Because they are gentle and affectionate dogs, Goldendoodles are beloved members of families across the nation and steadily becoming more popular in the U.S. with each passing day. They are highly social, which means they get along with everyone, and provide intelligent companionship for their owners.
These are some of the same traits that also make Goldendoodles perfect for roles such as service dogs, guide dogs, sniffer dogs and therapy dogs. Continue reading for three amazing stories about Goldendoodles have changed the lives of special needs children from different walks of life.
Charlie is a year-old Goldendoodle who is trained to sense an oncoming panic attack in his teenage owner, Ben Shore. As soon as Charlie’s senses are heightened, he has been trained to pull Ben to the ground and lick his face until the 16-year old returns to to a calm state.
Charlie, while adorable, is a working psychiatric service dog. In addition to enduring panic attacks, Shore is on the autism spectrum.
“He helps me feel more independent,” the teen told the Courier-Post.
Much of Charlie’s effectiveness is preventative, Shore explained.
“Many times it happens when I’m alone. When he’s there for me, it’s totally different.”
The golden doodle isn’t what most people expect a service dog to be. But the registered therapy dog is trained to be on alert for a panic attack, to behave in public, and has passed a K-9 citizen test for temperament and obedience.
“As soon as a panic attack happens, he won’t leave my side,” Shore explained.
Charlie has been an effective doctor-recommended tool for his therapy, Shore said. Via Courier Post
A therapy dog, Swivel Shot the Goldendoodle is helping children with communication difficulties learn how to express themselves. The children’s class, which includes students from Grades 1-5, is much more engaged during Swivel Shot’s weekly visits. Positive results are evident when a student will, out of the blue, say the right word out loud.
Swivel Shot the goldendoodle visits a class at Baxter Elementary School in Anchorage every week. The class is made up of children who have difficulty communicating.
“They might say some words but they’re not able to communicate like a two-way conversation,” said Kristine Garvey-Pabon, who teaches the class.
That’s where Swivel Shot comes in. She helps the children complete tasks like brushing teeth, or reading a book.
They also watch Swivel Shot “read” — her owner, Sheila Barrett, holds signs, reads a command off the sign, and then has Swivel Shot “say it” .
“Woof” said one sign. Swivel Shot barked after seeing it.
Her visits make a difference.
“Sometimes we get words out of the kids that we aren’t expecting just out of the blue and you’re just like, ‘oh yeah, this is great!'” Barrett said. Via WTVR
Seph Ware is a 14-year-old boy living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This is a genetic disorder that causes the muscles to get weaker over time. As a result, Seph is prone to drop items he is holding, lose balance and even fall. Whenever this happens, his Goldendoodle Presley is there to help him out.
Presley is so close to her owner that she is now considered part of the student body at Seph’s school, and was even included in the yearbook.
“She helps him with his daily activities,” Seph’s father, Joseph Ware Jr., told TODAY. Presley joined the family a little over three years ago and rarely leaves his son’s side. “The dog has been a real blessing. The dog has been great for Seph in every single way.”
Staff and students alike at Good Hope Middle School know Presley by name, said Sonya Hogg, the yearbook adviser who arranged for the dog to be included among the seventh-grade student photos…
“She’s part of our school. And if we’re going to put every body in our school in the yearbook, then Presley needs to be in the yearbook.” Via Today
These are just three of the many stories about Goldendoodles who are out there doing good for countless numbers of special needs children, adults and their families. I think we can all agree that this truly is one special breed of dog — and not just for their good looks.
Featured Image: Image Credit