Dogs are not just a great companion or pet in your home; they can also be an excellent service to those who have disabilities. Labradoodles are one of the breeds that are great as pets as well as a service dog because of their characteristics. They may not be one of the top picks for a service dog, but they are well capable of the job.
Do Labradoodles make good service dogs? Most definitely, yes! Labradors and Poodles are intelligent breeds, which makes Labradoodles easy to train to do their designated duties to a person with a disability. They’re hypoallergenic, which is great for those who are allergic to dogs.
When looking for the best service dogs for your needs, good research is needed. This article will discuss the disadvantages and advantages of Labradoodles as service dogs, whether you need to certify your Labradoodles as service dogs, laws that service dogs need to follow, and a brief history of where Labradoodles came from.
Labradoodles and Its History As a Service Dog
Labradoodles were created back in 1989 in Australia when a visually impaired woman in Hawaii tried to find a service dog that won’t affect her husband, who has allergies to dogs. She needed a dog as soon as possible but was not able to find one in Hawaii. This was when she contacted the Australian Royal Guide Dog Association because they can import dogs quickly with little quarantine time.
With trial and error, Wally Conron was able to come up with the Labradoodle breed. He worked in an associate program for the blind with breeding and training program to prepare service dogs. It came to mind that Poodles are hypoallergenic because of their curly fur and tested many other breeds. The only breed that worked well with the Poodle is Labrador.
With the perfect match of their intelligence, they make the ideal combination for service dogs. The dame that had three puppies produced one made the perfect fit. It had the temperament, personality, and allergy-compatible coat that is perfect for a service dog that the woman in Hawaii was looking for.
The very first Labradoodle to be recorded was a pup named Sultan that was sent to Hawaii. This is all thanks to the hard work that Wally Conron was able to put in to make one woman comfortable in her daily life.
Advantages of Labradoodles as Service Dogs
Labradors are known to shed quite a lot, and they’re often used as a blind eye service dog. Poodles, on the other hand, are listed to be the top two hypoallergenic dogs. Combine the two with their vast intelligence, and they would be perfect for people in need who have allergies to pet hair and dander.
The most common signs of dog allergies are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, postnasal drip, and cough. When you encounter some of these symptoms around dogs, then you might be allergic to them.
Now, most people think that they’re allergic to the dog’s hair, but dander is what people are allergic to. Pet dander is made up of microscopic flecks of skin shed by dogs, cats, or any other animals with fur or feathers. These are the bits of skins that people react to when they’re allergic to these triggers.
Poodles don’t produce a lot of dander because most of the time, the dander gets stuck on their tight curls. Since Labradoodles are half Labradors, there’s still a chance that you will experience shedding but not as much as other dogs do.
Since there’s less shedding with the Labradoodle breed, no need to worry about fur getting on your couch, clothes, or floors. I own a Labradoodle, and I have really bad allergies to some breeds of dogs, which is why this breed is perfect for me. I hardly get any symptoms of allergies, and I don’t have to worry about fur getting all over the place.
Intelligent and Easy to Train
The best thing about Laberdoodles is that they are intelligent and easy to train. Poodles are the second in rank, while Labradors are fourth in rank for being the most intelligent breeds. Provided that both parents have a high IQ, there’s a huge chance that their offspring will be really smart.
Labradoodles have the trait of always eager to learn new tasks. Just like any other dog breeds, it is best to start them young. It is best to start them when they are 2 months old puppies. You should focus on potty training, crate training, and basic obedience (name recognition, sit down, stay, etc.).
As service dogs, they should be able to fetch your medicine, know how to walk on a leash, and they should also determine when they are on duty or not. One of my friends has a post-traumatic disorder, and Labradoodles are such a great companion to her. She even taught her dog to fetch her medicine, and whenever she dropped something, her Labradoodle would pick it right up.
Friendly and Sociable
Labradoodles are also known to be friendly, outgoing, and sociable. They are not just great as service dogs, but also suitable for family settings. Exposing your Labradoodles to different situations can help improve their social skills. They love to be around family members and their pet parents.
One disadvantage of this trait is when they are not appropriately trained, they might wander off and socialize with different dogs when they are on the streets. With this said, it can be dangerous to their pet parent, especially when they are visually impaired. It can lead to accidents, and other harmful situations can occur.
The perfect training is the key to have the best Labradoodle as a service dog. There are many training centers where you can take your dogs to learn different habits when they’re guiding you.
Disadvantages of Labradoodles as Service Dogs
Now, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in owning a Labradoodle. The following will talk about the disadvantages of owning a Labradoodle as your service dog.
Yes, Labradoodles are pretty expensive. The price range to buy this breed is around $500 to $3,000. The price depends on the breeder, color, and size of the dog. Labradoodles are high in demand nowadays, and with this, it comes with a higher price tag.
However, you can also get a Labradoodle from a rescue, and it will cost $50 to $500. This would depend on the individual organization. The adoption fees include some basics such as vet care, vaccinations, and microchipping. It may also include rescue to offset their costs and take in more dogs who need homes.
When you’re adopting a Labradoodle, it is best to adopt the puppies rather than adult dogs because it will be easier to train them to do their duties. Also, it would be best if you considered getting your Labradoodle insurance and immunization as well. Now, a person with a disability needs to consider these costs because buying the dog on top of your medical expenses can be a lot to handle financially.
Maintenance is another story when it comes to Labradoodles. A grooming routine is needed, such as brushing their hair daily as their tight curls can get tangled easily. They also require a trim at least every three months. When your Labradoodle is close to a Poodle’s fine coat, you should be consistent in trimming their coat to avoid any tangles that your dog may experience.
High maintenance of dogs can be costly, and it can be a bit difficult for someone who has a disability. The time they need to take to bring their Labradoodles to the grooming shop and the money they need to spend maybe too much for them. This is, of course, on top of the medical expenses that they have. However, if this is not an issue for you, then a Labradoodle is a perfect fit!
Another disadvantage of owning a Labradoodle as a service dog is that they are full of energy. They need daily exercise and activities that need to keep their mind active. Without proper training, it will be hard to have Labradoodles as service dogs. If you are unable to give enough exercise or activities, they tend to develop destructive behaviors.
Having said this, Labradoodles are not a great fit for those who can’t handle high levels of energy. They would need a full outlet to stretch their legs every day. If Labradoodles don’t get sufficient mental and physical stimulation, it can be a danger to their health.
Certifying Labradoodles as Service Dogs
When it comes to certification, Labradoodles do not need them. However, you can still get papers of authentication online if you want. Instead of documents stating that your dog is certified, you can have them wear vests to let other people know that they are on duty. This would prevent other people from petting them whenever they are in public places.
In order for you to get a certification, your Labradoodle should be well mannered at all times. They must be trained to perform tasks that will aid them in a disability.
Another crucial step is your Labradoodle should pass a public access test. They shouldn’t show any aggressive behaviors towards people or other animals, no solicitation to food or affection while on duty, no over-excitement during duty, and no relieving himself in public unless they are told to do so.
When they pass all of these tests, they will be eligible to get a certification. As I’ve mentioned above, a certificate is still not needed, but some establishments require an ID that your Labradoodles are service dogs. So, it’s still best to get a certification as well.
Laws that Service Dogs Needs to Follow
Just like us, service dogs also need to follow specific laws when they are on duty or in public places. First, your service dogs need to be leashed and tethered, and the owner should have control of their service dogs at all times. Second, they are allowed in establishments that sell food as long as they are well trained. When it comes to hotels, they are not allowed to charge extra fees for service dogs, and they are also not allowed to enter the hotel’s office areas.
One of the important laws that owners with service dogs need to follow is they should wear a working vest whenever they are on duty to identify that they are service dogs. Lastly, service dogs may not be allowed in some places such as churches and other places of worship and swimming pools.
Labradoodles are such adorable breeds, and you might think that they are not the best fit for service dogs. Well, think again. Due to their intelligence, they are easy to train and eager to learn, which is the perfect breed for those people who have certain disabilities and need assistance. One of the most important parts that a service dog brings to a person with disabilities is bringing back normalcy. It can be a demanding job, and a deep desire for and great aptitude for learning is needed for a service dog. A Labradoodle has all of these traits!