The 11 Best Dogs For Children With Autism

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Choosing the best dog for a child with autism is challenging, but not impossible. Read on to discover what kind of dog you could benefit from the most.

It’s no secret that dogs are often used as therapy dogs, to calm people, to put the stress away, or just to serve as protectors for children and the elderly.

Another well-known fact is that children who grow up with a family dog are healthier, have stronger empathy, are better at sharing, and are highly responsibly.

Although children of different ages can benefit from having a dog, it has been proven that owning a dog is much more beneficial for children with autism.

In fact, in a study published by the National Institute of Health, researchers found that 94% of parents, of 67% of families with autistic children, reported that they have noticed their autistic children had formed a unique bond with the dog.

If you’re thinking about this idea – welcoming a dog into your home, but you are not sure which breed is the best for autism, keep on reading because we have got you covered.

Best Dogs for Kids with Autism

Getting a dog isn’t an easy decision, and should always be a family decision.

Sharing dog-related responsibilities make having a dog around much more enjoyable. It also makes it an easier obligation.

For example, if you get a breed that is prone to separation anxiety Bichon Frise, you cannot expect him to be happy and active whenever you demand it.

This is why getting the right breed is so important.

  • Make sure that you do your research first.
  • Know the breed’s traits.
  • Are you comfortable with extra hair in your home?
  • Do you mind the dog odor, or do you prefer a breed without a famous dog-odor?
  • Is a high-maintenance breed for you?
  • Can you afford to feed a large size dog, that usually comes with high veterinarian costs?
  • Do you mind small size dogs that tend to be vocal?

These questions and many more will help you get the breed that you want or in this case the breed that you need.

Now, that we have a more comprehensive picture of what matters when it comes to choosing the best breed possible, let’s see which breed should be on your list when it comes to choosing the best companion to children with autism.

Golden Retriever

Is there anything that Golden Retriever cannot do? There cannot be a family dog list without the Golden Retriever making the cut.

Golden Retriever is the ultimate breed when it comes to any sort of human assistance.

Their calm nature and soft heart make them perfect children companions, and especially tender when it comes to children with autism.

Goldens are dogs of happy attitude, with a strong need to please their humans. They are loving, gentle, and extremely easy to train.

Due to these traits and high intelligence, they are often trained as therapy dogs or as emotional support.

If you want a truly friendly dog breed that will be a great buddy for your child or children this is a breed to consider having.

Saint Bernard

Are you based in an area where winter is harsh and cold weather is a frequent occurrence?

If so, you might think about getting a soft-tempered dog who enjoys winter and snow.

If your child loves making a Snowman, extra support from the Saint Bernard will be great.

This is a large breed, but they are sweet and gentle around people, especially children.

Bernards are loyal and love to please, which means that there is no impossible task for them.

Since this is a large size dog they will need a larger living space or they may accidentally pull things down.


If you want a dog who is great with children but is also of mixed parents then a Labradoodle is definitely a breed to think about.

This soft-face-looking dog is a common choice for families of children of autism, and for many great reasons.

First of all, Labradoodle is a great breed if you don’t want a crazy amount of dog hair around.

They are not hypoallergenic, but they do shed minimally. As a low shedding breed, they are fit for people with allergies.

Still, if you or your family member comes with some sort of allergy, make sure that you talk with your doctor first about having a dog around or any pet for that matter.

Labradoodles are great family dogs, who are perfect around children. They come in different colors and sizes, but one thing is common to all of them – they are all highly intelligent.

As a highly intelligent breed, Labradoodles are easy to train. If you opt for this breed, bear in mind that frequent brushing sessions are a must.

Also, grooming costs are something to take into consideration when getting Labradoodle.

German Shepherd

Every child needs protection, and no breed does it better than a German Shepherd does.

German Shepherds are one of the most agile dogs ever. They are great for training, superb when it comes to physical tasks, and often used by officials forced to assist them with different tasks.

They love when there is a job to be done, which is why they will be focused to listen and complete the toughest tasks ever.

Around strangers, they will always be suspicious and reserved. No stranger should be ever able to approach any family member when a German Shepherd is around.

These large dogs are loyal and gentle and will be able to keep up with children of different energy levels.

German Shepherd comes with many qualities, but the biggest challenge with this breed is their strong shedding.

In fact, this powerful dog is among the biggest canine shedders. Even German Shepherd mixes are known for intense shedding.

To reduce German Shepherd shedding use the right grooming tools, and do additional research on this breed’s shedding and how to minimize German Shepherd shedding effectively.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Next to Saint Bernard and Siberian Husky, the Bernese Mountain Dog is among the biggest canine snow lovers.

Getting this breed means being careful during the summertime due to heatstroke, and extra outdoor time during the wintertime.

Bernese Mountain Dog is a great family dog, and there is no space for any worry if they will get along with children or not.

Bernese will do fine with children of all ages. Bernese will love to be of service. Since these dogs are highly sensitive, they will be able to provide enough love and affection.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are often described as beautiful dogs who tend to drool a bit ahead in significant amounts.

Labrador Retriever

America’s favorite, the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds alive.

These dogs are loyal, intelligent, huge water lovers, and great with children.

As massive people-pleasers, Labrador Retrievers will do their best to excel at any task and keep their family members safe.

As such, they are easy to train, and great when it comes to hanging out with children. This breed is prone to separation anxiety so make sure that the entire family is equally engaged in keeping these large dogs active and happy.

Labrador Retrievers are dogs who thrive on high-activity levels, so provide enough exercise. These active dogs are best suited for families with large and well-secured yards.

If you love going to the beach, make sure that you take a Labrador Retriever with you. They will love a good swim.


Did you know that a dog from Petar Pan is actually a Newfoundland? This breed is known for being great children from day one.

They are so child-friendly that they are often called the nanny dogs. Yes, they are larger size dogs which is why supervision with children is recommended (this is recommended with dogs of any size).

They may be giant in size, but they are soft in heart. In fact, they are true giants.

When it comes to bets dogs for kids, especially autistic children, this is one of the best breeds to get.

Newfoundlands are around 100 pounds, but their lavishing coat makes them look even bigger than they are.

True to their fluffy dog roots, Newfoundland will drool and shed a lot.

This is something that you will most likely ignore in a matter of minutes, once you see how soft they are with children.


It’s not uncommon for high-protective dogs to be fluffy and great with children.

One of the great dogs for children is actually the powerful Rottweiler.

Magnificant Rottie might have around 80 pounds, but his softness is unlimited.

Rottweilers are highly assertive and they will try to test you.

To get the most out of this breed, Rotties are recommended for only experienced dog owners. First time dog owners should never think about getting a dog that is as powerful as a Rottweiler is.

This may sound unusual, but Rootties are dogs that thrive on physical contact. This is the main reason why they are a great choice for children with autism.


Are you a Lassie lover?

Even if you are not a hard-core Lassie fan, you probably can recognize this breed of lavishing coat.

When it comes to perfect family dogs, Collie is a breed to consider having.

They are extremely loyal, devoted, and eager to please. Plus, they’re intelligent, enjoy well-planned training sessions, and will do their best to keep children around them well-entertained and safe.

Children find Collie to be calm and well-aware of human emotions, which makes them great for children of various needs.

Collie is a clingy breed, which means that you shouldn’t worry about this breed wandering off, which makes Collie a great choice even for first time dog owners.

However, be mindful of grooming sessions, because keeping this breed looking neat will demand time and regular grooming sessions.


This fluffy and friendly breed is known for being the perfect companion for families of any size.

Children love spending time with them and these dogs enjoy having children around them.

Samoyeds are easy-going dogs, known for their smiling face – have you noticed how Samoyed really look as if he is smiling?

This breed may be fluffy in appearance but do not let their soft look trick you, because they’re highly energetic dogs.

Daily walks, daily exercise, and strict training are a must. Plus, that white coat doesn’t get neat and clean without long brushing sessions and extra dry time after rainy walks.


Did you know that Poodles have a reputation as the smartest dog breed alive? Or that they are among the best therapy and service dogs available today?

Poodles are highly intelligent dogs who can perform the most challenging tasks in a short time.

These elegant dogs are also hypoallergenic, which makes them suitable for families that have members who suffer from various allergies.

Poodles are gentle, but playful dogs, which makes them suitable companions to autistic children.

They will be tuned with owners’ feelings and will sense negative emotions as soon as they appear. This is why Poodles are great as emotional support dogs.

If you want a dog who loves children, will follow house rules and doesn’t shed, this is a breed for you.

Did you know that Poodle is the most commonly used breed for creating new dog breeds?
Yes, new dog breeds are created constantly.

Intelligent Poodle is usually breeders’ first choice to create numerous Poodle mixes that are smart, calm, and great to train.

Getting one of Poodle mixes instead of Poodle should always be an open option.

Best Dog for a Child With Autism

Dogs are great companions.

They may come in different sizes and colors, but they all have one thing in common – dogs are great companions.

When it comes to children with autism, dogs will serve as unconditional support.

They will provide unconditional support, love, and friends that only a dog can give.

As result, a child with autism should be able to build stronger social skills and show confidence or make it stronger.

No one can tell for sure which breed is the best for a child with autism, because it all comes down to your decision.

You are the only one who needs to consider your child’s needs, sensitivities, and even family dynamics before you add a new member to your family.

Think carefully about what kind of dog is for you, how much time you want to spend grooming your dog, and what kind of dog support your child needs, if a therapy dog is the best solution, or a service dog would be a better choice, or maybe you need a strong companion.

Don’t ignore safety.

No matter what kind of dog you choose, it’s important to make dog and child introduction safe and well-organized.

Make sure that every child-dog interaction is supervised, and do your best to educate your child on how to interact with dogs safely.