Poodle: The Ultimate Guide


When you think of a Poodle your mind may instantly go to the elegant, luxurious dog with the iconic puffball trim that the Poodle is famed for.

However don’t be fooled, these dogs are just like any other pooch and have been bred to do real jobs!

Originally bred to retrieve ducks and other game, the Poodle is a highly intelligent breed that loves having a job to do and as such make great assistance and therapy dogs!

Poodle The Ultimate Guide

With this high intelligence, loving nature and as being a hypoallergenic dog breed, they are a favorite to be crossed with other breeds to create many of the doodle cross breeds we know and love.

So if you think this sounds like the dog for you, read on below to find out everything you need to know about Poodles.

Key facts

Are you thinking of getting a Poodle and want to know more about this breed? Or perhaps you are a devoted Poodle lover and are just wanting to read up about your favourite four legged friend see below for the most asked questions about this stylish breed.

Average lifespan

On average between 10 – 18 years depending on the size of your poodle. The Standard Poodle has an average of 12 to 15 year lifespan whereas the Miniature and Toy range from anywhere between 10 to 18 years.

Minimum exercise (per day)

All of the Poodle varieties are active and Poodles need at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise a day to keep them healthy and prevent any boredom! They should get a good walk each day and some other activities such as play or mental stimulation in the form of dog puzzles.

Mental stimulation is another really great way to tire your pooch out, even as much as physical activity would.

Coat length

The Poodles coat is curly, wiry, dense and it comes in a variety of colors such as apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, silber and white! The Poodle’s coat grows in a much similar way to humans, therefore the length of your Poodle’s coat really just depends on how you would like it.

Some owners simply shave their poodles down short whereas others prefer a more stylized trim, its personal preference!

Minimum cost (per month)

The monthly costs of any dog can be difficult to calculate and this is no different for Poodles. Each Poodle is different, and the breed itself has needs and potential health concerns that could increase the costs.

On average, monthly poodle costs are between $100 to $400 but can be much higher if your poodle needs anything in addition to basic supplies. This cost is made up of things such as dog food, flea and worming treatment, accessories, trips to the groomers and potentially even doggy daycare or a walker.

Appearance

The Poodle is one of those immediately recognizable breeds. A curly coat, long pointed nose and small dark eyes you could spot a Poodle easily from across even the most crowded dog park.

Famous for their ornate grooming style, if you were unfamiliar with the poodle you may not know that this style of groom is nowadays reserved purely for the show circles and family poodles tend to sport a more subtle clip, in a short and fuss free style.

Waterfowl hunters by nature however the elaborate coat design did once serve a purpose. The trimmed areas lightened the weight of the dogs coat whilst the hair was left longer around the joints and vital organs to protect them from the cold water.

Size

There are three different sizes of Poodle and all are considered part of the same breed. The three different sizes starting from largest to smallest are:

  • Standard Poodle
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Toy Poodle

However no matter the size, they all share the same characteristics and are widely renowned for their intelligence and playful personality!

Average height

  • The Standard Poodle, which is the tallest of the three, comes in at 18 to 24 inches.
  • The Miniature Poodle is around 10 to 15 inches.
  • And the Toy Poodle is by far the smallest at less than 10 inches tall.

Average weight

As the largest of the Poodle varieties the Standard weighs on average 50 to 70 pounds and is therefore classed as a large breed unlike it’s smaller counterparts.
The Miniature Poodle comes in at 10 to 15 pounds.
And the Toy Poodle weighs between 4 to 6 pounds.

Temperament

Loving, loyal, mischievous and intelligent are often words used to commonly describe this breed. Despite their regal appearance the poodle has a foofy streak and loves to get involved in games of any kind. Being highly intelligent and eager to please, the Poodle is a dog that you should have no trouble training.

Apartment living

All sizes of Poodles should do well in an apartment. They enjoy being close and as long as you take them out for regular walks and trips to the potty then there’s no reason why your poodle can’t have an enjoyable and comfortable life in your apartment block.

Good for novice owners

There is no reason why a novice owner shouldn’t consider a Poodle as their first dog! Friendly, loveable and highly intelligent, owning a poodle can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Poodle

As long as you are willing to dedicate time to obedience training and keeping your Poodle mentally stimulated then you should have no trouble bringing one of these wonderful dogs into your family.

Sensitivity level

Poodles are known to be quite sensitive dogs and don’t appreciate raised tones in the household. As they are a smart breed they are able to pick up on the tones of our voices and too much shouting could make your Poodle become anxious which can result in some unwanted behaviours.

Tolerates being alone

Bonding strongly to their owners Poodles are not a breed that enjoys being left on their own. In general dogs are pack animals and don’t like being left for more than a few hours at a time.

Combine that with the Poodle’s mischievous nature, high intelligence and potential anxious disposition and you could find yourself coming home to some accidents in the home, or some couch cushions that have been destroyed.

If you do need to leave your Poodle for an extended period of time you should consider getting a sitter or taking your pooch to doggy day care!

Tolerates cold weather

Only having a single layer coat does not help your Poodle to tolerate cold weather very well. The Standard Poodle will fare slightly better in cold weather purely due to its size but you should consider getting your Poodle a coat or warm sweater when the colder months come.

Tolerates hot weather

Poodles do slightly better in the heat than they do in the cold but they still aren’t well suited to being outdoors in these conditions.

You should minimize the amount of time your Poodle spends outside in the heat and make sure that there is plenty of shade and cool water for them to relax in. Always make sure to monitor your dog for any signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion.

Affectionate with family

Poodles are loving and affectionate dogs who enjoy spending time with their families. Most of them enjoy cuddling and giving kisses and in some cases they will even pester you for them!

Just remember to be careful when approaching any dog, especially if they are sleeping as you do not want to frighten them or make them uncomfortable. You should allow them to come to you for affection.

Kid-friendly

Poodles love children and will enjoy having playtime with them. With a lot of energy to burn they can tire out even the most energetic of children!

You should never leave a child unsupervised with any dog. Children can often be clumsy or unsure of their footing and could easily trip and fall onto the Miniature or Toy Poodle. And not to mention the Standard Poodle could easily bump into your toddler and knock them over as well.

Dog friendly

Poodles of all sizes get on great with other dogs especially if they are socialized from a young age. If your Poodle is showing any signs of aggression towards other dogs this is something you should address with a professional dog trainer.

Friendly towards strangers

As a friendly and people originated dog the Poodle should have no trouble when it comes to meeting strangers. As with everything however, careful consideration should be taken when socializing them to make sure they don’t become overwhelmed or frightened.

Health and grooming

Shedding

Poodles are a hypoallergenic dog which means that they do not shed so even people with allergies can own one and they won’t have a reaction! This hypoallergenic nature is what makes Poodles so popular in the cross breeding with other dogs as this is a very desirable quality for dog owners.

Drooling

As Poodles are hypoallergenic this means that they also do not drool so this is one less thing Poodle owners will have to worry about.

Grooming

Grooming a Poodle isn’t for the fainthearted. Poodles are high-maintenance dogs that require regular grooming, every three to six weeks to keep the coat in good condition. If you are considering a Poodle, you will need to consider the upkeep of the coat and expense of grooming.

Most owners pay a professional groomer to handle that side of dog ownership but if you’re dedicated and have the time, you can learn to groom your Poodle yourself.

And even if you do decide to let a professional handle the complicated grooming, your Poodle still needs daily brushing. Because Poodles don’t shed like other breeds, loose hair collects in the coats, and unless it’s brushed out daily, the hair will mat very quickly.

Many Poodles also have weepy eyes that stain the hair under their eyes. The lighter your dog’s coat, the more noticeable the tear stains will be. To cut down on staining, wipe around the eyes and face every day with an alcohol-free pet wipe or wash cloth dampened with warm water.

General health

Like all dogs Poodles are prone to some health conditions that it is important any potential owners should acquaint themselves with before taking their Poodle puppy home and this is not to say that your Poodle will ever experience any of these conditions but it’s a good idea to be aware of them.

Common health problems:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Sebacsue Sdentitis (SA)
  • Von WIllebrand’s Disease

Potential for weight gain

Like any breed, the Poodle will quickly pack on weight if he’s overfed. Being overweight is not good for your dog and can cause joint problems and other health issues.

It is a good idea to limit the treats you feed them, keep them active, and feed in meals rather than leaving food available at all times.

Although many owners of Miniature or Toy Poodles in particular give their dogs table scraps it is best if you can resist those pleading eyes otherwise you could end up creating a finicky eater that will likely turn their nose up at healthier dog food alternatives.

Trainability

Easy to train

You should not have any trouble training your Poodle.

They are very quick and clever and enjoy however this intelligence can quickly turn against you if you are not careful, for example, a Miniature Poodle who is babied and carried everywhere, will catch on very easily before you know it, they will expect to be carried everywhere!

Poodle Ultimate Guide

Intelligence

The Poodle is a highly intelligent breed, in fact they are one of the smartest breeds in the world! This means that your pooch will require a lot of mental stimulation throughout the day to make sure they don’t resort to any unwanted behaviours in the home such as destroying furniture.

A great way to do this is to give your Poodle a job such as training them to help around the house the way service dogs do, or by entering them for obedience or an agility class!

Potential to bite

As much as some breeds have aggressive or dangerous reputations, the truth is that any dog can be aggressive. This can be down to either the dog’s individual personality or as a result of a lack of training when they were a puppy.

Poodles as a breed are not typically aggressive dogs but they can be known to be biters. This can be down to their intelligence as if not correctly disciplined they will assume they are the alpha and can nip to assert their dominance over what they perceive to be their pack.

Poodles may develop anxiety which in turn can make them act out in an aggressive manner. The best way to keep your Poodle from becoming anxious is to make sure it is well socialized and has lots of new experiences as a puppy.

Tendency to bark or howl

The Standard Poodle is not a particularly vocal dog however it’s smaller counterparts certainly can be. Luckily as Poodles are very easy to train it shouldn’t be difficult to train this behavior out of them if it is unwanted!

History

Believed to have originated in Germany, it wasn’t until the Poodle came to France that it really developed into its own distinct breed.

The poodle is a very old dog breed with depictions of them dating to Egyptian and Roman times BC! The depictions show poodle-like dogs retrieving game and herding animals which is what the Standard poodle was in fact bred for.

The French used the Standard Poodle for duck hunting whilst the Miniature Poodle was used to hunt out truffles in wooded areas. The Toy Poodle however had quite a different job to do and served as a companion to the French nobility.

Many well-to-do owners carried their Toy Poodles in the large sleeve of their shirt, which led to Toy Poodles being known as ‘sleeve dogs’.

Not only that however, Poodles were loved by travelling performers and excelled as circus dogs!

They were trained to perform tricks and were dressed in costumes, having their fur styled into fantastical shapes, which wealthy patrons adored and began to replicate on their own poodles at home – creating the iconic Poodle style that we all know today.

The first Poodle was registered in the U.S in 1886 but remained a fairly rare breed until after World War Two. By the mid 1950s the Poodle had become one of the most popular breeds in the country and has remained so ever since!

Costs

A Poodle puppy can cost you anywhere between the region of $1000 to $4000 depending on breeding and size, with Miniature or Toy Poodles being more expensive than their larger Standard counterparts.

Despite being a pure-bred breed, make sure to check your local adoption shelters or any free pages to see if there are any Poodles available for rehoming.

Fun facts

  • Nintendo modeled a character after the Standard Poodle! A dog named Pappy Van Poodle who appears in the game Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball.
  • Miniature poodles have appeared in many movies including Jaws, Bingo!, and The Pink Panther.
  • Lucille Ball, Ertha Kitt, James Brown, and Elizabeth Taylor have all had an affinity for toy poodles.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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