Do AussieDoodles make good service / therapy / emotional support dogs?
Max is a therapy dog and actively works at Hospice, in Louisville, KY.
Looking for a therapy or emotional support dog?
This is a great question and when we answer this, we want to be sure you understand that all Doodles are not all created equal. Most Doodle breeders don’t follow guidelines for certain behaviors or drive. So when we answer this question, please note we are answering it based on our experience with OUR puppies. We can’t speak for SheepaDoodles, BerneDoodles or AussieDoodles from other breeders. While temperaments in our dogs are very well balanced, it’s common for temperaments from other breeders to vary widely. Read more here about temperament and personalities.
Our puppies are proven to make great support dogs.
However, some people have different opinions about what it takes to be a therapy or service dog or emotional support dog. You’ll need to contact a trainer in your area who specializes in this field and find out what they do and tell them what you want to do with your dog. For example, if you want your dog to be trained to pick up things for someone, this is a fairly simple “service dog” task accomplished by a trainer, so you’ll need to convey that info to your trainer. If you want your dog to provide emotional support for you or someone else, this would be completely different training. If you want your dog to be a “comfort” dog in disaster scenes, again this is different training.
To date, we know about 12 puppies, who have grown up to be (or in training to be) service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, comfort dogs, or nose work dogs. We even have one dog in training to be a diabetic alert dog. You can read about Max the hospice therapy dog here.
If you’re planning on your puppy to be a support dog, the training and behavior shaping starts at 8 weeks old. Don’t want until your puppy is 4-6 months before starting training. Your puppy should be ready to meet your trainer the first week you get your puppy home. Dogs don’t become support dogs by accident. The training process is extensive and must start with a professional support dog trainer, with a 8 week old puppy.
Our dogs like people and attention!
Our dogs are all about meeting new people and can hardly contain themselves when they do. They want attention, and they think the world revolves around them. If you want to hang a sign on it’s back that says, “Working dog… Don’t pet me”, our dogs may not be a good choice. We’re not saying you couldn’t train our AussieDoodles to be a good service dog. They are very focused on their owners. But they also want to meet others, so that would be torture and very sad for one of our AussieDoodles.
AwesomeDoodle’s fun for children in need.
On occasion we have a family come to us with a child in need of support. AwesomeDoodle has started it’s own fund for children in need, to help with the cost of the dog and training. Read about this here.