Remember the RA you loved in college? The one who seemed to have it all together, who you wanted to be and who could turn a boring Friday night into an exciting one just by turning up? Well, if that RA were reincarnated as a canine, they would be a Poodle. Intelligent, social and up for anything, a Poodle is your biggest cheerleader and will help you focus on what’s really important. (After all, how can you stew over what your boss’ email meant when your pup’s performing a “sit pretty” pose in front of you?) Whether you’re in for a night of junk food and bad TV or a Sunday afternoon brunch with your 6-month-old nephew and grandma, your Poodle is the perfect “plus one” for whatever comes next.
Temperament:SportySmarty PantsLoves The Spotlight
Poodles are best for active pet parents with older kids in homes where someone will be home with them for most of the day.
The Poodle dog breed may have gotten the short shrift in Hollywood, where they’ve been typecast as prissy, silly or neurotic. But in real life, Poodles are generally outgoing, friendly to humans and other pets and eager to please their family. But their mood can often match the mood of those around them: Poodles who live in chaotic households or homes where people are barely home may resort to attention-seeking behavior, such as barking or chewing. Naturally intelligent, Poodles adapt well to training and early socialization. Poodles love their pet parents and would much rather spend time with you than be on their own all day.
How to Care for a Poodle
You think a Poodle’s a delicate flower? Hardly! Bred as hunting dogs with superior running and swimming skills, Poodles are a hardy breed who love to show off. They love lifelong learning and are always up for a training sesh to try new tricks. Their favorite forms of exercise include the outdoors, socializing with people and pets, and of course, going on adventures with their BFF—you.
Poodles have a life span of 10-18 years, although they are prone to a number of health issues. But reputable breeders test their dogs to ensure that future generations aren’t born with certain genetic illnesses. Get a copy of the parents’ (and your pup’s) genetic history and health screenings. If you’re adopting your Poodle, be sure to get a copy of the vet wellness exam.
- Hip Dysplasia: Poodles may be susceptible to hip dysplasia, a condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together properly, which can cause mobility issues. Hip dysplasia has a genetic and environmental component, and proper exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent it. It can be treated with physical therapy, medication and surgery in some cases.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, which can lead to obesity, lethargy and irritability. Hypothyroidism can be easily detected with a simple blood test and can be treated with an inexpensive prescription medication.
- Eye Issues: Some Poodles may be susceptible to eye issues, including cataracts, optic nerve hypoplasia (a condition some dogs are born with), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma. All cause blindness, but cataracts and glaucoma may be treated with surgery. The good news is that Poodles can live a happy life even if they lose their sight and can learn to rely on their other senses.
- Sebaceous Adenitis: This is a skin disease that can inflame the sebaceous glands (glands on the skin responsible for lubricating the skin and hair follicles). This condition can lead to hair loss, scaly skin or irritated patches on the dog’s skin. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as an allergy or other skin condition, but once properly diagnosed, it can be easily treated with special baths or lotions to maintain healthy skin.
Preventative care is important. Help your pup maintain a healthy weight, provide ample opportunities for exercise, and brush their teeth. Also, take note of any time your Poodle seems in pain or changes their behavior, such as losing interest in food or toys or seems more lethargic or irritable than usual. If you see any of these changes, contact your vet.
French Poodle? Think again! The Poodle may be the national dog of France, where they are known as the Caniche (“duck dog”). But the breed originated in Germany over 400 years ago as a dog specialized for duck hunting. The term “poodle” comes from the German word “pudelin,” or splashing in the water, a nod to the dog’s love of water.
The Poodle’s ancestors likely include water dogs, which were invaluable in ancient times to retrieve things (including people) who fell overboard, guarded ships and otherwise served as a trusty mate to the first mates on deck. But during the Renaissance, nobility in France spotted the style of these German duck hunters and began bringing them into the courts as companions. Circuses, too, took note of their good temperament and easy-to-train traits, and the Poodle dog became circus-performing favorites as well.
Although their entré into the United States is a bit murky, the Poodle was recognized by the AKC in 1887. In modern times, their distinctive style and winning personality make them a stand-out sensation; the Poodle has continually been one of the most popular dog breeds in America. Today, they rank seventh on the most popular dog breed list.
Are you wanting to add a Poodle as a pet to your family? A purebred puppy price ranges from about $700 to $2,000. But for that you’re likely getting a puppy that’s been screened for health issues and may come with pedigree papers. You can find reputable breeders at the AKC website. You can also contact Poodle rescues or look for the breed at your local shelter. As with any dog you bring into your family, it’s important to budget in regular vet visits, grooming and training into your budget, too.
Are Poodles hypoallergenic?
Yes, Poodles are considered hypoallergenic, and that makes them a popular dog for people with allergies.
Who are the most famous Poodles?
Some celebrity Poodles include Champagne (Elvis Presley’s pup), Dee Dee (Walt Disney’s dog) and Rufus (Winston Churchill’s pooch).
What are the most common Poodle mixes?
Are Poodles aggressive?
While they are not aggressive, they may be territorial. Training and socialization can help
Are Poodles hunting dogs?
Yes! Poodles are hunting dogs and are known for their keen scent, sight and hearing. Their quick speed and ease in the water makes them especially adept at hunting waterfowl and other small
Are Poodles smart?
Yes, Poodles are super-smart, which is why they have a lifelong love of learning and thrive in training sessions, classes or social situations. A bored Poodle may act out by engaging in destructive behavior like chewing or bathroom challenges.
Smart, funny and up for anything, a Poodle can be a great pet for a new or experienced pet parent. They need plenty of attention, but you’ll be rewarded with plenty of love and lifetime of laughs.
Expert input provided by Kate Knutson, DVM, of Pet Crossing Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic in Bloomington, Minn., and Michelle Alexandre, CPDT, of Patience Inspired Dog Training in Burlington, Vt.
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