The Poodle breed can be divided into three classifications: Toy, Miniature and Standard. The one most often seen is the Miniature variety. All Poodles have the familiar curly-haired coat that differentiates them from most other breeds. While this coat makes them particularly attractive, it does require a significant amount of time and energy to keep it groomed. 

Some pet owners go to extreme lengths to style their Poodle’s coat, but this is not absolutely necessary. Regular brushing and scheduled trimming is the basic requirement. They can be considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.

Poodles can be trained easily, as they are quite intelligent. They are a high-energy animal and especially enjoy playing with children. Their exercise needs are also high and they do enjoy being outside, but the exercise sessions should be kept to 30 minutes or less at a time. 

This breed does not do well in extreme temperatures, so keep that in mind, as you will not want your pet to stay outside overnight or when it is very hot or very cold. Your Poodle will bond well with your family members and needs to be socialized to avoid barking at strangers.

a poodle sitting in a basket of flowers

Poodles Information

  • Average Height: 17.5 to 25 inches (Standard Poodle)
  • Average Length: 9.5 to 24.5 inches (Standard Poodle)
  • Average Weight: 45 to 70 pounds (Standard Poodle)
  • Coat Type: Long length
  • Coat Appearance: They have a rich and unique coat that is curly, strong, and dense.
  • Coat Colors: Blue, black, white, silver, and apricot.
  • Grooming Needs: High
  • Shedding: Low 
  • Brushing Requirements: Once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes
  • Excessive Barking: Yes
  • Good tolerance to Heat and Cold: Moderate
  • Good Pet: They are fun, energetic, and easy to train, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: With training
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Suitable for First-Time Dog Owners: Yes
  • Training: They are fast learners and intelligent which makes them easy to train.
  • Exercise Needs: Medium
  • Weight Gain: Medium
  • Health Concerns: Commonly occurring diseases are Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and certain gastric conditions.
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 18 years
a poodle sitting in the yard

Physical Appearance of Poodles

Poodles come in three sizes- toy breed, miniature, and standard. Many confuse them with three different breeds but actually, they are all the same. The difference between the three is only in terms of their height and weight. The toy breed measures just under 10 inches and weighs between 5-7 pounds; the miniature measures 10-15 inches tall and weighs between 12-20 pounds; and the standard measures 17-25 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. The rest of the physical characteristics are the same for all three.

The dog has a square outline with a long neck and straight back. They have a long snout with dropped ears. The eyes of the Poodle are oval-shaped and dark-colored. Their body looks very thin in comparison to most other dogs. But it is their thick and hairy coat which gives them a fuller appearance. The Poodle has somewhat skinny legs with the feet having an oval shape and a slight arch. They have an unusually short tail which gives the appearance that part of it has been removed.  This is their natural appearance.

The coats of the Poodle have a rich texture. Their curly, strong, and dense coat is unique and very different from the coat of other breeds. Due to the long length and dense feel of the coat, pet owners can customize the look and style of the coat. The hair of the Poodle coat can be trimmed, clipped, and even shaved to give them a fanciful look. The Poodle’s coat comes in a variety of colors. The most common colors are blue, black, white, silver, and apricot.

Temperament of Poodles

They tend to be loyal and bond very well with the family members. These dogs are regarded as the second most intelligent dog breed. They are very sensitive and can easily sense the mood of their owners. The Poodle might replicate your mood to show their loyalty or might make an attempt to cheer you up by doing different things like cuddling or following you around in home.

Though the dog seems to look very docile and quiet, it is very active and hard-working. They can be a great choice for new pet-owners.

Poodles, generally, are very outgoing and love to meet new people. However, they have a habit of barking frequently if ignored or left alone. Sometimes, they might also bark at strangers but giving them socialization training can help to reduce this behavior.

Training a Poodle

They are active and alert dogs who can learn commands very quickly. Obedience training with rewards and praise works the best for them. Start training them by enrolling them for puppy training. This will help them learn the basic house rules.

They handle kennel training fairly well and should not have a problem using this after a few training sessions.  They also potty train easily.  They prefer to go outside, and with as smart as they are they will be asking you to let them outside when they need to go.

Provide socialization training to your Poodles by exposing them to different pets, strangers, and experiences. This will help to develop an out-going personality. As Poodles have a sharp memory you should reward them for good conduct and discourage bad habits. This will motivate them to follow good habits.

a poodle with its head cocked to the left

Their Compatibility with Children

Poodles are great partners for kids. Their high energy matches the energy of children. You will find them having a great time playing and cuddling with children. Poodles are very outgoing and enjoy being around children. They are also alert which makes them jump or bark if they see a stranger coming. This makes them great watchdogs for your children.

The only concern with the Poodle should be in letting them play alone with younger kids, especially if you have a Toy Poodle. Your children may accidentally hurt them while trying to pick them up or playing with them. 

It is important that children know how to interact with the Poodle. Your children should understand what the dogs do and don’t like and then they will both have a good experience with each other. Discourage your kids from picking up any of the Poodle types.

a poodle standing in the yard

Best Climate for Poodles

Poodles cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. They are the best fit for places that have a moderate climate. Poodles love to play outside but letting them stay out in temperatures over 90 degrees is not recommended. Temperatures between 60-85 are optimal for them but if it goes beyond this range, it is best to take your Poodle inside. 

Over 90 degrees can be life-threatening for them, at this temperature you should closely monitor them and limit their time in this heat.  In the summer months it is common for some Poodle owners to have the dogs hair cut short to better deal with the increased temperatures.

Also, if you live in a place where the winters are very cold you should not leave them outside during the night. Though their coats look like it can provide them protection against cold weather it can’t. They have a single thin coat. If you wish to take them out for exercise or a walk, keep the duration short. 

If it is below 25 degrees outside it could be dangerous for your Poodle. Many owners have sweaters or coats for their dogs if they want to take them for walks when it gets this cold.  This will greatly increase the comfort of the dogs as you take them outside in the colder months for exercise or to use the toilet.

The Attention a Poodle Needs

Poodles require a lot of attention from their owners. They are friendly and always look forward to being around the family. The dog bonds really well with children and enjoys spending large parts of its day playing with them. This makes Poodles a great addition to families with children.

The dog is very active and energetic. They need ways to release some of their energy. This can be exercise for 30 minutes daily, or a nice walk, or even playing with kids. It will help take care of their physical and mental needs. 

If your family has busy schedules and can’t devote at least 30 minutes each day to your Poodle, it is not recommended to get a Poodle as a pet. They won’t be happy and it will be very visible that your pet isn’t happy. 

Health Issues

As a group, all three types of Poodles have good overall health. But there are some diseases that are commonly found in them. Addison’s disease or hypoadrenocorticism is a health condition that occurs in many Poodles. This results in inadequate production of hormones by the adrenal gland. The symptoms of the disease are vomiting, laziness, or low appetite. 

As most of these can be mistaken for other health conditions, it can become difficult to diagnose the disease. Your vet will have to perform a series of tests to see if your dog has this condition. It is a serious condition that can even lead to death.

Cushing’s Disease is another similar condition that occurs when there is an overproduction of cortisol. It can also be caused by other health conditions. If you see them drinking or urinating excessively, take them to the vet as these two are the possible signs of the Poodle having the disease. 

Another serious condition that Poodles can suffer from is Sebaceous Adenitis (SA). It is a skin condition in which the skin becomes excessively dry and hair loss can occur. The disease is hereditary and 50% of standard Poodles are estimated to be affected or carriers of SA. 

The dog can also suffer from eye-related diseases like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. Both of these can lead to blindness in advanced stages. Some other diseases that Poodles can suffer from are hip dysplasia, bloat, patellar luxation, and epilepsy.

a white poodle laying in the grass
a poodle sitting in the yard

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

Poodles are a low shedding breed. Their dense fur tends to give the impression of heavy shedding but it is not so. A weekly brushing should be enough in most cases. Nevertheless, they have high grooming needs. 

This is because their dense and curly coat demands a lot of attention beyond brushing.  Grooming a Poodle is not an easy task. You will have to trim or clip their coat once every three weeks to keep it in good shape. Depending on the look that you are going for, they may require more frequent grooming. 

It is recommended to give them a bath every three weeks. If you do this after you trim their fur you can avoid a lot of hair clippings being dropped all over your home.  All of this is necessary to keep their coat clean, styled, and keep them smelling fresh.

Many Poodles also seem to have weepy eyes that can stain their coat. You will have to wipe their eyes, sometimes daily, to prevent the coat from staining. Alcohol-free pet wipes are available, but just a wet cloth will do the job just fine. 

Check their coat thoroughly when you brush them to check for signs of infection. If you see any redness or notice any bad odors, take them to the vet. Since they have drop-down ears, they are prone to infection. Use a cotton cloth to wipe only the visible part of the ears to keep it clean. 

Their nails should be trimmed every two or three weeks. 

Feeding A Poodle

Depending upon the type of Poodle you have, they have different feeding requirements. Toy Poodles need to be served ¼ to ½ cup of food, miniatures require ¾ to 1 cup of food, and the standard requires 1.5 to 3 cups of dog food. This amount should be spread over two set feedings each day.  

These are recommended meal size and the actual quantity might vary depending upon the activities your Poodle does during the day.

You should serve them high-quality dog food that your vet recommends. Your vet may recommend a specific type of food that could avoid some health complications some Poodles can develop based on their diet.  

Like other dogs, weight gain is also a concern for Poodles. If they don’t finish all the food you give them in one sitting it’s likely because they are not hungry.  Put the food away until the next feeding time to avoid over feeding them. It’s also a good idea to not serve them table scraps regularly as they might develop a strong taste for it. It can also lead to obesity and other digestive related health conditions.

Related Questions:

Are Poodles High Maintenance Dogs?

Yes, their hair is dense and has a unique texture. To maintain this you will have to regularly groom them. This is a skill most owners will quickly learn to maintain their dogs appearance. 

However, to save time many Poodle owners take them to a professional groomer to have their hair cut.  Also some dog owners find that they have difficulty cutting their dogs’ hair, and take them to the groomers to avoid hurting their pet while their hair is being cut.

a pile of multi colored dog food

Are Poodles good for individuals with an allergy?

Yes, Poodles are allergy-friendly dogs. This is because unlike other dogs their coat sheds less hair. In addition to that, they are purebred and produce less allergic substances like saliva and dander. This makes them hypoallergenic dogs, 

Are Poodles good swimmers?

Yes, Poodles can swim well and love to spend time in the water. They were originally bred for water retrieving. The webbed feet and the thin fur of the Poodle make it easy for them to swim. However, due to the small size of the toy Poodle, you should keep an eye on them when they are near water.

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