Of all the pets mankind keeps, dogs are atop the list of those that will never let you down. And since it has long been established that owning a dog is good for our physical, mental, and emotional health, it makes sense to get one for therapy reasons.
Dogs come in handy in supporting vulnerable people, including those undergoing long hours of therapy treatment, the old in assisted living homes, and kids who need companions. One such popular dog is the mini-golden doodle.
Reasons Mini Goldendoodles Make Excellent Therapy Dogs
So, why are mini-Goldendoodles considered therapy dogs? For one, they are adorable, intelligent, good-natured, loving dogs. They are well-trained and can behave appropriately under the circumstances, and with their friendly disposition, they enjoy being with people and offering subtle support.
But what are mini Goldendoodles? Here’s a bit of history about their history.
Where and When Did Goldendoodles Originate?
During the era of “designer dogs” in the US back in the 1990s, dogs were purposefully mixed with other breeds and the Goldendoodle was conceived as a result of a cross between the golden retriever and a poodle.
When they were first bred, people found them so adorably cute since they depicted the ultimate combination of beautiful looks, smart wits, and liveliness. Today, they are among the favorite small family dogs, not only in the U.S., but all over the world.
Far from their popularity, Goldendoodles were meant to be good for allergy sufferers since they have a hypoallergenic reputation. This is why if you are looking for a dog that doesn’t shed a lot, it is one of the most preferred options.
About the Golden Retriever
The golden retriever was named so particularly for its task as a waterfowl retriever. It was traditionally a hunting dog. And with its adorable physique, it made an incredible combination and lived true to its name.
This dog is among the top three poodle mixes and is best known for being friendly, personable with a hard-to-resist temperament. They are smart and gentle with kids. Plus, they get along so well with other dogs. It also makes a good companion for emotional support and is no wonder why many people consider a dog that is a mix of the golden retriever.
About the Poodle
Poodles are small dogs popularly known for being easy to train and for being extremely smart. Apart from being a fun-loving and active breed, they love attention. These dogs also do not shed out, making them ideal support partners for those who are allergic to pet dander.
Poodles, just like the golden retrievers, were initially used for hunting. Over the years, however, the breed has grown to become reliable partners for onstage performers, the circus, with some acting as guide dogs for the blind. It is their friendliness and wits that make them the perfect breed for getting a hybrid dog – enter the Mini Goldendoodle.
The Mini Goldendoodle
The Mini Goldendoodle, as mentioned earlier, is a cross of a Golden Retriever and a purebred small Poodle, except they are the Toy Poodles. It is also known as the Miniature Goldendoodle and is usually about 13 to 20 inches tall. It also weighs between 40 to around 50 pounds.
The difference in size is attributed to the Golden Retriever’s large and bold frame. The coat’s length is dependent on the parents as well and because the Golden Retriever carries thick and long, straight coats while the poodles have thick and curly coats, the Mini’s coats are different from the two. The coats vary in length and some puppies from the same litter depict so.
The beautiful thing about the Mini Goldendoodle is that it inherits the traits of the two breeds and will give you a lifetime of love and support. Regarding how long they can live, Mini Goldendoodle will give you about 10 to 15 years.
What is the Temperament of the Mini Goldendoodle?
With a Mini Goldendoodle, the temperament you get depends largely on the parents. Miniature Poodles, for instance, have a standoffish habit and will snap when strangers are around and bark nonstop. This is usually noticeable when one approaches the driveaway.
In a nutshell, you don’t get a perfect mix. Doing a little research before getting a Mini Goldendoodle is a handy process that ensures that the pup doesn’t bark at almost everything or anyone.
Are Mini Goldendoodles Good Therapy Dogs Primary Question
Reasons Why Mini Goldendoodles Make Excellent Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs are a class of their own. Their role is a lot more than just sitting there and looking all cute, or begging face. Certain qualities make them fit for the task. They have to be more special, and from the ability to remain calm amidst chaos to being smart and being able to learn and obey commands every time, therapy dogs pack an incredible set of characteristics to stand out – and Mini Goldendoodles stand out.
Nonetheless, these qualities don’t mean that Mini Goldendoodles require less than a docile dog. While a therapy dog strives hard to support and care for a human, you’ll do well to remember that they are still dogs, and they need plenty of time to play and walk as well as be loved. Even the most skilled, most smart, and equanimous dogs need a break from their job and often from all the attention and petting they get. They so love the walks and the occasional dog treats as much as the next dog.
That being said, here are 12 reasons that answer the question are mini goldendoodles good therapy dogs primary question and make Mini Goldendoodles excellent therapy dogs.
1. Mini Goldendoodles Can Ignore Stimuli
Mini Goldendoodles, first and foremost, like most therapy dogs, are extremely well-mannered. Incidentally, they get to travel to many places and enjoy rides all over with you and that is the reason why they should be able to maintain their focus without distractions. They are not easily distracted by a squirrel in the park, or another dog’s irresistible woe to play. Mini Goldendoodles usually remain focused, in work mode, which is crucial to what a person in therapy needs.
2. Mini Goldendoodles Can Easily Get Along with Others
Mini Goldendoodles, on top of not having any behavioral issues, doesn’t mind getting along with people. With their focus and manners, they have no problem interacting with the people they are giving support to and the immediate members of the family or friends. Otherwise, if they were very anxious around children, for instance, that would keep them from being able to remain focused on the task at hand.
They are great companions for playing fetch or frisbee. With their sociable nature and the desire to always remain with their owners, they make great buddies for walks and hanging out in the park.
3. Mini Goldendoodles are Balanced
Other dogs simply can’t resist playing “fetch.” Well, while Mini Goldendoodles can play the game too, the difference is that they can actually resist straying from what they are tasked to do. Well, friendliness in a therapy dog is a huge advantage, but finding a good balance between loving people and hating them is what makes them great. Of course, they shouldn’t be averse to everyone or other dogs, but they shouldn’t also be too friendly. This might tempt them to start playing instead of providing the much-needed support.
4. Always Eager to Please their Owner
One of the signs that your dog is the therapy type is by looking at whether it is always pleased to serve. Miniature Goldendoodles sure are eager to please. Besides, they listen and obey the commands. Although this is a commendable trait of this designer dog, it should be noted that if they become so attached, they may not be happy to receive attention from strangers.
5. They Remain Calm Amidst Chaos
When you are considering a dog for emotional support or health and exercise, the last thing you need is a dog that doesn’t stay or remain calm. This is why this hybrid dog doesn’t jump over new people unnecessarily. It is also not mouthy and is capable of laying down for long. Overly-active dogs are totally normal, but in situations where this furry friend is working and not just playing, they must remain in control. It is this calm demeanor displayed by the Mini Goldendoodles that you need to remain calm.
6. They Can Adapt to New Routines and Situations
In most cases, it takes time for a dog to get used to a new person. And once they do, they get attached and begin maintaining a certain routine. It, therefore, becomes hard for the dog to adjust to a different routine. The same goes for interacting with new people. However, a good therapy dog like a Mini Goldendoodle can adjust and move on quickly.
Because they experience new situations and meet new people often, they adapt to these new scenarios and remain calm and unscared.
7. Miniature Goldendoodles are Extremely Smart
The breed parents of the Mini Goldendoodle are some of the most intelligent dogs, which made them great for hunting waterfowls and retrieving them. This trait is passed to this designer dog. On top of having human-like qualities such as adaptability, friendliness, and obedience, they are also very smart.
This smartness, however, needs to be nurtured by allowing the Mini Goldendoodle to undergo some training to be eligible to support their human friends. The training should include teaching them how to obey commands, how to socialize, meet new people and hold their calmness, meet other dogs, and experience challenging situations in different settings among others. Good thing about our dog in question, its intelligent nature allows it to catch on quickly.
8. They are Receptive to Contact
Some dogs don’t like to be touched, just like some people. Usually, their aggressiveness towards a touch doesn’t say the dog is excessively mean. It means that some parts of their bodies trigger them. If you’ve noticed, some pups don’t want their paws touched, particularly if you occasionally clip them.
A dog might seem so calm and kind, but after a touch, they can be quite aggressive. Luckily, the Mini Goldendoodle are friendly and do not mind the gesture. However, if yours isn’t, give him some training to ensure he is receptive to different kinds of stimuli. They even allow you to pet them gently.
9. Miniature Goldendoodles are Quite Gentle
Therapy dogs are supposed to be gentle. It is this trait that makes them ideal for the purpose, and as such, they must be gentle towards children and the elderly, or simply put, those they might encounter. Sometimes, a dog may not know how strong it is, so, a playful bump or nip may often be a dangerous one for the fragile in health.
Although the Miniature Goldendoodle is a bit small, it might be too big for some children. It is important that they also practice being gentle. Good thing is that these designer dogs, with their wide adoption and use as companions, are less likely to cause or inflict harm.
10. Comfortable Around Different Institutions
Whether at home, assisted living facilities, or hospitals, Mini Goldendoodles can get comfortable anywhere. This is an advantage since most people that need their company are in such places. They can visit or stay in these places and remain comfortable with good manners around equipment such as wheelchairs, tubing, bandages, canes, and such.
Even if the dog is for giving support to children, such equipment and situations that require visiting wards or other facilities are inevitable. However, to get your Mini Goldendoodle used to such things, especially if you just acquired one, begin with similarly shaped items such as shopping carts to prepare them for the health facility environments.
11. They are Hypoallergenic
The last thing that a person needs in therapy is another health hazard. Those who have allergic triggers from pet dander, but need companions for support will do well with a Mini Goldendoodle. It is worth remembering though, that no dog is entirely allergen-free, but the Miniature Goldendoodles are as close as you can get.
And as already mentioned before, this crossbreed doesn’t shed out. Those having more of the Golden Retriever genes have longer fur with a minimal amount of shedding. Those with predominant Poodle genes are less likely to shed at all!
The dog cleans easily, which goes a long way in avoiding allergic reactions. Nonetheless, find an easy way to clean the dead skin cells, saliva, and urine as conveniently and frequently as you can. This is where the allergens exist, and it is the closest you can get to guaranteeing zero allergens for the vulnerable.
12. Mini Goldendoodles are Small in Size
If you are not ready for the responsibility of a big dog, and this is entirely possible since you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare with helping your loved one go through therapy, then a Mini Goldendoodle is your best bet. Since they are bred with a Toy Poodle, they create a pint-size pup ideal for many occasions.
How Do You Train Your Mini Goldendoodle
If you want a perfect therapy dog out of a Mini Goldendoodle, it is important to train them from a young age. With their heightened sense of smartness, they can start learning most basic commands from as young as 7 or 8 weeks old. However, normal training for these dogs usually begins when they are 6 months old.
You can do the training yourself, or you can hire a trainer. He or she will work with you once a week for up to 4 months. It doesn’t seem much, but this training goes a long way in making a huge difference in how your Mini Goldendoodle behaves.
If, however, you choose to do it yourself, you could choose to consult with the trainer on the right way to do it when you are stuck. Doing the training yourself is the best way to have the dog learn from you every day.
Some of the training options you can give your dog during these sessions include clicker training, positively praising it, and rewarding the Mini Goldendoodle with toys or food.
Note that the Mini Goldendoodle temperament isn’t universal. They don’t all have the same personality, which means that the training should be personalized. Others will catch on quickly, and if yours doesn’t, keep at it until it picks up what you are trying to teach them.
A Mini Goldendoodle is one of the most preferred dogs for companionship and support. They give the best of both worlds; they are friendly, always eager to please, and are so gentle and loving. The dog makes a perfect family pup that is versatile for almost everything, thanks to its ability to quickly adapt to situations and circumstances.
While you are here, it is important to realize that therapy dogs are not service dogs. Of course, breeds may not be exclusive to a specific task, but it is important to differentiate between the two. Service dogs serve individuals such as the physically disabled or the blind, and they can accompany these persons to public places, even where other dogs are not allowed.
Therapy dogs, on the other hand, are allowed to establishments such as hospitals, homes, assisted living facilities, since they are meant to facilitate a therapeutic experience to a specific group of people or individuals.