What You Can Expect Being a Poodle Owner
Bringing a new pet home is a great, fun thing. But do you know what to expect? Have you studied up on the breed you are bringing home? Does it matter if you have a Toy Poodle, a Miniature Poodle, a Standard Poodle, or even a Poodle mix? Poodles are medium- to small-sized dogs with curly hair (not fur) and an exuberant personality. They are also great for families will play with kids, and will get along with other animals as long as they have been properly introduced. Their curly hair and floppy ears make Poodles absolutely adorable. But, before you choose to bring home a Poodle, find out what you can expect with behavior, care, and personality.
Personality, Temperament, and Traits
Poodles have a reputation for being French, snooty pups. But, the truth is that they are quite intelligent, a fairly well-behaved dog, and have many wonderful characteristics. They Are Dignified– proud, clever, and elegant. The true alpha dog They Are Easy to Train – intelligent and obedient, very task-oriented They Protect Their Pack – sensing guests before they arrive and using warning barks They Are Playful – love romping around and playing with the kids They Don’t Shed – they have hair instead of fur, which makes them hypoallergenic They Require Regular Grooming – you can do it, but study up first. Hire a groomer if you think you can’t handle it. They Require Little Exercise – a brisk walk once a day will keep your Poodle happy They Get Along with other Pets –you must socialize them when they are puppies Poodles are loyal, docile, affectionate, and extremely intelligent. They love an active family and can easily handle being the only animal in the family. Now, let’s look at some of the good and some of the bad that comes with owning a puppy.
Poodles: The Good
- Intelligent – internationally recognized as the 2nd smartest breed
- Easily Trained – task-oriented and highly focused
- Do Not Require Much Exercise – just walk once a day or give yard time
- Minimal Shedding – hair, not fur!
- Very Gentle – not prone to aggression
- Patient – love to learn
- Obedient – make training easy and they are extremely loyal to the pack
Poodles: The Bad
- Grooming Must Be Consistent – the wiry hair of the Poodle can get seriously tangled and matted without regular care
- Bathe Regularly – helps with the hair care and will keep your Poodle from getting skin infections
- Nails Monitored and Trimmed – they grow fast! Trim them every few weeks
- Certain illnesses– they are prone to (see below)
The types of Poodles are categorized by size:Standard Poodle (15 inches high, about 20 pounds), Miniature Poodle (10–15 inches tall, about 12 to 20 pounds), and Toy Poodle (10 inches or less, about 12 pounds). Standard Poodles were originally working and retrieving dogs and could be found herding on a farm or hunting with its owner; however, they can adapt to city living or suburban living.The Miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles can handle living in either a suburban home or an urban apartment. While there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, the poodle almost is. Poodles produce less dander—the tiny stuff that sticks to your furniture and floats through the air to make you sneeze. All types of Poodles share this characteristic. The breed is also virtually odorless; people won’t walk into your home, take a sniff, and ask what kind of dog you have.
Your puppy must be a valued member of its pack. Once you have established a pack leader in the home (usually a parent), this will most likely be the person the Poodle bonds with. That also makes it the pack leader’s responsibility to give the dog an active life. Regular exercise, whether a walk or time in the yard and playtime with the familywill keep your dog energetic and mentally stimulated. Originally bred as water dogs, Poodles love to swim! However, if you allow your Poodle to swim, make sure to keep the dog’s hair and ears clean to avoid infections. Poodles tend to display symptoms of separation anxiety when the pack leader is absent. If your lifestyle includes an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work routine, you should seriously reconsider getting a Poodle. When they get super anxious, they get unruly or bark incessantly, which will not make the neighbors a fan of your new addition. These dogs need a lot of attention and interaction, which is why they are great dogs for disabled persons. Poodles have high emotional intelligence and understand they are needed.They can easily sense when their handler is in need and act accordingly. Being able to serve their human makes them very happy. Also, disabled people are less likely to leave a Poodle alone for an extended period of time. Despite your efforts to keep your pup healthy, there are some particular illness and diseases that Poodles are more prone to.
Possible Health Problems
Like any other breed of dog, the Poodle has its own unique set of health challenges. Poodles are susceptible to any number of conditions:
- Epilepsy – neurological disorder causing seizures
- Hip Dysplasia – malformation of the hip joint(s)
- Addison’s Disease – a hormonal disorder
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus – potentially fatal overfeeding
- Thyroid Issues – hormonal symptoms
- Hypoglycemia – high blood sugar
- Collapsed Trachea – windpipe malfunction
- Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) – a bleeding disorder caused by a protein deficiency
- Sebaceous Adenitis – a skin condition
You can do some early reconnaissance to see if your Poodle dog is susceptible to any of these conditions by having the parents of the pup tested. The Poodle can live for 16–18 years and is one of the longest living breeds of dog. Anyone considering a Poodle must be ready for the long-term commitment and be prepared for many years of companionship.
From breed specifics to the Poodle personality, get to know the Poodle before you bring home a new curly-haired baby. Taking on this joyful, but highly trainable, the breed can give you a companion that doesn’t make you sneeze, will protect your home and can be a great and playful pal for your kids.