Do Labradoodles Make Good Service Dogs? In 1989, an innovative breeder decided to combine the DNA of a Labrador retriever and poodle. The result was the labradoodle, an affectionate, fun-loving puppy that’s now found in homes across the United States. Labradoodles aren’t just great family pets — they’re also excellent service dogs. From their friendly attitudes to their natural intelligence, labradoodles have tons of qualities that are characteristic of service and therapy dogs. Here’s a closer look at what a service dog entails, as well as the history of labradoodles and their unique traits.
What Is a Service Dog?
Many dog breeds make fun pets, but not every canine can be a service dog. Generally speaking, service dogs, or assistance dogs, are animals that are trained to support someone who has specific needs (such as an individual with mental or physical disabilities). A service dog can encompass any of the following:
- Guide dog
- Hearing dog
- Blood sugar alert dog
- Seizure response dog
You’ll also find mental health service dogs, which support people with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and similar conditions. It’s important to note that service dogs are different from therapy and emotional support dogs, which don’t undergo service dog training and thus aren’t legally considered service animals.
Because they support their owners, service dogs are not classified as pets — this means they can enter places where pets may not be allowed, such as businesses and stores. Now that you know what a service dog is, let’s look at what makes labradoodles special.
History of the Labradoodle
Nowadays, labradoodles are most commonly thought of as family pets. However, the breed was actually made to serve as a guide dog. Wally Conran, an employee at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of America, had a vision to create a service animal for a blind woman. To do this, he picked two popular dog breeds: Labrador retrievers and poodles.
Conran hoped that the sociable, sweet personalities of Labrador retrievers, coupled with the intelligent, low-shedding qualities of poodles, would result in an easy-to-train, hypoallergenic service dog. Ultimately, his plan was successful. While labradoodles may be popular pets for children and families now, they still haven’t lost the traits that made them great service dogs in the first place.
Labradoodle Breed Personality Traits
When it comes to personality, labradoodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there. Thus, it’s no surprise they’re a prime candidate for service dogs. Here are a few of the top qualities found in a labradoodle service dog.
Because service dogs can enter businesses, it’s important that they behave well and don’t lash out at strangers. Fortunately, labradoodles are known for their friendly, sociable attitudes. They can get along well with just about anyone, from young children and older adults to strangers and other pets.
From loud noises to big crowds, there are tons of environmental factors that can trigger a negative reaction in dogs. While this usually isn’t a concern in pets, service dogs are required to remain relaxed in new situations. If they get distracted, they may disrupt local businesses and fail to fulfill their tasks. Labradoodles are naturally even-tempered, which makes it easier for them to remain calm.
If there’s one thing that makes labradoodles stand out, it’s their loyalty. Labradoodles have a unique ability to bond with their owners and forge special connections with them. This is an especially useful trait for service dogs, as these animals should be dedicated to supporting their handlers.
One characteristic that makes labradoodles unique is their hypoallergenic qualities. Provided you use a reputable breeder, you can expect your labradoodle to inherit the low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat of its poodle parent. Not only is this helpful for people who have allergies, but it also helps reduce cleaning jobs — you don’t have to worry about dog fur spreading throughout your home.
A good service dog should have enough energy to perform tasks and keep up with its owner’s needs — and labradoodles fit the bill. Labradoodles are naturally playful and enjoy exercising on a daily basis. This means they won’t have an issue going on walks, navigating through homes and businesses and traveling with their handlers.
Eagerness to Please
Before a dog can officially be declared a service animal, it must undergo the proper training. This training varies depending on the handler’s needs and is usually connected to their disability. While some dog breeds tend to fail training, labradoodles often excel due to their natural intelligence and eagerness to please.
For the best results, the labradoodle should receive regular training at a young age. At Pride and Prejudoodles, we train all our labradoodle puppies, giving them the skills they need to become first-rate service dogs.
Pride and Prejudoodles: Get a Labradoodle Today!
When you evaluate all the special traits of labradoodles, it’s no surprise they make great service dogs. However, not all labradoodles possess the required qualities. If you’re interested in labradoodle service dogs, you should make sure your pet comes from a reputable breeder like Pride and Prejudoodles.
We offer several trained labradoodle puppies, all of which go through health and coat testing to ensure they’re hypoallergenic. We also give new owners the opportunity to enroll their puppy in our extensive training program (which includes one-month and three-month options). Most puppies begin at around eight weeks of age and graduate at five months. Training covers the following:
- Leash walking
Our training is designed to meet therapy dog standards and give labradoodles the foundation they need to excel as service dogs. If you’d like to learn more about our selection of labradoodles, feel free to contact us today!