ADHD, which stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a mental condition that affects millions of children all over the world, with this disorder often continuing on into adulthood. ADHD means that a person will find it much harder to focus and control their impulses, while hyperactivity is also commonly experienced. Canine companions to the rescue! Read on to find out more about the best dog breeds for ADHD!

Is there a cure for ADHD?

Unfortunately, no. However, there are many ways in which the condition can be managed, in order to reduce symptoms as much as possible. One of these methods is with the use of an emotional support animal, with research showing that pets can be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from ADHD or ADD.

How Dogs Can Help People with ADHD or ADD! 

Dogs in particular have been proven to bring about quite a few positive changes in people who have ADHD.

How exactly do the best dog breeds for ADHD help?

In a number of ways, such as:

  • Being around a dog can calm a person down and lower stress levels.
  • The exercise and playtime that a dog needs provides the perfect outlet for any extra energy.
  • Dogs need a routine, and this helps a person with ADHD work on their time management skills.
  • Stroking a dog, or any other physical contact, minimizes stress and anxiety.
  • It is easier to develop empathy when looking after a dog, which is something that often challenges those with ADHD.
  • A dog is a great ice-breaker when meeting new people, making it easier for those with ADHD to be sociable.

Any Dog Can Be an ESA: You Just Need to Get Your ESA Letter! 

When it comes to emotional support animals, there are no rules on specific breeds, or even specific animals, meaning that just about any animal could potentially qualify as an ESA.

Unlike a service dog, an emotional service animal does not need to go through intensive training, so even the beloved pooch that you already have at home could be registered as an ESA.


All you need is an ESA letter, which has to be written by a licensed mental health practitioner (LMHP).

What’s the quickest way to get one?

By completing CertaPet’s free online pre-screening. The pre-screening only take around five minutes to do, and you could have your very own ESA letter in as little as 48 hours.


Legitimate way to certify your emotional support animal

  • Connects licensed medical practitioners to individuals seeking ESA letters
  • ESA letters comply with state and federal regulations

The Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Dog for an ADHD or ADD Sufferer

hyperactive boy playing with his ball and rough collie

For those who are suffering from ADHD or ADD, an emotional support dog can be extremely beneficial.

Dogs are able to significantly relieve the symptoms of ADHD and ADD by helping with the following:

  • Providing consistency.
  • Offering a distraction.
  • Requiring routines and schedules.
  • Providing an outlet for extra energy.
  • Encouraging outdoor time.
  • Increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in the body.
  • Minimizing the sense of isolation and loneliness.
  • Being completely non-judgmental and providing unconditional love.
  • Making social situations less stressful.
  • Giving the owner something positive to think about and look forward to.

The Best Dog Breeds for ADHD or ADD: Here Are Our Top Picks!

There are hundreds of different dog breeds out there, so how do you choose the best one for helping with ADHD or ADD?

While just about any dog would provide the benefits listed above, there are certain breeds that would be especially beneficial…

Best Small Dogs and Companion Dogs: The Energetic Jack Russell Terrier

small dog breeds jack russell terrier jumping in a field

Small, cute, intelligent and energetic, Jack Russell Terriers make for such fun pets. They love to learn and are easily trainable, which is great for giving ADHD sufferers something to focus their time and attention on.

Jack Russell Terriers require a high amount of both physical and mental stimulation, and often do well when it comes to agility activities. Signing up for some classes with a Jack Russell ESA is not only a great way to add some routine to the life of an ADHD sufferer, but also helps with socializing, for both owner and dog.

Many would say that a Jack Russell is a large dog in a small body, and this couldn’t be more true. With a strong sense of determination and such an eagerness to please, it is no surprise that Jack Russell terriers are such a popular breed when it comes to companion dogs.

Best Apartment Dogs: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel getting a treat

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed that is extremely gentle and loves to cuddle, making them perfect for apartment living. Small, soft and sweet-tempered, this is a breed that is so easy to welcome into the family.

Being quite highly dependent on human companionship, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can really help ADHD sufferers with loneliness and stress-reduction. While this may be the case, it is important for you to also train your dog to be independent, so that separation anxiety doesn’t become an issue further on down the line.

While the breed may be great for apartment living, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel still needs plenty of exercise, meaning that they will also be able to encourage ADHD sufferers to spend more time outside.

Best Big Fluffy Dog Breeds: The Sweet Rough Collie

rough collie outside on grass staring

Collies come in two varieties and both make some of the best dog breeds for ADHD:

  • Rough Collies – these dogs feature a long coat, and were first made famous by canine TV star Lassie.
  • Smooth Collies – their coat is much shorter, flatter and denser.

Although the Rough Collie requires more grooming than the Smooth Collie, this can actually be beneficial for providing a daily routine for those who have ADHD.

When it comes to the personality of the Rough Collie, they are extremely energetic and athletic, and are also highly intelligent. They make an ideal companion for those who enjoy spending time outdoors, although they do also love to be a part of the family.

The one downside to Collies is that their impressive intelligence means that they can often get bored easily. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation, but having a dog with such high requirements can often be even more beneficial for those with ADHD.

Calm Dog Breeds: The Bernese Mountain Dog

big fluffy dog breeds bernese mountain dog running

If you would prefer a large breed dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a top contender for on the best dog breeds for ADHD list.


Because they are so good-natured, peaceful and affectionate, and can really make an ADHD sufferer feel so loved.

Although they are large in size, they are generally quite calm and easy to train. They do well in a number of different activities, from obedience to tracking to herding, giving an ADHD sufferer plenty of choice when it comes to trying new things with their pooch.

Just like with any dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog does require plenty of exercise and will definitely encourage their owner to spend more time outdoors.

Rescue Dogs Have as Much to Offer as Any Other Dogs! If Not More!

rescue dogs boy with his emotional support dog

When it comes to picking an emotional support dog, rescue dogs are often overlooked. Rescue dogs make some of the best dog breeds for ADHD!

Rather than purchasing a young puppy, opting for a rescue dog instead can be very beneficial, especially when you want the dog to be able to help with ADHD.

Not only will many of them already have a certain level of basic training, but they also tend to be more mature, doing away with the stress that can come from owning a puppy.

Not Exactly Rare Dog Breeds! Whether Mutt or Designer Breed, a Rescue Will Love and Support You Unconditionally!

Many people often have a breed in mind when it comes to getting a new dog, and this leads them to believe that the only place to get their dog is from a breeder.

However, did you know that there are many purebred and designer breed dogs in rescues too? There are so many different shelters out there, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to picking a breed.

Of course, whether you opt for a mutt or a designer breed, the appreciation that a rescue dog will have for being given a new chance at life will give an ADHD sufferer such a strong sense of satisfaction. Their unconditional love is so intense, and any history that they may have can often help a rescue dog to give you a surprising level of support. The best dog breeds for ADHD are the breeds you love the most!

The Best Dog Breed for Me! How CertaPet Helps People with ADHD Keep Their Canine Companions Constantly By Their Side!

Not only do dogs become quite dependent on their owners, but owners can also quickly become quite dependent on their canine companions.

This strong bond can really help with relieving ADHD symptoms, so it goes without saying that ADHD sufferers will want to ensure that their dogs are always by their side.

young girl with adhd running with her little dog

This is something that CertaPet can help with!

By completing the five minute pre-screening and acquiring an ESA letter, you will be able to have your dog with you in situations where a non-ESA wouldn’t be able to go. For example, airlines are required to allow owners to bring their ESA (generally cats and dogs) on board a flight for no charge at all.

Finding housing also becomes easier, as housing providers are required to allow emotional service dogs or cats to live with their owners, even if pets aren’t usually allowed in that accommodation.

ADHD can often be a difficult disorder to manage, but a dog can really make this so much easier. No matter the breed, or where the dog comes from, those who suffer from ADHD or ADD will likely see a significant improvement in their symptoms quite soon after a dog has been brought into their lives.