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Is the Poodle right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Poodle (Standard); Standard Poodle

The basics:
One of the world's most popular dogs, the Poodle is also widely regarded as one of the most intelligent, perhaps only exceeded in sheer brainpower by the Border Collie itself. While the breed has existed as a pet since at least the fifteenth century, the Poodle took the United States by storm in 1935, when a white Standard Poodle won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York. For around the next 20 years, it was the number one breed registered by the AKC. Even today, they remain one of the top ten most popular pure breeds in America.

Poodles may look high-maintenance, and they certain require good grooming, but they can be active dogs who love swimming, running, or playing games with their owners. They're social, so don't expect to be able to dump them in a backyard alone all day. They can also be very sensitive animals that pick up on tension in the home.

The breed comes in three recognized size varieties: Standard, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle. The “teacup” exists only for marketing purposes.

Appearance / health:
Poodles are elegant dogs with a square build with proportionally long legs and a notable springy gait. The oval eyes are very dark, and set far enough apart with an alert intelligent expression. Ears are long, wide, thickly feathered and hang close to the head. The head is long with alert, dark-colored, almond-shaped eyes. The skull is a bit rounded, and the teeth should have a scissors bite.The chest is deep, moderately wide with well-sprung ribs. The feet are small, oval and webbed, with arched toes. Show dogs usually have the dewclaws removed, and the tail docked to produce a "balanced dog."

Poodles do not appear to shed as dead hair is caught between the outer curly hairs. If the dog is not regularly groomed, the coat can become a tangled mess. Brushing the coat with a hard-bristled brush three or four times a week is necessary to prevent tangles and matting.

The coat needs extra attention between the age of 9 to 16 months as it becomes curlier and coarser. Trimming the coat is necessary. The coat is very versatile and can be shaped into a variety of AKC-approved clip styles. Some allow the coats to become longer, or "corded." This style requires extra maintenance and bathing.

The ears should be checked regularly for mites and the ear hair should be pulled out if necessary. The teeth also need regular scaling (cleaning).

Poodles do not require as much exercise as hunting or working breeds, but being agile and athletic, they enjoy walks, play sessions, and trips outside.

Standard Poodles have their own set of health concerns, which include:

  • Addison's Disease (a treatable disease where adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol resulting in weight loss, fatigue, anemia and other symptoms)
  • Cataracts (opacity of the capsule or eye lens leading to vision impairment)
  • Distichiasis (formation of an additional row of eyelashes that turn in upon the eye)
  • entropion (inward folding of eyelids)
  • epilepsy (seizure)
  • Gastric torsion
  • Sebaceous adenitis (a hereditary skin disease in which the sebaceous glands become inflamed, often leading to progressive loss of hair)
  • Von Willebrand's disease (a hereditary disease characterized by a tendency to hemorrhage, caused by a deficiency or abnormality of the blood proteins that control platelet activity)
  • hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease of hip joints which eventually causes lameness or arthritis)
  • Mammary tumors and dental problems with age

Behavior / temperament:
Poodles thrive in human company and do not like to be left alone for a long time. They also make good watchdogs, but unlike some working breeds, they do not usually become a one-person dogs when they are part of a family. Their high intelligence has made them popular as performers in circuses for centuries. They can become bored easily, and can get quite creative about finding mischief if left on their own too long. They enjoy car rides and do not get carsick.

The Standard Poodle cheerful, clever, highly intelligent, sensitive and easily trainable companion dog. The breed is great at learning tricks, which has made it a favorite in the circus ring. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds.

They become easily emotionally attached to their owners. The Poodle will feel slighted if it is left out of family activities and will noticeably pout. Many owners feel this dog understands speech in an uncanny way. They have an excellent temperament and are neither aggressive nor fearful. They are eager to please and go out of their way to make people around them happy. Poodles need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

Poodles are believed to be one of the most intelligent breeds, and can be easily trained. Basic obedience training is necessary to make them behave properly both at home and in public. Firm and consistent training with positive reinforcement yields best results. When training this breed, harsh disciplinary measures may lead to negative behavioral changes and should be avoided. It must be mentioned that poodles are one of the easiest breeds to potty-train and learn more quickly than most dogs.

They are average barkers, especially to alert owners to strange noises or strangers approaching the home.


graceful animals, big teddy bears, overall temperament, incredibly tolerant, great companions


eye problems, initial cost, high prey drive, breedhip dysplasia, grooming costs, bad breeder


counter surfing, particolored poodles, dysplasia genetic testing

From shelters/rescues




White Plains, NY





Freeport, NY


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