10 Small Dog Breeds for Therapy

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Don't let the fluffy coat and frou frou hairdo fool you. The poodle is one of most intelligent breeds of dog. This canine combination of brains and beauty excels in obedience training and makes him an ideal therapy dog.

Originating in Germany as water retrievers, the poodle's thick coat was cut into the chic "poodle clip" to allow the dog to swim easier while keeping vital organs and joints warm. Poodles' coats come in shades of black, white and apricot and are hypoallergenic, so they are well-suited for people who suffer from allergies.

Poodles are popular therapy dogs in schools. Ariel, a therapy dog at Rodriguez Elementary School, in Harlingen, Texas, assists in reading programs and comforts students if they've struggled with an assignment.

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