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Bustle – The 7 Best Dog Breeds For Fighting Depression

Dr Danielle Forshee Psy.D, LCSW, speaking to Bustle about the best dogs breeds that help fighting depression.

Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW, a psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle that the strong emotional bond that develops between a human and a dog can have powerful therapeutic effects on both mental and physical health for a number of reasons. “Current literature suggests that one of the reasons dog ownership is effective at combating depression and anxiety is because dogs compel their owners to do more outdoor exercise,” Dr. Forshee says. She explains that dogs recognize and are sensitive to us, and even adjust their behavior to our communication signals and emotions.

Because of these innate abilities, Dr. Forshee says any dog breed should “do the trick” when it comes to fighting depression. However, she notes that certain dog breeds that have traditionally been tasked with hunting have unique traits that might be especially beneficial. “While there is no research indicating there is a specific type of breed or breeds of dog that are most effective at decreasing human depression and anxiety, research has found that various breeds of hunting dogs (retrievers, pointers, and setters) are associated with lowest risks of cardiovascular health problems,” Dr. Forshee explains.

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