Our Working Dogs

Goldendoodles have a reputation for being ultra fuzzy and oh-so-loveable . . . But did you know these adorable dogs also make fantastic service animals? Extremely intelligent, loyal, and gentle by nature, goldendoodles have what it takes to excel in a variety of positions.

Here at Countryside Doodles, we’re happy to work closely with families and trainers to hand-pick puppies that show particular potential for life as a working dog. We welcome adopters to send their own trainer to meet prospective working pups, or to take advantage of our partnership with our in-house trainer.

Do Goldendoodles Make Good Working Dogs?

The short answer: An emphatic YES! The list of jobs a properly trained goldendoodle could do is virtually endless . . . However, here are a few of the most common requests we get from families hoping to adopt a Countryside Doodle.

Service Dogs

According to theAmericans with Disabilities Act(ADA), a service dog is “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”  A service dog is trained to do a certain task or take a specific action to assist with their owner’s needs. The term “service dogs” is a broad umbrella term used to refer to working dogs including (but definitely not limited to):

  • Guide Dogs (AKA “Seeing Eye Dogs”)
  • Hearing Dogs
  • Mobility Dogs
  • Medical Alert Dogs
  • Psychiatric Service Dogs

Like their forefathers (golden retrievers and poodles), Goldendoodles make excellent service dogs in a variety of fields. Larger goldendoodles may be strong enough to assist with mobility-related tasks, while smaller goldendoodles can grow up to be excellent guide dogs.


Over the years, we’ve been lucky to turn out many exceptional doodles who went on to excel as working dogs and beloved family members at once. These are just a few of our most notable adoptees!

McGee 1

McGee (The Hearing Dog)

Thank you very much for contacting me about a possible puppy donation. I have been very interested in trying a Labradoodle puppy in our program for some time now. I know that other service dog organizations are using them and feel that they might be a good fit for our clients as well. Thank you again. Paula Ricard.

On Sept. 11, 2006, our little guy was off to Princeton, MA!

Progress & Updates

Oct. 2006
The puppy has been named McGee. He’s acclimated to the nursery just fine and is enjoying his playmates- 2 goldens and 3 poodles. I did a temperament test on him last week, he did well. McGee will spend about 4 more weeks here at the Early Learning Center being socialized and introduced to foundation service dog tasks. When we feel he is ready he will be placed with a full-time puppy raiser or in one of our prison programs where he will receive more socialization and training until he is ready for advance training. Normally puppies enter advance training at about 1 ½ years old. We won’t know what kind of client he will be placed with until he comes back for advance training. The socialization and obedience training is the same regardless of whether he ends up being trained as a hearing dog, service dog, or social dog. You picked a great pup for us! Thanks again! Paula.

Nov 2006
Just wanted to let you know that Mcgee was placed in the York Correctional Center in Ct. He has been busy learning new tasks. Thanks. Paula.

Due to Erica’s health issues she and McGee were unable to attend their graduation in March 2008.

In June of 2008, I flew to Boston to attend the graduation.

McGee 2
McGee 3
McGee 4

Hunting Dogs

Did you know poodles and golden retrievers were both originally bred as bird hunting dogs? While we may not think of these breeds as being particularly rough or tough, their uniquely soft mouths make them ideal candidates for retrieving game without damaging it. Following suit, goldendoodles can also be trained as skillful hunting companions.

Tahoe 1

Tahoe (The Hunting Dog)

Mark came to me looking for a Doodle that he could train to replace his beloved "Bird dog Blazer". Here is what Mark had to say about Blazer:

"Blazer was more than a great little dog he was also an excellent bird dog that won several field hunt competitions. He would have won more except that he was not always strong enough to retrieve a full grown but not completely dead pheasant. Blazer a cockapoo passed at age 14. "

I did have a few pups that I thought that would be good for what he was looking for. Mark came out and we evaluated a few pups. Mark really liked our orange collar male Labradoodle from Coco + Bucky's litter. Tahoe started training right away- He needed to learn to swim so he could learn to retrieve ducks from the water.

Progress & Updates

Tahoe is one year old today, he's been more than I hoped for and that includes the hunting expectations as well.
He is 41 pounds, slightly larger than the average Brittney, very fast and loves to swim even in the winter. His coat is still changing. He has gone from the soft, curly puppy fur to a more dense wavy coat similar to his mother Cocoa. Very little to no shedding.

He loves kids and other dogs and goes everywhere with us.
As to hunting he has done quite well and more importantly he loves it. We have shot more than 200 birds over him this year including pheasant, ducks, grouse and quail. He retrieves very well and has lost only three birds. He is about 80% of a finished flushing dog and I know he will be finished by spring.Thanks for a fantastic pup, we'll stay in touch, Mark

Therapy Dogs

Similarly to service dogs, therapy dogs are trained to meet specific needs. However, therapy dogs’ work is usually more focused on providing more generalized psychological or physiological care. Whereas a service dog is trained very specifically for one specific handler, therapy dogs frequently visit hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to brighten the days of many people. Therapy dogs are diversely talented animals—their tasks can range from giving kids more confidence as they work through learning disabilities, providing companionship to special needs individuals, or even actively participating in physical therapy.


Henry (Therapy Dog)

Henry is a certified therapy dog. Henry enjoys going into libraries in Winchester, VA to listen to children read. Tina also has two other labradoodles from Countryside.

Emotional Support Dogs

An Emotional Support Animal’s primary job is to provide comfort, especially to owners who might be suffering with a mental health issue. While we think dogs are pretty great at doing this in general, your puppy must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional like a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist in order to be legally accepted as an ESA. ESAs aren’t usually trained to complete specific tasks; however they are usually granted access to locales where regular pets may not be allowed to go.

MORE TO COME! Your new Doodle could be next!

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