People originally bred poodles as gundogs or water retrievers, with functioning hair clips or fashions. Their long hair kept their joints and vital organs warm when swimming in cold water, catching waterfowl, and their shaved regions prevented debris from depositing in their hair while searching.
Nowadays, Poodles are among the few popular breeds you could groom in various ways, depending on whether they are show dogs or pets. Poodle show clips today are nearly a work of art, requiring endless hours of cleaning and grooming weekly. Clips and fashions for pet poodles that don’t show dogs need much less maintenance since the styles are not as complicated, complicated, or comprehensive – Eye care for your mini Poodle is critical.
If you are getting a poodle for your family, whether toy poodles or a standard poodle, you must know what to expect! Prepare yourself as you learn all about caring for your new Poodle with these tips.
What to Know Before Owning a Poodle
Many consider poodles to be the smartest breed, making them a wonderful family pet. Here are the quick facts to know about them:
Types of Poodles
Poodles are medium-sized dog breeds of varying sizes, depending on the poodles.
There are three main poodle types, which are:
These breeds stand at 18-20 inches tall, with males weighing 60-70 pounds and females weighing 40-50 pounds.
Compared to toy and miniature poodles, standard poodles are more reserved and are not as friendly or outgoing. However, they are the most energetic and require the most exercise!
These breeds are less than 15 inches tall and are one of the most friendly breeds as they grow attached to their owners. If you want a loving and affectionate poodle that follows you everywhere, miniature poodles are your best bet. These are also the most active dogs that love to run around.
Miniature poodles are an excellent option for children because of their size: not too big or small, and the high energy levels that can catch up with hyper children.
These breeds grow only 10 inches tall, making them the smallest and cutest. However, they aren’t the best for children since they may not handle the smaller, more fragile toy poodle. The toy poodle will always stay by your side and make the best companions among all the different poodles.
All poodle types will have muscular and well-proportioned bodies, even athletic if you opt to give them a continental clip hairdo! Many pet owners choose the sporting clip for poodles, as it shows off their toned, square shape.
Coat Grooming Needs
Poodles are also famous for their curly coat and minimal shedding level. But that doesn’t mean they don’t require grooming.
When they are puppies, they only require minimal baths and brushing sessions. When they grow, their coats will need different coat maintenance, based on how you choose to groom them.
If you’d like to keep a shorter coat length, you won’t have to groom and maintain them as much. But one thing all pet owners should learn to do is to brush their Poodle’s hair regularly to prevent knots and mats.
You can bring your dog to a professional groomer or bathe and brush them on your own every 4-6 weeks. Try brushing your Poodle’s adult coat daily, or at least every few days.
As mentioned, poodles have different hairdos you can style them with. Every haircut is perfectly planned, from where the puffy areas are and how big those puffs become.
The usual poodle haircut is a poodle’s fashion statement, though the style wasn’t the priority back then! People designed the hairstyle to help with the Poodle’s speed and agility in the water, protecting them from the cold. Puffs around the Poodle’s body weren’t for aesthetics but strategically placed on joints to protect them (and their vital organs) from the cold waters.
If your Poodle joins competitions, he must have any of these hairdos:
- English Saddle
- Continental Clip
- Modified Continental Clip
Puppies would have a unique haircut known as the official Puppy Clip, requiring an even length of coat throughout your pup’s body.
You can find other types of poodle hairstyles, such as:
- Lion cut
- Dutch cut
- Modern cut
- Summer cut
- Cupcake cut
- Teddy bear cut
- Continental cut
- German Trim
- And many more!
Thanks to conscientious breeders and health testing, the Poodle is a healthy breed to ensure common medical conditions.
However, they are prone to specific health issues, with toy and miniature poodles being at risk of orthopedic problems. Standard poodles may have health risks for bloat.
There are other genetic health issues poodles may come across, such as:
- Addison’s disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Thyroid issues
The poodle’s lifespan is between 10-18 years on average.
Training a Poodle
When it comes to bringing a poodle into your home, it’s essential to know what lifestyle will best fit the needs of a Poodle. The Poodle is the second most intelligent breed globally; thus, it requires proper mental stimulation to be happy. Not talking about fetch or tug of war; it’s about engagement with your Poodle with training to complete challenging tasks.
When living with other working dogs like Labradors, your Poodle can pick up the other dog’s behavior and actions, learning quickly. They have excellent smelling skills and learn tricks quickly. That’s why you can find poodles working as service dogs, hunters, or even as circus performers.
Poodles are very trainable, picking up skills efficiently. They adore positive reinforcement and will excel in agility, obedience, and tracking. Puppies will benefit significantly from socialization classes early on to enforce excellent puppy behavior.
After all, they are known for their superior intelligence and pick up things quickly. That’s why it won’t require much effort for obedience training. Proper training of different commands will take mere weeks, as long as you follow the correct techniques and start doing so while they’re still puppies.
Poodles are aware of the tone of their owner’s voices, so if you need to reprimand him, you should be firm but not harsh. It does not take much to train your Poodle to avoid inappropriate behavior and reinforce good behavior.
You can enroll them in classes to have aid in training or opt for training videos online to do it yourself.
Besides agility classes and obedience training, make sure you conduct brain exercises for mental stimulation and hone their superior intelligence.
Visitors might not even get to the doorbell before your Poodle knows someone is present. They are alert all the time and will react quickly, being aware of their surroundings. That’s their instinctual intelligence kicking in!
They aren’t only protective, but they are loyal, too. Poodles love their owners and will be your loving companion for life. Once they get to know their owner, they become attached and stay by your side almost 24/7! Unfortunately, this means poodles are more prone to separation anxiety, so Poodles require early training to avoid feeling anxious when alone.
With loyalty and alertness also comes protectiveness towards a poodle’s human. Expect their barking level to heighten when triggered by strangers and visitors. But fortunately, they won’t bark randomly and without reason.
But they have a playful streak.
Standard Poodles love to play, with their poodle temperament is suitable for families with kids. Standard poodles are fun to tumble with and can be goofy.
The poodles are well-versed in interacting with people. They don’t freak out around strangers, even though they’re shy. Poodles will stay calm and handle it well, despite being uncomfortable.
Standard poodles are a soft and sensitive breed. They will flinch and show aggressive behavior if you startle them with a loud sound or touch them without warning. They are also shy when meeting strangers.
The higher the sensitivity of a Poodle’s personality, the less likely they will be good around small children.
Poodles are playful and have a moderate energy level. They are active poodles that people bred to work, though they also appreciate lazy days. Toy poodles, standard poodles, and miniature poodles love staying indoors with their family, staying at home.
However, they are extremely hyper, especially when they are young. Miniature and standard poodles are better with children than toy poodles since they have a more energetic attitude. Expect that restless attitude to last until they turn one-year-old, but don’t worry, this phase passes.
Make sure you give them daily exercise for their health and enjoyment, too! Take them out for daily walks, so they get sufficient exercise, or spend 10-15 minutes playing fetch and retrieval at home.
Beyond walks and mental stimulation, you’ll want to take this breed out to the pool! Remember, they are water dogs, so incorporate swimming as part of their regular exercise, so they get to let out their affinity for swimming.
That’s why poodles are fantastic family dogs because you get the fun, active dog for playtime, but a cuddly one as well that spends their days in peace.
You can spend hours cuddling with your poodle, but responsible poodle owners know they need to give their pet physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and frustration. Remember, people bred this intelligent dog breed to work, so they need stimuli to prevent destructive behavior.
You can do this through sufficient exercise and training. If you are too busy, give Poodles lots of toys to play with throughout the day to appease their activity level. Play indoors with toys and pet games, making poodles feel happy while growing their affection with family.
Poodles shed little
You’ve probably heard that Poodles have hair rather than fur and are low shedders, which helps reduce allergens a dog’s coat may produce. Some people have claimed that poodles don’t shed at all and are hypoallergenic.
However, that is not the case.
No dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, even if they produce less hair. Regular coat grooming goes a long way to help prevent issues before they happen.
With that in mind, poodles do not shed as much as other breeds, experiencing minimal hair loss. Because of this, less pet hair and dander go around the house, making it less likely for people with different allergies to suffer.
Standard Poodles can be a great fit for people with allergies. With a Poodle, your home will have fewer hair and dander issues. While not completely hypoallergenic, Poodles are the closest to it.
You must set up your Poodle’s environment right before you bring him home. There are many issues to consider when setting up a safe and loving home for your dog. Fight the urge to purchase every toy you see. High-quality toys which are weight and age-appropriate for your pet are a good choice. Buying a premium quality bed provides a lot of value for your pet. A soft bed helps reduce anxiety. Put the bed in an area away from the noise and near the pack leader (usually a parent). When choosing a leash and collar, pay attention to the size and weight of your puppy.
Who are Poodles Best for?
Poodles are fantastic family dogs and are suitable for most households with their coat type and intelligence. But, there are some caveats.
Keep up with a Poodle’s grooming maintenance when you have a poodle, which can get expensive over time, especially when going to a professional groomer.
They are prone to separation anxiety and need room to play around daily to spend their energy level.
If you are always out and don’t have a family member who can exercise and train for the Poodle daily, this may not be the best dog breed for you.
But if you will set a time for grooming, training, and playtime, then you’ll love having a poodle around. You get opportunities to exercise, have fun with your pet’s mischievousness, and won’t have to worry about teaching them basic commands. They are obedient and will love companions willing to protect you at all costs.
Are You Adopting a Poodle?
You can invest in a poodle from reputable breeders. Just make sure that they are certified by the American Kennel Club and are known as responsible breeders. You wouldn’t want to purchase from puppy mills, with dogs and puppies raised in poor conditions.
Another option is to adopt a poodle. Yes, it’s possible to adopt!
According to the American Kennel Club, many rescue dogs come from owner surrenders, usually due to changes in lifestyle or the ‘wrong’ breed. So expect to find a few purebred or mixed poodle breeds up for adoption in your local community.
When you opt for adoption, it’s possible to choose older poodles, and they may show distrust or aggression due to being surrendered by their owners. However, they are most likely micro-chipped and spayed/neutered, with some training done. There are pros and cons to adoption, but personally, adoption is the way to go so you can give a wonderful dog a chance at a more loving home for life.