Poodle Breed Information: Temperament, Health & Sizes (Standard, Miniature, Toy)

Originally Poodles were duck retrievers. A Poodle would jump into the water and swim to the duck he wanted to retrieve. They were bred to be very good swimmers.

Standard and Miniature Poodles are a member of the AKC’s nonsporting group. Toy Poodles are in the toy group.

These days Poodles can do many different activities. They are good companions and participate in obedience, agility, flyball, dock diving, conformation, canine freestyle, hunting, and tracking. They also make excellent rescue dogs and service dogs.

They are also a popular breed that gets cross bred with other dogs like the labrador retriever or golden retriever.

Traits and Sizes

Poodles come in three sizes. The Standard size is over fifteen inches at the shoulder. The Miniature version is ten to fifteen inches tall. And the Toy Poodle is ten inches or under.

The Toy, Miniature, and Standard Poodles all come in a variety of colors: black, brown, gray, blues, apricot, cream, silver, and white.

Would you like one of each? Some people like all of their dogs to be the same color and others would prefer two of each. The choice is yours!

Most Poodles have had their tails docked. This means that the tail has been surgically shortened by a veterinarian. This breed was originally bred to retrieve hunted ducks from the water. With a shorter tail, the dog could swim easier and the hunter could see the pom-pom (ball of hair) above the water and know where his dog was at all times.

But now, most Poodles don’t hunt and some people believe they shouldn’t dock the dog’s tail. They think that they look just fine with a long tail. What do you think?

The name “Poodle” has been said to come from the German word “pfudel,” which means “to splash” or “puddle.”

Know Your Breed

All Poodles need special grooming. They need regular baths and they especially need to be trimmed. Many people take their Poodles to professional groomers. They can make the breed look like a show dog or they can give them a puppy cut, where most of the hair is the same length.

Do They Shed?

Poodles are considered a non-shedding dog. But all mammals lose a tiny bit of hair every day, so that new hair can grow in. If you groom your Poodle regularly, you probably won’t even see the small amount of hair that comes out.

Are They Hypoallergenic?

They are excellent dogs for people who have allergies, most of the time. However, some people are very sensitive and could have a problem even with a dog that is thought to be hypoallergenic. It’s best to check with an allergy doctor before purchasing a new dog.

They are friendly and like to be involved with whatever you’re doing. They like other dogs and cats, and they get along well with children.

Poodles are intelligent, loyal, and playful. They like to be the center of attention and they enjoy performing tricks.

These handsome dogs have lots of muscles which make them strong. Poodles are very good swimmers.

They  are intelligent and can be taught almost anything. Like many dogs, Miniature and Toy sizes can be overly excitable if they have nothing to do. All of them enjoy obedience and do well in classes and at dogs shows.

Exercise Requirements

A Poodle would love a long walk once or twice a day. It’s very healthy for him to get out and move his muscles. Even if you have a yard, it’s important to go for long walks. Exercise will keep your dog’s heart strong so that he lives for a long time.

Poodles enjoy hide and seek, fetch, games, and other activities like swimming, flyball, agility, tracking, obedience, and conformation. Some even dance in what we call Canine Freestyle!

Going to a dog park, the beach, a mall, or to a friend’s house is a great way to visit other dogs, and meet new people. This is called socializing and it helps your dog become a good citizen.

Poodles are pretty good watchdogs. They are lively dogs who enjoy barking. A Poodle may need some training so that he doesn’t bark too much. The Standard Poodle may be calmer than the smaller Poodles, but they all need training to be good dogs.

Once in a while, Poodles can be a little stubborn. Starting obedience at an early age will help him become a good citizen and help him to have good manners.

Just like any small dog, the people in a Toy Poodle’s life must treat him carefully and gently. Rough play with a Toy Poodle can be harmful. As with any dog, gentle handling is always the best way to work with a dog.

Spend lots of time with your new pup from an early age so he is comfortable with you. Roll him over, touch his feet, look at his teeth, and brush him gently. This will help him get used to being handled and he will be a better companion when he is older.

Because some of them are small, they make great dogs for condos and apartments. They like to live in the city or the country. Country dogs and city dogs all need the same care and they both need exercise.

Remember that running around a backyard is nice, but it won’t give your Poodle the real exercise that he needs.