Poodle | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Characteristics & Facts
|Height:||15 inches and over|
|Weight:||40 – 70 pounds|
|Lifespan:||10 – 18 years|
|Colors:||Apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, white|
|Suitable for:||Active families, large homes, multi-pet households, first-time dog owners|
|Temperament:||Lively, confident, happy, sweet, very smart|
The Poodle is one of the most well-known dogs in the world. And no matter where you live, from the States to Japan, and the North Pole to the South, it’s a safe bet that everyone has heard of the Poodle.
If you’re not entirely sure which dog he is, he’s the guy with the best canine haircut. But there is much more to this guy than blue ribbons and pretty pompon haircuts. He is strong, athletic, and active, and he’s not the typical lapdog that everyone thinks he is.
He is a popular family pet, and for good reason. He is a fun-loving pooch who loves to get down and dirty with his family. He is flamboyant and loves to be the center of attention, and he is also sweet and affectionate.
But as with all good things in life, there is a but. The Poodle is not suited to every family, and this is why we have created the Poodle breed guide.
From his personality to his grooming and training needs, we will run you through everything you need to know. And after reading this, you’ll know whether you guys are a match made in doggy heaven.
Poodle Puppies – Before You Get One…
It’s worth saying now that this breed guide is dedicated to the standard-sized Poodle. That’s right, we have been graced with more than one type of Poodle! There are also toy-sized Poodles and miniature-sized Poodles. That’s three to choose from, and although they are all the same dog breed, they have subtle personality differences and needs.
The standard-sized Poodle is the largest of the three, and he is considered to be a large dog. This means that he needs a larger home with access to a yard. Small apartment owners and cramped-in city dwellers aren’t the ideal living situation for this guy. He’s more of a country gent at heart.
He also isn’t the pretty lapdog that most people think he is. He might be a handsome guy, but he isn’t vain at all. He’s happy to get his paws muddy, and he’s more interested in having a good time and getting into mischief than sitting pretty. If you want a calm pooch that you can sit and stroke for most of the day, you don’t want a Poodle, that’s for sure.
Although the Poodle is considered to be a hypoallergenic dog, he is very high maintenance when it comes to his grooming schedule. He might not shed anywhere near as much as most other dogs, but his hair is much like our hair. He needs regular trimming because it grows quickly, and his curls need daily brushing to ensure that they don’t tangle. You need to be sure that you have the time to dedicate to his locks.
3 Little-Known Facts About Poodles
1. The Poodle is German, not French.
Despite being the national dog of France, and potentially being more popular in France, he originates from Germany. The word Poodle derives from the German word ‘pudelin,’ which means to splash in the water, which is what the Poodle does.
2. The Poodle’s coat isn’t just for show.
The Poodle’s famous pompon coat (note, not pompom like the cheerleaders) isn’t for decorative purposes or to make him look pretty. The rounded tufts are found on his joints and vital organs, and the hair was kept thick and bushy to keep him warm in the freezing water. Other areas, such as his legs, neck, and tail, were shaved to allow him to swim easier in the water.
3. The Poodle has a high prey drive.
The Poodle is a traditional duck hunter, and he has a natural instinct to chase and kill them. Not all Poodles will have the inclination to do so, but most of them will. So, if you treat him to a splash in the local lake, make sure that there aren’t any ducks around first.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Poodle 🧠
The Poodle is a sweet and loving dog who loves to cuddle with his family. He is affectionate, and despite being a large dog, he will still jump on the sofa for cuddles with you. This guy doesn’t like to lay by your feet – he prefers to sit with his humans. And although he is energetic, he will need a calm hour or two to top up his cuddle fix.
He isn’t as affectionate with strangers, however. He isn’t overly protective, but he is wary of new humans that he has never met, and he will stand by his humans to make sure that they aren’t in any danger. Thankfully, it doesn’t take him too long to warm up to newbies, so if you have a regular delivery guy, he might stroll over for a belly rub.
Some owners claim that he is more laid-back than the other Poodle sizes. Many smaller dogs suffer from something called ‘little dog syndrome,’ but thankfully, this guy isn’t overprotective like his smaller siblings.
The Poodle is often described as a regal pooch, and it is his proud demeanor that makes many people fall in love with him. But at the same time, he is also a goofball who loves to play games and act silly with his family. He is great fun and a fantastic source of entertainment for the kids.
The Poodle is renowned for his superior intelligence. A leading psychologist and dog expert, Stanley Coren, concluded in his research that the Poodle is the second most intelligent dog breed after the Border Collie. This is the main reason why the Poodle is often chosen as a canine performer in circuses because they pick up commands and tricks quickly.
If you are looking for an obedient dog, look no further than the Poodle. The standard-sized Poodle is still bred to be a working dog. Compared to the miniature and toy-sized dogs were produced to be smaller and suited to city-dwellers seeking a dog for companionship. His smaller siblings are said to be a little less obedient.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
The Poodle is a fantastic family pet, but he needs to be homed with the right family. The right family needs to be active and be able to provide him with the exercise he needs. They also need to spend most of their time with him and not leave him alone at home for most of the day.
Without physical and mental stimulation, he will become bored and destructive, which will cause an unhappy family environment for everyone. And if he doesn’t feel as though he is getting the attention and love that he deserves, he will sulk and become a diva doggo.
But if you can provide him with everything that he needs, he will give you and your family everything you could wish for from a pet dog. His love and snuggles are endless, he is great fun and a comical goofball, and he is very handsome too!
Despite his larger size, he makes an awesome canine sibling for younger children. Yes, he is energetic and boisterous, but he knows to be calm in the home. He is tolerant of excitable hands, and he enjoys the company of the smaller humans when his adult masters are too busy with chores. Just as you would with any dog, always supervise him when there are children around.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽
Yes, the Poodle gets along well with other pets. Unless, of course, you have pet ducks or other birds, and then he probably won’t. But when it comes to other dogs, cats, and most other pets, he will get along with them just fine. So much so, he will appreciate the canine company when you cannot keep him company yourself.
He will only get along well with other pets if he is adequately socialized as a pup. This is another reason to work with a reputable breeder because they will make sure that they begin the socialization process with his littermates from day dot.
We’ll discuss his training in another section, but you need to put in the effort with his socialization early on for him to get along well with other animals. If, however, you live on a duck farm, you need to understand that no amount of training will mean he can live with ducks.
Things to Know When Owning a Poodle
Now that you know more about the Poodle and his personality, intelligence, and his preferred living arrangements, we are now going to walk you through his day-to-day needs. From his dietary requirements to his training needs and his intense grooming schedule, you need to pay attention.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
The Poodle will consume approximately two to three cups of food a day. Remember, this is for a standard-sized Poodle and not a miniature or toy-sized one. You should always feed him the best food you can afford, and nutrition is the easiest way to keep him healthy.
Kibbles are a convenient and safe way of ensuring that he gets all of the nutrition he needs. A high-quality kibble will provide him with a well-balanced diet, including protein, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
As a large breed, you should always feed the Poodle food specifically designed for a large breed dog. These diets are designed to control the rapid bone growth that the Poodle will experience during puppyhood. By feeding him this specific food, you can decrease the chances of developing bone and skeletal diseases, so nothing else will do here.
According to the MSD Veterinary Manual, a puppy Poodle should consume food that provides him with at least 22% protein. And adult Poodles should eat food that provides him with at least 18%. Look for high-quality meats listed as the first ingredient.
The Poodle is also susceptible to suffering from gastric torsion, which is also known as bloat. It is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate veterinary attention. This affects large dogs like the standard-sized Poodle the most. Never feed him food immediately before or after exercise because this is when it is more likely to occur.
The Poodle is an energetic dog, and he needs at least 60 minutes of intense exercise every day. A stroll around the block will not do for the standard-sized pooch. It needs to be enthusiastic and active for him to expel that hunting energy of his.
As he is so intelligent, you need to expect that he will become bored doing the same thing over and over. So, you’re going to need to get creative and mix his activities up for him to stay interested. Being an ex-duck hunter, this guy is fond of the water. He would really appreciate it if you could include a water-based activity in his regime once a week, if not more. You’re going to need towels, and lots of them!
Come rain or shine, he will be super eager to go out and play. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to get wet or muddy, the standard-sized Poodle is not the pup for you. You will need wellies, waterproof jackets, and the whole she-bang to keep up with this adventurous guy. Remember, the Poodle loves to splash around.
The Poodle is a clever cookie who picks up training and commands quickly. But he still needs the necessary socialization and obedience training as a pup for him to transform into a polite pooch.
Learning socialization skills is vital for dogs to get along with other dogs, animals, and unfamiliar humans. It will also mean that they grow to be comfortable and confident in their day-to-day live activities and surroundings. Without it, dogs will become unpleasant and overprotective.
Obedience training is essential for your Poodle to understand who the boss is in the family home. Teaching him to sit and paw at the very least if he wants something will help him learn that he doesn’t get anything for free.
The key to a happy family environment is to get the whole family on board with the training too. Ensure that everyone in the family is consistent with their training, and never allow him to get away with undesirable behaviors. Always be sure to use the same command words too. Otherwise, you risk confusing him.
It’s a great idea to crate train the Poodle. Not only does this give him a safe haven that he can call his own, but it also gives you peace of mind knowing that he isn’t chewing your favorite set of pillows while you aren’t at home.
Thankfully, because he is so intelligent, you shouldn’t have any trouble training this guy. This is why he is suited to first-time dog owners. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to train the Poodle.
See also: How to Potty Train a Poodle – 7 Tips and Tricks
The Poodle is a hypoallergenic dog, which means that he is suited to those families with mild-dog allergies. It is a myth that some dogs are completely hypoallergenic. Instead, they are tolerable for those with allergies.
Despite being a low shedder, he has long and curly hair that needs lots of attention. It grows rapidly, and as such, he needs professional trimming every six weeks or so. It varies from Poodle to Poodle, and once he develops his adult coat, you’ll soon learn how often he needs it.
If you decide to clip his coat yourself, there are plenty of videos on youtube about how to clip your Poodle. You will also need a set of shavers and scissors, depending on the type of cut you opt for.
- English saddle clip (show style)
- Continental clip (show style)
- Puppy clip
- Lamb clip
- Teddy bear clip
- Miami clip
- Kennel clip
- Town and country clip
His curls can also be loose waves, or they can be tightly curled and appear more like ringlets than curls. In between his regular trim, he will need daily brushing. The Poodle will need a range of grooming utensils. The two best tools are the comb, to smooth out tangles, and the slicker brush, to pick up dead hair.
Bathe your Poodle once every three weeks. Use a gentle doggy shampoo made with soothing and natural ingredients such as oatmeal and coconut oil. Once you have shampooed him, make sure you rinse him properly to avoid any skin irritation. Then, condition him. This will keep him looking smart and prevent tangles too.
Poodles also suffer from tear staining. Cleanse his eyes and the area around his eyes regularly to prevents a buildup of staining. If you notice that his eyes are frequently teary, you should take him to the vet as this could be a symptom of a health concern or as a result of an allergy.
The Poodle’s grooming regime is one of the biggest reasons many people and families are put off by him. Simply because of the time and effort it requires. A neglected Poodle coat can result in pain and expensive trips to the vet.
Health and Conditions ❤️
The Poodle is a relatively healthy dog who enjoys a long lifespan of 10 to 18 years. 18 years is a long time for such a big dog, but you need to keep up with regular health checks and keep him fit and healthy to enjoy these years with him.
Just like all purebred dogs, the Poodle has health concerns that he is more likely to suffer from compared to others. That isn’t to say that the health concerns listed below are all he might suffer from. But as a Poodle parent, it would be wise to research the below conditions and make yourself aware of their associated symptoms.
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Addison’s disease
Male vs. Female
When it comes to male and female Poodles, the only significant difference is their height and weight. Males tend to be larger than their female counterparts. Although this probably isn’t a substantial difference in your decision-making process.
Their personality isn’t affected by their gender. Instead, their training and family environment will play a significant part in shaping their character and happiness.
The Poodle is a fantastic family pet who offers the whole puppy package. He will supply you with endless love and affection, doodle kisses, and company. He will also provide family entertainment throughout the day too.
He is an adaptable dog who can slot himself into most families. Just as long as you can provide him with the company, the love, and the exercise he needs, he will be the happiest of dogs. And you also need to be sure that you can set aside time for his daily grooming regime.
If you aren’t sure whether you can provide this, you shouldn’t commit to the Poodle. But if you can, know that inviting one into your life might just be the best decision you’ll ever make.
Featured Image Credit: Anna_Bondarenko, Shutterstock