10 Therapy Dog Characteristics That Make For The Perfect Supportive Companion

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All dogs are good dogs, but therapy dogs are in a class of their own. What makes a good therapy dog? It's a lot more than an adorable begging face or a wiggly butt. According to experts, it takes a very special pup to be the right fit for a job supporting humans. From the ability to stay calm in the midst of chaos to the intelligence to be able to learn a number of commands and obey them every time, these canines need a pretty incredible set of characteristics to really shine.

But that doesn't mean that they need any less care than a non-working dog. While a therapy dog is one that works hard to take care of and support humans, it's important to remember that they're also sweet pups who need plenty of love and playtime. "Even the most even-keeled, equanimous dogs need frequent breaks and timeouts to decompress from all the attention, petting, stimuli, etc.," Russell Hartstein, CDBC, CPDT-KA, a certified professional dog trainer and founder of Fun Paw Care, tells Bustle. They certainly love treats and long walks just as much as the next dog.

Here are some of the characteristics of a great therapy dog, according to experts.