What’s more captivating than the highly intelligent poodle? So captivating in fact, the poodle has been the heart and soul of France for many years. Bred in Germany originally, poodles made their way through Europe (and eventually the US) as a sophisticated, celebrated dog. Poodle puppies showcase some of the iconic qualities from the start.
Bred for duck hunting, poodles have an affinity for swimming and a water-resistant curly coat. Though no one knows with certainty, this powerful dog was likely bred from a Barbet, the French water dog, and the Hungarian water hound. A poodle puppy loves to splash in puddles and will try to catch their prey in bounding leaps and starts. True to form, “poodle” comes from the German word “pudelin,” which literally means splashing in the water.
With easy trainability, poodles were used in the circus for many years. This breed has won over many hearts, including celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor, all of whom proudly owned this hypoallergenic breed throughout their lives.
From showstopping agility dogs to sporting family pets, poodles are a diverse and wonderful breed that’s ready to be a part of your household.
|Size||Medium. From the shoulder, standard poodles are 18-20 inches tall. They weigh 60-70 pounds for males and 40-50 pounds for females.
However, there are two other types of poodles as well. Toy poodles are no more than 10 inches, and miniature poodles are under 15 inches tall.
|Breed Characteristics||Poodles are known for their curly fur and their energy levels. Their bodies are well-proportioned and muscular, and even with an elaborate “continental clip” hairdo, are incredibly athletic.
These days most poodle owners opt for the sporting clip, showing off their squarely toned shape. Either way, if someone in your family is sensitive to dog fur, poodles are hypoallergenic!
|Temperament||Poodles are people-oriented and love learning new tricks and jumps. They’re good-natured and have a strong impulse to play fetch with a wide assortment of toys due to their hunting dog past. They need a lot of attention, including high levels of interaction with all family members.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||As puppies, poodles need only minimal bathing and brushing. As they start to grow, however, their coats will need a wide variety of attention, depending on how you want to groom them. If you keep their hair short they will be lower maintenance, but one must learn how to brush out a poodle’s hair to prevent matting and knots. If the matting gets too extreme, experts suggest cutting the hair very short and growing out their curly locks from scratch.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who prefer their poodles go to a professional groomer. If so, every 4-6 weeks is ideal, as they get a bath and nail trim in the process.
Poodles are generally a healthy breed due to years of responsible breeding and tests that have been done to ensure hip dysplasia, eye disorders, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease, and immune-mediated disorders aren’t present. Toy and miniature poodles are more likely to have orthopedic problems (Legg-Calve-Perthes and luxating patellas), while the standard poodle can be at risk for bloat.
|Training||Poodles are highly trainable and pick up skills quickly. They love positive reinforcement and excel in tracking, agility, and obedience. Poodle puppies benefit from socialization classes to build good puppy behavior. Poodles are especially aware of the tone of your voice, so if you need to reprimand your poodle, be firm, but not harsh.|
|Energy Level||Poodles (of every size) are active dogs that need exercise on a daily basis. Have a pool? They love swimming as a great way to burn that dog fuel. Playing multiple games of fetch and retrieval helps to bond with your poodle and tucker them out.|
|Life Span||Poodles live between 10 – 18 years on average.|
Poodles are a stellar addition to many households, but there are a few caveats. Having a poodle means having to keep up with grooming maintenance. This can get expensive over time, and it’s something to budget for regularly. They’re generally calm indoors but need room to run and play on a daily basis. If you or one of your family members is a runner, this could be an opportune partnership.
Poodles need a lot of physical and psychological engagement. If you’re not home for long periods of time, this may not be the breed for you.
Getting a poodle puppy
Choosing to adopt or go through a breeder for your new poodle puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder that offers healthy, ethically sourced poodle puppies.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a poodle puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, it’s up to you to be prepared for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
Adopting poodle puppies
It may be surprising to know, but adopting a poodle puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being right for them. This means that there may be many dogs and puppies out there that are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog that’s already been housebroken, and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a poodle mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a poodle rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. The AKC also has an excellent list of poodle rescues on their site.
Finding a poodle breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with plenty of online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the poodle puppy seems too good to be true, there’s likely something going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
After you find the right poodle puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started: