being easy to train, very intelligent, and loyal, making them a top-tier choice for a family pet.
Beyond their personalities, Labradoodles are also hypoallergenic, making for easy cleanup and less discomfort for family members with allergies.
3. Saint Bernard
A Saint Bernard may be intimidating at first glance, but this furry creature is another calm, loving dog on our list. Saint Bernards are the patient, gentle giants that are sweet with children and always ready to lounge around and spend quality time with you. Because of this breed’s size, the Saint Bernard makes a far better choice as a pet dog than an autism service dog.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
Large breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog may shed and drool often, but families tend to fall in love with these teddy bears. This breed has a soft side, as it’s very good at showing love, affection, and loyalty. Bernese Mountain dogs are also intelligent and willing to learn. If you go the extra mile to get this breed specially trained, it can be an obvious choice for best dog breeds for autism.
The Collie is an intelligent, good-natured dog that wants nothing more than to make humans smile. This breed is a common choice for therapy dogs because they’re very easy to train. Gentle and friendly, the Collie is naturally playful and in tune with human emotion and interaction – a good choice for family members who are nervous about bringing a dog into the home.
6. Standard Poodle
The Poodle is another dog breed that’s intelligence makes them an optimal choice for service or therapy dogs. Their smarts and obedience can help them complete tasks for children with autism and other developmental disorders. They’re also in tune with your feelings and their own, and can offer emotional support when sensed. And of course, Poodles are hypoallergenic, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or a mess.
For Further Assistance, Try ABA
Bringing one of the best dog breeds for autism into your home can be helpful, but there are so many different resources out there that can be supportive of your child’s development. Blossom Children’s Center provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to help children with autism and other developmental disorders thrive.
Using real-life situations to teach how behavior works, we can support your child on a journey to improved language and communication, enhanced motor and social skills, and a newly learned acceptance and understanding of independence.