Breeding Poodles: What to Expect

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Ask anyone connected to the American Kennel Club or Poodle Club and they will tell you that breeding any dog takes love and patience. If you wish to breed your pup as a one-off or start a full breeding program, you need to understand the details and responsibilities involved. Breeding will not make you rich so a love for the dog has to be part of the reason for doing it. Breeding Poodles means following strict guidelines to ensure that both the mom and the pups are taken care of. Safety and health of the dogs, along with protecting the Poodle’s bloodline, are all part of good breeding practices.

The Breeding Origins of Poodles

Poodles do not have a clear breeding origin, even though their presence has been recorded on the European mainland as far back as the 15th century. Some think that the breed originated in France or Germany. However, a German dog called the Pudelhund, which means “to splash about-dog” could be where Poodles came from based on their love of water. A second opinion is that the Poodle is a descendant of the French dog, the Barbet. It is said that the Barbet was bred with a Hungarian water dog, creating the Poodle. Once the breed was established, they were bred as pets but also for water retrieval when hunting. They are very intelligent and highly trainable for many roles.

Which Poodle Should You Breed?

Purebred Poodles come in three size types: Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Standard Poodle. There are some Poodle sizes outside of these designations but are not officially recognized such as Pocket or Teacup poodles, as well as mixed breeds such as the Labradoodle and other Poodle mix breeds. Books are great sources of information from the basic Poodles for Dummies to the more complex Poodle Handbook. Reading is a good way to get a better understanding of the complexities of breeding Poodles before you make your final choice.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle puppies are the biggest of the Poodle breeds at over 15 inches at the shoulder. They were originally bred as water retrievers as they love to swim. They were also hunting dogs due to retriever skills. However, the Standard is now more known as a companion. They love their homes and people and fit into most lifestyles. They have some potential health issues with one being cancer. More than 40% of Standards die from this disease yet they still have a good life expectancy, though, of 12 to 15 years.

Miniature Poodle

Miniatures are ten to 15 inches in height from the shoulders. Its original breeding purpose was to hunt for truffles. They are athletic, quick, and sensitive. They live a little longer than Standards, from 13 to 15 years. They can have some size-specific health issues with joints but are otherwise healthy pups.

Toy Poodle

Toy and Miniature Poodles are similar, though the smallest Toy Poodle is less than ten inches from the shoulder down and is bred to be a companion. They were used as hand-warmers in the French Renaissance as they fit inside sleeves. Its small size does not mean they aren’t as athletic or clever as their larger counterparts. Though they have some medical predispositions, still have a long lifespan up to 15 years.

Health Concerns When Breeding Poodles

As with every purebred breed of dog, Poodles have health conditions that they are predisposed to. It’s important as a breeder that your pups are screened for issues to make sure they are in the best possible health. Any reputable breeder needs to discern any genetic issues that could be passed down through the litters. Screening is an important breeding tool. You will be looking for:

  • Hip Dysplasia (Standard)
  • Epilepsy
  • Addison’s disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Bloat (Standard)
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Trachea issues (Toy, Miniature)

These are only some of the issues that may appear in screening. Some apply to all three with others being size specific. The screening will help you breed Poodles while reducing the risk of any medical issues down the road.

Nutrition for Breeding Dogs

Breeding dogs require a nutritional balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins. They should have:

  • Two to three quality meat proteins listed first
  • Healthy source of animal fats
  • Quality source of fiber
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health (especially for larger dogs)

These can be found in products such as:

Caster & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Small Breed

An organic option that is grain-free with a good balance of meat, vitamins, and minerals. It has omega-3 and omega-6 for a healthy coat and skin along with calcium and phosphorus for good teeth. A good grain-free recipe avoiding allergens.

Check out on Chewy


Taste of the Wild High Pacific Stream Grain-FreeBreeding Poodles: What to Expect

This recipe is fortified with nutrients to keep your Poodle healthy. It has omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants. Furthermore, it is grain-free to help avoid gluten issues and allergens.

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Dog Foods for Pregnant & Nursing Dogs

Dogs are pregnant for about 63 days and they nurse for approximately a month after the pups are born. New moms should be able to free feed to meet their extra caloric needs. Nutrition is important for both the mom and the pups she’s nursing. She needs:

  • Higher calories for milk production and puppy growth
  • Extra fat helps raise calories
  • Easy digestibility
  • Calcium and phosphorus to aid in puppy bone growth
  • Protein to regain strength and puppy growth
  • DHA to aid a puppy’s eyes, brain, and nervous system

This can be found in food such as:

Wellness Core Grain-Free OriginalBreeding Poodles: What to Expect

This product is high in protein and grain-free with glucosamine and chondroitin. It has no by-products, gluten, corn or artificial ingredients. It is ideal for lactating dogs that need extra calories and nutrients for them and their pups.

Check out on Chewy Check out on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Breeding is not a simple task to take on. You must understand the Poodle breed and have a clear idea of what breeding entails. You need to be prepared for financial obligations that stem from extra food and nutrients, vet checkups, vaccinations, and more. You will need to put in significant amounts of time looking over the newborns for health issues and ensure proper care. You will also have to be strong emotionally in the case of loss. Some puppies may not survive and others you will become attached to before they leave for their new homes. There is a lot to consider before you embark on the journey of breeding Poodles so knowing what to expect is important before starting.


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