Picking a Goldendoodle to Be Your Therapy Dog

Known for their sunny dispositions and loyal, loving qualities, goldendoodles can make perfect companion dogs to assist their humans with mental health needs. With the right training, goldendoodle puppies can help assuage anxiety and stressful situations. If you’re looking for friendly therapy pets, good service dogs or lovable support dogs, then search no further.

goldendoodle therapy dog

What Is a Therapy Dog?

According to the American Kennel Club, therapy dogs are educated pups that volunteer with their owner, the therapy dog handler, in clinical spaces to comfort those in need. Therapy work typically occurs in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, mental health living facilities and more. When they visit such places, therapy pets utilize their love and affection to bring cheer to otherwise stressful or dismal environments and make a huge difference in the days of kids and adults.

What Makes a Good Therapy Dog?

Therapy dog training calls for breeds with patience, a gentle demeanor and disciplined manners to calmly and obediently attend to people’s needs. A dog that enjoys socializing with people and can easily adapt to new sights and sounds also makes a quality therapy pet.

While Pride and Prejudoodles offers an obedience training service for puppies, potential therapy pets require specialized training to become certified for volunteer work. A special training service can teach dogs to perform specific tasks for providing care and to remain calm in stressful, stimulating situations.

What Is a Service Dog and an Emotional Support Dog?

A service animal is a certified dog, which includes guide dogs, diabetic alert dogs and service dogs for autistic children, that’s uniquely trained to aid a person with physical, mental or other psychiatric disabilities. If you’re looking for a dog trained in a specific task, such as monitoring blood sugar or detecting allergic reactions, then a service dog — rather than a therapy dog — could be the right choice. Learn more about service dogs through the Disabilities Act.

Similar to therapy and service dogs, emotional support animals receive training to provide care. Instead of working in public settings, these special pets give everyday emotional comfort to a single owner. This allows them to connect strongly with one person rather than a roomful. Notably, they aren’t considered service animals like therapy dogs are. To earn recognition as an emotional support animal, the dog must be recommended by professionals to individuals with anxiety, depression, certain phobias and other diagnosed psychological conditions. Emotional support certification gives the dog a place to channel its obedient and affectionate qualities and provides the owner with a reliable and loyal friend.

What Type of Breed Is a Goldendoodle?

The goldendoodle comes from two breeds: the golden retriever and the poodle. World-famous for their family-friendliness and joyful demeanor, golden retrievers pass on their temperament and warmth to their cross-breed kin. Poodles equip their goldendoodle descendants with their respected intelligence and a gentle nature. Put together, golden retrievers and poodles create a calm, friendly and smart breed that serves as a fantastic candidate for therapy or service dog certification.

Well-trained goldendoodles can easily learn manners and obey commands with the right amount of positive reinforcement from dog trainers. They have lots of patience and a gentle disposition that, coupled with endless love and loyalty towards their humans, makes them a good pet for children and adults alike. Generally happy and trusting, a goldendoodle puppy requires plenty of play, exercise and contact.

What Makes Goldendoodles Good Therapy Dogs or Service Dogs?

With the proper training, goldendoodles make excellent therapy dogs for those with psychological needs. Their gentle temperament, patient behavior and strong sense of loyalty make goldendoodles calm and available support systems. Their intelligence helps them easily train for care jobs, and their happy and social disposition helps them lift people’s spirits.

Though they often need exercise and a decent amount of space, goldendoodles can coax their owners into healthy lifestyles via their own need for walks and play. Their attentive nature can make them a great service dog or emotional support dog as well.

Goldendoodles Good for Anxiety

Are Goldendoodles Good for Anxiety?

Trained therapy and emotional support goldendoodles can be perfect assistant dogs for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Peaceful and gentle, the goldendoodle’s calm demeanor is well-suited for creating and reinforcing stress-free settings. Goldendoodles’ loyal nature provides dog owners with constant, unwavering friendship to ward off loneliness. Additionally, their natural intelligence allows them to efficiently learn obedience skills and understand the needs of their owner.

What Does My Goldendoodle Therapy Dog Need?

To stay healthy, the typically energetic goldendoodle needs daily exercise. This requirement can prove beneficial — the dog’s boundless energy can compel its family members to go for walks or otherwise exercise in ways that people (and dogs) need to stay healthy. Physical activities can improve the mental stimulation and well-being of both the dog and its human friend.

As mentioned, goldendoodles require proper training to become certified for care work. While these loving dogs are unlikely to be aggressive, finding a dog training service can help shape a goldendoodle puppy into the extremely smart, loyal and affectionate dog it can become.

The breed is often quite social and should be subject to stimulation from a young age, especially if on track to becoming a therapy or service dog in high-sensory environments, such as a school or nursing home. Meeting with other dogs, other animals and people can be beneficial.

Where Can I Find and Train My Goldendoodle?

Pride and Prejudoodles offers multiple litters of available goldendoodles for adoption that have been raised by professionals specifically for good health and therapy or service dog quality. It also offers a training service, spanning either one or three months, to teach basic commands and socialization skills.

Preliminary training programs can put a good-natured puppy on the track to being a great therapy or service dog. However, it’ll need further teaching to become certified, which can be done through local services and certain pet stores with a service dog or therapy dog trainer.