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Do Labradoodles Make Good Service Dogs? [The Real Truth]

Do Labradoodles make good service dogs? Labradoodles’ intelligence, calmness, loyalty, and energy make them fit to be service dogs!

What do service dogs do? Are service dogs the same as therapy dogs? Learn about this and more in this post.

What Makes A Good Service Dog?

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Thanks to service dogs, thousands of Americans with disabilities lead independent lives instead of relying on others to look after them.

Dogs were first pressed into service to guide the visually impaired, but today service dogs assist people with various disabilities. However, not all dogs have it in them to be good service dogs.

Being a beloved pet is vastly different from performing tasks that will make their owner’s life easier. That’s why service dogs must possess a set of characteristics to fulfill their job successfully.

The Traits A Service Dog Must Have

  • A calm temperament: Service dogs shouldn’t startle easily. They need to assist their owners through various situations, and they’ll likely be exposed to noisy surroundings or events.

    They shouldn’t cower in fear when they hear loud noises and shouldn’t react aggressively when they’re accidentally bumped or jostled.

  • Friendly demeanor: Service dogs usually need to go out in public where they’ll encounter different people. As such, they should not be too wary of strangers, nor should they be aggressive to new people. 

  • Focused attitude: While service dogs are out assisting their owners, they’ll encounter lots of distractions.

    Although it’s natural for dogs to be curious, service dogs should be able to focus on their task. They shouldn’t get sidetracked by the need to investigate the things happening around them.

  • Loyal: Because of the nature of their job, service dogs need to develop a deep bond with their owners.

    Unlike dogs who serve as pets, service dogs must show total dedication to their master and not be distracted by the urge to earn everyone’s affection.

  • High energy levels: Service dogs are working dogs. They’ll serve as their owner’s able assistant, so they should have the stamina needed for their tasks.

  • Superior intelligence: Most dogs are smart, but not all have the inclination and desire to keep learning. Service dogs need to adapt to different situations, so they should be intelligent enough to adjust to whatever their tasks require.

Do Labradoodles Make Good Service Dogs?

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The very qualities that make Labradoodles great pets are also the ones that make them great service dogs. That should come as no surprise because the first Labradoodle was bred to become a guide dog for a blind woman.

This dog breed possesses all the traits that a service dog should have, such as high energy level, superior intelligence, loyalty, sociability, calmness, and excellent focus. On top of that, they have low-shedding and hypoallergenic coats that make them ideal for those with allergies.

What Tasks Do Service Dogs Do?

Service dogs have various tasks that depend on the disability suffered by their owner.

They may be called upon to assist visually-impaired individuals, those who suffer from seizures, cardiac issues, and many others. That’s why dogs used for this job should be intelligent and highly adaptable to whatever task they’ll need to perform.

Service dogs usually perform the following:

  • Serving as a seeing-eye dog for the blind
  • Guiding the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Calming someone who’s exhibiting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or is having an anxiety attack
  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Retrieving dropped items
  • Fetching medication
  • Protecting their owner who’s having a seizure

Laws Regarding Service Dogs

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Because of their job nature, service dogs are allowed in areas where other animals are usually prohibited from entering. However, they still have to follow certain laws. These include the following:

  1. The dog should remain leashed and tethered at all times unless the leash hampers the service dog from doing its task. In which case, voice or hand commands can take the place of the leash in terms of controlling the dog’s actions. 
  2. If the service dog is not toilet-trained, its owner may be asked to remove the dog from the premises.
  3. It’s unlikely for service dogs to bark or display aggressive behavior. However, if they do, or if they disturb the peace in any way, the establishment owner can ask the dog owner to leave with their dog.
  4. Service dogs should wear a vest that identifies them as being on duty. The vest establishes the fact that the dog is working and may discourage passersby from petting the dog.
  5. The business establishment should impose no cleaning charge on a service dog.
  6. The owner will pay damages caused by a service dog.
  7. Service dogs can enter places that sell food even if local or health codes prohibit animals from entering such areas. That’s as long as the dog meets proper training requirements.
  8. Service dogs that are still in training don’t enjoy the same privileges that already trained service dogs enjoy.
  9. In certain areas, service dogs do not have automatic access. These areas include churches, temples, and other places of worship. The same rule applies to swimming pools or office areas inside hotels and fitness centers. They may also be prohibited from sitting on chairs in restaurants.
  10. The businesses are not required to provide food or care for service dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Here are answers to commonly asked questions about Labradoodles and service dogs.

What Is The Difference Between Service Dogs And Therapy Dogs?

Many people think that service dogs and therapy dogs perform the same jobs, but these dogs fulfill different functions. 

Service dogs provide specific services depending on the kind of disability their owner has.

They may guide the deaf, pull wheelchairs for those who can’t walk, protect their owners who suffer from seizure attacks or emotional distress. Their role is to make it easier for a person with a disability go through life with a fair degree of independence.

Meanwhile, therapy dogs are trained to give comfort and affection to individuals other than their handlers.

They go to nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation centers, and the like. Therapy dogs interact with individuals who need their help. They may snuggle with the person or otherwise do acts that bring comfort to those who are sick or underdoing emotional distress.

Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs don’t enjoy the same privileges indicated by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) accorded to service dogs. For example, they cannot enter places that prohibit animals because they are considered pets and not working dogs. 

How Expensive Are Labradoodle Service Dogs?

Service dogs need considerable training before they become proficient enough to assist a person with a disability. So, you can expect to pay a hefty sum for a Labradoodle service dog.

On average, a Labradoodle service dog can cost between $15,000 to $30,000. The price can even rise to $50,000 for those that perform specialized tasks. That’s just the upfront costs. The upkeep of service dogs of any breed can rack up your expenses.

The Usual Expenses Involved In The Maintenance Of A Labradoodle Service Dog

  • Food: Of course, you’ll need to feed your dog. Because a Labradoodle is a large breed, they need more food than smaller breeds. Budget around $400 a year for your service dog’s feeding requirements. FYI – Here are the Top 10 Best Dog Food for Labradoodles!

  • Preventive medicine: Your service dog should be in tiptop health to perform their tasks well. Medications that prevent heartworms and ticks, and flea infestations are necessary to avoid the diseases those pests bring. The total cost for those medicines usually amounts to $300, give or take a few bucks.

  • Vet care: Annual check-ups plus routine shots at the vet are a must for service dogs. $260 a year is the usual cost, but the amount will also depend on your dog’s healthcare provider.

  • Supplies: Vests, harnesses, collars, and leashes wear out and need replacing. Adding other miscellaneous supplies, be ready to spend upwards of $100 a year for your service dog’s supplies.

You can purchase the Cymiler Dog Harness for your Labradoodle service dog.

This dog vest harness is made of breathable material for greater comfort. The high-quality nylon is also durable, which prevents easy tearing. It features sturdy D-rings which distribute pulling pressure all over the body to prevent choking.

The reflective straps make your dog easily visible, especially at night, for greater safety.

Read Real Reviews on Amazon

Can I Train My Labradoodle To Be A Service Dog?

If you have the know-how, you can train your Labradoodle to be a service dog, especially since the ADA doesn’t require that service dogs be professionally trained. However, the ADA prescribes that the dog meets the requirements they have set for service dogs.

Add to that, people with severe or serious disabilities usually need a highly trained service dog because of the complicated tasks the dog needs to perform. For cases like this, professional training is the best option.

Does My Labradoodle Need To Be Certified To Be A Service Dog?

No, your Labradoodle doesn’t need to be certified to be a service dog. In any case, no certification for service dogs exists. 

You can make your Labradoodle wear a service dog vest and purchase authentication papers for them, but you’re not legally required to do so.

Other owners buy vests for their dogs to make it apparent that their dog is fulfilling a service and avoid the hassle of explaining their Labradoodle’s presence in areas that prohibit pets.


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