Goldendoodles are a very popular cross breed derived from crossing a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. They are a very friendly and eager-to-please breed, that are more hypoallergenic than a Golden Retriever but are great family dogs.
So can a Goldendoodle make a good service dog? The answer is yes! With proper training and socialization, the Goldendoodle makes a great service animal. Their eagerness-to-please and charming personality help to make them great service dogs.
In addition, the breed is considered hypoallergenic so they can be a service dog for allergy sufferers as well.
What Is A Service Dog?
A service dog, is a dog who is individually trained to perform tasks that are directly related to the disabilities of their handler.
A service dog performs tasks that help their handler navigate everyday life, tasks that the person is unable to do alone.
Most service dogs wear a vest or special harnesses that designates them as service dogs. However, this is not a legal requirement. This is why you should always be sure to ask if you can pet a dog. You never know if it is a service dog or not.
The type of service a dog preforms is split into two different categories. One is for physical aid and one is for mental aid.
Physical aide service dog jobs are wide and ranging. These can include:
- Seeing-eye dogs
- Hearing aide dogs
- Diabetic alert dogs
- Seizure alert dogs
- Alerting their handler to the presence of an allergen
- Supporting individuals with balance issues
- Helping their handler off the floor
- Retrieving items for their handler
- Remind individuals to take their medications
- Help to pull a wheelchair
- Help to dress or undress their handler
- Call 911 in case of emergencies
- Help the owner find places or items when the owner is disoriented
On the mental disability side, service dogs can help with:
- Panic disorders
- Major depression
These service dogs can help by:
- Interrupting repetitive movements
- Helping with insomnia
- Interrupt nightmares
- Interrupt flashbacks
- Provide deep pressure therapy
- Prevent self-harming behavior by providing tactile solutions
How Are Service Dogs Trained?
As you can see, service dogs perform a range of different tasks, so how are they trained to be so amazing?
There are three different methods of training a service dog. You could train the dog yourself, train the dog yourself with the help of a professional, or have the dog completely trained by someone else.
Training a service dog is best done by you and a professional trainer. This will quicken the process, and you will get the help of an expert. There are many reasons why this method is better than just getting a trainer to train the dog alone.
For starters, you can have an active part in explaining what type of assistance you need as a disabled person. If you take part in the training, you can choose all of the commands and cues to get your dog to perform the tasks.You will also be more equipped to be able to train the dog to do more things in the future if you need them too as time progresses.
When you train with a professional trainer, you also get to bond with the dog and build a relationship. You will get to learn the rules of the service dog and also have expert advice for any issues that arise.
The training of a service dog itself can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. This will vary depending upon what tasks you need the dog to perform. In general, the dog will need a minimum of 120 hours spread across a 6 month period. At least 30 of those hours will need to be in a public place. This will help the dog to know that he must still do his job in distracting situations.
There are a few main concepts that the dog will learn in his service dog training. He will need to learn that he must focus on the handler no matter the distractions. He also needs to be well socialized so that nothing will frighten or distract him, especially when in public. Finally, and most importantly, he must learn his task or tasks that will aid the handler.
what are the best breeds for service dogs?
Let me start by saying that any breed of dog can be a service dog. They are not all suited to every service task but they can all serve in some way. Everything from the tiny Yorkie to the Irish Wolfhound can be a helpful service dog. With that said there are some that are particularly good breeds that make excellent all rpund service and therapy dogs.
- Labrador Retrievers are one such breed. These dogs have the energy they need to focus and stay mobile with their handlers all day. But the breed is also great at relaxing and being patient when needed. They also are eager-to-please and have a wonderful temperament.
- Golden Retrievers are another great breed to choose as a service dog. They are good workers and have a gentle nature. They too are eager-to-please and have lovely temperaments.
- German Shepherds make an all-around very versatile service dog. They are great police and military dogs and they also make wonderful service dogs. They are hardworking, loyal, and intelligent.
- The Standard Poodle is another dog that is often used as a service dog. This breed is highly-trainable and dependable. As a bonus, they are also hypoallergenic.
- Pomeranians are another breed that can make a great service dog. They may not be able to pull a wheelchair or help someone off the floor, but they are great medical detection dogs. They make great hearing aide dogs and can help those with mental disabilities as well.
How Much Do Service Dogs Cost?
The task or tasks that you need to the service dog to preform will have a huge impact on how much the service dog will cost. More tasks or more intricate tasks will require more training which in turn will require more money.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $7,000 to $50,000 for a service dog. So why does it cost so much?
For starters, service dogs need to come from a good litter and need to be healthy. Good breeding costs money, so a puppy from a reputable breeder is going to cost more.
Then you need to pay for the training. On the lower end of the cost spectrum, is you training the dog with the help of a professional. On the higher end, is a service dog that you buy from a trainer, one that you didn’t help train.
This is obviously a very pricy investment. However, there are a few ways that you can pay without completely breaking the bank all at once.
If you have a flex spending account, many of those can be used to cover the cost of a service dog. There are also grants and non-profits that will help you get a service dog. You could also start a crowdfunding campaign or just save your money.
Five Reasons Why A Goldendoodle Makes A Great Service Dog
As you may have noticed above the Golden Retriever and the Poodle are both considered good service dog breeds. So, it is any wonder that the Goldendoodle is a good service dog too? Goldendoodles are an excellent choice of service dog on a lot of levels but, here are the top five reasons why a Goldendoodle can make a great service dog.
- They are hypoallergenic which makes them great for individuals that have disabilities and allergies.
- The Goldendoodle is friendly and good with strangers, kids, and other animals.
- The breed is intelligent and obedient. These traits are necessary for a good service animal.
- The Goldendoodle is patient, which is perfect for individuals that might be slower due to their disability.
- Goldendoodles are intuitive and sensitive, and form a close bond with their owners. This makes them great for medical alert dogs.
Five Reasons Why A Goldendoodle May Not Be The Best Service Dog
There are only a very few reasons why a Goldendoodle may not be the best option for a service dog:
- Goldendoodles are adorable and snuggly looking. While this is a great quality for most dogs a service dog needs to focus on his task. However, that can be hard when people want to pet and snuggle him because he is so adorable.
- Because the Goldendoodle is a mixed breed his temperament can be a little unpredictable. This means, you cannot simply get any Goldendoodle and train it to be a service dog (this is also true for most breeds).
- Another thing to keep in mind with a mixed breed is that they can get any of the health problems of either parent breed. This means that the Goldendoodle is susceptible to the genetic health problems of both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle.
- Not all Goldendoodles are as hypoallergenic as the next. Some may still cause allergic reactions in some individuals while others will not. It’s defiantly something to keep in mind as you look for a Goldendoodle. Don’t just assume that a dog that is labeled hypoallergenic will not cause an allergic reaction.
- Because of the popularity of the Goldendoodle, there are a lot of people breeding them for profit and not for health or temperament. Keep this in mind when looking for a Goldendoodle to be your service dog.
Are Goldendoodles Good Therapy Dogs?
Goldendoodles can also make great therapy dogs.
Unlike a service dog who is meant to be dedicated to one person, a therapy dog is meat to share the love and snuggles with everyone. Therapy dogs are used mainly for people who have survived a disaster, are in hospitals or nursing homes, they will also visit schools, and those in hospice.
The Goldendoodle is wonderful as a therapy dog because he has a friendly and at ease demeanor. This will put those he is meant to comfort at ease. They are gentle and affectionate which helps them to comfort those who are in distress.
Therapy dogs help relieve tension and stress. They will help to decrease anxiety and depression while raising optimism. Goldendoodles are wonderful for this because they are well known for being very sensitive to human emotions.
The Goldendoodle should do great as a therapy dog for kids as well. They are patient and gentle with them. The Goldendoodle also has the ability to focus even in the midst of chaos. So, even if you take your Goldendoodle to a party at a retirement home he should be able to focus on one person at a time. This will make each individual feel special, valued, and important.
The Goldendoodle makes a great service dog.
A service dog is any dog that performs a specific task or tasks to help their person who has a disability. The disability can be physical or mental. Emotional support animals and therapy dogs are not considered service animals.
Training a service dog can take 6 months to a year. The cost can be anywhere from $7,000-$50,000. It is best if you take an active part in the training process and work closely with an experienced service dog trainer.
The Goldendoodle is an all-around great dog. They can be anything from family pets to therapy dogs, to service dogs. They will take great training and socialization if they are to be service animals but they will do extremely well.