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Pet Health Insurance: ​  Pet health insurance may be helpful. 

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  • Food

    • Raw human grade food is an excellent way to provide good nutrition to your poodle.

      • ​Some veterinarians are concerned with the exposure to salmonella involved with feeding raw.​ 
      • While grocery shopping I sometimes will pick up raw chicken wings and raw chicken or turkey necks and feed them to our poodles as a supplement or a treat. 

      • Marrow bones,  frequently I will buy marrow bones in the meat department of my grocery store and feed them to our poodles to help them teethe and clean their teeth.  It is also good to keep them busy.  Giving puppies something good to chew on can help them not chew on your shoes and furniture while going through teething.

    • Dog Food Advisor:  you can look up a variety of different dog foods at this website and sign up for recall alerts​.

    • I have cooked chicken in the InstantPot with carrot and celery for 3 hours until the bones crumble in my hands.  ​I then will mix this with their dry food and feed to our poodles.

    • Dr Becker on Dog food.  Dr Becker has a YouTube video on dog food which is brilliant.  Please watch this if you have a dog.  She gives such a great overview of food.  Please see her video to right (or below if viewing from mobile device) to link to her video.​  She describes best and worst dog foods.

    • In Tennessee Darcy and Craig use Victor High Pro Plus all life stages and Proplan by Purina. 

      • Victor professional and High Pro Plus has a 5 star rating on Dog Food Adviser website.  It is grain free and pea protein free.  Many dog serious people I know directly like this food.

      • I have used other quality dog foods such as Bixbi, Canidae Kirkland and Fromm.  Remember it is what works best for your poodle to keep them healthy.

    • In New Jersey Lauri uses Kirkland signature puppy food from Costco and other Costco dog foods with human food.  She has also been using Vitor more of late.

Remember,  selecting dog food is about what is working to keep your poodle healthy.  Not every poodle or dog is alike.  This is why we don't exclusively recommend one kind of dog food.  ​

  • Training

    • Find and AKC training club near you (click)

    • Training your puppy is essential to really enjoying your poodle for the rest of his/her life.  I have been training dogs for almost 40 years yet I still will take my puppies to a beginner puppy class.  Please find a good training class in your area.  For both you and your puppy.​

    • Sending your dog to a trainer

      • I find the most difficult part of training a dog is training the people which live with the dog.  It is just as important for you and everyone in your home to learn how to work with your poodle as it is for your poodle to learn.  It is far better to go to a weekly class then to send your dog away to be trained.​  (funny, I have found that learning to train a dog has been remarkably therapeutic at making sense of some basic life relationship issues for me.  I have learned so much about myself when I train my poodles and I am still learning.-Darcy)

      • At times sending a dog to a trainer can be useful if you are careful to learn with your dog.

    • Finding a trainer. 

      • People who compete in obedience, agility,  and rally in the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club generally know who the good trainers are. 

      • Some chain retail pet stores have training classes.  I don't recommend this as a first place to look.  I have met some wonderfully talented trainers at these franchise pet stores but there are also some very inexperienced trainers there too.  Select carefully whom you choose.  It can make a big difference in the result.  ​

      • Start with the American Kennel Club's tool for finding a training club near you. See button to the right (or below if viewing from mobile device).

      • Therapy Dogs International has different places and dates for evaluations.  Finding one of their evaluators or contacting an evaluation site could be a good source to find a good trainer in your area.  See button to the right (or below if viewing from mobile device).

      • Some trainers use electric shock training collars.  Stay away from places that use this method as their main source of training.  Poodles want to please you and respond far better to fun encouraging reinforcement.  In my opinion gentle negative reinforcement as a training tool is useful only when used very rarely.  Keep you pup motivated to please you with lots of appropriately timed praise, treats, and rewards. 

    • Training tips​​

      • See link to right for good beginner training advice (or below if viewing from mobile device).

      • Is your pup shy or afraid?  You could be making them that way without even knowing it.

        • Teach your poodle to be confident and friendly.  If your pup is afraid of something like a loud sound or a new person ignore them don't coddle them or "reassure them" with petting or holding or cooing.  When you do this it will reinforce to your puppy that it is good to be afraid.  Pet them and reassure them when they are confident and friendly.  It is important to reward them for overcoming their fear.  ​

    • Be patient and consistent.  Teaching a puppy something new only works if you keep your cool.  Sometimes people will repeat a command over and over again out of frustration.  I think this is because they think their dog is deaf and didn't hear them the first time.  I assure you your poodle has good hearing.  Say it once and wait patiently.  Repeating a command only causes your pup to think the word has less meaning.  Repeating trains your dog to not listen.  Its like nagging.  Don't we as humans "tune out" when someone starts nagging.  Boy has this helped me with my own kids.

    • Training at times can get frustrating.  Take a break.  If you are getting frustrated,  your pup is confused and frustrated too.  Your frustration may lead to counter productive negative behavior which will discourage your poodle and make him​ fearful or dislike learning.  Take a break.

    • Mostly training is fun! It is fun for you and your dog.  You are bonding with your dog a building a close friendship with him/her when you train with them.  It is so rewarding to take a puppy and teach them amazing things.  It is a great feeling when you call your dog from a distance and he/she comes immediately and sits in front of you expecting something good.  It is so fulfilling and rewarding!

    • Poodles are an intuitive intelligent breed.  It is likely that if you go to class you will have the star pupil because you have a poodle. 

Poodles Make Great Therapy Dogs!

  • A great goal for your training is do therapy work with your poodle in local hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and more.  I love Therapy Dogs International.  You can learn more about them through button link to the right (or below if viewing from mobile device).  

  • People can be intimidated by some of the more powerful breeds.  A poodle is a breed that most people immediately feel at ease with

  • Poodles are considered to be one of the most hypoallergenic breed.  When going to hospitals and schools it is a great breed choice to avoid exposing people who are sensitive to dogs for allergies.

  • Poodles can be groomed with fun colors which can put a smile on someone's face. 

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