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Hi all - could you please offer leads on reputable breeders who focus on breeding therapy dog prospects? Also with priority on genetic diversity, health testing, and early socialization. US and Canada - willing to travel. And willing to wait for the right match, so even if there isn't a current litter, I'd like to hear about your recommendations.

Many thanks!
 

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maybe check with anutta. she writes on her website that two of her first poodles became therapy dogs, so i think she has experience and interest. p.s. she's on travel and said to wait till september to contact her. but you can still visit her website for general info. she's also on facebook.
 
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I do not know this breeder but I know someone who has one of their dogs who does therapy work at a hospice facility. You may want to contact them for further information and investigate their breeding program.

Wispynook Poodles - Home
 

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I don't think you need to look specifically for someone who breeds to a specific task such as therapy work so much as you need to look for a breeder of well structured dogs from appropriately test parents and with a record of producing pups with excellent temperaments. To that end take a look at Madela Poodles in Connecticut who will have paws on the ground any minute now. Madela Standard Poodles


My boy Javelin is out of the same sire as the currently expected pups. If you interested in insights about his intelligence and temperament click on the link to his training blog in my signature.
 

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I don't think you need to look specifically for someone who breeds to a specific task such as therapy work so much as you need to look for a breeder of well structured dogs from appropriately test parents and with a record of producing pups with excellent temperaments. To that end take a look at Madela Poodles in Connecticut who will have paws on the ground any minute now. Madela Standard Poodles


My boy Javelin is out of the same sire as the currently expected pups. If you interested in insights about his intelligence and temperament click on the link to his training blog in my signature.
Thanks for this valuable info. I have a superb Standard who will be enrolled in the St John's Ambulance Therapy Dog program later this year on the advice of both of my vets and several professional dog handlers. They feel he is an excellent prospect for certification. However, I shudder to think of how I would ever get another such quality dog. I have followed your posts with great interest and admiration, and will carefully store up the name of the breeder for future reference.

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My current older dog (a rescue chihuahua of all things) is a registered therapy dog with Happy Tails, and we do a lot of visits at hospitals and nursing homes. I say this to state my creds :)

When I went looking for an SP (I grew up with the breed-the chi was a "I must have him" anomaly lol), I looked for breeders that did all the testing, but you can't really expect dogs to all come out with the therapy dog temperament, regardless of breeding.

If you watch the movie about service dogs, "Pick Of The Litter", you will see how difficult it is for dogs to make it as service dogs-and they specifically breed for service dog temperament!

Therapy dogs obviously have a much lower (yet still stringent) threshold for passing, but my point is that you have to look (and sometimes wait) for just the right puppy.

And even if your puppy tests "right" on the Volhard tests, he/she still may not grow up to be a therapy dog. Mine at 6 months is perfect in every respect for therapy dog work, except he is going through a phase (or not) where he is reserved around strangers.

This is not so good for therapy dog work, lol, but is *excellent* for me being in situations where he and I are alone if my husband is traveling for work. People who used to come up to me and harass me on the street give me a wide berth now (we live in the city). We just breeze on by :)

My SP is super well socialized, btw, he's on elevators every day with strangers, he walks city streets, he plays with dog friends in the burbs, he knows which valet guys have dog treats, he sails on boats, he runs along the beach, and he just completed beginner obedience with flying colors. He just isn't a fan of people in the elevator looming over him and wanting to pet. He's polite about it (because I give him treats like crazy and he's got a solid temperament), but I can tell he'd much prefer to admire people from afar, lol.

So, he may evolve into being cool with dog loving strangers coming up to him (because he's gorgeous and people are so attracted to him), or he may be more of an introvert who would find therapy dog work too stressful (it is stressful for dogs, and my chihuahua and all the dogs he works with are always tired out after our visits. Humans are too-it takes a lot out of you and your team emotionally). I'm totally cool with however he wants to roll.

My point is only that there are no guarantees.

Not in a million years could you have told me that a chihuahua would be a shining star of therapy dog work, ha ha, yet I've got one.
 

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My current older dog (a rescue chihuahua of all things) is a registered therapy dog with Happy Tails, and we do a lot of visits at hospitals and nursing homes. I say this to state my creds :)



When I went looking for an SP (I grew up with the breed-the chi was a "I must have him" anomaly lol), I looked for breeders that did all the testing, but you can't really expect dogs to all come out with the therapy dog temperament, regardless of breeding.



If you watch the movie about service dogs, "Pick Of The Litter", you will see how difficult it is for dogs to make it as service dogs-and they specifically breed for service dog temperament!



Therapy dogs obviously have a much lower (yet still stringent) threshold for passing, but my point is that you have to look (and sometimes wait) for just the right puppy.



And even if your puppy tests "right" on the Volhard tests, he/she still may not grow up to be a therapy dog. Mine at 6 months is perfect in every respect for therapy dog work, except he is going through a phase (or not) where he is reserved around strangers.



This is not so good for therapy dog work, lol, but is *excellent* for me being in situations where he and I are alone if my husband is traveling for work. People who used to come up to me and harass me on the street give me a wide berth now (we live in the city). We just breeze on by :)



My SP is super well socialized, btw, he's on elevators every day with strangers, he walks city streets, he plays with dog friends in the burbs, he knows which valet guys have dog treats, he sails on boats, he runs along the beach, and he just completed beginner obedience with flying colors. He just isn't a fan of people in the elevator looming over him and wanting to pet. He's polite about it (because I give him treats like crazy and he's got a solid temperament), but I can tell he'd much prefer to admire people from afar, lol.



So, he may evolve into being cool with dog loving strangers coming up to him (because he's gorgeous and people are so attracted to him), or he may be more of an introvert who would find therapy dog work too stressful (it is stressful for dogs, and my chihuahua and all the dogs he works with are always tired out after our visits. Humans are too-it takes a lot out of you and your team emotionally). I'm totally cool with however he wants to roll.



My point is only that there are no guarantees.



Not in a million years could you have told me that a chihuahua would be a shining star of therapy dog work, ha ha, yet I've got one.
We are applying for st John's ambulance certified therapy classes this fall. We have been told by a number of professionals that our SP would do well. Will let you know how it goes .....

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