Since the late ’80s, Labradoodles have become increasingly popular. And why wouldn’t they? After all, these adorable fluffy pups are a hybrid of the much-loved Labrador Retriever and the adored Poodle.
And like all mixed breeds, Labradoodles have inherited traits of both parent dog breeds such as gentleness, intelligence, adaptability, and warm-heartedness. What else could a Labradoodle have inherited from its parent breeds?
Both the Labrador Retriever and Poodles rank high on the list of service dogs.
This merits the question: Can a Labradoodle be a service dog as well?
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What Is A Service Dog?
The Americans with Disabilities Act states, ‘service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.’
So while a service or assistance dog is technically a working dog, it differs from other working dogs like police dogs, cadaver dogs, and rescue dogs.
Still confused? To distinguish between a working dog and a service dog, consider the following:
The animal must not be a pet and must be professionally trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
Nevertheless, guide dogs that help the visually impaired, mobility dogs that assist people in wheelchairs, and psychiatrist service dogs that help people with PTSD or OCD are good examples of service dogs.
However, as per the ADA, neither emotional support dogs nor therapy dogs classify as service dogs—while they are trained to provide comfort, they do not help disabled people with tasks.
What Are The Qualities Of A Service Dog?
Here are some traits you should look for in a service dog:
- The dog will exhibit a willingness to please you if it goes to retrieve something and brings it back to you.
- The dog must not be timid and get scared easily. If encountered a loud sound, they recover quickly and be curious about the source without getting anxious.
- Furthermore, the dog must be affectionate and enjoy being held by humans.
- The dog must be willing to follow you around and have an affinity to stick by your side.
- Your dog must have the ability to forgive easily and not carry a grudge. This can be checked by pinching its paw lightly. If it squeals or pushes you away but reconciles quickly, it can be used as a service dog.
- The dog must be the right amount of friendly. It must strike a balance between shy and aggressive behavior – loyal and present but not overbearing.
History Of Labradoodles As Service Dogs
The breed first originated in Australia under a Hawaiian woman named Pat Blum in the late 1980s. She was a visually impaired woman who needed a seeing-eye dog. However, her husband had severe dog allergies.
After unsuccessful attempts to find one in Hawaii, she got in touch with the Australian Royal Guide Dog Association (ARGDA).
Although ARGDA sent several Standard Poodles to Mr. Blum’s doctors, all of them contributed to his allergies. Finally, an employee at the ARGDA named Wally Conron bred the Standard Poodle with a Labrador Retriever to make an ideal service dog.
When samples from three of Wally’s puppies were sent to the doctors, they identified one pup had the ideal temperament and coat for service. He was called Sultan – not a bad name for such a unique and special pup!
Why Are Labradoodles Good Service Dogs?
Friendly and Sociable
Inheriting the qualities of their parent breeds, Labradoodles are extremely friendly. They have an easy-going temperament and exhibit a willingness and the ability to bond with the handler.
Labradoodles are a crossbreed of top-rated service dogs—the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. Some would argue that it is in their genes to be excellent service dogs.
Despite their relatively smaller size, Labradoodles have proved that they have the strength to execute physically challenging tasks. Here’s a video of how a labradoodle, Solar, gave hope to Sadie and her parents.
Easy To Train And Intelligent
Owing to the qualities of a Poodle, Labradoodle has an amazing work ethic. They are intelligent and easy to train. This helps them pick up service dog techniques at a faster pace. They are always inquisitive to learn and work.
Labradoodles aim to impress their masters or trainers. They bond effectively and show an efficient work drive.
These traits make them suitable options as service dogs.
Low Shedding And Hypoallergenic coat
Labradoodles are a safe pet and service dog to have around as they’ve inherited the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat.
Although this is not a major requirement of a service dog, it ensures that the service animal is clean and can access public areas restricted to other breeds.
Who Can A Service Dog Benefit?
A well-trained service dog provides a plethora of benefits as it performs multiple tasks.
Here’s what you can expect a trained service dog like a Labradoodle to perform:
- Taking care of and assisting a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Protecting an individual who is undergoing or may experience a seizure.
- Cautioning a deaf person or helping a blind person.
- Serving a reminder to a mentally ill individual to take their medicines. They may also retrieve medicines for the disabled.
- Helping an individual relax during an anxiety attack.
- Pulling a wheelchair or providing mobility and balance support.
- Picking up things dropped by a disabled person.
What Laws Do Service Dogs Have To Follow?
Service dogs are allowed in all public places. This includes local and state governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations, hospitals, restaurants, schools, stores, and hotels.
However, if you plan to acquire a service dog, you have to be acquainted with some basic rules.
- The dogs need to be leashed and tethered the entire time. The only time you can remove the leash is when it interrupts the dog’s duties. In this case, you must control the dog through voice commands.
- The handler will be asked to vacate the business area if the dog is not housebroken.
- The owner must establish control at all times to ensure that the service dog does not misbehave. They will be asked to leave the place if the dog is barking, growling, or disrupting the peace.
- In case of any public damage by the service dog, the owner has to pay the expenses.
- In places that sell food, service dogs are only allowed if they are imparted proper training.
- Hotels are not allowed to levy an extra cleaning fee in the case of service dogs.
- The business staff doesn’t need to provide food or assist the care of animals in service.
- Service dogs need to wear a working vest. This alerts people and prevents them from playing or interacting with service dogs on duty.
- Although these dogs are allowed in all public spots as per law, there exist a few exceptions. These include places of worship, swimming pools, or office areas in hotels. Other places include fitness centers, municipalities, or sitting on chairs inside eateries.
Conclusion For “Can a Labradoodle Be a Service Dog”
There is a difference between service dogs and family pets.
Although they make a loyal companion to their owner, service dogs are trained to assist those with disabilities, and they are responsible for providing undivided attention to the handler and performing crucial tasks.
Therefore, the answer to the question ‘Can a Labradoodle be a service dog?’ is a resounding YES. In fact, they make great service dogs when imparted the right training.
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For more information about the Labradoodle Breed, check out the video down below: