Miniature poodles make great companions because they are loyal and obedient. And, because of their small stature, it is ideal for poodles to support the elderly. If you are looking for a dog that will provide companionship and be easy to train and handle, a miniature poodle is a great option.
Table of Contents
- What Can a Miniature Poodle Provide to an Elderly Companion?
- Training a Poodle to Provide Support
- Tools for Training
- Final Thoughts
Every breed of dog has the ability to bring love and companionship to their families, but not all breeds are right for all people. Some tend to be challenging to train or because of their size, they aren’t suitable for all environments. An older person might love the idea of having a standard sized poodle with their great personalities and fun-loving attitudes, but if they are living in a condo or apartment without a lot of space a big dog isn’t an option.
If space is limited or you are concerned about handling a larger poodle, the miniature poodle might be right for you. These dogs have the same outstanding personalities and lovable nature as their larger counterparts, but they require less space to be happy and healthy, and they are easily handled even by older adults.
Perhaps the best part? Miniature poodles can be trained to provide support to elderly owners.
What Can a Miniature Poodle Provide to an Elderly Companion?
In addition to love and loyalty, miniature poodles can provide more comprehensive support for elderly owners. They can offer a sense of well-being and allow older adults to have just the right amount of purpose in their lives.
Many seniors struggle to find purpose because their days of working outside of the home and raising families have passed. On the other hand, part of the joy of retiring and growing older is letting go of some of your responsibilities and just enjoying life. Mini poodles provide just the right amount of balance between responsibility and purposes without being the primary caretaker of an entire family.
Owning a dog means you’ll need to feed and care for something other than yourself. An elderly person is more likely to get out of the house, socialize, and stay active when they have a poodle companion that demands a certain amount of care and physical activity. If you or a loved one is struggling with finding purpose as time passes or tends to lack enough physical activity and time outdoors to be healthy, a miniature poodle can provide the boost needed to improve everyday life.
Little Lana loves playing with Grandma and Grandpa
Some studies have even shown that adopting a miniature poodle or other breeds of dog can help reduce the effects of specific medical issues including:
- High blood pressure
- Deteriorating bone strength
- High cholesterol levels
- Reduce blood circulation
Training a Poodle to Provide Support
In addition to providing an elderly person with a purpose, miniature poodles can also be trained to provide specific support. For instance, properly trained miniature poodles can alert their owners to health issues such as an impending seizure or imbalances in blood sugar. They are also great for providing assistance when a senior owner has vision or hearing challenges. And they can be trained to help their human companions who need emotional support in certain trying situations.
Miniature poodles are great for providing support to elderly owners because they are not aggressive dogs. They tend to be confident and social and usually get along with other dogs. They are also known for being obedient and compliant when it comes to petting or grooming.
When properly trained, miniature poodles can be comfortable around medical equipment, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen machines. They have a high tolerance for encountering strangers and are known for having good manners.
Of course, ensuring your adult miniature poodle meets these objectives requires training. Whether you are the owner of the poodle who will be your companion dog or you are training a dog that will visit with the elderly and provide support and companionship for assigned periods of time, it’s important to work with your dog as early as possible preparing him or her for the challenges that come with being a support animal.
Training sessions should occur frequently and continue even after your miniature poodle knows what is expected of him or her. The more interaction your dog has in a support role the more confident and comfortable he’ll be.
Tools for Training
There are many schools of thought on training a dog, but perhaps the most important thing you can remember when training a miniature poodle to provide support to the elderly is that you want your dog to enjoy his or her time in that role. This means you want to make training fun for your pup and work to build confidence. Positive reinforcement is the best way to do this.
During training sessions, reward your pup with training treats. This helps you communicate with your miniature poodle and let him or her know through reward that behavior is acceptable. Make training sessions fun for your dog and know what to watch for when your dog begins to lose patience. The last thing you want to do, especially early on, is to push your dog too hard and make training unpleasant. Just like humans, dogs have a threshold for learning and recognizing when that threshold has been reached makes it easier to instill lifelong lessons.
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In addition to treats, there are other training tools that can help your dog develop appropriate behaviors for providing support. Through trial and error, you can learn what methods best suit your miniature poodle’s personality and learning style.
Finally, remember to be patients as you work with your pup. Miniature poodles are smart, but they aren’t perfect. As long as your dog continues to progress forward with training you are on the right track.
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Miniature poodles make great companion animals and are the ideal breed for providing support for the elderly. Through proper training and practice, your poodle can become a special friend to you as you age or to elderly people in the community who are looking for companionship.
Poodles a bred in a variety of sizes with the largest being the Royal which is the breed of poodles for hunting. The Royal is an unofficial size but is essentially a slightly larger breed than a standard poodle and can weigh up to 90lbs.
Royals, similar to the rest of the poodle breed, are quick to learn various canine roles. One of these roles is a hunter. Poodles were bred for centuries to hunt, and they excel at it. The bigger poodles, standard and royal, have the right combination of size, prey drive, and retrieving skills to make them great companions on a hunt. They love water and the outdoors so make great flushers and retrievers. A royal is well suited to a hunting role.
Additionally, breeding Royal standard Poodles is relatively easy, as they don’t suffer as much from some issues that their smaller poodle brethren have. Problems like hip dysplasia and obesity are much rarer with larger types of poodles.
Royal Poodles Required Hunting Skills
If you want to train your royal poodle to hunt, they need to learn specific skills. It is best to teach them when they are young as although older dogs can learn the various tasks of hunting, they may require more time and patience.
Royal poodles are intelligent dogs who have a strong desire to please their owners. As this is one of the smartest dog breeds around, they work best with positive reinforcement. If you want your Royal to take on the task of hunting in and around water, then you need to get them used to it. Find bodies of water that are healthy and safe so they can learn in an environment that offers a positive experience. You don’t want rough or dirty water for them to learn in.
Your poodle will also need to be exposed to rough, outdoor terrain and gunfire so they are aware of what they will experience while hunting. They need to learn to stay calm when loud noises occur and not to be put off by underbrush and rocks. Once they have a good handle on this, then the skill of flushing birds should be easy to teach your Royal as they have a natural prey drive and will enjoy finding them and chasing them out.
The next skill they should learn is to retrieve and release. This final task will take patience when training and is based on the same theory as fetch. It’s the retrieval part that is the important skill. If you teach them to fetch, then moving up to fowl won’t be a completely different skill for them.
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Training Methods used to Teach your Royal to Hunt
There are various ways of training your poodle to participate in a hunt with you. Most training outlines found are for hunting birds, but the basics are useable if you are pursuing other animals that are size appropriate for your Royal.
It’s essential to make sure to have rewards handy since Poodles work well with positive reinforcement when they are learning. This can include a toy your puppy likes or a tasty, healthy snack for when they succeed. Royals are also great at learning by observation, so having them train with a dog that has hunting experience is beneficial. They will learn and enjoy social time with other dogs.
Learn on the Go
- Get your Royal used to the hunting environment and have them search for fowl. Exposure to outdoor territory, gunfire, and fresh water is important.
- Train them to follow your directions. Do off-leash recall. Teach them to wait, freeze, and retrieve. Make sure they know basic manners such as sit, stay, down, fetch, and come.
- Match directions with behavior. When your dog sits, then say freeze or stop, so they understand they are related. Then give them the release command so they can move again. Your Royal will begin to realize that your words pair with their actions.
- Hunt with others so your Royal can see how it is done. Observation helps them learn.
- Reward good behavior with praise, treats, and or toys. They love to please you so hearing your praise encourages them and treats reinforce this.
Tame Bird Training
- Present a tame bird to your poodle and let them watch it. Keep both safe.
- Teach your Royal the freeze command with a check cord and special word. Your Royal has to be able to stop and freeze. This obedience command is a position they need to get used to as they sometimes will have to hold it for a long time.
- Get your dog to search for the same bird outside. Use a long leash so that your poodle dog can’t hurt it.
- Have your dog practice freezing when they find the bird. Reward the canine for freezing. Hold your dog if they want to run to the bird but don’t punish your furry companion. Command your hunting dogs to stop instead so your words reinforce both their and your actions.
- When your pup has the proper commands learned, then try working with them off their leash and going into a real hunting scenario.
Catch and Release
- Start this training method by playing fetch with your Royal. They will learn how to release a ball when directed. Offer a treat in place of the ball, so they understand they get something for doing this retrieval properly.
- Get them familiar with hunting scenarios, so they aren’t startled — the animals, the gunfire and the outdoors in general.
- Use experienced hunt dogs as mentors.
- Replace balls with dummies. Hide them, throw them, and get your pup to find them and bring them back to you.
- Hide the dummies, teaching your pup to respond to your directions. Keep rewarding success
- Move to bird carcasses or toys that smell like a bird
- Move to actual hunting and make sure to reward your pup for their accomplishments. Never punish them. Just practice and learn from others.
Items Required for Training
Below are some items required for training along with some that will make your royal poodles time outdoors more enjoyable. Many of the items come in variable sizes, so make sure it will fit your Royal as they are considered an extra large dog.
There are various methods to teach your royal poodle to hunt. Whichever you choose, make sure there is no negative reinforcement and that you show patience and calm. Your poodle wants to please you so will learn quickly with treats, praise and lots of pets on the head. It won’t take long until your Royal is ready for an outdoor hunting adventure.
Poodles are not generally aggressive dogs. They can be protective, but training your poodle to halt all forms of aggression should not be problematic. They are usually well-behaved if given proper training and guidance.
There can be times, though when our good intentions of training our pup fail, and this is when extra professional training may be needed. Whether you get your poodle as a puppy or an older dog from a shelter, both need to be taught basic manners but may also need some extra teaching for problematic behavior such as biting.
Poodles can be nippy, and as a responsible owner, you need to make sure they are trained otherwise. Aggressive behavior may seem harmless when they are little, but a poodle that bites when they are small will bite as an adult, and that means they are a danger to other people and themselves.
Reasons Poodles Bite
Poodles are said to be predisposed as being nippy through genetics. Most dogs nip and bite to try to settle themselves in their pack and biting can be part of sorting that out. However, that is problematic in a household not only for humans but other animals. If your poodle is allowed to bite, then they consider themselves the Alpha. You need to halt this behavior early on, so they become obedient to you as the pack leader.
Poodles will also nip if bothered repeatedly. They do it as a warning when they are getting annoyed or frustrated, but it can be a terrifying and painful experience for a child or adult who doesn’t understand their aggressive response.
To avoid this happening, responsible dog owners will never leave even the most well-behaved dog alone with children or people who may torment the dog. It is a bad situation waiting to happen for both the individual and the dog.
Training Your Poodle not to Nip or Bite
All sizes of poodles are very smart and should be able to learn not to bite if their training is firm and positive. The early you begin this training, the easier it will be for your poodle to learn and understand. Socialization is important after they leave the litter so they can learn puppy manners and appropriate behavior. Not biting is part of that.
If you have a new poodle puppy, they will have learned in their litter that the others do not appreciate the biting and will bite them back when needed. This learning curve needs to continue once your new dog comes into your home to join their new pack. This does not mean you touch them negatively or respond in kind but start training verbally and positive reinforcement and meaningful eye contact to stop any biting or nipping.
Treats such as Zukes Mini Naturals Peanut Butter Treats are good for praising good behavior and reinforcing what they are learning. Keep them on hand for when you catch your puppy behaving appropriately.
Starting the Training
Training needs to happen as soon as you arrive home with your new dog. Your poodle needs attention and love but also needs to understand that you, their owner, are the one in charge.
Poodles need security and to be comfortable because if your pup is anxious, neglected, or mistreated, they will have a higher tendency to bite. Mistreatment can’t do anything but heighten the probability of biting and nipping. This includes abuse from children, both big and small.
You not only have to train your puppy to behave appropriately but your children as well. A child that does not know or understand boundaries with your dog can be in danger as the dog can nip if annoyed or perhaps bite hard if startled, scared, or hurt.
Training your young poodle is not complicated. If they nip or bite as a puppy, give a sharp yelp, so they know their biting hurts. This is what a canine sibling would do as a warning. Make sure they are kept busy and not bored. Distraction and exercise are great tools as they burn off energy that might otherwise be directed at playful nipping, chewing, and biting. Keep them busy, tire them out, and have chew toys, so they take their chewing desire out on appropriate toys. Good chew toys should:
- Be sturdy enough for strong bites
Kongs and Goughnuts are perfect chew toys that meet your dos needs for this chewing distraction and are suitable for all sizes of poodles.
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Older Dog Training
As many people are starting to look at shelters to get their poodles, this means the dog they adopt may be older and have a mixed or unknown history. If your adopted dog has had no training or was allowed to bite in the past, then this needs to be addressed. Its harder to train an older dog but not impossible.
You need to assert your role as their pack leader and train your pup to obey. Give them lots of structure with meal and play times set by you. Keep them busy, but all under your leadership. Offer chew toys and reinforce good behavior with praise and treats.
Do not reward bad behavior with attention or physical repercussions as this will only encourage their biting. Do not allow aggressive play since that is what you are trying to change. It may be necessary to go to a professional dog trainer if basic training isn’t working. Your poodle is smart, so shouldn’t take long to understand that biting and nipping is wrong.
Poodles are wonderfully smart and trainable dogs with great potential to learn. They are not naturally aggressive but may like to nip. Whether you have a new puppy or have adopted an older poodle, they not only need to know their basic doggie manners but more importantly need to understand that aggressive behavior such as biting, and nipping are unacceptable.
Your poodle needs to be trained either by you or a professional trainer that they can not put their mouths on anyone or any animal. Training your poodle not to bite is an important part of having them enjoy being part of your family and keeping both them and others safe.
Training your poodle not to jump on the bed can be a challenge. Poodles are smart dogs and usually easy to train, but they can also be stubborn. This means you need to be consistent with training and find ways to positively reinforce good behaviors and withhold those rewards when your poodle doesn’t do as asked.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Poodles Jump on the Bed?
- Importance of Consistency
- Using a Crate to Train Your Poodle
- Reinforcing Good Behavior
- Final Thoughts
Why Do Poodles Jump on the Bed?
Most of the time, dogs jump on the bed because they want to be closer to you. They might do it because you are in bed sleeping and they want to snuggle with you, or they might jump on your bed when you aren’t even home because your scent is on the bed and they want to feel close to you while you’re away. Essentially, being on the bed gives your poodle comfort, and unless you have a hard and fast rule to never let your dog on the bed, your canine companion isn’t going to understand why the mattress is off-limits.
TL;DR – Poodles jump on the bed because they can.
Little Kurumi was not trained not to jump in the hat – from @kurumitaan
They jump on the bed because it provides them with something they want. Being close to you, being warm, or getting cozy in the sheets. It’s impossible to accurately tell what the reasoning is because your dog can’t explain it to you, but be assured, your poodle isn’t jumping up on the bed just to bother you or get on your nerves. They simply enjoy being on your bed.
It can also help to identify what is going on right before your poodle jumps on the bed. Dogs always respond better to corrective action when they can connect it with the exact thing they are doing incorrectly. If you don’t correct them until after the behavior, they will think the next thing they did is the problem. The best way to reinforce what you want is to break the practice in action. Poodles are smart and catch on quickly, so they can make the connection between what they are doing and what’s making you unhappy.
For instance, if your dog jumps onto the bed and lays down, but you aren’t able to correct them until they are laying down, the dog will likely think jumping on the bed is okay, but laying down is the problem. It’s better to catch them in the moment, so they connect what you are saying to the specific action they are taking.
Importance of Consistency
In most cases, a poodle will continue to jump due to inconsistent rules. Do you ever fail to force your poodle off the bed when he or she drops on it because you’re busy or on your way out of the house or you just don’t feel like correcting?
Are there occasions when your poodle is allowed on the bed, such as when your spouse is away on vacation or during storms? Your poodle doesn’t understand the mixed messages. He or she only knows that there are times when bed jumping is permitted, which to a poodle means bed jumping is always allowed.
Consistency is vital when it comes to training a poodle to do anything, especially jumping on the bed. First, start by restricting bed access at all times, day or night. A crate might be needed to accomplish this.
Using a Crate to Train Your Poodle not to Jump to Your Bed
Keep in mind, confining your poodle to another room might work, but dog’s don’t understand the difference between the couch and the bed. This means if you force your dog to sleep in another room and he or she gets used to the sofa when you allow access to the bedroom again the dog will lack understanding of why the bed isn’t okay to be on. You’re better off using a crate until your dog understands his or her limits regarding the bed.
If your dog misses you when in its crate, or when you aren’t home, provide a blanket for comfort. You can also give it a special toy that distracts your poodle from feeling lonely.
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Reinforcing Good Behavior
The key to ending disobedient behavior for your poodle is to reinforce good behavior. Show your dog where you’d like him or her to sleep and make that space as comfortable as possible. Provide them with an excellent reward when they are in that space. Putting your poodle to bed at night might include pulling out a beloved sleeping toy and rewarding with a high-value treat once your dog lays down on the bed provided. The trick is to make going to bed in the appropriate spot as appealing as possible.
Failing to make the alternative to jumping on the bed appealing can lead to worse behavior. Some dog owners restrict their dogs from the bedroom at night to avoid the dog jumping on the bed, only to wake up to find the legs to their table chewed or their couch destroyed. You need to fill the hole that was left by not getting to be on the bed, and you do this by providing pleasing alternatives.
Bribe the Dog
It’s also important to reward when you notice your poodle making the right decision at the moment. You might enter your bedroom with your dog, notice him or her looking at the bed, and then deciding to lay down in an alternative location. This deserves a high-value reward! Training treats are a great way to acknowledge good behavior. And, when you are dealing with a training issue, you should carry them with you when you’re with your dog.
Even if your dog does nothing but stands with all four feet on the floor when near the bed, it’s worth a reward. Treats are handy in these early stages of training. You want your dog to think, “I get a treat for standing here so I’ll stand here and not jump.” Once they make that connection, you’re on your way to resolving the issue.
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Poodles, like all dogs, will develop the occasional behavior issue you’ll need to correct. The good news is poodles are smart and easy to train, so dealing with problems is much easier than it might be with other breeds of dogs. Training your poodle not to jump to your bed might be difficult, but it is far from impossible.
Despite the fact that these are some of the most lovable dogs around, poodles are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. And for these standoffish dogs, a regular trip to the groomer can foster fear and anxiety, especially if the groomer is an unfamiliar human. They will need some additional training to stay calm while grooming.
Even grooming at-home can be stressful for your pet. In order to keep your poodle happy and make the regular grooming sessions a breeze, training your poodle to remain calm while grooming is an essential part of any poodle owner’s regime. Here is everything you need to teach your dog to stay relaxed and enjoy the grooming session.
Why do poodles need so much grooming?
Poodles are high-maintenance dogs that require more grooming than many standard family dogs. Whether your dog is a Standard, Miniature, or Toy variety, grooming will become a part of your regular routine with a poodle. Show dogs can require as many as 10 hours per week in grooming time, and lower-maintenance family dogs will still need a proper groom every four-to-six weeks.
The dog’s thick, curly coat is moisture resistant, and while the curls are what give poodles their unique appearance, they also become a twisted, tangled trap for all the hair that the dog sheds. Without proper care, poodle fur can easily become matted.
Poodles’ ears are also a reason they need so much grooming. The long ears that fold over the side of their heads are perfect for petting, but limit the amount of oxygen that can enter the ear. This makes these cavities the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, which can quickly turn into an ear infection.
When you take your dog to a groomer, they will check the poodle’s ears and pull out any hairs that have grown inside to reduce the chances of infection. The groomer may use a special tool called a hemostat to remove the hair.
Eyes and Nails
As for a poodle’s eyes, the natural tear stains that appear underneath their furry faces are the result of bacteria. These stains need to be cleaned regularly with special wipes to avoid infection and keep your poodle looking fresh and clean.
Finally, poodles nails also need to be trimmed regularly to avoid sore feet and an affected gait. This can be painful for the dogs, but broken or cracked nails can also lead to dangerous infections. Untrimmed nails can also cause wear and tear on your floors and furniture!
All of this means poodles need plenty of grooming, and that grooming can be invasive and annoying. Your dog will be poked, plucked, and prodded in on all areas of their body in what can be a very uncomfortable experience. But properly trained poodles can remain calm and make the grooming process easy.
How to train your poodle to remain calm while grooming
When it comes to training your poodle, consistency is key.
These highly intelligent dogs get bored easily, and won’t respond well to long training sessions. Instead, you should plan short, regularly scheduled training sessions throughout the day. These dogs learn best in short bursts and love high-energy and enthusiastic training.
Poodles thrive on kind words and praise, so make positive reinforcement a tenet of your training regime. Instead of pointing out the dog’s mistakes, focus instead on what the dog does well. Ignore any bad behavior and instead provide rewards for positive actions, and your dog will learn the difference over time.
You should start your poodle training as early as possible. If you get your poodle as a puppy, it should become a part of your normal training routine, the same way you teach the dog to “sit” or go to the bathroom outside. If your poodle is more fully grown, you can still include this as part of your normal training routine.
The best way to help your dog feel comfortable at the groomer is to get it used to being touched. Poodle grooming does require prodding the dog in uncomfortable places (like the inside of the dog’s ears and around its eyes), so get your dog used to being touched in these areas.
When you play with your dog and he or she feels comfortable and relaxed, make sure you grab its toes, gently stick your fingers in its ears, run your fingers along its face, and more, all while providing positive reinforcement through kind words, pets, and treats.
Dogs are not the Poodle’s Best Friend
Socialization is also important to training poodles to remain calm while grooming, especially if you will take a dog to a groomer. Unlike golden retrievers or labradors, poodles are naturally aloof dogs who won’t quickly warm up to new people.
Socializing from an early age is important to get the dog comfortable with other people, including the groomer who will take care of his hair needs. Introduce your poodle to new people early on so he or she can feel comfortable around strangers. If possible, try to use the same groomer each time so your dog can bond with him or her.
Finally, it is also helpful to familiarize the dog with the tools you or the groomer will use to clean your pet’s ears, eyes, and fur. Do this over time by laying with your poodle on the floor, then introducing one tool at a time with the reward of a treat. Let the dog sniff the grooming tool and investigate it. Your ultimate goal is for the dog to feel safe around these tools, not scared or nervous.
With time and patience, your poodle will slowly get used to the grooming process.
What to do with especially anxious poodles?
If your dog really struggles with grooming and your best training efforts can’t keep your poodle calm, it’s worth asking your veterinarian for help. Some vets might prescribe calming agents or mild sedatives for you to give your dog just before grooming.
Despite being invasive and uncomfortable, you can train your poodle to remain calm during the grooming process. With consistency, enthusiasm, positive reinforcement, and patience, your dog will slowly learn that grooming is nothing to be afraid of!
It doesn’t matter if you’re training a puppy freshly weaned from its mama or you’re working with an older poodle you’ve rescued or just need to help with a behavioral issue, treats for poodle training are the perfect tool and help you positively reinforce your dog’s behavior.
Most dogs are highly food motivated and love food, and so the lure of a tasty treat is guaranteed to get them to perform as you wish. However, you cannot just plug your poodle full of treats at every turn when training because the thrill will begin to fade. Not to mention, it won’t do much for your dog’s waistline!
The best thing to do is to find training treats that are healthy and that your dog loves. Taste is incredibly important because it will motivate your dog, but you also need to take a few other factors into consideration. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite poodle training treats below.
Table of Contents
- Using Dog Treats Correctly During Training
- Why You Should Use Low-Value and High-Value Treats
- What Makes Up a Great Treat for Training?
- What to Keep in Mind When Training Treats
- Five Treats for Training Your Poodle
- Wellness WellBites
- Pet Botanics
- Rocco & Roxie
- Don’t Forget Your Training Pouch
- Final Thoughts
Using Dog Treats Correctly During Training
The last thing you want to do when training your poodle with treats is to overfeed your dog. It takes away the motivation, and it can lead to weight gain. It’s also important not to give out treats at the wrong time because this can encourage improper behavior. You really need your dog to make the connection between the appropriate behavior and the reward, so training is successful. Finally, you don’t want your dog to only ever respond to treats, so you need to find a balance between treating as a reward for getting something right and letting your dog know he or she is to respond all the time to the command and not just the treat.
There are several tricks you can use during training to establish the right message, and in some cases, you’ll need to work with your poodle specifically to ensure the message is getting across. Great trainer-dog relationships are built in the early stages of training, so work on bonding with your dog and making the most of training sessions.
Little Kurumi wearing a fashionable necklace Primavera/Verano 2020 – from @kurumitaan
Why Should You Use Low-Value and High-Value Treats?
One of the best tricks you can use when training your poodle with treats is to have a mix of low-value and high-value treats.
Low-value treats are used when you get an average response, and high-value treats are saved for those times when you get a perfect response to a challenging or newly learned command.
A mix of high and low-value also guarantees your dog remains interested during the entire training sessions.
What Makes Up a Great Treat for Training?
- Size: Treats should be small or “bite-sized” and able to be gobbled. Smaller treats also tend to be lower in calories.
- Ease of use: Treats should be easy to carry in a pocket or a treat sack, and not be crumbling, greasy, or otherwise messy.
- Healthy: Treats should be treats, but they shouldn’t be junk food or bad for your poodle.
- Delicious: Treats need to taste good! This is entirely subjective, but when you find something your dog adores, use it wisely!
What to Keep in Mind When Training Treats?
- Ease up on regular feedings, so your dog is hungry for treats when training. You don’t you’re your poodle starving, but you also don’t want to overfeed. Treats should make up about 10 percent of any dog’s diet.
- Treats designed for dogs are healthier than table scraps. You can prepare food from scratch specifically for your dog for training if you don’t want to buy pre-made treats, but avoid using your dinner leftovers or things you consider treats for yourself.
- Don’t hesitate to try new treats if your dog stops responding to something. There isn’t the same “grace period” when switching treats that you have to observe when switching food brands for your dog’s regular meals.
Five Treats for Training Your Poodle
There are plenty of great, healthy options out there that poodle’s love for training, but we’ve put together a list of our five favorites:
Zuke’s Mini Naturals are small and mighty when it comes to training. They are healthy, they’re a perfect size and just a little soft and chewy, so they won’t break crumble up. They are also affordable and get great reviews from pups and their owners.
These treats are made from real chicken and contain no added wheat, corn, or soy fillers. They contain real food ingredients sourced from the United States and have also added other elements to supplement with added antioxidants. Zuke’s has a taste dogs love and come in several different flavors, including peanut butter and salmon.
These treats are ideal for training because they are small and easy to chew, so your dog won’t be distracted once he or she is treated.
You can use these treats with a treat bag or put them in your pocket without concern for them ruining your clothes, but they do come in a re-sealable pouch that guarantees freshness.
- Small and easy to chew
- Low in calories
- Not as “high-value” for some dogs, which means they won’t work as hard for them.
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Wellness WellBites are a tremendous all-around treat for training. They are healthy, moderately priced, and considered tasty by poodles everywhere. They include ingredients such as veggies, fruits, grains, and two different types of meat in each treat. Meat blends include beef with turkey, turkey with duck, lamb with salmon, and chicken with lamb or with venison.
These treats are 100 percent wheat free and contain no added corn, soy, or artificial colors and flavors. They are a good option for dogs that are allergy-prone. The bites are a little larger than some other training treat options, so we recommend breaking them into smaller pieces.
- The two-meat blend is appealing for dogs
- Larger and need to be broken into small pieces
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These treats have a great bacon flavor that dogs adore. Bacon is a vast training reward because dogs find the salty flavor appealing, which means they will work extra hard for this high-value treat.
These treats are made in the United States and contain healthy, wholesome ingredients. They are sized perfectly for training and are low in calories, so they are great for repetitive rewards during challenging training sessions. They contain no artificial preservatives, no BHT, BHA or soy. The ingredient list does include vegetables, flax-seed, and salmon oil, the latter two of which are great for your poodle’s coat and help ease skin inflammation.
- Perfect training size
- Low in calories
- Contain fresh, whole ingredients
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Jerky is loved by poodles everywhere because of its meaty texture and salty flavor. These treats from Rocco & Roxie tend to be on the pricier side, which actually makes them great for training because you need to be careful with what you are doling out.
Is the cost worth it?
Absolutely! The average poodle will do just about anything to eat these tender and delicious bites of meat. They are made in America and contain no wheat, corn, soy, or gluten. The process of making these jerky treats includes 15 hours of smoking. They have a look and feel of regular beef jerky and honestly smell good enough for humans to eat!
Jerky treats are seven inches long like regular jerky, but they are easy to divvy up into bite-sized portions. They actually tear apart, and you can make them extra small, which is excellent for giving your pup just a tiny taste and encouraging him or her to work harder for a more massive chunk of meat. They are low in calories and high in protein, which means you’ll be giving your dog something healthy and nutritious with each training sessions.
- Taste great and dogs love them
- Low calorie
- Quality ingredients
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Purebites are the ideal training treat. They are liver flavored and are high in quality, taste, and flavor. Most dogs consider these high-value rewards and will do just about anything to get a taste. They are made from 100% natural, USDA inspected beef liver, and they contain no gluten and are grain-free with no fillers.
Each treat is ten calories, but they are large enough to be broken into smaller portions that are easier to eat and ensure your dog won’t get too much during training sessions. You get these treats delivered to your door freeze-dried, so you know you are getting a very healthy and fresh option for training.
- Healthy and made from beef liver
- High-value treat with great flavor
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Don’t Forget Your Training Pouch
One of the most important tools you can have when training your poodle is a treat pouch. Your other option is to store treats in your pocket, which can damage clothing, and it limits what you can wear when training.
Training pouches make it easy to access treats quickly. Donning your pouch can also be an indication to your pup that it’s time to start working and focus on your instructions because high-value treats are on the way!
There are plenty of training pouch options out there, but we like ones that are worn around the waist and stay open, so you aren’t fiddling with zippers or other closures during training. You also want something that is sturdy and will last a long time, even if it’s out in the elements or gets beat up over the years. Finally, you’ll want to get a training pouch that is machine washable, so you can toss it in every now in then and clean out the stale crumbs that tend to accumulate.
Our favorite training pouches include:
- Pet Safe Premier Pet Treat Pouch: Features two different areas for dividing high-value and low-value treats for easy access. Available in red, black, or blue.
- Kurgo Go Stuff-It Dog Treat Bag: Easy to care for and closes with a drawstring, this training pouch gives you room for treats and a few other items that you might need during training sessions. It also features a carabiner so you can attach it to your belt.
Training your dog is important because it helps you to get control of certain behaviors, but it should also be a fun bonding experience for both of you. Training is one of the primary ways to build a solid relationship with your dog and establish trust between the two of you. Knowing your dog will respond as directly can make a world of difference when it comes to your overall relationship. Not to mention, it makes keeping your dog safe and happy much easier.
Hopefully, our suggestion have given you some ideas on what to look for in a training treat and made it easy for you to try a few different options. Dogs, like humans, have different tastes, and different dogs respond to different treats differently. Your poodle’s taste might change over time, too, and a treat he or she has always loved might one day fall out of favor. The good news is it’s easy to find something new and switch things up once in a while. It’s important to keep your dog interested in training and responding to what you are offering. For many dogs and owners, this is the key to successful training over the years.