a well groomed Poodle standing in a field outside

Poodles are one of the most popular family pets in the world, and for good reason. They are intelligent, loyal, and have a great sense of humor. Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The most common variety is the Miniature. All Poodles have the familiar curly-haired coat that differentiates them from most other breeds. All three sizes make excellent companions for both adults and children alike.

The Standard Poodle is the largest of the three sizes, standing at 15-24 inches tall and weighing 40-70 pounds. They are very active and need plenty of exercise, making them a great choice for an active family. Standard Poodles have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

The Miniature Poodle is the middle size of the three, standing at 10-15 inches tall and weighing 15-17 pounds. They are very intelligent and have a great sense of humor, making them a great choice for families with children. Miniature Poodles have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three sizes, standing at 8-10 inches tall and weighing 4-6 pounds. They are very active and need plenty of exercise, making them a great choice for an active family. Toy Poodles have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

While their coat makes them particularly attractive, it does require a significant amount of time and energy to keep it looking nice. 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 are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.

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

This breed doesn’t do well in extreme temperatures, keep that in mind, because you will not want your pet to stay outside overnight or when it’s very hot or very cold. Your Poodle will bond well with your family members and needs to be socialized to keep them from barking at strangers.

Poodles are also very social and love to be around people. They thrive on human interaction and will bond quickly with their owners. Poodles are also very adaptable and can adjust easily to new environments.

Puppies are available through breeders at varying prices. Expect to pay as much as $4,000 for a healthy, young Poodle.

Poodles need plenty of exercise, so it is important to make sure they get enough activity each day. Taking them for walks, playing fetch, or going to the dog park are all great ways to keep them active and healthy.

No matter which size of Poodle you choose, they all make excellent companions and are very loyal to their owners. They are also very intelligent and can be trained easily with patience and consistency. Poodles are also hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for people with allergies.

Poodles are a great choice for new pet owners because they are easy to care for and require minimal grooming. They are also very intelligent and can be trained easily with patience and consistency. Poodles make excellent family pets and will bring lots of joy to their owners.

Overall, Poodles are an excellent choice for a family pet. They are intelligent, loyal, and have a great sense of humor. They require minimal grooming and are hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for people with allergies. Poodles need plenty of exercise and love to be around people, so they make great companions for both adults and children alike.

Poodle 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, curly
  • Coat Appearance: They have a rich and unique coat that is curly, strong, and dense.
  • Coat Colors: Blue, black, white, silver, cafe au lait and apricot.
  • Grooming Needs: High
  • Shedding: Low 
  • Brushing Requirements: Daily brush
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes
  • Excessive Barking: Yes
  • 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
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: They are fast learners and intelligent which makes them easy to train.
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Weight Gain: Medium
  • Health Concerns: Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and certain gastric conditions.
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 18 years

Physical Appearance of Poodles

a white Poodle laying in the grass and relaxing on a sunny day

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 is just under 10 inches tall and weighs between 5 – 7 pounds. The miniature is a little taller at 10 – 15 inches tall and weighs between 12 – 20 pounds. The standard Poodle is 17 – 25 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. The rest of the physical characteristics are the same for all three.

They have a square outline with a long neck and straight back. They have a long snout with ears that hang down along their head. Poodles are known for their dark oval eyes. Their bodies look very thin in comparison to most other breeds. But it is their thick and fluffy coat that gives them a much fuller appearance. The Poodle has somewhat skinny legs with feet that are oval shaped with a slight arch. They have an unusually short tail which can look like part of it has been removed, but this is their natural appearance.

Poodle’s coats have a rich texture. Their curly, strong, and dense coat is unique and very different from the fur of other breeds. Due to the long length and dense feel of their coat, pet owners can customize the look and style of their 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

Poodles tend to be loyal and bond very well with their 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 try to make you feel better by doing different things like cuddling or following you around at home.

Though they can look very docile and quiet, they are actually 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. Them barking at strangers, even in your own home can be common. Giving them socialization training can help reduce this bad behavior.

Training a Poodle

a Poodle with their head tilted to the side in front of a gray backdrop

They are active and alert dogs who can learn commands very quickly. Obedience training with rewards and praise helps them the fastest. Start training them by enrolling them in puppy school. Puppy school will help teach them the basic house rules, and make potty training easier.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Poodles. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Poodle’s excessive barking can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them. Because Poodles love barking, with or without obedience training you will likely spend a good deal of time teaching them to be quiet.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is absolutely necessary for Shelties. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and not be so skittish with strangers or other dogs.

Clicker Training

Poodles can misbehave from time to time, especially as puppies. They need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to make the Yorkie understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Their Compatibility with Children

a cute, fuzzy Poodle puppy in a basket with purple flowers

Poodles are great partners for kids. Their high energy matches the energy of children. They play well together and enjoy cuddling with children. Poodles are very outgoing and enjoy being around children. They are also alert and suspicious of strangers, putting them in a protective mode when strangers are around your children. This makes them great watchdogs for your children.

The only concern with the Poodle might be with letting them play alone with younger kids, especially if you have a Toy Poodle. Your children may accidentally hurt them 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 your Poodle regardless of the size of your Poodle.

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 a good idea. Temperatures between 60-85 are optimal for them but if it goes above or below this, it’s a good idea to bring your Poodle inside.

Temperatures 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 it is common for many Poodles to have their hair cut short so that the higher temperatures are not so bad for them.

In the winters if it gets below 55-60 at night you should not leave them outside overnight. Though their coats look like it can protect them from the cold weather, it can’t. They have a single thin coat. 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. If you plan to take them out for exercise or a walk, keep the duration short.

The Attention a Poodle Needs

a cute Poodle sitting in a grassy field

Poodles require a lot of attention from their owners. They are friendly and always look forward to being around their family. The dog bonds really well with children and enjoys spending large parts of its day playing or being around them. Their love and playfulness 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. Exercise for 30 minutes daily, or a nice walk, or even playing with kids helps them burn off their abundance of energy. They need daily exercise not only for their physical needs, but mental needs too.

If your family has busy schedules and can’t devote at least 30 minutes each day to your Poodle, we don’t recommend getting a Poodle. They won’t be happy and it will be obvious that your dog 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

Addison’s Disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is a condition that affects a dog’s adrenal glands. It occurs when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough of the hormones cortisol or aldosterone. This can lead to a variety of symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased thirst and urination, and even collapse.

The cause of Addison’s Disease is not known, but it’s believed to be an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the adrenal glands. It can also be caused by certain medications, infections, or tumors.

Diagnosing Addison’s Disease is done through a combination of blood tests, urinalysis, and imaging. Treatment typically involves the administration of medications to replace the hormones that are not being produced by their adrenal glands.

Addison’s Disease is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. It’s important for pet owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition so that they can get prompt medical attention if their dog has any of them.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is another joint problem that dogs can develop. Patellar luxation happens when the knee joint slides in and out of place. This can be painful for some, and can cause lameness or abnormal walking. Dogs with this problem will usually hop or skip a few steps while walking. Patellar luxation can be painful for some but most will be able to live normally even after having this condition. The disease can lead to arthritis. 

Depending upon the severity of their disease, surgery could be needed to treat patellar luxation. This problem seems to affect smaller dogs more than larger dogs.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition caused by an abnormally high level of cortisol in dogs. It’s most commonly seen in middle-aged to older dogs and is associated with excessive thirst and urination, increased appetite, hair loss, thinning skin and a pot-bellied appearance. Other signs can include panting, weakness, potty accidents, poor coat quality and skin infections.

Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland or adrenal glands, which causes an overproduction of cortisol. Treatment options include medications to reduce cortisol levels, surgery to remove the tumor and radiation therapy. It’s important to diagnose Cushing’s disease early in order to treat it effectively.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects dogs and can cause seizures. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of epilepsy so that you can recognize it and get treatment for your pet.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The most common symptom of epilepsy is a seizure, which can range from mild to severe. Seizures are associated with uncontrolled muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, and sometimes, loss of bladder and bowel control. Other symptoms can include disorientation, confusion, drooling, pacing, trembling, and even aggression.

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to your vet right away for a diagnosis. Your vet will be able to determine if your pet has epilepsy by performing a physical exam and running tests such as an EEG or CT scan.

Once your dog has been diagnosed with epilepsy, your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for them. Treatment can include medications to control seizures, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully in order to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible.

Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)

Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) is a skin disorder that affects a dog’s sebaceous glands. Sebaceous Adenitis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an oily substance that helps keep their skin and coat healthy. When these glands are attacked by the immune system, they become inflamed and are unable to produce sebum. This leads to dry, scaly skin and hair loss.

SA can affect any dog breed, but is most commonly seen in Akitas, Standard Poodles, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers. It’s also more common in males than females. The exact cause of SA is unknown, but it’s believed to be related to genetics, environmental factors, or a combination of both.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina of dogs. It’s an inherited condition, meaning it’s passed down from parent to offspring.

PRA is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing the photoreceptor cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for converting light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as vision. As PRA progresses, these photoreceptor cells die off, leading to blindness.

Symptoms of Canine Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Symptoms of PRA can vary depending on the breed and type of PRA, but generally include:

  • Night blindness
  • Decreased vision in dim light
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cloudiness of the eyes
  • Head tilt

As the disease progresses, these symptoms could worsen and eventually lead to total blindness.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

Optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) is a congenital condition that affects the development of a dog’s optic nerve. Affected dogs typically have vision problems, which can range from mild to severe. 

Diagnosing ONH is typically made through a combination of physical examination and imaging tests. A veterinarian will first perform a thorough physical exam to look for signs of vision problems, such as squinting or nystagmus. The veterinarian might then order imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms of Canine Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

The most common symptom of optic nerve hypoplasia is vision problems, which can range from mild to severe. Affected dogs might squint or have difficulty focusing their eyes, and can also have nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). Some affected dogs can also have dilated pupils, which can be seen when their eyes are examined with an ophthalmoscope.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

The poodle is resting

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 in most cases will keep them looking good. Even though they don’t need daily brushes, they still have high grooming needs.

Many people don’t realize that their dense and curly coat needs a lot of attention beyond brushing. Grooming a Poodle is not an easy task. They’ll need to have their coat trimmed about every three weeks to keep it looking good. Depending on how you want your Poodle to look, they may need more regular grooming.

We recommend giving them a bath every three weeks. If you bathe them after you trim their fur you will avoid a lot of hair clippings being dropped all over your home. All of this attention is necessary to keep their coat clean, styled, and keep them smelling fresh. Remember to trim their nails whenever you give them a bath.

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

Their drop-down ears are prone to infections. Use a cotton cloth to wipe only the visible part of the ears to keep it clean

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Poodle

a close up of colorful dog food

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

These are recommended feeding sizes and the actual amount they need will vary depending on how active your Poodle is during the day.

They should be fed 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.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Poodle. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. They are a small breed and their food needs are minimal. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

Are Poodles High Maintenance Dogs?

Yes, their hair is dense and has a unique texture. To keep them clean and their hair looking the best they need to be groomed regularly. This is a skill most owners will quickly learn to maintain their dog’s appearance.

To save time many Poodle owners take them to a professional groomer to have their hair cut. For some dog owners it’s not about saving time, they have difficulty cutting their dogs’ hair. They take them to the groomers to avoid hurting their dog while cutting their hair.

Are Poodles Good for Families with Allergies?

Yes, Poodles are allergy-friendly dogs. They are good with allergies because unlike other dogs their coat sheds less hair. They produce less allergic substances like saliva and dander. They’re known as 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. They have webbed feet and the thin fur of Poodles make it easy for them to swim. Due to the small size of Toy Poodles, you should keep an eye on them when they are near water.

Author Profile
A woman with curly hair holding a cat.
Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.