Poodles are a special breed. They are total babes. Unfortunately because of how they get groomed and the typical hair style they have, many people shy away from this breed as a companion. Poodle owners however have a friend for life and wouldn’t take them for the world…
This dog is looked at as a more formal dog, when kept well they are very pretty and they stand tall. Poodles come in many different sizes, there is the Standard, the Miniature, the Toy and the Tea cup. Poodles are ranked second smartest dog next to but close behind the border collie. Living with poodle can feel a lot like living with another human.
Putting aside the prissy look, these dogs are great competitors. They are smart and fast with agility courses, great with obedience tracking and herding. This dog is not afraid to get dirty, in fact the really want to get into everything you do. Now some of what I mentioned is related to size of course. I would not suggest taking a 5lb toy poodle for a run or agility track, not to say they won’t try like heck to keep up with you. The smaller versions of this breed were bred more for companionship. The larger versions are your agility and adventurous types.
Lets dive more into the work and sports characteristics of a poodle. Some of you may or may not know, but poodles were sought out hinting dogs. More commonly used for duck hunting, their handlers found them very helpful because poodles are easy to train, very obedient, and agile. There are designed for this type of activity really, their coats off some water resistance, they have webbed feet that make them great swimmers, and the way their hair grown acts like an insulator protecting their origins when they had to go into colder water. The handler for this dog needs be very specific with what they want the dog to do, unlike retrievers and spaniel (other dogs used for the hunting sport) poodles will try solve problems independently if they are not given exact instruction. An important thing to note, if you are training a poodle to assist in hunting activity much patience and a gently hand is necessary. Poodles with all their intelligence are also emotional, they will not and do not respond well to a heavy hand. A trainer who is aggressive with a poodle will end up raising a timid and insecure dog, they will not trust you nor will they feel the confidence to go rushing into the brush or water after a prey. A patient trainer that gives lots of positive reinforcement will find that their poodle will grasp onto concept with ease and will succeed in the tasks it is assigned too.
Competitive Edge, poodles clean up in competition, willing titles like best in show. They clean up well and stand tall, they also have a presence when galloping in an arena. Poodles have received many master hunt titles, at times out ranking your more ‘commonly known’ hunting breeds. Just an over all awesome dog..
Grooming and Coat, poodles come in all sorts of color combination. You can get white, black, gray, tan, mix of colors known as a party poodle. Unlike most other dogs, poodles don’t have a double coat, they just have the one. They can also be considered as a non allergenic breed. The grooming of this dog can be a part time job on its own. A show clip requires approximately 10 hours a week of grooming to keep it from matting. A pet clip for a family dog is much less elaborate and less maintenance. Brushing regularly is still recommended, as when they dog sheds, the fallen hair usually get caught in the curls and will tangle over time. On average a poodle should be taken for a good groom approximately every 6 to 8 weeks.
Temperament, poodles are known for being highly intelligent and active breeds, they need physical and intellectual exercise. They are very sociable and love to meet other dogs and people. There are some concerns with snappy and unsure behavior in the breed, some of this will have to do with proper socializing and proper positive reinforcement training as puppies. The standard size is the one most recommended for families with children as they like games and interaction. As with most dogs, introduction is important and young children should be supervised wile playing. In a busy household with a large family, it is important that there is enough space that the poodle can retreat for some quiet time if they need. The smaller toy breeds are recommended for family with no, or older children, they don’t do well with antics of smaller children and because of the size difference may feel afraid, in some cases they may even get snappy out of fear. As mentioned earlier, bringing a poodle home is like having another person in the house, they don’t like to be left out of the family fun, they also don’t like to be left home alone a lot. These types of things can leave to depression in a poodle. They are full of love, and want to give lots of love back.
The Health Concerns, there really arn’t any major health concerns that stand out specific to this breed. They are affected by some cancers, and hip problems if they are a sporting and hunting dog. GDV which is a twisting of the stomach is a reported problem, to avoid this, you should not let your dog eat right before or right after active activity. The direct cause is access gas causing the twist, if your dog shows symptoms of GVD, which is restlessness, inability to get comfortable, dry heaving and swelling in the stomach, immediate vert attention is needed. The most common issue in all size variations however is chronic ear infections. This is because as they don’t shed, hair grows in the ear cannel and will trap moisture and water inside creating the perfect pace for infection and bacteria to form. Back to the regular grooming, this is an important part of that, and by keeping the ears clean you will reduce the chances of this issue effecting your pup. In the smaller poodle, the toy and the tea cup, teeth rott is a major concern, regular dental care is necessary to maintain their health.
Overall a poodle is a great companion, they are a breed to consider when you are thinking of adding an addition to your home. Poodles are also commonly mixed with other breeds, the most popular being the Goldenpoo. You will see mixes with other breeds such as Cocker Spaniel, Maltese, Lab, Schnauzer, Pekingese, Bernese Moutain Dog, and Yorkies. Poodles are everywhere!!! 🙂