Man’s best friend. They star in videos that seem to always go viral on YouTube. They rack up thousands of followers on Instagram and social media. And it’s all because they have an uncanny ability to instantly make us feel better after a long day. It’s no wonder that dogs have been proven to reduce stress, tension, and even, depression in humans. However, if you’re choosing a dog to help you get happy, you’ll want to look for breeds that possess certain traits—affectionate, low maintenance, playful, yet not overly hyper or independent.
Find out which 5 dogs topped our list as the happiest pets.
Happiest Pet #1: The Cheerful Attention Hog
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Spend a few minutes with a “Cavi” and it’s easy to see how they are one of the most popular spaniel breeds. They were bred to be loyal companions, which is exactly what they have proven to be. Plus, they have a go-with-the-flow personality that makes them the perfect pup for any adventure—whether it’s showing off their agility skills during a game of Frisbee or harnessing your affection while sprawling out on your lap. They love the one they’re with making them first-rate family members and great therapy dogs. Oh, and they’re completely adorable.
Happiest Pet #2: The Patience of a Saint
The American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull)
If you’ve never before owned this dog breed as a pet, you’re probably surprised it made the list. American Staffordshire Terriers—commonly identified as Pit Bulls—get a bad rap, but the truth is, they’re notorious for their intelligence, patience, and love of children. Okay, yes, they can look intimidating, but these people-oriented pooches come equipped with a loving and devoted personality that’s perfect for families. Lounging on the sofa, rough-housing with the kids, or even running errands in the car—they love it all as long as it provides them with human companionship.
Happiest Pet #3: Tricks and Treats
The Maltese dog breed made our list for two reasons: They’re smart and they’re charming. They’re also obedient. Not to mention incredibly affectionate. They learn tricks very easily (when dog treats are involved, that is). Did we mention hypoallergenic? They’re also a generally healthy breed and make wonderful therapy dogs. Okay, so maybe that was more than two reasons, but it’s hard to narrow it down when it comes to this playful toy breed that’s sure to make you smile.
Happiest Pet #4: The Gentle Giant
The Great Dane
When a Great Dane looks in a mirror, we are convinced he sees a toy-sized Dane looking back at him. How else can you explain a 115-pound lap dog? This gentle giant of a breed is as affectionate, caring, and laid-back as they come. Their quiet and calm demeanor paired with their love for snuggling with you on the sofa makes them an ideal companion as well as a great apartment dog breed. But be prepared to spend some quality time with this one—they live for constant human companionship.
Happiest Pet #5: A Merry Mix
We’re mixing things up with this last dog breed. Why? Because the Cockapoo is a true happy camper that achieves the best of both worlds. It combines the outgoing and loving nature of the Cocker Spaniel with the intelligence and loyalty of the Poodle to make for one cheerful companion. They’re also inherently healthy dogs and require little maintenance with their hypoallergenic and dander-free coats. It’s just one more reason to get happy.
While these five breeds made our happiest pets list, the truth is, there are lots of breeds out there that want nothing more than to show their owners love and affection in return for companionship (and the occasional dog treat of course). Find the pup that’s right for you and we guarantee that he will spend his dog years doing all he can to make you happy.