Dogs are very sensitive and empathetic animals. The relationship that is established with humans is often spectacular. Over the years, dogs have become so close to humans that today there are dogs for virtually every type of character, personality, and taste.
In addition to being part of a family, some breeds of dogs have innate skills and are adapted to perform particular tasks. This is the case for dogs that accompany people with special needs, such as children with autism. It has been proven that the emotional bond between the child and the animal is so close and strong that one cannot be separated from the other and that this connection greatly improves the child’s mood and health.
If a child in your family has autism and you are considering introducing a new friend, you must know what the best breeds of dogs for children with autism are so you can make the right decision.
1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are impressive at first sight because they are robust and muscular, but contrary to what their physical appearance suggests, they are very docile and considered one of the best breeds to accompany autistic children. It is sometimes called “nanny dog” because of its excellent relationship with children.
He is loyal, reliable, and has excellent character. He loves being with his family so much that you will see him accompany the child wherever he goes, even to bed. He is very affectionate and obedient. If you train him properly and give him all your love, he will be the best therapy for the child.
Again, don’t let the size fool you. Newfoundlanders are as big as their hearts. If you choose a dog of this breed, you’ll have a cuddly toy at home that will cuddle your child all the time. Because of its large size, its temperament is calm and therefore ideal for an autistic child as it will encourage him to be calm. It can also help less active children who like to draw or play in the same space.
He is an adorable giant with a calm temperament and very intelligent. The Newfoundland was chosen to be the pet of the famous Peter Pan character. What better example could there be to show his incredible understanding with children?
3. Pyrenean Mountain Dog
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a very intelligent breed that is still used as a working breed, which means that it is adaptable in terms of training. One of the advantages of this dog with an autistic child is its role as a protector and guardian. This allows parents to relax a little and share the responsibility of being constantly vigilant while performing other tasks at home.
He is very mentally balanced, calm, and not very nervous. He does not bark much, which is even better in this case since he will not tend to disturb the child. He is always open to new experiences and has a lot of empathy for his teachers.
4. Golden retriever
Golden retrievers are family dogs par excellence: it is the first breed considered by most parents when adopting a dog for their children. All these dogs have the right characteristics to become a faithful friend. It is also one of the most used breeds as a “service dog” because of its docile, secure, and adaptable personality.
They are very affectionate with children and have a highly developed instinct for emotions. For example, if one day the child is more active and happy, the dog will encourage the child to play and the two will have a lot of fun together. If, on the other hand, the child is a little more closed, he will stay by his side in a very calm position, as if to say: “I’m here if you need me” and at the same time give him all his love.
5. Labrador retriever
Dogs, especially Labradors Retrievers, establish emotionally and trusting bonds with their owners through eye contact. With their gentle, attentive eyes, they express many things at the same time that make you feel loved and secure.
Labrador Retrievers are known as companions, rescue, and assistance dogs. Here are some of the benefits of their presence in the life of an autistic child: they create confidence, help reduce anxiety attacks, stimulate imagination and the desire to communicate, encourage self-control, and because they are very sociable and affectionate, help integrate children into their environment. A Labrador Retriever can help reactivate the emotional connectors of children with this disorder.
All dogs can be therapy dogs?
It is very important to specify that no, not all dogs can be therapy dogs, even if they are part of the above-mentioned breeds. In the first instance, a dog with a positive and predictable character should be chosen, so that it can be part of a therapy program and be trained for it.
Before planning to adopt a dog, you should visit a dog trainer who specializes in therapy dogs and can help you choose a dog that can work and live with your child.
Some companies and trainers are dedicated to training therapy dogs for autistic children, so it’s best to adopt a furry friend there, knowing for sure that he or she will be a good fit for your child.