Are Poodles Good Service Dogs? (And Why)

Although they are intelligent, loyal, and social, their small size makes one doubt whether they are capable of the responsibilities required for a service dog. Are you seeking to know whether Poodles can make a good service dog? This article provides an answer to this and other information you’ve probably wanted to know!

Poodles can make great service dogs. They are intelligent, loyal, friendly, and eager to please. However, because of their small size, Poodles don’t fit best in some roles that require dogs with massive physical strength.

Poodle Attributes that Make Them Good Service Dogs

For a dog to be rendered suitable to serve as a service dog, it has to possess certain attributes. Poodles possess these qualities, which is why they make good service dogs:

Intelligence:  

Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs. They have to be in order to do the complex tricks that they’re trained to do.

According to a canine psychologist, Stanely Coren, they are ranked second in a class of 132 breeds for intelligence. This makes them easy to train, and many owners have taken advantage of this by teaching their Poodles to do various tricks.

Loyalty:

Poodles are very loyal to their owners. Unlike some breeds, they don’t run away when called by anyone except their master. They are devoted dogs and will do anything for the person they trust most.

Friendliness:

Poodles are also very friendly dogs. Although they have a tendency to bark, this can be minimized by training them from an early age.

They become used to different people and surroundings and adapt well. Because of this, Poodles make great service dogs for the disabled who cannot afford constant care and monitoring.

Ability to focus;

Poodles tend to be very focused. They can concentrate on a particular task for long periods of time if needed, which is another great quality for service dogs.

You don’t want a dog that’s easily distracted by other dogs or people. You need a dog that can stay focused even when walking on a street with lots of people and other pets.

Adaptability:

They also adapt well to different circumstances and new surroundings. There is no place that a Poodle can’t get used to, which is why they make great service dogs for the disabled who are moving from one caretaker’s home to another’s.

Eager to Please:

Poodles are obedient dogs that strive to please. They enjoy the company of people, and so make great playmates for children. If you take up jogging or frequent the park often, a Poodle may be the perfect dog for you!

If wanting them to serve as service dogs is what makes you happy as their owner, then Poodles won’t mind serving as full-time assistance dogs!

Energetic:

A service dog needs to be energetic in order to go through all the tasks it will be asked to do. Poodles are perfect for this because of their high energy levels and playfulness.

Keep in mind that the excellent execution of these tasks requires the service dog to have a lot of energy. If the Poodle has low energy levels, it will not be able to successfully carry out all the tasks that are expected of it.

Physical Traits That Are Considered Disadvantages

While most of the Poodles’ attributes make them great service dogs, some of their attributes limit their suitability for certain roles. Below are a few;

Their Size;

Keep in mind that Poodles are small. They only reach a maximum height of 60 cm at the shoulder and average 20-30 kg in weight, which is ideal for a service dog.

However, this means that they won’t be able to help people who need very heavy lifting done or want the assistance of larger dogs. This also puts them at risk: their small size makes them vulnerable to being attacked by bigger dogs and potential thieves.

Not So Easy To Maintain;

As a breed, Poodles are considered high maintenance. They require regular grooming and haircuts that need to be done by professionals.

And as we all know, service dogs ought to be easy to maintain. That’s especially true for dogs like Poodles that work as ideal service dogs for people with vision, hearing, and mental impairment.

Their Hair;

These dogs have long hair that can cause problems if not cared for properly. This is especially true when it comes to the Poodle’s trademarked topknot, which can get caught on furniture and cause injuries.

Their long, fluffy hair is also great for holding dirt and other things that a service dog must stay away from in order to remain healthy.

All in all, Poodles are a positive breed to consider if you wish to use them as assistance dogs for the disabled. They have an impressive intelligence

Poodle Physical Traits That Are Considered Disadvantages- Hair

Service Areas Suitable for Poodles

This is where Poodles are perfect:

Service Dogs for People With Visual Impairment;

Poodles are excellent assistance dogs for people who suffer from blindness. While Poodles may not be able to guide their owners, they can provide other types of important assistance, such as leading the owner out of a dangerous situation.

Allergy Alert Dogs;

Poodles can be trained to sniff for allergens such as peanuts or pollen. They can be extremely helpful for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Additionally, these dogs have hypoallergenic coats, so they aren’t a threat themselves to people with allergies.

Service Dogs For People Suffering From Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions include diabetes, epilepsy, mobility difficulties, and more. When a dog accompanies its owner throughout the day, it can help with tasks such as fetching medication or guiding the owner to accessible assistance points (eg, visual guidance for visually impaired owners).

Poodles are amenable to most tasks that will be asked of them by their handlers. For diabetics, Poodles can be trained to help detect when the owner’s glucose levels are low.

Assistance Dogs for the Deaf;

Since Poodles don’t bark when trained, they make perfect assistance dogs for deaf owners. They can be trained to respond to different hand signals or a special type of whistle.

Their lack of barking will also make them welcome in more places where barking dogs are a problem, such as apartments and motels.

Service Dogs for the Mentally Impaired;

A Poodle’s intelligence can enable them to be trained in many tasks that owners with cognitive issues will need help with. For instance, they can learn how to fetch medications, find objects and people, read traffic signs and other visual prompts, and more.

Service Dogs for the Elderly;

Poodles get along very well with senior citizens. Since they have a friendly disposition, seniors will feel safe when accompanied by a Poodle that will look after their needs without being too pushy or demanding.

Service Areas Not Suitable For Poodles

While Poodles do well in some service areas, there are others where they simply don’t fit best. Cases in point are;

Service Dogs for Mobility Assistance;

For physically disabled owners, Poodles are not an ideal breed. Their small size means they don’t have the physical strength to offer support when needed.

In addition, they often have a low tolerance for pain, making it harder for owners to get the type of help they need.

Service Dogs for People With a Seizure Disorder;

While Poodles are not especially prone to epilepsy or seizures, their small size makes them unsuitable as assistance dogs in this area. It is much better if you get a larger dog.

Summary of How Suitable Poodles Are In Different Service Areas

Service AreaVery GoodGoodAveragePoor
Hearing Impairment✔️
Visual Impairment✔️
Allergy Alert✔️
Mobility Assistance✔️
Diabetes✔️
Seizures✔️
Mental Impairment✔️
Support for Elderly✔️

Training Your Poodle To Serve As Service Dogs

You can either train your Poodle yourself by creating a system of cues and rewards, or you can work with a professional. The latter is recommended for people who have never trained a dog before because it can be difficult to train them to understand exactly what you need them to do without any previous experience.

Keep in mind that training your dog to work as a service dog is more complex than teaching them basic obedience. That’s another reason you may have to consider having a professional help you out.

Alternatively, you can get an already well-trained Poodle from an accredited service dog organization. Some of these organizations include;

Can Poodles Serve As Therapy Dogs?

Most people think that service dogs are the same as therapy dogs. However, that’s not the case. Therapy dogs are not trained to do anything specific, and their job is simply to offer love and support for people who are sick or otherwise emotionally traumatized.

Another difference between the two categories of dogs is that they aren’t afforded the same privileges. For example, you can’t take a therapy dog into an establishment that prohibits pets, unlike a service dog.

That doesn’t mean Poodles can’t be therapy dogs, though! Their friendly disposition makes them very good at offering companionship in situations where it’s needed. In fact, some hospitals have therapy Poodles for children to play with during their stay.

Poodle’s intelligence and friendly nature make them perfect therapy dogs. A poodle will read its owner’s body language and comfort them when needed.

They can also help out in the workplace as office dogs, where they will be welcomed for their sociable disposition and easy-to-mop hair.

Price For Poodle Service Dogs

Poodles, even without the training to serve as service dogs can be quite expensive, especially compared to other dog breeds. That means we expect trained Poodles to cost even more.

However, the price you pay will depend on the organization you do business with. You can compare the cost of different organizations to see the one that offers the best deal!

Does Your Poodle Service Dog Need A License?

The question to ask here is whether or not it is compulsory for your Poodle service dog to have a license. There are both pros and cons to this.

On the one hand, having a license will make it easier for you as a handler because if you get stopped by the police while out with your dog, then they will be able to verify that your dog has been trained to act as a service animal and is allowed to be out in public.

On the other hand, having a license can cause problems. For example, it may become more difficult to travel with your service dog if they have identification because some airlines want all pets to be contained in pet carriers or crates while in the cabin of the airplane.

The law varies from state to state with regards to service dogs, so you’ll have to do some research about what is legal in your case and whether or not a license would be best for your Poodle.

Conclusion:

Are Poodles good service dogs? The answer is yes, and they can be trained to serve as a variety of different service dogs. It’s all up to you what type of work you want them to do. You can train your own Poodle, or go for an already-trained certified dog from a reputable organization. Either way, you’ll get the same quality service.

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