Poodles are pictured as pampered pets but are more than what they’re known for. They are brilliant and active dogs that love to perform tasks. While you can find owners who want the stereotypical fancy hairstyle to show dogs, others love having an affectionate Poodle to snuggle at night.
A well-educated and socialized Poodle will become one of the best family dogs with its intelligence and humor!
If you’re wondering if Poodles are the best dog breed for you, check out this informative guide to the Poodle’s personality!
Poodle Personality Traits
The personality of poodles differs from one dog to another, just like us humans. Not all poodles will share similar personality breed traits, but they share many characteristics reflecting how they’re bred and raised. Here are what makes the Poodle a popular breed and makes excellent family pets!
They are an intelligent breed for training
Poodles have high intelligence levels, known as the second smartest among 138 dog breeds. They were initially bred to work like humans, whether as a water retriever, herder, guardian, and most even working as service dogs. If you’re looking for a working dog and companion, the Poodle is the perfect dog for you.
Because of this, it’s easy to train poodles while they are puppies. Housetraining will be quick compared to training other breeds. They’ll also pick up many different tricks as quickly, thanks to their intelligence and love for attention.
Furthermore, they pick up patterns and routines with such impressive ease and speed. As they appreciate learning opportunities, you can teach them how to pick up the newspaper and even bring your slippers in.
You can reward this intelligent dog breed with treats, playtime, and lots of praise with cuddles.
While poodles are such a pleasure to work with, you have to watch out! They learn bad habits and behaviors as quickly as they do with fun tricks and basic commands. Their hunting instinct would have them more likely to respond to prey, like squirrels and birds, and you don’t want to run after your Poodle chasing after things.
You’ll have to be wary when reinforcing behaviors and use a firm voice rather than showing anger. Do not use severe punishments on Poodles, as they can develop empathetic and neurotic behavior when pushed too hard. Also, start training them while they are puppies to avoid behavioral issues in the long run.
They are eager to please the family
One reason why Poodles are so trainable is that they have an overwhelming desire to please their family. They will likely repeat behaviors that garner positive responses, especially when showing off to their family. The Poodle’s eagerness to please has them more likely to behave well in most settings and learn quickly, as long as you train them well.
Expect a mild to moderate barking level
Poodles are alert breeds, thanks to their intelligence and hunting instincts. Combine those characteristics with their love for family, and you get a loyal Poodle who responds quickly to any suspicious strangers within their territory.
The Poodle is incredibly territorial and suspicious of any strange human or animal, knowing who doesn’t belong in their territory. Their increased sense of understanding allows them to feel in tune with their environment.
While not an overly aggressive breed, the Poodle is vigilant towards new people, situations, and surroundings, letting loved ones know if they sense anything new or unfamiliar. Think of them having the ‘all bark, no bite’ nature! When introducing your pet to new people, ease into it and be mindful when having friends and other relatives over.
A female Poodle tends to be more protective than the male as they have maternal instincts demonstrated towards her family. Because of that, they will bark to alert owners when they feel something’s wrong, making them excellent watchdogs.
If Poodles aren’t appropriately trained, they begin barking excessively. You will need to prepare Poodles well and stop them from barking with consistent and firm reinforcement.
Reward your Poodle for alerting you at the right time, and do a firm ‘NO’ if he barks randomly. This will help make sure your dog knows when it’s okay to bark.
They are sensitive
Your Poodle can pick up on your behavior and feelings with their emotional sensitivity. For example, if you’re in a bad mood, your dog senses this and will feel the same way, curling up next to you. Or if you’re feeling happy, he’ll feel the same and want to spend his time playing!
While it’s adorable to watch them mimic how you feel, it can cause stress towards both of you. That’s why you need to set up a healthy home environment they can thrive in.
Poodles also get hypersensitive, being startled by touch and sound quickly. Watch out for symptoms of anxiety and make sure to be careful not to surprise them so quickly.
They are loving
Poodles bond with their owners quickly, with their bond strong and lasting a lifetime. They grow into loving pets that will pour all their affection to their owners and other pets they grew up with.
Poodles don’t only aim to please but love to be loved. They are an ideal pet if you want a loyal and constant companion always by your side.
Their adoration for their owners may come at a cost, though. Poodles will suffer from separation anxiety when left for long periods, which must be fixed with training.
There may be a few temperamental issues
Unfortunately, Poodles have lousy rap of being a high-strung breed. However, that’s not the case! As long as you expose them to proper socialization with animals and humans, expect them to have fun with whoever they’re with.
The only temperamental issue you might encounter would be their shyness due to a lack of social skills and exposure to others. Their shyness results in your Poodle obsessively bonding with their owner, to the point they suffer from severe separation anxiety. Sometimes, overpampered dogs or those who were ignored during the critical socialization period.
Energy level, exercise, and mental stimulation needs
Poodles are always cheerful and happy, enjoying a ton of playtimes and being part of family activities.
When playing with your Poodle, you’ll want to incorporate games that work both their mind and body. If left bored and unstimulated, they become frustrated and take it out on the furniture.
You can prevent boredom and frustration with Poodles by creating a stimulating environment to satisfy your dog, whether alone or with others. Give your Poodle many interactive toys, make time out of your day to exercise with him, and play agility games. Poodles also do best when with other dogs to play with, though if you have no other pets, play dates are a great option. Also, since they were bred for cold water retrieval, they will LOVE swimming. Besides long walks, playing fetch, and mental stimulation games, take them to the pool to cool off.
Outside playtime, Poodles are gentle souls and are very relaxed. They don’t require hours of exercise, but with daily playtime, along with physical and mental activity, they’ll spend most of their days snuggling beside you.
Their activity levels change as they mature, though. They’ll start to calm down once they reach 18 months to 2 years old.
They are great with children and other animals
Poodles are extroverts, thriving in large, active households. Because Poodles love being the center of attention, they will want an audience watching them perform tricks. However, you need to balance out their environment, as they thrive better inactive yet peaceful environments, with chaotic places causing stress and anxiety.
Plus, they love to play with children and other animals, being sociable dogs for people. As long as you properly socialize them as a puppy, they’ll love to play with those they trust. With that in mind, Poodles actually prefer their human family over dog company!
Miniature poodles are the best for families with young children because of their smaller size and playfulness. They don’t pose a risk for children, and children can easily handle their new pet without being too small, like a Toy Poodle. But make sure you teach your little ones to avoid being too active or noisy, as this can overwhelm the hypersensitive Poodle.
They are easily adaptable
The Poodle is highly adaptable. As long as they get enough love, attention, and exercise, all Poodle types can live in tiny apartments or huge homes, feeling happy either way.
You can keep them at home and spend days cuddling and playing together. Or, you can spend time traveling outdoors together and enjoy all the walks together. Their ability to adapt makes them easy to train as well!
That said, it’s best to have Toy Poodles if you live in smaller apartments because of their small size. Standard Poodles do better with more space, preferably a house with a yard. They are large dogs that require a lot of room to move around.
Standard Poodles can still live in apartments and condominiums, though they need daily outdoor exercise.
What Kind of Poodle Should You Get?
There are three kinds of Poodles based on their size:
- Standard Poodle
- Miniature Poodle
- Toy Poodle
Their temperaments differ slightly, and while the differences aren’t apparent in all Poodles, each type has specific characteristics. For instance, the Standard Poodle is very energetic but more reserved than the Miniature and Toy Poodle. The Miniature Poodle would follow their owners around and are the most active, making them an excellent choice for children. Miniatures and Toys are a bit naughtier than Standard Poodles, who are calmer and more relaxed!
Toy Poodles are the smallest and are excellent companions, and don’t require much exercise, provided they have toys and playtime. If you’re a family of adults, a couple, or living on your own, you’ll appreciate the adoration a Toy Poodle offers.
Your dog’s overall personality and temperament ultimately depend on the type of owner you are, his home environment, and the activities he gets. As long as you care for him well and meet all his needs, he will be happy and in excellent health.
It’s crucial to learn about the basic personality of Poodles before choosing to adopt or shop for one. That way, you know if the Poodle is perfect for you and what to prepare for.
More to Know About Poodles
If you plan on getting a Poodle yourself, here are more things to learn about this fun, loving breed to take care of it well.
Poodle Health and Life Expectancy
Poodles are generally healthy but prone to specific health conditions. Fortunately, not all poodles develop such diseases, but it’s best to stay aware to catch health issues before they worsen.
Poodles are susceptible to the following diseases and must have health clearance against the following:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Non-Willebrand’s disease
- Addison’s disease
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or bloat
- Cushing’s disease
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Legg-Perthes disease: hip joint issue common in Toy Poodles
- Patellar Luxation: kneecap dislocation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Gradual deterioration of the retina
- Sebaceous Adenitis: skin condition common in Standard Poodles
Poodles can live for 12-15 years and stay generally healthy with proper care and routine vet appointments.
Poodle Coat Grooming Needs
One of the vital things you should prioritize is your dog’s grooming. The Poodle’s pride is its coat, as it only has a single layer without an undercoat most dog breeds have. Their dense and curly coat won’t shed as much, which is why they are considered hypoallergenic, causing fewer to no allergic reactions in owners.
Poodle coats have different textures that range from soft and wavy down to coarse and wooly. They may have issues with hair growing in the ears, which is why regular ear hair trimming and cleaning are done to prevent earwax and moisture buildup.
Poodles do shed every 3 weeks, but their hair doesn’t fall open. Instead, tangles remain in the coat, which requires regular brushing to prevent mats. They need regular and consistent brushing, along with regular trims to avoid traps and matting.
You can choose from different trims, depending on how you want to style your dog. You can opt for the classic Poodle hairstyle, the regular short clip, or choose among other hairstyles as long as it keeps your dog comfy.
Again, and we’ve said it before, Poodles possess an innate desire to please their owners and will likely repeat any behavior that garners a positive response. When a Poodle isn’t adequately trained, it may take to excessively barking also become a royal pain. To prevent this from happening, use consistent, firm, positive training techniques and reinforcement to make sure the Poodle knows when it’s okay to bark. Never, ever use severe punishment on a Poodle because their empathetic and neurotic behavior could develop if you push the dog too hard. A Poodles protective qualities include helping to sustain a strong level of security for its family. The female tends to be a little more protective than the male because her maternal instincts are demonstrated towards her human family.