Could your Poodle do K9 Nose Work?

It is well known that dogs have a super keen sense of smell and are born with a natural desire to hunt.  There is a fairly new activity called K9 Nose Work that works right in line with your dog’s natural desire to hunt and their incredibly powerful sense of smell.  Could your poodle do K9 Nose Work?

A poodle

A poodle can certainly be trained for k9 nose work

The interesting part about this kind of work for dogs is that it is not limited to just certain breeds.  The typical breeds that used to do this kind of dog-sniffing work like German Shepherds and Bloodhounds are not the only dogs that can do K9 nose work.  As a matter of fact, in recent times, miniature poodles were used in rescue work that involved finding survivors and earthquake victims that were in tight spaces.  The smaller dogs could go into little crevices and smaller openings and the little poodles proved to have a great sense of smell, too.
Some people that have taken their dogs to have the k9 nose work trainings have found it to be quite beneficial in helping their pet’s behavior as well.  When a poodle or dog focuses on detecting and picking up specific scents, they learn to be more tolerant of other dogs.  It can actually help to improve the dog’s socialization and the dog’s ability to focus on a single task.
The following paragraphs are from healthypets.mercola.com and describe how the training works and how you and your poodle can get involved.

The first step in nose work training is to build a dog’s desire to hunt. Positive reinforcement is used for the dogs, while the owners learn how to read their pet’s unique hunting behaviors and signals.
The next step is to add different search settings while continuing to build the dog’s desire to hunt and the owner’s ability to read their dog’s behaviors and communication signals.
The third step involves continuing to build on the first two, and also communicating to the dog that one of the three target odors – essential oil of birch – is what he should hunt for.
Next, the dog is introduced to the other two target odors, essential oils of anise and clove.
In the final level of training, the dog continues to increase his desire to hunt for the target odors, and the working relationship between owner and dog is tested with progressively more challenging search scenarios.
There are levels of training beyond the initial five, with the highest level reserved for dogs who will go on to enter nose work competitions.
For more information on K9 Nose Work, including workshops, training and competitive trials, visit the National Association of Canine Scent Work website.

Read more from this article here

The following video is all about this great program known as k9 nose work.  Here you will see a little bit of what the dogs go through during the training process.

Could your poodle do K9 Nose Work?  Yes, definitely, your poodle or dog surely can.  To find out about trainings with certified instructors in your area, click on the following link to locate a workshop near you.

http://www.nacsw.net/certifiedinstructors.html

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Cute Toy Poodle Puppies Being Trained – A Video

Here is a cute video of some toy poodles being trained. They are puppies and are learning to sit and roll and other commands. These toy poodle pups sure are cute!

If this made you smile, share it with a friend!

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Poodle Clicker Training Video

Here is a short but good Poodle Clicker Training Video.  You can see the trainer with the little poodle and notice the timing and sequence of the command, the clicker sound and the treat reward.

Clicker training is a great way to re-enforce training your poodle with different commands.  Poodles are so smart and eager to learn.  The command is given, once the poodle is quiet and attentive.  Once the command is done and the poodle gives the trainer a high-five, the clicker is sounded at the precise moment that the dog does the trick.

Then the reward is given immediately afterward to associate a command or trick well performed with a tasty treat.

Poodle Clicker Training Video

 

 

Have you done any clicker training with your poodle?  It’s easy, fun and it’s a great way to teach your dog certain commands and really train the pup to get it right.  It’s a powerful combination and a great way to do dog training at home.

You can get a clicker by clicking on our link at Amazon below!

 

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Finding the best treats for training your poodle

Training your standard poodle, miniature, toy poodle or other breed of dog is one of the most important parts of owning and caring for a dog. Finding the best treats for training your poodle is going to be one of the best things you can do for your dog training sessions. If you can find the treats that are like “doggy-crack”, you will find that the training will go a lot better for you.

poodle doing a trick

This poodle is practicing some training for a tasty treat

Finding the best treats for training your poodle

When you can find the best tasting treats that your poodle will crave, it will help to gain the dog’s focus and reduce some of the distractinon that can hinder your training progress. Dogs need to really be motivated to be able to focus on the commands and on you, rather than what else is going on around them. There are lots of smells, sounds and sights for your poodle to be distracted by and it is a lot easier when you have a treat that they go nuts for right in front of them when working with your dogs.

In a recent article in Petside.com, some of the top picks of trainers from all over gave their favorite choices for dog training and poodle training treats. Here is a small sample of those top picks:

Best Low Calorie Training Treat: Zuke’s Mini Naturals

About the size of a piece of Kibble, these soft mini dog treats have less than 3.5 calories each, so you don’t have to worry if you give your dog several in one sitting. “One thing I am considerate of is what the dog is happy with and above all not allergic to,” says Georgina Bradley, Top Dog at DogStars Training Academy. Zuke’s Minis come in several flavors to help you avoid allergy triggers including salmon, chicken, rabbit and peanut butter.

Best Outdoor Training Treat: Hot Dogs

“When you’re training a dog, especially in distracting environments, parents should always use something soft and smelly,” says Laura Roach, Dog Trainer of Camp Bow Wow. When there are a lot of distractions outside, a biscuit might not peak your dog’s interest, but lunch meat, semi-moist dog food rolls and good old fashioned hot dogs are more likely to entice your pooch. Roach says to cut hot dogs into little pieces. If your dog has a sensitive belly, you should test a tiny piece of a hot dog before using this dog treat for training.

Read more from the original article here

When it comes to finding the best treats for training your poodle, it depends on your poodle’s tastes and if it has any allergies to certain foods. Small bits of cooked chicken can also work well, but generally speaking, your training treats should be very small and strong smelling to your pooch. Dry kibble can work, sometimes, but a hot dog will always win out in the end.

If you want to give the Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats a try, you can get some today by ordering online at Amazon.  You can use our affiliate link below to order some.

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How To Stop A Poodle From Barking

Some people have asked me for advice on How To Stop A Poodle From Barking.  Poodles are known for their intelligence and the ability to learn quickly.  This can be a good thing, but poodles can also learn how to get what they want and sometimes this can lead to more barking as a way to see how much they can get away with.

It is normal behavior for poodles and all breeds of dogs to bark a little bit throughout the day, but when it becomes excessive and constant, then you have to do something.  Normally, teaching your poodle to limit his or her barking should start when they are a puppy.  Sometimes, simply holding it’s mouth closed gently and making the “shhh” sound will begin to associate the “shhh” sound with stopping the barking.

poodle in crate

Lucy only barks occasionally while in her crate

One problem is that a lot of people don’t realize they are actually teaching their dog to bark.  If your poodle is barking in the crate and to quite them down, you give them food or let them out of the crate to shut them up, they will think that if they bark enough, they will get what they want.  The reward is associated with their barking, instead of the other way around.

Here are some tips on teaching and training your poodle or dog to eliminate or limit their barking from the Humane Society.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy.

Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him.  When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat.

To be successful with this method:

  • You must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at him to be quiet, the next time he’ll probably bark for an hour and a half. He learns that if he just barks long enough you’ll give him attention.
  • Be consistent. You must ignore the barking EVERY time.

Example: barking when confined

If your dog is in his crate or confined to a room behind a baby gate or other barrier, he may bark because he wants to be with you.

  • Turn your back and ignore him.
  • Whenever he stops barking, turn, praise him, and give him a treat.
  • Make a game of it. As he catches on that being quiet gets him a treat, lengthen the amount of time he must remain quiet before being rewarded.
  • Start small. Reward him for being quiet for just a second or two. Work up to longer periods of quiet.
  • Keep the game fun by varying the amount of time. Sometimes reward him after 5 seconds, then 12 seconds, then 3 seconds, then 20 seconds, and so on.

Desensitization and counter conditioning

Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing him to bark. Start with the stimulus (the thing that makes him bark) at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats.

You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (treats!).

Example: barking at dogs

Dogs that are afraid of other dogs will often bark at them.

  • Have a friend with a dog stand out of sight far enough away that you know your dog won’t bark at the other dog.
  • As the friend and dog come into view, start feeding your dog lots of very yummy treats (tiny bits of cooked chicken usually work well). Keep feeding treats until the friend and dog are out of sight.
  • Stop feeding treats as soon as the friend and dog disappear from view.
  • Ask your friend and her dog to gradually walk closer.
  • Don’t try to progress too quickly; it may take days or weeks before your dog can pay attention to you and the treats without barking at the other dog.
  • Contact a behavior professional for assistance if you need help.

Teach The Quiet Command

It may sound nonsensical, but to stop your dog from barking, first teach him to bark on command.

  • Give your dog the command to “speak.” Have someone immediately make a noise—such as knocking on the door—that is sure to make your dog bark.
  • Let him bark two or three times, then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose.
  • When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.”

Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach the “quiet” command.

  • Start in a calm environment with no distractions.
  • Tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose.
  • Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

Example: Intruder at the Door

When the doorbell rings, your dog alerts you to the presence of an “intruder” by barking wildly. Once you’ve taught your dog the “quiet” command in a calm environment, practice in increasingly distracting situations until your dog can immediately stop barking when asked to, even when that “intruder” arrives at the door.

 

I think that these are good examples of How To Stop A Poodle From Barking the right way.  Just telling the dog to stop or yelling for it to be quiet just sounds to them like barking right back to them.  It’s going to take time, patience and lots of practice.  But if you are consistent with the behavior modification and training using treats at the right time, you should see some positive changes coming gradually over time.

 

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Your Poodle Becoming A Therapy Dog

If you are like me, you have given the occasional thought as to whether or not there’s a possibility of Your Poodle Becoming A Therapy Dog. There are many poodles and lots of poodle-mix breed dogs, such as labradoodles and golden doodles that have taken and passed the tests to become a certified therapy dog. Perhaps you thought of taking your poodle for the training as well.

poodle

Could Lucy, our poodle, become a good therapy dog?

If you are interested in seeing Your Poodle Becoming A Therapy Dog, there are different organizations around the country that will test your dog’s ability to participate in such a program and would then register your dog as an official therapy dog.

Sherry Davis has written an article which helps to answer many of the questions you and others have had about taking your poodle or dog to become a therapy dog.

There are several recognized and reputable organizations for therapy dog registry, but since I am a long-time (six dogs) associate member and certified evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, Inc., I will reference their requirements for testing and registration.

TDI was founded in the late 1970s and is the largest volunteer therapy dog organization with 24,000 dogs registered.

THE POTENTIAL THERAPY DOG: While many people want to share their dogs with others and assume that the personality traits their dog demonstrates in the secure and familiar environment of its home would make it a great therapy dog, the fact remains that not all dogs make good therapy dogs.

This in no way devalues them as loving pets, but since the strictest criteria is used in evaluating temperament, dogs that show fear, shyness or any type of aggression are not suitable for therapy work.

Dogs must be a minimum of 1 year of age, love people, be comfortable working around children and behave politely around strange dogs. They must not be fearful of sudden or strange noises. They must be relaxed and confident working around medical equipment and people with infirmities.

PREPARATION: The next step is to determine if your dog is ready to test by going to www.tdi.dog.org and clicking on “How To Join” to view the test requirements. At a test the dog must demonstrate confidence and control while completing the 10 steps of the AKC/CGC test and the additional TDI requirements.

Dogs are expected to be obedient to the owner’s commands and under control without pulling or guiding the dog on the leash. It is not required or desirable for the dog to “perform” like a competition dog. Handlers may repeat commands and praise is encouraged throughout the test.

The dog must be tested on a plain buckle collar or non-training harness; no harsh commands or handling is allowed and treats cannot be used or carried during the test.

Handlers must present a current rabies certificate and any other state or locally required inoculation certificates.

If you feel your dog needs some training or sharpening up before testing, you can do it yourself or attend a basic obedience class to polish up his commands and your confidence, but do not enroll in any class that promises to train you and your dog to pass the therapy test. It is not required or necessary, and TDI discourages the practice of making a profit off of those who wish to volunteer with their dogs.

So, if you would like to see Your Poodle Becoming A Therapy Dog, you can to the TDI website or look for another organization or agency that registers and tests canines with their owners to see if your poodle would be a good candidate. I know it’s been an extremely rewarding experience for those who have gone through the training. Taking your dog to hospitals, schools and nursing homes where it can bring joy to those people’s hearts has to be one of the most worthwhile pursuits one can be involved in. After all, we all know the love and warmth that our beloved poodles and dogs can bring to us each and every day. Why not share that love with others as a dog therapy volunteer?

What do you think? Is your dog ready to handle the challenge? Is it something that you have ever considered?

Let us know by commenting in the box below and please share this post with others you know who might be interested.

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This Labradoodle helps monitor a little boy’s diabetes

Not only is this Lab-Poodle mix dog (also known as a Labradoodle) his best friend and furry playmate, this Labradoodle helps monitor a little boy’s diabetes. Ben Ownby, a young boy from Texas has type 1 diabetes, which can be deadly if not kept in check very carefully, which his canine companion does.

A dog’s incredibly keen sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive and accurate than a human beings capability. Dakota, the labradoodle, has been trained to detect minute changes in blood sugar levels by simply smelling the boy’s breath. Originally, Dakota was taking training to become a guide dog at Guide Dogs of Texas in San Antonio but he didn’t pass the final requirements. He was then retrained to detect glucose levels.

Read more about this remarkable dog from the original story about how this Labradoodle helps monitor a little boy’s diabetes.

labradoodle

A labradoodle like this one can be trained to smell glucose levels in the blood by sniffing a person's breath

Bob Ownby’s fears started when his son was only 17-months-old, which is the first time his son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. If his disease is not monitored every hour of the day, it can be deadly.

Ownby has had seizures and takes seven to eight shots of insulin a day to survive. But since he’s allergic to adhesive, he can’t wear a continuous glucose monitor to alert him when his blood sugars need attention. That’s where Dakota plays her part. The cute, cuddly Labradoodle is also his monitor.

“He can tell my blood sugar by the scent of my breath,” Ownby explained.

If Ben’s breath indicates his sugar is too low, Dakota jumps up. If it’s too high, he nibbles on Ben’s wristband. Once Ben gets the signal, he uses the traditional machine to check his blood levels.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and he was just standing on me and just looking at me,” Ownby said. “I woke up and tested my blood sugar and it was low. He’s usually very accurate.”

A dog has more than 200 million scent receptors in comparison to a human’s five-million. When blood sugars begin to fluctuate, the human body releases chemicals that change the body’s smell. It’s usually unnoticeable to the human nose, but to a trained nose like Dakota’s, it’s an alarm.

I loved this story and was surprised to learn how this labradoodle helps monitor a little boys diabetes so well, he actually does a better job than a glucose meter. Of course, if I were a little boy with diabetes, I would much rather have my best friend and family pet accompany me to school than a little glucose tester! Dogs are truly amazing and a poodle-lab mix is an incredible breed of dog, capable of being highly trained as well as having a truly great personality.

If this story warmed your heart or if you learned something new, please share it with others using the facebook like button or any of the other social sharing buttons below the post. Thanks for reading!

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If your Poodle is exhibiting unwanted dog behavior

One reader recently asked me, what to do if your poodle is exhibiting unwanted dog behavior, such as peeing when she gets excited in the house. I wish there was a really simple one or two sentence answer that would satisfy our dear readers who have a poodle that behaves this way, or if your dog jumps all over you or scratches itself or barks incessantly for 10 minutes every time you walked in the door.

brown poodle

correcting unwanted dog behavior in your poodle

Unfortunately it is not all that simple, but here’s a little bit of information that may be helpful if your poodle is exhibiting unwanted dog behavior, which comes from a story in Patch.com which was written by Sarah Hodgson, also known as “the dog lady.”

What do barking, peeing, jumping, nipping, growling, digging, pulling, (I could go on here) and chewing have in common? Are any of these signs of dominance or obeisence? No. None of these behaviors are specific signs of either personality: these are all dog behaviors, plain and simple. A dog will do any one of these things as a reaction to boredom, pain, loneliness or frustration. Like kids, dogs want to fit in—they want to help and be recognized for their contribution. If a dog isn’t provided with a healthy way to get attention and interact, he’ll devise his own mechanisms for fitting in.

When a dog reacts (barks at the window or jumps in greeting) they weigh their activity based on the reaction (or reactivity) of their owner. The problem between humans and dogs is one of understanding and language disconnect.  When humans react, dogs translate the reactivity as situation specific (dogs are centered in the here and now) so if you yell when your dog barks or push when he jumps, the canine translation is that you’re stressed and excited too.

So what to do? While many of these cycles could be prevented with knowledge, few people give it any thought until the dog’s behavior is upsetting their lifestyle and the blush of puppyhood has passed. Ritualized habits (greeting manners, reactions to boredom or stress) set in by 6 months of age and only grow more pronounced if left unchecked.

Try to look at your dog’s reactions as a window to his personality (is your dog sociable, fearful or defensive?) and recognize the contribution you’ve made in instilling the reaction. Do you repeatedly push your exuberant Lab during greetings? Do you yell (bark!) back at your noisy terrier? Don’t feel bad–you’ve taken the first step towards modifying the behavior! Here’s what to do:

Displacement activity: If your dog is hyped when people come through your door, he’s not going suddenly calm down just because you feel he should. All dogs need to have a displacement activity: a familiar bone or toy that satisfies a need for activity or fretting. A sociable dog should have a basket of toys by the door and be given one each time it opens; a fearful or protective dog will need a bone to chew while the house (his den) is “invaded” by others and your attention is diverted.

It’s interesting to see in her article, that she indicates that there is a certain amount of responsibility we must take as dog owners for our own poodle’s or dog’s behavior. It’s due, in part, to the connection we are making in the moment or the communication we are unaware we are sending.

So, if your poodle is exhibiting unwanted dog behavior, there are some steps we can take to reduce our poodle’s stress that may help in the long run, but it may take time, so be patient with yourself and your dog.

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It’s Official: Another Toy Poodle Passes the Police Dog Exam

It’s Official: Toy Poodle Passes the Police Dog Exam.  Picture courtesy of opposingviews.com

 

This is one of the cutest stories I have come across in a very long time and it’s official!  Another toy poodle passes the police exam to become the first police detection dog in Kyoto, Japan.  His name is Mochi and apparently he has been training for this big day for the past six months.  And that’s not all.  Mochi is not the only poodle to achieve this honor.  Whereas most countries use German Shepards  for their police dogs, Japan uses poodles.  This is a beautiful story written by Phyllis M Daugherty for opposingviews.com.  Don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself!

It’s Official: Another Toy Poodle Passes the Police Dog Exam

After six months of official academy training, four-year-old Mochi, who weighs less than four pounds, passed his police dog exam last month, and will be sworn in as the Kyoto police department’s first sniffer dog. Mochi has been trained to detect drugs, explosives, and other odors, and will be used on a “case-by-case” basis…
In January 2011 two valiant female Toy Poodles, Karin and Fuga, joined the police in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture as crime fighters, mirroring a growing trend in Japanese law-enforcement to enlist miniature canines.
Four-year-old, Mochi, who weighs less than four pounds, is considered small for a toy poodle, but his owner Naomi Yasuda say he has the same intelligence and courage as  larger, more traditional law-enforcement canines. Mochi’s background check revealed training and experience as a therapy dog. He has spent the last few years providing affection and comfort to nursing home patients….
The emergence of the alternative breeds isn’t coincidence. Some police departments struggling to recruit and maintain large dogs recently amended rules that said tinier pups weren’t fit for duty. The small canine force may not be able to take down a big bad guy on the street, but they proved their worth in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami last year…Original Story Here.

It was a pleasant surprise to read the news about Mochi.  I can imagine the headline, Its official: Another Toy Poodle Passes the Police Dog Exam!  Great way to think outside the box and not go for the traditional larger guard dogs.  The more I read about poodles the more impressed I am.  Not just good pets, but good therapy dogs and now drug detection dogs. I want a Toy Poodle too! 

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Poodle Therapy Dog In Training – (A Video)

I wanted to share a video of a Poodle Therapy Dog In Training that I found on youtube.  It shows off the intelligence of poodles in general, especially this one, who is going through the motions of various commands with it’s trainer.

Poodles are by nature, quite sensitive and intelligent dogs.  They are known for having a pleasant personality and are very well suited to being trained and learn quickly.  Many are used as therapy dogs for different purposes.   Some are used as pet therapy dogs and will make rounds to hospitals and nursing homes and visit with patients.  Others may be used with children who cannot easily relate to people, but will gravitate toward animals.  Sometimes they are also used with people to help predict an on-coming seizure or attack.  Some dogs can actually sniff out changes in blood chemistry as in diabetics with a low or high blood sugar level.

Take a look at how clever and obedient this Poodle Therapy Dog In Training is in this brief video below.

 

 

 

It’s easy to see that this Poodle Therapy Dog In Training is really on target. It does every command without hesitation and some of the commands are fairly tricky, like opening up a door and switching on a light switch.
Does your poodle have what it takes to be a therapy dog? You can always take it for therapy training and find out.

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