Updated: Dec 18, 2022
We all have needs. But based on our lifestyles and life experiences, these needs can vary incredibly from person to person. This goes double for children as their understanding and time in this world are vastly different from that of adults.
With new discoveries and comprehension of how our minds and bodies are formed at an early age, we can recognize that these needs are far more encyclopedic than we first imagined. People, and specifically children, process things quite differently.
The ADA defines a service animal as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include (among other things), pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, pressing an elevator button.”
We think that Doodles are one of the best possible dog breeds to assist in these specific instances. Let’s go over the top five ways in which a Doodle can help those with special needs!
A Doodle can brighten your spirits and cheer you up whether you're feeling depressed or just uninspired. Even on the cloudiest days, you can rely on your Doodle to raise your endorphin levels. You'll soon be dancing and on your feet thanks to their contagious positivity.
Sometimes companionship from your canine cohort is all you need to get through the day. Others may have more demanding needs.
September is actually National Service Dog month! That includes those trained for very special individuals. Meet the Psychiatric Service Dog. For those that have suffered due to accidents in the military, victims of natural disasters or worse, these dogs can be your right-hand rover.
From items as simple as reminding you to take your medications at prescribed times (i.e. to calm you during a panic attack),service dogs will be with you every step of the way. Post Traumatic Stress shouldn’t be a dirty term. And your Doodle is there to help keep you from harm.
Safety Checks and room searches can also be provided by these wonderful animals. The same goes for those with disassociative disorders. They can be blocked or guided away from danger. Those same people could be saved from self-harm or other dangers by a properly trained service animal.
For some of us, stress is simply a way of life. But for others, these incredible dogs are the thin line between life and death.
Need help moving from point a to point b? There are service dogs out there just for you! Doodles can be trained to provide physical support for a less abled person and to act as emotional support animals. Dogs can be trained to pick up items that you drop, open doors, or turn off lights.
Some of us have trouble in the Spring due to an onslaught of pollen. For others, allergies are a lifelong balancing act.
While truly hypoallergenic dogs don’t yet exist, the Doodle is one breed that will cooperate most with those who have this struggle We’ve gone into a deep dive on why the Doodle's general hypoallergenic nature can be a definite boon for those with more than just sniffles around a canine.
When it comes to kids though, introducing them to Doodles and other dogs earlier can help them lead healthier lives down the road as well.
Doodles Can Help with Epilepsy
In order to prevent injury during a seizure event by not moving around excessively or falling down stairs or down a curb, dogs can be taught to detect seizures. This allows the individual to receive medical assistance before the episode even occurs.
But who are these powerful pups with a preternatural ability to detect health issues? A Seizure Response Dog, of course!
The Epilepsy Foundation highlights the following ways in which a Doodle or similar dog can be trained to provide this service:
Lying next to someone having a seizure to prevent an injury.
Placing their body between the handler and the floor to break a fall at the beginning of a seizure.
Staying with the handler during a seizure to provide support and comfort.
Activating a device, to alert a designated person that a seizure is occurring.
Any or all of these different skills can assist their owner from something far worse happening. They become far more than man’s best friend. They transform into furry superheroes.
Service Dogs & Autism
What is autism? The CDC defines it as “a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain.” They go on to say that “people with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.”
Social signal service dogs or sensory signal dogs (SSigDOG) are lifesavers to those with autism. How do they accomplish this? These dogs complete tasks such as warning their handlers of distracting repetitive movements and crucial sensory cues like smoke alarms.
For those with autism, SSigDOGs can be trained in the following:
Deep Pressure Therapy
Weighted blankets are wonderful. But if someone with autism is having a moment, their dog is there to assist. This could be due to everyday anxiety or overstimulation. The dog will then place themselves on top of their owner until they’ve settled down.
Whether calming a child by petting his or her best friend or having their dog paw to play with them at that exact right moment, these physical connections are so important to children and adults with autism.
These courageous canines can be physically connected to their owner so that it prevents them from bolting away. It certainly is an extra security blanket for parents who may get momentarily distracted.
Some children with autism might have the urge to run away. Doodles can be trained to lay down and anchor their owners to while they're preventing any harm from coming to either of them.
Doodle's Have the Right Personality & Smarts to be Good Service Dogs
These services are only the tip of the iceberg. So why do Doodles make the perfect trainable companion for all the special needs outlined above?
Doodles just have a certain charm and humor to them. Early on, you can detect a doodle's temperament. There are innumerable instances demonstrating the doodle's intelligence and wit. These same skills can be transposed to assisting their dedicated owners.
Due to their lineage, whether it be from the Poodle, Bernese Mountain dog or Golden Retriever, their playful yet polite attitude matched with their ability to be easily trained puts them head and shoulders above most other dogs.
More important than any of the points above, Doodles don’t judge. They want to love, take care of and spend their lives with you. Are you ready to bring a Doodle home today? Have questions? Need assistance in knowing what to ask? Wherever you are in your journey to companionship, we’re here to help!
Jenna and the JLDD Team