Poodles are no longer recognized for their funky haircuts and royal treatment. People are now becoming more informed about the intelligence of Poodles as more and more are being trained as dog volunteers and even used for Poodle rescue. So, poodles as dog volunteers? Are they suited to it? Is the Standard Poodle suitable for adoption? Read on.
What Is a Dog Volunteer?
Volunteer dogs are also referred to as therapy dogs and involve tagging along with their owners to visit places like hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. There are several requirements that need to be met in order for a dog to become a volunteer and not all breeds are good candidates. Poodles, however, are. Dog volunteers are not the same as service dogs which are specially trained to assist people who have disabilities or certain medical conditions with day-to-day living. In saying that, dog volunteers still help in a variety of ways; whether it’s bringing joy to an elderly patient in assisted living or cheering up a sick person.
A Poodle’s Intelligence
Going against the stereotype that Poodles simply lounge around all day getting pampered, they actually adore exercise. They are active dogs that thrive when they get a good amount of daily exercise. And as much as their body loves to be active like their mind, they make great rescue dogs. They are incredibly smart. In fact, they are among the most intelligent dog breeds around, which is one of the reasons why they make such good volunteer dogs. Initially bred for hunting, Poodles now have the reputation of coming in very handy for several service dog positions. Once they have developed a special bond with someone (which doesn’t really take that long for Poodles), they do everything they can to please that person. More often than not, their obedience and loyalty outshine many other breeds.
Training a Poodle
The thing to remember when training a Poodle is that they love to be praised. Therefore, when they start obeying commands, make sure that they are aware that they have done the right thing and that, most importantly, you are proud of them. For Poodles, obedience training comes naturally, which is yet another reason why they make such good candidates for dog volunteers and care. If you have had your Poodle since being a puppy, the first form of training you will likely want to conquer is house training. Luckily, this is light work and they generally pick it up in less than a few weeks. Following this, owners typically move on to basic commands such as sit, lie down, paw, etc. The easiest way to accomplish this is by offering treats. Once you have decided on the command you wish to teach, say it clearly several times before moving your Poodle in the correct position. Say that you are trying to teach your poodle to sit. First, look at them and say “sit” several times so that they are aware of the word. Then, apply gentle pressure to their back end, which will eventually result in them sitting. Once they have taken a seated position give them lots of praise and reward them with a treat. Gradually, you can reduce the giving of treats but make sure to continue with the praising. Although using treats as a reward is effective, it’s not always the healthiest option. However, make sure that you do your research on what the treats contain.
A top requirement for volunteer dogs is that they are perfectly happy in almost any social situation. They need to be well behaved around other dogs, children, adults, and just any living thing, in general. This will likely be the hardest part of training for a Poodle. They are great family pets and are known for being good around children. However, they do have a tendency for being jumpy and alert around people that they don’t know. Once they become familiar with the stranger,their anxiousness and weariness will, over time, fade. The key to overcoming this is to get your Poodle used to social situations as early as possible, especially for those who are training their Poodles to become volunteer dogs.
Bones & Chews All Natural Grain-Free Jerky
A great reward treat for dog training is the Bones & Chews All Natural Grain-Free Jerky. Made with real beef and formulated especially for dogs, your pooch will be hanging on your every word for a nibble on this jerky. This all-natural jerky is entirely grain-free and deliveries a protein boost that is ideal for training.
- Free from wheat, grains, and corn
- Contains no soy or by-product meal
- Chewable texture and rich flavor
- Doesn’t include preservatives, artificial colors, or flavorings
Therapy Dog In Training Harness
What better way to let people know that meaningful work is in progress than to get your Poodle kitted out with a Therapy Dog In Training Harness. As well as informing people that your dog is in training, it also helps to keep your pooch safe as the entire chest strap is reflective. There is also a handle located on top of the harness that enables complete control for the owner.
- Additional removable reflective patches on each side
- Made in a durable nylon material
- All stitching is double stitched to add strength
- Adjustable straps for customization
Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Dog Toy
Training your Poodle to become a volunteer dog usually starts from when they are a puppy. It’s not uncommon for Poodles to experience anxiety when surrounded by a lot of people, which is one of the challenges during training. With the Therapy Dog In Training Harness, your pup will have a tool to ease their own anxieties. The comfort toy also includes a real feeling heartbeat that helps a pup overcome loneliness. It is ideal for all puppies whether they are training to become a volunteer dog or not.
- Real feeling heartbeat
- Easy to wash
- Contains a disposable heat pack to recreate physical warmth
- Helps to reduce anxieties, stress, and loneliness
Training your Poodle to become a dog volunteer to care for those who are in need is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s great to share the love for your pet with others and for your pet to also share their affection. There really is joy to be had by all parties—Poodle included.