The Poodle is often described as the national dog of France.
The French may be obsessed with these wonderful swimmers but Poodles are popular throughout the world – not just in France.
For instance, the American Kennel Club have named the Poodle breed as the fifth-most popular dog in the world.
Poodles can be found in three different sizes – standard, miniature and toy, with a coat colar that is usually black, white or apricot.
These striking dogs are perhaps best-known for their hypoallergenic qualities, with a curly, low-allergen coat.
However, Poodles are supreme athletes, loving companions and extremely intelligent.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of the Poodle breed.
We’ll speak to Pia (@standardpoodleposse) and Bodhi (@bodhi_thepoodle) to get a firsthand insight into the breed.
Poodles are an example of a low-shedding dog that doesn’t produce a lot of hair or pet dander. They’ve got a coat made up of tight curls that are waterproof. The AKC go on to explain that Poodles won’t shed all over your sofa, but just like humans, they can and will shed a few strands of hair at a time.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) explained why the Poodle coat is so versatile.
Poodles don’t shed as in their hair doesn’t fall out and you won’t find it stuck to your clothes but they have a very high maintenance coat which requires regular brushing otherwise it will matt and cause welfare issues. The brilliant thing about the Poodle coat is the versatility. If you have the time to keep on top of grooming, you can have a long coat or if you have an active and busy lifestyle, you can keep them short. They look great either way.
If you’re weighing up whether to introduce a Poodle to your family home, you’re probably wondering whether they’ll be suited to a living situation that includes children. The AKC gives the Poodle a five-star rating when it comes to being affectionate with family and good with young children.
Bodhi’s owner (@bodhi_thepoodle) believes Poodles are extremely family friendly.
They love to cuddle, but they’re also good at learning tricks and like going for a nice family walk.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) believes Poodles can make great family pets provided their needs are met.
As long as their needs can be met – yes. I don’t think a daily stroll around the streets or the same local park every day would be enough for them though. You would need time for training, mental work and grooming in addition to physical exercise.
Flexible exercise requirements
Poodle are energetic dogs but they’re quite flexible when it comes to exercise. They will enjoy traditional exercise methods such as going for long walks, a jog with their owner in the park or playtime in the garden. Poodles will also benefit from some brain games and regular training.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) emphasised that mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise.
I would say the more exercise you give them the more they will need but they tend to be happy with a short stroll or can manage a long hike as long as their needs are met. Mental stimulation for a poodle is as important as physical exercise.
Bodhi the Poodle (Photo: @bodhi_thepoodle / Instagram)[/caption]
Poodles are one of the smartest breeds in the world alongside the Border Collie and the German Shepherd. There’s a good reason why a lot of cross breeds are part Poodle – they’re high IQ and low-shedding are attractive qualities. The AKC write on their website that Poodles are extremely intelligent. But these curly-haired dogs will benefit from fun and positive training routines.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) explained that Poodles are almost too smart!
They are very intelligent so pick things up super-fast and love to learn but I think, because they are so intelligent they like to understand the purpose behind what they are being asked to do before doing it but as they are so owner orientated if you have a good relationship they will do or at least try whatever you ask of them.
Bodhi’s owner Tannith (@bodhi_thepoodle) warned that Poodles can learn good behaviour and bad behaviour!
They learn very quick – that is great if you want them to learn good behaviour, but if you don’t watch out, they’ll also learn bad behaviour very quickly.
Require a lot of grooming
While Poodles don’t shed a lot, they require a lot of grooming. This requires dedication from Poodle owners to ensure their pup’s coat doesn’t get matted or tangled. Some Poodle owners will do all the grooming and clipping themselves. However, some pet parents may prefer to send their Poodle to a professional groomer, which can be costly.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) shed light on her grooming routine with her Poodles.
We have our poodles fairly short with a longer top knot on their head and one of them currently has longer leg poms which will be cut off soon as I haven’t kept on top of brushing them so they are getting matted. I bath them approximately once every two weeks, it takes around an hour to bath and dry them and then I would say add another hour if they have longer hair that needs to be brushed through and detangled. Ideally areas of longer hair, especially legs should be brushed every night or so.
Needs mental stimulation
We’ve already touched upon the importance of mental stimulation where owning a Poodle is concerned. It’s a key part of living with one of these intelligent dogs. They’ll need an outlet to get their brain and senses going. After all, the breed is active, proud and very smart.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) explained why mental stimulation is key.
They are intelligent dogs and need an outlet for that. Let’s not forget they are historically a working breed. I started doing detection (scent work) with my young Poodle after we started struggling with some boredom behaviours in the house, she was getting two hours of physical exercise a day and various enrichment toys but it wasn’t enough. She loves detection and it is a really easy, quick exercise to do to meet their need for their brain to be worked.
Poodles have a reputation for being a dog breed that can be slightly skittish or overly sensitive. They can have a sensitivity to stressful situations. The breed can easily be startled by loud sounds, unanticipated touch or unfamiliar situations. This is why Poodles are often dubbed as an example of a skittish dog breed.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) shed light on her grooming routine with her Poodles. believes the level of sensitivity or skittishness can depend on each individual dog.
I would say that really depends on early socialisation and genetics but not generally as a breed. My young dog’s sister is quite anxious but my dog is very confident. I think the key difference, as they were lockdown puppies and her sister went to an older couple who love in a rural area, is that she wasn’t exposed to a lot whereas my dog was socialised to a lot of different environments and experiences from the day she came home. I would however say as a breed they are sensitive, they do not respond well to harsh corrections or force and definitely thrive from a gentle approach.
Poodles can have a stubborn side that seems to be borne out of their high IQ. The breed can be independent thinkers which can prove challenging for owners.
Tannith (@bodhi_thepoodle) shared some examples of Bodhi’s stubbornness.
He knows when he has done something wrong. Also if you call him outside sometimes, he just look at you and walk the other way.
Pia (@standardpoodleposse) shared her perspective on Poodle stubbornness, adding that it’s more a question of these dogs understanding the reasoning behind a command or request.
I wouldn’t call them stubborn. They know what they want and like I said before like to understand the purpose in what they are being asked to do but if you have a good relationship and have worked on training them they will be happy to do as you ask.