Can a French bulldog be an emotional support dog? (FIND OUT WHY? )

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French Bulldogs are some of the best emotional support dogs (ESA) you can have. This breed is known for its lovable presence and affectionate habits. 

If you are a mental health patient or know anyone who needs an emotional support dog, French bulldogs should be one of your first options. 

What is an emotional support dog? 

Emotional support dogs are dogs kept by people who suffer from mental health illnesses. 

 These dogs provide affection to their handlers and help them conquer their mental health issues. Emotional support dogs are gotten with professional prescriptions.  

To get one, you will need a prescription from your psychiatrist or therapist. 

Difference between a service dog and an emotional support dog 

Service dogs and emotional support dogs are often mistaken for one another, but they are not the same. 

Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities such as blindness, deafness, and lack of mobility to navigate their ways around. 

 On the other hand, emotional support dogs help people with mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD to live better lives. 

Apart from their functions, there are also other differences between service dogs and emotional support dogs.  

These differences include their training, the rights they enjoy, and the breed of dogs that serve each purpose better. 


Regarding training, service dogs are required to get extensive training that will make them fit for their intended purposes.  

Different countries have different bodies in charge of training service dogs. For the United States, it is National Service Animal Registry.  

During their training, these dogs are groomed to help their handlers with things they need help with. These include fetching their medications, alerting them of dangers, bringing their phones to them, and so on. 

Unlike service dogs, emotional support dogs do not need any training. Once your dog meets some requirements, you can use it as an emotional support dog.  

These requirements include having a calm temperament, being gentle with people, and having good social interaction skills.  

However, some people prefer to train their emotional support dogs just to ensure they can provide the help needed. 


Service dogs and emotional support dogs enjoy different rights under the law. Service dogs can follow their handlers to any place, including restaurants, hotels, and airplanes.  

These dogs are allowed into every enterprise, including those with “no pet” policies. They are also protected against domestic and public abuse.  

To ensure that a service dog is the best for its owner, both canine and handler need to do annual evaluation by the regulatory body in their area. 

Due to their different purposes, emotional support dogs do not enjoy the same benefits as service dogs.  

These dogs are allowed in many places, but there are instances where they are barred from some enterprises.  

These may include restaurants or hotels, but it is rarely so.

For example, suppose you own an emotional support dog and want to travel through an airline.

In that case, you can notify them about two days before your trip that you will be traveling with your ESA. 


The breeds of dogs that work for the two purposes are different. There are instances where a breed of dog works well as both service dogs and emotional support dogs, but it is not always so.

For instance, French bulldogs are naturally inclined towards the emotional support purpose and make good service dogs if properly trained.

With that said, here are some breeds of dogs and where they function best. 

Service dogs 

These are some breeds of dogs that work well as service dogs.

These dogs help their owners lead more comfortable lives despite their (the owners) disabilities. 

  • Labrador retrievers, 
  • German shepherds, 
  • Beagles, 
  • Boston terriers, 
  • Saint Bernard’s, 
  • Pomeranians, 
  • Pugs, 
  • Bernese Mountain dogs, 
  • Poodles, etc. 

Emotional support dogs 

Some of the breeds that have been listed as service dogs also work well as emotional support dogs.

This is because of their ability to adapt to their owners’ different needs and provide good companionship. With that said, here are some dog breeds that make good emotional support dogs. 

  • Labrador Retrievers 
  • German Shepherds 
  • Poodles 
  • Yorkshire Terriers 
  • Beagle 
  • Corgie 
  • Pug 
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 
  • Pomeranian 

What do emotional support dogs do? 

Emotional support dogs have the primary duties to help their owners overcome or manage mental health illnesses. 

These dogs provide companionship, positivity, and daily help to their owners.  

Emotional support dogs such as French bulldogs have been found to provide health benefits to their owners, including lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels. 

Having emotional support dogs also helps increase physical activities, which improves the fitness and health of the handlers.  

In addition, by owning emotional support dogs, people suffering from mental health illnesses also get to meet others similar to them and bond.  

For example, by owning an emotional support dog, the owner has to walk the dog occasionally to places like parks, malls, and streets. 

During this exercise, they meet other people who come to walk their dogs and make friends. From that, they engage in discussions and form relationships with others.  

This will help them open up more to the world and accept themselves. Thus, they get closer to living the healthy life they seek in the short and long runs. 

What Traits Does a Good emotional dog Have?

While your emotional support dog does not have to be trained as a service dog, it still has to have some features to make it fit. An emotional support dog must: 

  • Have a good temperament; 
  • Love people being around people; 
  • Be okay with petting by other people; 
  • Not bark a lot; 
  • Have good manners; 
  • Be friendly to children, etc. 

These are some of the traits that an emotional support dog must possess to provide the help its owner needs.  

People who own emotional support dogs do so because they need a stable companion to help them battle the loneliness and trauma attached to mental illness.  

Therefore, the animals used for this purpose must be capable of providing the relief their owners seek. 

Apart from French bulldog, 

What other breeds make good emotional support dogs?

When your psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist recommends an emotional support dog for you, they mostly will not recommend a particular breed.  

However, everyone has their preferences.  

Here are some of them. 

1.Labrador Retrievers 

Labs are the most popular dog breeds in the United States, and rightfully so. 

 This breed is intelligent, gentle, and has all the good features you may be looking for in an emotional support dog.  

They don’t need any training to provide emotional support; they only need to be themselves. 

Labrador retrievers are also known to have a habit of pleasing their owners. Therefore, they provide great listening ears when you need someone to talk to.  

They have a lot of patience and will always provide you with silent, strong support every time. 

2.German Shepherds 

German Shepherds are of a versatile breed that can perform almost any function you require of a dog. They are great guard dogs and serve well as pets. In addition, the combination of their fierce look and caring demeanor makes German Shepherds one of the top breeds for emotional support. 


Poodles make good emotional support dogs because they are intelligent and friendly. They can observe your emotion and see if you need a cuddle or space to think. You can train a poodle to perform several tasks, and they are always loyal to their owners. 

4.Yorkshire Terriers 

These furry dogs are loved by many and kept as a pet because of its lovable presence and alertness. In addition, Yorkshire Terriers make good emotional support dogs because of their affectionate nature and sharpness. 


 This breed is usually quick to make friends with strangers and provide its owner with companionship. Beagles are also affectionate and can serve many other purposes other than being an emotional support dog. 


Corgies are great companions and prevent people from mental health problems such as anxiety, grieving, stress, panic disorder, and living better lives. 


Pugs are perfect for people of any age. They are friendly, social, and intelligent. What makes them cool as emotional support dogs is their affectionate nature which makes it seem like they need you more than you need them. 

8.Saint Bernard 

This breed is patient, obedient, and protective attributes make it a great emotional support dog. Their physical look makes them adorable to many children and helps bring people joy, happiness, and contentment. It also helps you come out of your shell and overcome your mental health challenges. 


Pomeranians are favored by people who love small pets. This cute breed is often used by senior citizens, and it is common to see them in nursing homes and hospices. In addition, as a result of their positive and friendly nature, Pomeranians make great emotional support animals. 


Greyhounds are naturally racers but still make excellent companions when they are not running. This breed is one of the best dog breeds for emotional support. They are quiet, calm, and affectionate.  
Greyhounds are also quite intuitive and can know when you need their help. So if you are looking for a quiet companion that can provide strength when needed, you should consider getting a greyhound. 

Final Thoughts 

French bulldogs make excellent emotional support dogs and can be trained to do various tasks to help their owners live better lives.  
They also serve as great service dogs and can be trained to help people with disabilities move around better.  

For example, suppose you have a mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, and panic order. In that case, you can ask your doctor for a prescription and get a Frenchie to be your best buddy.