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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a standard poodle to use for mobility assistance and balance - counterbalance but not bracing. Not every dog has a suitable temperament or size. I need 60 lb minimum. Volhard testing isn't done until day 49, but people are reserving puppies sometimes even before they are born. How can I get a suitable puppy?
 

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I want to get a standard poodle to use for mobility assistance and balance - counterbalance but not bracing. Not every dog has a suitable temperament or size. I need 60 lb minimum. Volhard testing isn't done until day 49, but people are reserving puppies sometimes even before they are born. How can I get a suitable puppy?
As you know you will need a large dog it may be difficult to ensure that you get a puppy that will get large enough to be able to assist you safely. On average, the standard poodles who are showing range from 35-55 lbs so you will have to look for a larger than average poodle. If you look at dogs who aren’t out of show lines you may be more likely to find this size but be sure that they do all proper health testing AND that the parents are well built and effortless movers. The last thing you need is a dog who has bad structure, especially with holes of using as a motility aid.

Honestly I would probably suggest going with a different breed who is naturally larger to avoid the risk of washing out due to size.

As far as getting a puppy, the best breeders will pair puppies to families based on temperament and need. In general if a breeder is letting people choose their puppies at birth (based on color, markings, or size etc) that is a breeder that I would avoid. Decisions should be made by the breeder (who has spent tons of time with the puppies, and knows them well) after temperament and conformation have been evaluated. I went through the process of getting our SD prospect with an excellent breeder and have no regrets. However I was not dependent on a certain size. I wish you the best of luck!
 

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It sounds, from what you're saying, that poodle forum is really from the perspective of those interested in show dogs and conformation, with leftovers going to people who "just" want pets. Your points about investigating structural soundness are well taken. Deciding I should consider a different breed because I want a dog larger than the average show dog - even though I am not interested in conformation - seems to indicate a narrowness of focus in this forum that I was unaware of. Apparently, those interested in hunting lines as opposed to show lines don't have a place in this forum.
 

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I have never seen a bias here toward show dogs. We have a sub-forum that includes hunting dogs. You know poodles were originally bred to hunt. An excellent breeder of hunting poodles mentioned often on the forum is Louter Creek.

Also there is no bias against those who have only pets. My Asta is a pet yet still seems to know when I need help - of whatever kind. I have bipolar disorder and tho not trained as a SD, he is my emotional support.
 

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Oh, brother. I thought chinchillafuzzy's reply to you was very kind, thoughtful, and accurate. As far as I know, hunting poodles from breeders such as Louter Creek aren't any bigger than our conformation-bred poodles. I am in agreement that another breed would be more suitable for assisting someone with mobility issues.
 

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It's not just dogs from show lines. Standard Poodles in general are commonly not very large, and those that are taller are not heavily built. Poodles are quite light weight for their size.
 

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Welcome to PF! If you are looking for an oversize Standard Poodle there is a breeder in Texas ......Her kennel is called 'Royal Standard Poodles' and she has what you are looking for. She also health tests her breeding dogs and posts the results of the tests......which is very important to insure the odds against inherited diseases is in your favor.

Good Luck and remember to do your research as the larger Spoos are more prone to be badly bred and not OFA/DNA tested in most cases......Look for proof of testing!!!
 
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I think the concern expressed about very large poodles is not because they are not "show type", but because any animal deliberately bred to be outside the size norms for its breed is likely to be prone to health issues, particularly orthopaedic issues, which would be particularly unfortunate if you need a sturdy, stable dog to help your balance. All lines will throw up the occasional outlier, but your choice is likely to be very limited in the size range you mention, especially when temperament is also key. Hence the suggestion you consider another, larger breed.
 

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I'll add some second hand knowledge a good friend's brother was injured in the Army by a roadside bomb, he lost an arm and 60% use in his remaining arm, he was paired with an oversized Labrador service dog nearly 29" tall and 100 pounds to aid the brother with mobility issues, sad to say the dog ended up with hip dysplasia (both hips) and ended up passing before the age of 9, the dog failed as a service dog ended up a cherished pet.
 

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Thank you for all your comments. I'm very aware of hip dysplasia in dogs. Our last rescue goldendoodle was 75 lb and 26 inches tall. Within 2 weeks of getting him home, we noticed he had trouble getting up, had rolling/ swinging gait, etc. I spent that summer taking him 300 miles away for bilateral TPOs. We got a rescue poodle who has antibiotic sensitive enteritis and separation anxiety. I want a dog whose pedigree I can see, whose parents are OFA tested and whom I can meet. Any dog I get will have their 2-year OFA testing no matter how good the parents' numbers are before any counterbalance work is begun. I like poodles. I don't want a retriever or German shepherd. Thank you for the suggestions about sources of larger poodles. I would rather lose 20 lbs and have a poodle than go to a different breed ?
 

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You can certainly find a good poodle, a male, obviously that could be 60+ Pounds. Buck can support me to get up from the ground or floor, but I’m really only testing for an emergency and I’m light. They’re not as heavy boned as some breeds, so maybe lose the 20 if that was on your to do list. Good luck in your search.
 

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You have a challenge because your minimum is at the upper end of even male poodle size. It would be helpful to know where you are located. Jac Harbour's older lines (Tudorose) tended to run large and sturdy, but I'm not sure that's the case lately. Lately pet breeders have been responding to the demand for small standards, and show breeders continue to shoot for 24-26" males and 22-24" females. Most serious "hunting" breeders have show-line stock and medium-sized dogs (poodles don't have split working/show lines to the degree other breeds do).

As chinchilla noted, good breeders don't match pups to owners before 7 or 8 weeks, although some require you to commit to getting a pup from them.
 

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It sounds, from what you're saying, that poodle forum is really from the perspective of those interested in show dogs and conformation, with leftovers going to people who "just" want pets. Your points about investigating structural soundness are well taken. Deciding I should consider a different breed because I want a dog larger than the average show dog - even though I am not interested in conformation - seems to indicate a narrowness of focus in this forum that I was unaware of. Apparently, those interested in hunting lines as opposed to show lines don't have a place in this forum.
I am just now seeing your response and am a bit taken aback by it. I was only trying to help. I don’t know what in my response made you think that PF is only about show dogs, as the vast majority of people here do not show. You have no idea what I went through to get my wonderful SDiT. I will make note that you don’t want any more of my advice. Thank you to all of the PF members who backed me up.
 

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Lucky trains at a service dog program. I also do a lot of outings with several local service teams. Here are things I’ve noticed from my experience.
1. Non aggressive
2. Only for mobility dogs: Pennhip if you are really serious to eliminate hip problems, which affect standards. Even ofa tested parents can have dysplastic puppies. An acquaintance of mine recently had to rehome her standard due to mild hip issues. The parents were ofa tested and she also used him as an mobility brace and retrieve dog. I do want to mention, this girl is 5’0 and 106lbs. Her spoos was 24”


Qualities that will make your training so much easier :
1. confident
2. Non reactive
3. Food motivated

Common traits I’ve seen in standard poodles and doodles: most tend to be a bit on the shy and sensitive side. Others tend to be on the aloof side. I would go for the friendly puppy who craves attention and it is very important to meet the parents.


Edit: I recommend a male golden retriever for mobility. Program trained dogs is best way to go if you are willing to wait. There will be better consistency and I like CCI.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Just wanted to add that I checked CCI's webpage and it stated that they do not train dogs for mobility/balance work. I thought I remembered from about ten years ago, but wanted to make sure their guidelines had not changed. They have not.
 
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