Temperament: Active, Affectionate, Very Intelligent
Height: Over 15 inches
Weight: 40-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-18 years
Highly intelligent, which means highly trainable, Poodles are ranked number two in a study of the smartest breeds. They also have a sense of humor and are used in many circus type acts. You have probably seen them on shows like Amerca’s Got Talent.
Poodles are also described as being very loyal, playful, affectionate, energetic and not to mention beautiful. Poodles are not a one person dog but bond easily with all members of its family are are wonderful with children. They also love to compete and do very well in all AKC type shows. Their webbed feet make them agile swimmers and most love the water. They have great stamina for an active lifestyle yet are mild mannered and can be a couch potato with the family. They absolutely love human interaction and as a result should not live outdoors.
The AKC recognizes Poodles in three size varieties: Toys stand up to 10 inches, Miniatures are 10-15 inches and Standards are more than 15 inches tall at the shoulder. All varieties should have the same square build and smoothly muscled body.
Poodles have a single layer coat composed of dense curly fur that sheds very little. This makes them preferred with allergies. However, it does require regular brushing and can get matted with out regular care. Most Poodle owners opt to keep them in a shorter cut which mean less brushing and easier, lower maintenance. Some owners learn to do the clipping and trimming themselves while others choose to take them to a professional dog groomer. Either way, you can count on doing this about every 6 weeks depending one the length and how often you brush. Routine grooming and good nutrition are essential to keep their coat, shiny, healthy and looking its best.
Poodles have a tendency to develop ear infections due to their full floppy ears. The hair inside the ears must be removed by gentle plucking to avoid moisture getting trapped and causing ear infections. most groomers will do this or you can learn to do it yourself. Either way, you should regularly check their ears for any redness, swelling, brown waxy debris or bad odor which can be signs of an infection.
Poodles of any size are very active dogs who require good exercise every day to suit their energy level. Poodles are eager for all kinds of activity, and they enjoy keeping busy. Swimming is great exercise for them, and most Poodles love to get in the water. Bred as hunting dogs, their impulse is to retrieve, so tossing toys, sticks, or balls for them will exercise both their mind and body. They also thrive on going for jogs or long walks with their family.
Poodles are extremely intelligent and are easily trained. They are agile and graceful as well as smart, and they enjoy and excel in a variety of canine sports, including agility, obedience, and tracking. They are excellent water-retrievers and also compete in dock diving and retriever hunt tests. Poodles are very people-oriented, and if your training routines are fun and positive, they are quick to please you. Just be sure that you are being consistent with what you ask.
Most Poodles live long, happy, healthy lives thanks to the efforts of dedicated, responsible breeders who routinely test all breeding stock. As with all breeds, however, some health issues can occur, including hip dysplasia and several eye disorders. Idiopathic epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease, and immune-mediated disorders are also seen in the breed on occasion. Two orthopedic problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes and luxating patellas, are more likely to occur in Toy and Miniature Poodles than in Standards. The Standard variety are more at risk for gastric dilatation with volvulus (bloat) and sebaceous adenitis.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation (Miniature and Standard)
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation (Miniature, Standard, and Toy)
- PRA Optigen DNA Test (Miniature and Toy)
- Patella Evaluation (Miniature and Toy)