Poodle Dog Breed Information

Grey standard poodle standing on the grass
Standard Poodle

If you can forget the stuck-up aristocratic image of Poodles that have been created by pop culture, you will find these dogs as intelligent, athletic, and extremely friendly. The bright attitude and people-pleasing nature of these dogs make them one of the best companions for us humans. These intelligent dogs can also play the role of a peacekeeper among the other pets.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Non-Sporting
  • Weight: Toy Poodle: 5 to 9 pounds, Miniature Poodle: 15 to 18 pounds, Standard Poodle: 45 to 70 pounds
  • Height: Toy Poodle: 24 – 28 cm, Miniature Poodle: 28 – 35 cm, Standard Poodle: 45 – 60cm
  • Coat: Curly and dense single coats. 
  • Coat Color: Solid colours, including black, white, grey, apricot, and brown. 
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years. 

The variation of sizes may be yet another reason for the vast popularity of this dog breed. Compared to others, the standard Poodles are more agile and athletic. They respond promptly to training. All in all, behind the impressive hair-do, regal demeanour, and blue ribbons, you can find a loving and affectionate family dog with many talents and a lengthy historical background.

Three Poodle silhouettes and correct sizes next to them
Poodle Size Chart

Personality

These people-pleasing dogs are friendly, and they love to mingle with people and other dogs. Poodles have a tremendous good sense of humour, and they are natural-born clowns. Always being the centre of attention to their owners makes these dogs proud and happy. 

They also have a surprising ability to complete tasks that require both brain work and agility. Outwitting their human companions is common. Sometimes it might become a little annoying to live with a dog that can outsmart you. 

Personality-wise, you can find many similarities among all three sizes. However, you can also spot a couple of behavioural differences among them.

It is not possible to spot these differences in every Poodle. But if you have enough experience in handling Poodles of all three sizes, you may notice the below characteristics.

Active

The standard Poodles are energetic and very active. These dogs love to stay engaged. However, personality-wise, they are more reserved than the toy or miniature Poodles.

Unlike the standard Poodles, the miniature ones love to follow people around. Among all three sizes, the miniature Poodles are the most active ones. 

Mischievous

Thanks to their unique size and energetic nature, Miniature Poodles are more suitable for children than Toy Poodles. Both the miniature poodles and the toy ones are more mischievous than the Standard Poodles. Toy Poodles are the best companion dogs. These intelligent dogs know how to do their job perfectly.

Intelligent

Even though Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds, sometimes their intelligence is regarded as stubborn. Even then, these dogs can be trained as outstanding therapy dogs. Their intellectual, joyous nature and empathetic behaviour make them a natural candidate as therapy dogs. 

A Poodle working as a therapy dog, blue chest bandana and a name card collar
Therapy Assistance Dog

Poodles are often used for or visiting people in schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. Working as a therapy dog’s also fixing the engagement requirements of the standard dogs. 

Even though Poodles are active dogs, the miniature and toy require less space and exercise. That is why Miniature and Toy Poodles are considered the best companions for less active people and want a lap dog. 

Trainable

Poodles are great learners, and they love to showcase their skills to their owners. That is what makes them such great show dogs. You can easily teach them to carry bottles to recycle bins, pick up newspapers and bring your slippers from the other room.

Loyal

These dogs love their owners and want to be involved in every one of their family activities. But whatever you do, you should never exclude your Poodle from family activities. Irrespective of their sizes, Poodles can’t stay alone for a long time. If you leave the dog alone for an extended period, they will channel their boredom into doing things that may not gain your approval.

Temperament

Poodles are intelligent, obedient, and playful dogs. Even though they are not an aggressive breed, they possess a watchdog tendency. Thanks to their traditionally stylish haircut and unique grooming routines, most people think that Poodles are very fragile.

The truth is, these dogs were bred for hunting ducks. That trait makes these dogs curious and alert to their surroundings, which makes them exceptional watchdogs. Poodles will bark to alert you about visitors or any other noises. 

As young dogs and puppies would love to play, run and bounce around non-stop. Their activity level, however, tends to settle down with maturity. You can expect your Poodle to calm down by that time they become two years old. Also, the standard Poodles have a more calm demeanour than the toy and miniature ones.

Physical Description

Coat

Poodles come with a beautiful coat. It means you need to take special care of this coat to keep your dog healthy. Like all other dogs, Poodles also shed their coats. However, instead of falling off them, the shredded hair gets tangled with the surrounding hair. If you do not take care of grooming, it can lead to matting pretty fast. The texture of the coat often ranges from wavy and soft to woolly and coarse. You should also pay attention to the ears of the Poodles. The hair growth in the ear of these dogs often locks in moisture and accumulates ear wax leading to severe infections. You should remove the ear hair religiously to make sure that does not happen. 

Colours

The Poodles come in a wide range of colouring. You can find these dogs in brown, black, grey, white, apricot, and cream colours. The coats of some dogs can show various shades of the same colour. This darker shade is generally noted in the ear featherings or the tips of the ruff. 

  • Apricot
  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Cream
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Sable
  • Silver
  • White

Even though the registries prefer clear and solid colours, natural variations of colour shades are not considered as faulty. You can find brown Poodles with liver-coloured eye rims, noses, and lips. In the apricot Poodles, liver-coloured eye rims, noses, and lips are permitted. Still, these traits are not desirable. Most registries consider the incomplete colour of the eye rims, nose, and lips as faults.

The Phantom Poodles come in colourings that match with the Doberman Pinscher. Partly coloured Poodles are considered the original colour of the Poodles. The partially coloured Poodles have more solid patches on a solid white coat. When the marking of the Poodles resembles a tuxedo, the dogs are called tuxedo Poodles. 

Living Requirements

Poodles need a lot of exercise and chances of free movement and space. So, if you are thinking about getting a Poodle for yourself, then you should make sure you have a lot of space in your home. If you do not have a backyard at your home, make sure to have plenty of time for playing and running outside in a park or nearby field. If you love to go camping, a Poodle can be your best companion. These dogs are naturally adventurous and love to swim. So, they make one of the best outdoor companions. 

You can leave your pet Poodle alone, but try not to spend too much time away from your home. These active companions thrive on your attention and the time they spend with the people they love. So, your prolonged absence can create separation anxiety in your dog. 

Child-friendly

Poodles make the perfect pets for many different families, but they are especially great if you have children. Poodles will be an active mate to your kids and won’t hurt them because they are so gentle.

A poodle and two children
Poodles get along with kids great.

Always keep your children supervised and teach them how to behave while interacting with a dog.

Dog-friendly

Poodles are natural-born charmers that love to play with any dog they meet. They’ll go up and greet other dogs without a care in the world, just wanting to chase after them or have some fun!

History

Even though Poodles were believed to be of French origin for a long time, they have their roots in Germany. The dog’s name is derived from the German word pudel, which means to splash in the water. 

The standard variety dogs are considered the oldest type of this breed. Their traditional role as the retrievers and water dogs has led to their fashionable haircut. The Poodle haircuts were invented to protect the joints of the dogs from the cold temperatures of water. Poodles were often used for retrieving the ducks and waterfowls from the water in hunting expeditions. 

Poodle jumping into a river
Poodles are great swimmers.

Even though miniature and toy variations of Poodles look fragile, they are also good hunters and swimmers. The toy and miniature breeds of Poodles were noted as the loved and pampered companions of the French aristocrats. Later on, these dogs also gained fame for their performing abilities. The Kennel Club of England Recognised Poodles in 1874. In 1886, the American Kennel Club also recognised these fluffy and energetic dog breeds.

Care

Poodles come with unique coats of hair that need regular maintenance. Their curly hair grows continuously. Periodic grooming and haircuts can help to retain the lustre of their fur. The coat of the Poodles comes in a single layer. But the shredded hair gets contained in the coat, which can lead to matting if not appropriately groomed. The coat under the Poodle’s eyes can develop tear stains as well.

Depending on the type of coat and shedding, the Poodle is considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. While Poodles do have allergens in their dander and saliva, they shed less. That is why these dogs are suitable for moderately and mildly allergic people. You have to spend a considerable amount of time around the Poodle to see if your allergies get triggered. 

Trimming the Poodle’s nails every couple of weeks and maintaining rigorous dental hygiene is a good idea. Check the ears of your Poodle now and then to keep your pet away from ear infections.

Trainability

You can train the Poodles efficiently. These dogs can pick up various tricks quickly and do not require much motivation or rewards beyond their regular treats. These dogs are natural learners, making the training sessions rewarding for both the owner and the dog. Compared to other dogs, house training is a breeze for the Poodles. 

Once you can achieve the basic obedience, you can train your Poodle to complete the trick training, advance obedience training, and agility courses. These dogs are famous for their intelligence. They can pick up the teachings of these training sessions easily and can excel in agility competitions naturally. These dogs love to learn fast and want to please their trainers as well.

Tricks

Poodles love learning! Poodles are eager to learn tricks and commands, so don’t be shy not to try them out. I guarantee you’ll get a pleasant surprise when they quickly pick up on the trick.

Poodles are eager to learn, even skateboarding.

Bark

Poodles crave attention and develop bad habits such as nuisance barking if they are ignored or left alone.

Instincts

The Standard Poodles are highly instinctual dogs. These dogs display an excessive tendency for marking their territory. That is why it is necessary to house train a Poodle right from the start of a puppy. The retriever instincts also make them respond to the animals they perceive as prey aggressively. That is why obedience training is necessary to keep these dogs calm when you take them outside.

Cute cream Poodle puppy looking at the camera with brown eyes
Poodle Puppy

Health

While these energetic dogs are mostly healthy, some diseases affect the Poodles. Not all dogs will contract any or all of the health issues. But as an owner, it helps you take better care of them, knowing the possible health risks they could get.

Addison’s Disease

It is one of the severe conditions that gets triggered by insufficient adrenal hormones. Most dogs suffering from this problem have a poor appetite, lethargy, and vomiting tendency. As all of these symptoms are not that specific, it is very natural to miss these signs and detect the problem when they reach the advanced stages. The condition can get even more severe if the potassium level interferes with the normal functions of the heart. In this case, your dog can go into extreme shock leading to its demise. 

Gastric Dilation-Volvulus

Generally known as bloating, it is a life-threatening health problem for deep-chested dogs, like the Poodles. You should avoid feeding a dog a large meal per day to prevent this problem. Other than this, you should avoid offering them large amounts of water as well. Make sure that you do not exercise your dog vigorously just after feeding them. Take your Poodle to the veterinary professionals if your dog has a distended abdomen. 

Epilepsy

It is a problem that is quite common among Poodles. It is often an inherited issue and can lead to severe to mild seizures. The seizures can cause several unnatural behaviours, such as frantic running, hiding, or staggering. While witnessing dog seizures can be a frightening experience, the long prognosis of this health condition is surprisingly good. You have to keep in mind that seizures can occur due to various factors other than epilepsy. So, the moment you notice that your dog is having an attack, you should try and get in touch with a veterinary professional right away.

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