Paws with Purpose, Hearts that Heal
Expertly Trained, Health-Tested Poodles Excelling in Therapy and Beyond.
The Journey to Otzma Poodles: A Story of Passion, Purpose, and Poodles
The story of Otzma Poodles began in 2020, at a crossroads in my life filled with anticipation and a vision for the future. I was expecting my first child, and with this new beginning, I wanted to find the perfect canine companion for my growing family. This quest coincided with my desire to expand my psychotherapy practice into animal-assisted therapy, a field where the therapeutic power of animals could blend seamlessly with my professional expertise.
A Diverse Background in Dog Training My journey with dogs wasn't new; I had spent years training a variety of breeds - from the energetic Border Collies and the diligent Malinois to the graceful English Setters, the robust Boxers, and numerous rescue dogs. Each breed brought its unique charm and challenges, enriching my understanding and deepening my appreciation for these incredible animals.
The Choice of the Standard Poodle
For this particular chapter of my life, I sought a breed that stood out in its ability to connect with people; a breed known for its intelligence, empathy, and versatility. After much consideration, the choice became clear: the Standard Poodle. These magnificent dogs were not only known for their profound connection with humans but also for their practical attributes - their non-shedding coats were ideal for maintaining a clean environment in both my home and therapy sessions.
Born from a Vision Otzma, meaning 'strength' in Hebrew, was a name that resonated with my vision. I envisioned Otzma Poodles not just as a kennel but as a beacon of strength, healing, and joy. These poodles were to be more than pets; they were to be companions, healers, and a source of laughter and love.
The Unfolding of a Dream
The journey was exhilarating. Each poodle that joined the Otzma family was carefully selected and lovingly raised. They became integral to my therapy sessions, connecting with clients in ways that only animals can. Their intuitive nature, combined with their joyful disposition, made each therapy session unique and effective.
A Commitment to Excellence
As Otzma Poodles grew, so did our commitment to excellence. We invested in comprehensive health testing, advanced training methodologies, and a nurturing environment that allowed each poodle to thrive. Our aim was not just to breed dogs but to nurture souls - both canine and human.
Today's Otzma Poodles
Today, Otzma Poodles stands as a testament to that dream born in 2020. Each poodle is a blend of joy, strength, and therapeutic grace, whether bringing laughter to a family home or offering comfort in a therapy session. They are funny, friendly, and each carries a part of my heart with them.
Looking to the Future
As I look forward, I see Otzma Poodles continuing to touch lives, one poodle at a time. Our story is not just about dogs; it's about connections, healing, and the unspoken bond between humans and their canine companions.
The Importance of OFA Hip Testing in Our Standard Poodles
At Otzma Poodles, our focus on health extends to rigorous OFA hip testing to make informative breeding decisions. We recognize that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to hip dysplasia.The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) assesses hips with a standardized protocol, with results informing our breeding decisions to enhance the breed's health. Factors like diet, exercise, and early life conditions significantly affect its development. We commit to holistic care, providing optimal early life conditions and educating new owners on maintaining their poodle's joint health. Our approach combines genetics and environmental management to ensure the well-being of our Standard Poodles.
Commitment to Excellence: Health Testing Our Standard Poodles
At Otzma Poodles, our commitment to excellence extends beyond training and socialization - it's deeply rooted in the health and well-being of our dogs. Understanding the importance of health testing, especially in a breed as versatile as the Standard Poodle, is key for us in providing you with a healthy, happy companion, whether as a pet, therapy, or service dog.
What is Health Testing in Poodles?
Health testing in Poodles involves a comprehensive approach that includes both genetic testing and physical health evaluations to ensure the overall well-being and genetic robustness of our dogs. Genetic Testing with Embark: We utilize Embark for Breeders, which offers over 250 genetic health condition tests, including seven breed-specific tests for Standard Poodles. This allows us to understand and manage genetic health conditions that may affect our breed. Common Genetic Health Risk Factors: Among the conditions we monitor is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a significant concern in Standard Poodles. Regular testing helps us maintain a high percentage of dogs clear from this condition. Rare Genetic Conditions: We also monitor for less common conditions like Chondrodystrophy and Intervertebral Disc Disease (CDDY/IVDD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd), Von Willebrand Disease Type I, and Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEWS), among others.
The Role of OFA Eye Exams and Other Health Checks OFA Eye Exams:
We conduct regular OFA eye exams to ensure our Poodles do not carry heritable eye diseases, crucial for their well-being and that of their offspring. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Tests: We adhere to OFA-CHIC health testing requirements for Standard Poodles, including mandatory hip dysplasia and eye examinations, along with elective tests for other conditions. Why Health Testing is Essential Health testing is not just about breeding; it's a responsibility. Here's why it's crucial: Ensuring Healthy Lineages: By understanding and managing genetic health risks, we can ensure the longevity and well-being of our Poodles and their offspring.
Informed Breeding Decisions:
Genetic testing informs our breeding decisions, helping us avoid passing on detrimental conditions and ensuring the health of future generations.
Peace of Mind for Owners:
As a pet, therapy, or service dog owner, knowing that your Poodle has undergone thorough health testing provides peace of mind regarding its health and temperament.
The Importance of Titling Our Otzma Poodles
At Otzma Poodles, we believe in showcasing the full potential of our Standard Poodles. Titling our dogs in conformation, scent work, obedience, and therapy is not just about accolades; it's a testament to their versatility, intelligence, and temperament. Here's why these titles are vital in our breeding and training program:
Conformation Shows: Celebrating Breed Standards Purpose: Conformation shows assess a dog's physical attributes and adherence to breed standards. For us, these shows are an opportunity to ensure that our Otzma Poodles not only exude physical excellence but also maintain the health and structural integrity that the standard poodle breed is known for. Impact: Winning titles in conformation demonstrates our commitment to preserving and enhancing the breed quality. It's a recognition of our dogs' physical perfection and health, which is vital in therapy and service roles.
Harnessing Natural Instincts Purpose: Scent work titles reflect a dog's ability to use their natural scenting abilities. This training is crucial, as it taps into the innate skills of our poodles, enhancing their focus, problem-solving abilities, and working drive. Impact: Titling in scent work shows the practical applications of our dogs' skills, especially useful in therapy and service contexts where scent detection can be an asset.
Showcasing Training Excellence Purpose: Obedience training and the resulting titles are about more than just following commands; they're a measure of a dog's ability to learn, adapt, and interact harmoniously with humans. Impact: These titles demonstrate our dogs' behavioral excellence and responsiveness, crucial traits for any dog, especially those in therapeutic and service roles.
The Essence of Service Purpose: Therapy dog titles are not easily earned. They signify a dog's ability to provide comfort, support, and assistance, showcasing their gentle temperament, patience, and adaptability in various environments.
These titles are at the heart of what makes our Otzma Poodles special. They reflect the core mission of our breeding program – to produce dogs that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve. Our Comprehensive Approach to Titling Titling our dogs in these diverse areas is a comprehensive approach to demonstrate their versatility, intelligence, and suitability for a range of roles. It's a commitment to excellence that goes beyond the average breeding program. Each title our dogs earn is a step towards our goal of providing exceptional therapy dogs and cherished family pets, embodying the best qualities of the Standard Poodle breed.
How are Puppies Raised?
At Otzma Poodles, we don't just breed Standard Poodles; we nurture future therapy and service dogs. Our puppies are raised with cutting-edge, evidence-based practices focusing on early developmental stimulation. This ensures they grow into well-adjusted, intelligent, and responsive dogs, ideal for both therapy work and as loving family members. Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI)
What is ENS and ESI?
ENS (Days 3-16): Developed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, ENS involves gentle tactile, thermal, and positional exercises. It's proven to enhance neurological development, improving stress response and boosting immune function.
ESI (Days 3-16): Pioneered by Dr. Gayle Watkins, ESI exposes puppies to a variety of natural scents. This early scent training enhances their ability to process and respond to different smells, crucial for future therapy or service roles.
Daily Practices: ENS Exercises: Each puppy undergoes 5 exercises lasting 3-5 seconds each, including head positioning, supine exposure, and tactile stimulation with a cotton bud.
Puppies are introduced to 13 different natural scents daily, noting their responses to develop their scenting abilities effectively. Why These Methods? These exercises are more than just training; they're foundational experiences that shape their future abilities and temperaments. By introducing controlled stressors and a variety of scents early on, we're not just training puppies; we're developing future therapy and service dogs with exceptional capabilities.
Beyond ENS and ESI:
Comprehensive Development While ENS and ESI form the core of our early puppy development program, they're part of a larger picture. We also incorporate elements of Puppy Culture and Avidog methodologies, ensuring a holistic approach to puppy rearing. Temperament Testing and Conformation Evaluations: At 7-8 weeks, each puppy undergoes thorough evaluations to assess their suitability for various roles, be it in therapy, service, or as a beloved pet.
Social skills are crucial. Our puppies engage in play, human interaction, and exposure to various environments to develop confidence and adaptability. Our Commitment to Ethical Breeding and Raising Standards We're not just breeders; we're innovators in canine development. Our methods, rooted in scientific research and best practices, ensure that every Otzma Poodle puppy is a testament to our commitment to quality, health, and temperament. For those interested in understanding more about our breeding philosophy and practices, our puppy socialization courses offer in-depth insights and guidance.