Aussiedoodles are adorable, eye-catching furry dogs that you can’t help but fall in love with. But, like any other dog, you want to ensure your Aussidoodles meets your needs as far as getting a dog goes. If emotional support and therapy top your list, is an Aussiedoodle ideal?
Aussiedoodles are highly empathetic, attentive, friendly, and energetic dogs. They make perfect therapy dogs and can be an excellent choice for individuals needing emotional support. Their bubbly and bouncy yet gentle temperament brings a cheerful aura, offering help when needed.
If you are looking forward to getting an Aussiedoodle, you might want to investigate why they are considered fantastic therapy dogs. Read on to understand this interactive and friendly furry dog.
Are Aussiedoodles Good Therapy Dogs?
Aussiedoodles are incredible therapy dogs, thanks to their cheerful spirit, gentle personality, and interactive nature. If you have a rough day, your Aussiedoodle will instantly raise your spirits.
Surprisingly, Aussiedoodles can stay in tune with your needs and can easily read the mood you are in. They can tell when you are having a rough day and will interact with you to see you happy. Think of cuddling, following you around, or sitting next to you; an Aussiedoodle will offer you support.
A good example is Beau the Therapy Dog. Beau is a certified therapy dog that regularly offers emotional support in hospitals in Kansas. He also makes surprise appearances at the UF College of Medicine, visiting students and staff.
Their interactive nature can make them attached to your hip. An Aussiedoodle will follow you around, cuddle next to you, or even better, sleep on your head. They enjoy comfort, so you will have to accommodate them when they find a comfortable spot.
So, if you live alone or often need emotional support, an Aussiedoodle could be your best bet. And, on top of being therapy dogs, they enjoy service and will constantly distract you from things bothering you.
Characteristics of Therapy Dogs
You can tell that a dog is a therapy dog just by seeing and interacting with one. This quality comes from the intense training that dogs go through as puppies. Thankfully for Aussiedoodles, they are naturally friendly and emotionally attentive so, not much training is needed.
Here are some outstanding characteristics of therapy dogs.
- The ability to ignore distractions.
- They get along with other dogs and people.
- Therapy dogs balance between being friendly and being cautiously alert.
- They enjoy pleasing people.
- Therapy dogs are generally calm and gentle.
- They adapt quickly to new environments and situations.
- They are intelligent.
- They enjoy touch and cuddles.
These characteristics can guide you in finding out if a dog is a therapy dog or not. But, it is essential to note that the extent of emotional support a dog provides varies depending on its overall personality.
That said, some Aussiedoodles will be more supportive than others as personalities vary, even in siblings. However, the difference should not be significant as one characteristic can easily overshadow the other, making them seem more supportive.
Again, the environment your Aussiedoodle is adapted to can impact the extent of emotional support it offers. All the same, you should expect a significant level of support from an Aussiedoodle, especially those that have undergone training.
History of Aussidoodles as Therapy Dogs
The Aussiedoodle is a crossbreed between the Poodle and the Australian Shepherd. Aussiedoodles first originated from Australia then later became popular in the US.
The Poodle was bred as a hunting dog and originated from Germany. They were known for strength, fitness, and intelligence, making them ideal for creating crossbreeds. Being highly energetic dogs, Poodles were used for hunting in water.
On the other hand, the Australian Shepherds were bred as sheepherding dogs. They originated from West America, used as sheepherding dogs on the mountains. They were known for their high decision-making skills, intelligence, and energy.
Both breeds were initially used as working dogs, where their service nature came from. They both adapted to interacting with people and other animals, which eventually built their emotionally supportive temperament.
Breeding, the two created tirelessly working dogs, gentle at heart and highly intelligent. Today, Aussiedoodles are popular service and therapy dogs, taking this characteristic from both parents, the Poodle and the Australian Shepherd.
The Difference Between Emotional Support, Therapy and Service Dogs
These three words are used interchangeably but, they have different meanings. The American Kennel Club states that each recognition is specifically defined depending on the jobs undertaken and the legal rights offered.
Service Dogs are trained to perform specific tasks and work with people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act describes service dogs as those trained to help with particular tasks per the handler’s disability.
This is what service dogs do:
- Guide dogs help blind people to navigate.
- Signal dogs alert deaf people to sounds.
- Psychiatric dogs detect and lessen the effects of psychotic episodes.
- Service dogs help people in wheelchairs with opening doors, carrying items, etc.
On the other hand, therapy dogs are not trained to stay with one specific handler. These dogs volunteer in clinical environments such as hospitals and rehab centers, providing comfort, affection, and love.
They are highly adaptable and do well in new environments and new people. They usually have a calm and gentle temperament, can ignore distractions, and are comfortable being handled.
Emotional support dogs are not trained to perform specific tasks. Additionally, they can be prepared for a particular owner as a companion dog. On this note, they are ideal for people that suffer from anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Their role is to support those going through a hard time, even though they are not trained to help manage specific conditions. This characteristic comes from their naturally-existing calm and gentle personality, which basic training improves.
What is the Process of Training Your Dog to be a Therapy Dog?
Your dog may be friendly and give you unconditional love, but that does not mean it qualifies as a therapy dog. That said, there are a few requirements that your dogs must meet to undergo therapy training and succeed at it.
According to the American Kennel Club, here are the primary requirements:
- Your dog must have attained adulthood, ideally over one year old.
- The dog must pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen.
- Your dog must also test for obedience, in addition to a therapy-specific test.
- The dog must be naturally social and friendly, in addition to wanting to serve.
- Healthy and well-groomed, with regular health check-ups.
If your dog meets these requirements, you can go ahead and train them yourself or use educated trainers from formal organizations. Private training might be a little expensive to manage; in this case, you can use the CGC test for the ten basic commands.
You could also take a group Canine Good Citizen class to learn how to go about the process. Socialize your puppy to adapt to new situations, people, and other animals.
With training, acquire the AKC Canine Good Citizen title for your dog and with time move up to the AKC Advanced Canine Good Citizen title to practice the CGC tests in real life.
After this, enroll your dog in a therapy dog class that will equip you and your dog with the necessary skills to do therapy visits. At the end of the class, your dog will undergo a therapy dog evaluation to test its skills.
Once your dog passes the test, register with a national therapy dog organization to start making therapy visits. It is important to note that it is your responsibility to keep up with your dog’s training after classes to reinforce the skills and enhance its ability to offer therapy.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of training your dog to be a therapy dog is dependent on the type of class, the organization, the length of the program, and the location. Generally, a therapy training class will cost anywhere between $30 and $80, with group training sessions costing between $30 and $50.
Private classes are more expensive, marking up to $120 per hour. The good thing is that some organizations charge per package bring the cost lower to about $200 to $600 for the entire program.
Again, these costs vary according to the level of skill you want to develop for your dog. Low-end classes can be as low as $30, average $50, and high-end ones $80. For example, the National Capital Therapy Dogs charges $100 per therapy dog training class.
Aussiedoodles are great therapy and emotional support dogs. They enjoy human attention, are always up for cuddles, and offer incredible companionship. Thanks to their gentle and calm demeanor, Aussiedoodles are a great choice if you are looking for a non-problematic support dog.
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