Did you know that the Poodle can offer you more than just a household dog? Yes, the Poodle indeed is one of the most intelligent breeds that exist in the world today. This means their intelligence and energetic nature allow them to fulfill various duties and roles than just being a cherished family member.
One of which is a service dog.
What Will I Learn? 👇
What is a service dog?
A service dog is a dog trained specifically to help people who have disabilities fulfill an independent life. There’s a range of different roles a service dog can perform, which are:
These dogs have been trained to help the blind and visually impaired navigate through situations. Sometimes they can lead them or alert those who suffer from hearing impairments to specific sounds or unusual situations. Guide dogs also help people with mobility difficulties, like those with balance issues, who depend on a wheelchair and rely on walking devices.
Medical alert dogs
You can train service dogs to respond to a medical crisis. Usually, these dogs are so alert that they know there’s a problem well before their owner has detected it. This is because their noses are trained to sniff out any biomechanical changes to their body and alert the owner. For example, medical alert dogs can often be beneficial for people with epilepsy, as they can notify them before a seizure starts.
Psychiatric service dogs
Service dogs can also be used for therapeutic purposes, helping a range of psychiatric disorders. In particular, they’ve helped people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and various other conditions.
Standard poodle service dog
In general, the Poodle is a perfect breed to be a service dog, due to its intelligent breed. Part of this reason is how easy they are to be trained and their natural curiosity. This makes them a dog that loves learning and one which has to be mentally stimulated.
Also, because of these traits, they can adjust to new environments in private or in public. Plus, as long as they’re trained well, they remain pretty much unphased by unknown people, animals, or distractions.
Do standard poodles make good service dogs?
While Poodles are a great all-rounder breed, it’s the Standard Poodle that is best suited for the role of a service dog. To help investigate this further, let’s break down their benefits:
Standard Poodles are renowned for their excellent ability to focus; sometimes, it’s referred to as tunnel vision. They are a breed that can easily focus on the job in front of them, and it can be incredibly difficult to distract them away from the intended task.
While no dog can be a complete hypoallergenic breed, the Poodle remains pretty close to being one. A Standard Poodle is often a great live-in service dog, as it hardly sheds any fur, which means it’s low maintenance to look after. Alongside this, their lack of shedding also prevents any dander or hair lingering around the house. This can reduce the risk of any allergies occurring, making them easy to live with.
After the Border Collie, the Poodle is the second most intelligent breed in the world! This means they can quickly respond to tasks and are always up for learning something new.
Conduct a variety of tasks
There’s no limit to the number of tasks a Poodle can perform; they can easily be trained to perform a multitude of tasks. For starters, they can easily learn how to sniff out different scents and act upon them. Also, because they have this natural-born confidence, they can easily think and act independently, making them great dogs for emergencies.
Unlike some dogs, they aren’t that responsive towards human emotions, making them great for psychiatric purposes. Some types of Standard Poodle are also big enough to carry many items, making them a good dog for mobility work.
Medium to high energy level
Poodles have a fantastic ability to switch between energy states when required. For instance, when they need to fetch or retrieve something, they can be super fast, and when they need to, they have a built-in off switch allowing them to calm down for therapeutic reasons. In comparison to other breeds, Poodles also have a very long working life span.
Poodles are incredibly loyal dogs and can devote their attention to anyone when required. They tend not to do well with strangers and can be great for staying focused on the task at hand.
How to get a poodle service dog?
If you feel you need a Poodle to stand as a service dog for your needs, then you can do it one of either two ways, through applying for a service dog or training your own Poodle.
Applying for a service dog
Applying for a service dog is not a one size fits all method; in fact, it can vary based on the country you’re in. Some applications involve you applying online and then having a consultation with an organization.
Whereas some involve you getting written evidence from an external healthcare provider to show that you are eligible for one. Then from there, you should hand that evidence to an agency that will review your needs.
Generally, if you want to get a Poodle for service, then you should follow these steps:
- Assessing your situation
You can’t just wake up and decide that you need a Poodle to be a service dog. In fact, you should take time to reflect on what condition they could serve you. In this situation, the American Disabilities Act can serve as a good point of reference. But, if you don’t want to spend a reasonable amount of time scanning through information, then service dogs usually help with the following:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Vision Loss
- Hearing Loss
Then based on your condition, you should take time to see if the Poodle is the right breed to serve your needs. Depending on how severe your disability is, then you might require another breed that’s more well suited to the tasks you wish for them to conduct.
- Choose your agency
Once you’ve looked at the reasons why you might need a service dog, it’s time to choose your agency. This is often a good idea to do than choosing to train a Poodle as a service dog as it saves a lot of time and finances. When you choose an agency, their Poodle service dogs will already have been trained, and they can integrate quite easily into your home. Do note that agencies can train your dog, but it will take years for them to be fully trained.
How much would a poodle service dog cost?
If you’re looking to buy a service dog as opposed to an untrained Standard Poodle, then it can be quite hefty in the pocket. Unfortunately, I can’t offer you an exact price for a Standard Poodle service dog as factors like their training, agency, and location can influence their price. Generally, though, a service dog can cost between $15,000-$30,000.
However, service dogs can cost a lot more than that, up to $60,000. In addition to that, you also have to pay for maintenance costs like food, veterinary bills, training expenses, and more which can cost an additional $500-$1000 each year!
Part of the reason they’re so expensive is that they have to undergo a lot more rigorous training than standard dogs. This type of training usually takes place in their first few months and also contributes to the costs of extra care, vaccinations, spaying, neutering, and training fees. If you wish, you can save money too by training a Standard Poodle yourself.
How to train my standard poodle puppy to be a service dog?
If you plan on training your Standard Poodle puppy to be a service dog, then you must have a lot more time and attention on your hands. Trust me, this task is going to take a lot more work and effort to train them than a typical puppy.
To save you time, you might want to hire a trainer who’s specialized in training service dogs. If you choose to train a Standard Poodle puppy and live in the USA, there are no minimum requirements for the amount of time you spend training it. On average, though, it’s recommended that you spend around 120 hours doing so over 6 months. Even some organizations advise training them for at least 30 hours in a public place to stop them from getting distracted easily.
Once you’ve trained your Poodle, it’s always a good idea for them to pass a public access test. This test will ensure it’s ready to be used in public. Usually, these tests look at if a Poodle can:
- Stay calm and not be aggressive towards humans and animals
- Only sniff upon command
- No barking
- No unruly behavior
- Only going to the bathroom upon command
- No overexcitement in public
- No demands for affection when on duty
Finally, depending on the country you’re in, you may wish to get a certification for your service dog. However, if you live in the USA, it’s not mandatory to have a certification for your service dog. In fact, government organizations often don’t recognize service dogs based on certification alone, and a lot need further proof of their status.
If you’re planning to show your dog is a service dog and want to reassure trust and prevent hostility in others, you may wish to go to the extra distance by acquiring a service dog ID card and a vest to help you maneuver through public spaces.
Most of the time, though, if you bring a Standard Poodle service dog to a public place, you will probably be asked two questions: “Is your dog is required for a disability? What task is the dog trained to do?: So, if you are planning on training a Poodle as a service dog, be prepared to answer those two questions.
Standard Poodles are a fantastic breed to operate as a service dog; after all, they’re the second most intelligent dog in all of the world! In particular, their sharp focus, energy level, low maintenance coat, and personality make them a versatile breed.
Do note that these dogs can be incredibly expensive to own if you want to buy them trained, but if you want to save money, it can take them years to fully serve the purpose you require.
So what do you think? Are poodles good service dogs? Let us know down below.
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.