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Hello all!

I noticed there are breeders who say they have standard poodles who make great therapy pets.

Usually this meant that the parents disposition is calmer?

Can't any standard poodle from a puppy become a therapy dog? Or this is energy based/drive from the parents?

Thanks!
 

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I think it's like breeders who claim a puppy is "show quality." Coming from the right parents improves the odds, but not all puppies got the goods. Even among the ones with the right raw material there's still a whole lot of training and handling needed to turn that raw ore into a shining star.
 

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Can't any standard poodle from a puppy become a therapy dog?
Not really? I mean.... i guess any dog could have the potential, sure, but you still need a solid base from which to work with. It the dog doesn't have the right drive or temperament (both of which are genetic) then no amount of training is going to help that dog be a therapy dog - you can't out train a "bad" temperament. The chance of getting a dog suitable for therapy work (or service work) is much higher if you go to someone who is producing dogs with that purpose in mind.

It's sort of like.... if you were a sheep farmer and wanted a dog to herd your sheep. You wouldn't just go to a random nobody who is selling aussies or collies. You would go to someone who bred their working dogs because those puppies are more likely to inherit the instinct and drive of their working parents. Does that make sense?

Even with the right temperament, that's only the start TBH. The dog still have to pass a bunch of tests - CGC, TDI, etc etc. It takes at least 1-2 years to get your dog ready for therapy work (can't do CGC until dog is a year old and can't do TDI until dog has CGC), and TDI is very controlling over their teams. They have to be pretty strict, considering you're taking a dog into a situation where vulnerable people are. Elderly, children, sick. The dog absolutely cannot be skittish, stand offish, territorial, or have any other behavioral problems. The dog has to be well behaved, on top of all that: no barking, jumping, accidents indoors, listens to commands, walks well on leash, etc.

So... if you're looking for a dog to turn into a therapy dog i would be upfront about that with the breeder. Make sure they know you're looking for a social, but calm, not easily rattled puppy. If you're trying to rescue... it's POSSIBLE to find a suitable candidate in rescue but i would be working closely with a behavior expert to do testing on each potential dog to see if they have the temperament for the work.
 

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Elroy: Standard Poodle, Born 02/20/21
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My breeder breeds for therapy dogs. A few (at least 2) from the litter did go to people who needed therapy dogs. I don't need a therapy dog, but I will say Elroy definitely has the right temperament for it. He's cool as a cucumber for a 4 month old puppy. He loves everyone, dogs included. I've had so many comments from complete strangers about how calm he is.
I'm in the "No" camp. I'd say not every poodle puppy can be trained to be a therapy dog.
 

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Asta could never be a therapy dog, but he makes a great service dog. Hobby breeder. Okay but she had no idea about service/therapy dogs so having her pick the dog didn't make sense. Also I had never imagined Asta for a service dog but he has grown into just right for me service dog. As a puppy he was very confident & full of himself. Probably not the best pick if I was looking for a therapy/service dog, but at that point I was just in love with the breed for a companion dog. That he wasn't picked for this work. He really got into it and here on the forum I found out he was a service dog and not an ESA. My mentors here have really helped Asta and I to learn more about service dogs . I never could have achieved so much as we progress together. I really like dogs who have work whether therapy/service dogs or great in obedience, rally, nosework or other jobs - Love to see and appreciate those who train their dogs to be a success. I always read the posts concerning those dogs that have work..
 

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I just wrote a thread a couple of days ago about our decision to not proceed with therapy dog training with Bobby, our 2 1/2 year old Standard Poodle. I’m sure many Spoos do make great therapy dogs, of course, but definitely not all have the personality, even with training, to be a therapy dog.
 
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