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Best Dogs For Autistic Adults

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What Should Celia Do

Top 13 Dogs for autistic child that will surprise you, autism-friendly dog breeds

That night after the kids are in bed Celia and Jerome sit down on the couch. Jerome begins, I think we should talk about getting a dog.

I just dont understand why you suddenly want to add to everything else we have going on. Arent two kids enough? Celia is exhausted after chasing the kids around all day. She cant image having to take care of a dog on top of everything.

I had lunch with a coworker yesterday and found out that his daughter has autism. They got a dog last year and he said it changed her life. Shes happier, and learning to communicate. He said shes sleeping better too. I think its worth a try.

Now it was starting to make sense. Celia nods, not so much in agreement as in understanding. Slowly she responds, Okay. But you saw how upset Michael got around the dog.

He wasnt expecting to see a dog there. I bet hed love a dog if we introduced it the right way.

Celia isnt so sure. Lets do some research. I dont know that I want to take care of a dog. Maybe there are other pets that are good for children with autism?

Jerome grins and Celia is suddenly sure that a family pet will soon be joining the household.

Best Dog Breeds For Autism: The Ultimate Comforting Canines

  • Best Dog Breeds for Autism: The Ultimate Comforting Canines

By: CertaPet Staff Updated:September 16, 2021

Autism is a neurobehavioral condition that is usually present from early childhood. Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by a difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people. Once again, mans best friend comes to the rescue to help make their lives easier and happier. Which are the best dog breeds for autism? Read on to find out!

Training Autism Service Dogs Takes Two Years But Theyre Not Always

Training autism service dogs takes two years. But theyre not always

Carlin, her current trainee, is 19-months-old and a few months away from completing a two-year training program to become a certified autism service dog. According to National Service Dogs, an Ontario charity training dogs for various capacities, service dogs can offer support to autistic or epileptic individuals. Allain said the absence of a formal certification requirement for service dogs creates a loophole that people exploit, sometimes putting a vest on any kind of dog and pretending theyre service dogs. In British Colombia, the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act gives service dogs in training the right to access public places. His 15-year-old son Jay has autism, and received Chester as his service dog about five years ago. .

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Service Dogs For Autism: How Can They Help

Service dogs can be trained to help individuals with physical or psychological disabilities. As the service dog holds the job to specifically assist their handlers, a trained autism service dog can provide individuals with autism invaluable assistance in a number of ways.

From helping their handler conquer social barriers to distracting them in times of distress, an autism service dog can take on many tasks.

Autism Service Dogs For Adults

Labrador dogs

For adults with autism, service dogs can be a vital bridge to independent living. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for autistic adults to be matched with a service dog because the vast majority of organizations training and supporting autism assistance dogs serve children and families. For adults, the path to finding a service dog may be a longer and more expensive process, but for most people, its worth the time and expense.

Many adult people with autism participate fully in their dogs training, which only strengthens the incredible bond between person and dog.

In the video below, an autistic woman named Rebecca demonstrates how her service dog Milo helps her live on her own:

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I Completed The Application Process But Havent Been Matched To A Dog Yet Why

Finding the right dog to match your specific needs, personality and environment is not an exact science. Many factors are taken into consideration, with the ultimate goal being to find the best dog to meet your unique needs. Also, not every dog successfully completes training sometimes we must start the matching process over.

Miniature Schnauzer: Sturdy And Does Not Shed

Why a Miniature Schnauzer? This dog breed is one of the most popular in the world because they are sturdy, do not shed much, are good with kids, and make good apartment dogs. They are playful and a lot of fun but at the same time make excellent watchdogs and can be trained easily.

Why avoid a Miniature Schnauzer? They do not do well when left alone all day and need adequate exercise to prevent behavioral problems like chasing, nervous digging, and excessive barking. Most people leave the dogs with beards so they do need some grooming even when kept clipped short. If your autistic child has mobility problems please search for a different breed of dog.

Potential health problems? If allowed to become overweight, especially females, your dog will be prone to pancreatitis. Allergies are also common, and epilepsy and diabetes are seen a lot too. They also develop bladder stones.

A Bernese Mountain Dog assuming an aggressive attitude.

cc-by reijii 6794266173

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Calm Dog Breeds: Golden Hair Golden Heart: The Golden Retriever

Hearts of gold indeed! These smiley, affectionate canines make for awesome therapy dogs. For a person with autism, you cannot ask for a better best furry friend. They are intelligent, and their eager-to-please nature makes them super trainable for all sorts of tasks and scenarios.

Golden retrievers are wonderful with children too and great at reading emotions. Theres a good reason goldens are on the list of the best dog breeds for autism !

The English Bulldog and Staffordshire Terrier are two other calm dog breeds for autism. Despite appearances, both dog breeds are loyal, docile and can tolerate rough play.

Best Therapy Dog Breeds For Autism

Why Do Dogs Help Children With Autism?


Some dog breeds are better suited to certain tasks. You wouldn’t get a Jack Russell to herd your sheep when a Border Collie is much more capable.

When it comes to therapy dogs for people who have autism, you want to make sure that the pup is going to be absolutely perfect for the job.

Getting a therapy dog for someone with special needs requires a bit more thought than just getting a family pet. You want a breed that is easy to train, the right size for the individual they are working with, calm and gentle.

First Things First

Therapy dogs are not the same as an Emotional Support Animal or a Service Dog. They play a different role in an individual’s life. They are sometimes referred to as comfort animals as they are there to provide emotional comfort to their human. They don’t do any specific tasks but are there to provide love and support.

Above all else, when picking a therapy dog for yourself or someone with autism, make sure the temperaments and the breed are a good fit.

Below we have 10 breeds of pups that will make a good therapy dog for someone with autism.

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Service Dogs Aid People With Autism

There is a Native American legend that says that after creating humankind, the Spirits created a chasm between their world and ours. And although Dog had the opportunity to return to the spirit world, at the last moment, he leapt over the widening gap to remain with us. Scientifically speaking, archeological records confirm that the relationship between humans and canines dates back at least 14,000 years.

The primary motivation for obtaining an assistance dog is increased independence and community inclusion. However, assistance dogs also provide their human partners with social and emotional support, and whats referred to as social capital.

Studies indicate that being partnered with an assistance dog can increase emotional well-being of individuals with disabilities, and increase social interactions, both short and long-term. For individuals with autism, an increase in avenues for social acceptance and interaction is extremely meaningful.

The Role of the Autism Service Dog

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of discussing autism service dogs is how much variety there is in the tasks assigned to these workers. And although each assistance dog must be trained to work in tandem with its specific human partner, there is a bit more consistency in training traditional guide and service dogs than with autism service dogs whose duties may include:

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Service Dog

Acquiring a Service Dog

Public Access Issues

Top 6 Service Dog Breeds For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

1. Labrador Retriever

Hard-working, lovable, selfless, and kind, easy to train, calm, and eager-to-please personality of Labrador Retriever makes it the perfect choice for autism therapy.

They are kind to everyone they meet and are a wonderful choice for bonding with children with autism.

2. Golden Retriever

The list of service dogs for autism is incomplete without Golden Retriever. They are gentle, loving, patient, loyal, and exceptionally easy to train.

This breed has a calm temperament and decent intelligence. And this is the reason why they are trained as service or therapy dogs.

3. The Great Pyrenees

They are smart, patient, and has a calm temperament. The Great Pyrenees can quickly spring into action and move with grace and speed to meet a threat.

They are very bonded to and protective of their families. Their height is about 27 to 32 inches and this makes them quite sturdy.

The Great Pyrenees arent barkers. So they are best for children who are sensitive to noise. It easily learns to look after and protect an autistic child.

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

It is considered one of the best breeds to accompany autistic children. They may look serious and dangerous but they are actually famous for their trustworthiness, loyal, and loving nature.

Many autistic children benefit from the love, care and, companionship which Staffies provide.

5. Newfoundland

6. Labradoodle

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Help Companionship And Social Facilitator

Autism is a neurological disability that affects the way the person thinks, processes sensory information and interacts with others. A service dog could help to cope with a difficult situation, dealing with transitions and facilitating social interactions. Getting out with a service dog can also reduce isolation, increase exercise and help with anxiety and depression that often occur in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder .

A dog can be a great companion to a person with ASD, providing love and attention, increasing activity, and reducing stress within a family. Dogs can be also be trained to interrupt repetitive behaviors or alert you when your child might be harming him/herself. They can provide deep pressure to help a person calm down, encourage a person to get out of bed, help with mobility or balance issues, pick up objects, respond to an alarm, etc. They can facilitate social interactions and relationships and expand the childs ability to communicate with others.

Best Dogs For Children With Autism

Benefits of Dogs for People With Autism

If your child is on the autism spectrum and you want to add a dog to your family, learn the differences between companion, service, and therapy dogs. Consider these friendly and tolerant breeds as you search for the perfect match.

According to Autism Speaks: Each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. How people with autism learn, think, and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Because autism is not a one size fits all category, which breeds are best suited for children with autism depends on the specific childs needs. One child might benefit from a specially trained service dog. For another, a therapy dog might be the right choice. The right companion dog for an autistic child might even be the family dog with the right blend of characteristics, one suited for children with behaviors associated with autism. The first thing to consider is what the child and the family need, and then find the right calm, affectionate and tolerant canine companion to meet it.


  • 2 Final Thoughts
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    Learn More About Service Dogs

    The service dog community has become vast and diverse in recent years. Now more than ever, families looking into autism service dogs are able to easily find an array of information at their fingertips. However, many have found that a lot of this information is confusing or even conflicting.

    So where do you start? For information on service dogs, we suggest becoming familiar with the definition, guidelines, and rules available for review by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This information is straight from the source and a great option for educating yourself on the subject of service dogs.

    What Dog Breeds Are Recommended For Autistic Children

    The breeds listed in this section are recommended based on the TYPICAL breed temperament however, it is essential to remember that dogs belonging to a specific breed are not Stepford-clones of each other!

    Each dog is an individual, and this means that:

  • A specific dog may not be a suitable companion for an autistic child despite being a recommended breed
  • The ideal dog may be found amongst dog breeds that are not typically a good match for autistic children.
  • The more specific the needs of your child and family, the more focused your dog choice needs to be.

    Local breeders, trainers, and therapists familiar with pairing autistic children with dogs can help you avoid many of the pitfalls associated with choosing and integrating a new dog into your household.

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    Being Lovely Pet Companions

    If a dog isnt a physical support service dog or an emotional support dog, it does not mean that it will no longer become valuable to autistic children. Dogs can still become loyal pet companions to people with autism and they become a huge help.

    In fact, a study conducted by Gretchen Carlisle investigated the social skills and attachment to dogs of children with autism spectrum disorder. She found out that children with autism were able to bond strongly with their pets and got their social skills improved.

    This means that dogs as pets of people with autism can be a great stress reliever and can eliminate or prevent their problematic behavior.

    What Are The Responsibilities Of The Client Who Receives A Paws Assistance Dog

    What Is An Autism Assistance Dog?

    Clients must be able to follow through with the in-home and public training process with their local PAWS Field Representative. Clients must be committed to maintaining the dogs training throughout the lifetime of the team and to providing for the well-being of the dog . It is advisable to research yearly veterinary, grooming and feeding costs in your specific area prior to applying for an Assistance Dog. Paws With A Cause provides ongoing training support for its teams.

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    Role And Responsibilities Of Autism Assistance Dogs

    What does an Autism service dog do?

    They are specifically trained to their owners personal needs based on their medical condition. They may or may not include the following tasks described.

    Basically, they can provide support in following symptoms-

    • Communication skills the child learns to give dog commands
    • Awakening at Night a dog will bark to alert parents
    • Self Harming Behavior a dog will interrupt the behavior and alert parent
    • Social Isolation child tends to focus on dog companionship
    • Reduce anxiety a dog will crawl into a childs lap to calm a child

    Types Of Animal Therapies

    Any kind of animal can provide emotional, physical, or social support in general, however, mammals make better therapeutic animals than reptiles, birds, or amphibians. Fish can be calming, but can’t provide the kind of interactions that build healthy interactive skills. No matter which type of animal is chosen, there are five ways in which animals can work with autistic people of any age.

    There is often an overlap between the benefits of different types of animal therapies, so you could potentially have several optionsnot just one.

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    Dog Breeds Perfect For Autistic Children

    There are few things as remarkable as a guide dog. The fact we can take an entirely different species and teach it how to be a protector is simply astonishing. Yet, these animals are so common now, that its easy to take them for granted. We see them in restaurants, on sidewalks, trotting through supermarkets, and even at the cinema. They are an established part of modern life, so we dont really get excited about them anymore. In fact, unless you have a personal reason to get to know therapy dogs, its hard to grasp the extent of their impact. Guide dogs and other types of support dog have the potential to change lives. They restore independence and help vulnerable people feel confident and capable. The history of using canines for therapeutic purposes stretches back to the Second World War. However, it didnt become routine practice until the seventies. Today, we understand a great deal about the way dogs communicate and which breeds make the best helpers. This has led to a substantial increase in the number of dogs being used for autism therapy.

    Learning How to Live with an Autistic Child

    Why Your Child Needs a Reliable Therapy Dog

    Golden Retriever

    German Shepherd

    Staffordshire Bull Terrier

    Yorkshire Terrier

    St. Bernard


    Labrador Retriever




    French Bulldog


    King Charles Spaniel

    Old English Sheepdog

    Bichon Frise

    Bernese Mountain Dog




    Why the Bond between a Child and Their Dog Is Irreplaceable

    Pets And Emotional Support Animals

    The Best Dogs for People with Autism

    Studies find that people living with autism who have pets and/or emotional support animals gain in measurable ways from the experience.

    No matter what the species, pets can:

    • Provide an easy, always-available self-calming mechanism
    • Help smooth social communication

    Emotional support animals are essentially pets that provide comfort and have been certified by a professional as being necessary to the emotional well-being of the owner. Such certifications can come from a doctor, therapist, or other professional. With the right documentation, emotional support animals are usually allowed to accompany their ownersthough there are some limits, depending on the size and temperament of the animal.

    A large study used well-established metrics to evaluate the impacts of pets on children with autism. This study found significant gains in two specific areas of social/communication: offering to share and offering comfort,” noting that “these two items reflect prosocial behaviors.” They also found that the impacts were most significant when the pet arrived when the child was old enough to recognize the event.

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