If you’re feeling a bit like Goldilocks when it comes to picking the right size for your dog, the poodle might be the perfect fit for you and your family. Coming in three different sizes, it is easy to find a poodle that is just right. Learn all about this regal and wonderful breed and which poodle might be right for you!
About the poodle
Described by the American Kennel Club as active, proud, and very smart, poodles make wonderful family pets. And those, three sizes we mentioned? Standard, miniature, and toy mean there is a poodle that will be just the right size. The standard poodle measures at least 15 inches to the shoulder. A miniature poodle will stand at 15 inches or under and the toy poodle will be no more than 10 inches.
You might immediately recognize the showier version of a poodle sporting what is known as a continental clip, but many pet owners who don’t show their pups prefer to keep their dogs in an easier-to-maintain sporting clip.
Regardless of hairstyles, the poodle is an eager, athletic, and versatile dog that can thrive in many different but active lifestyles.
Although the poodle is the national dog of France, the breed originated in Germany. They were first bred to hunt ducks and poodle comes from the word pudelin, which refers to the dog’s splashing in the water. The breed's history stretches back over 400 years and over that time these regal and elegant dogs transitioned from lapping through the water to living in the lap of luxury. The poodle became very popular with the wealthy in France and then eventually gained popularity across Europe.
In the early 20th century Americans began breeding toy poodles as companion pups. Today you can find all three sizes of poodles thriving in the show ring and as beloved pets in many households around the world.
4 Pros of poodle ownership
1. They don’t shed
Poodles have long hair, instead of fur so they do not shed. This may make upkeep of your house and furniture significantly easier. Poodle hair is less prone to triggering allergies in those who are allergic to dogs so if someone in your household suffers from allergies, you may still be able to have a poodle as a pet!
2. They're easy to train
The poodle’s intelligence and eagerness to please make them easy to train. From basic obedience to tricks, these dogs can master it all. Did you know that in Europe poodles were used as circus performers? That’s because they could pick up tricks easily and delight their audiences.
3. They're good with children or other dogs
The poodle’s friendly personality means they are great with kids and other pups. Just remember that each individual dog has their own likes and dislikes and it is important to supervise young children and other pups around your dog. Ensure that kids are taught to treat pups with respect and be gentile and other dogs are properly introduced.
4. They make great service dogs or therapy dogs
If you’re looking for a service dog that can perform a variety of tasks, or are interested in finding a pup you can work with as a therapy dog team, the poodle might be the right pup for you. Standard poodles can be the optimal size to help someone get around, greet elderly patients in wheelchairs or using mobility aids, and miniature or toy poodles might thrive volunteering in a children's hospital.
3 Cons of poodle ownership
1. Their hair requires some serious maintenance
Because poodles can grow their hair long, they require a lot more maintenance than breeds with short, flat coats. This includes regular (almost daily) brushing to avoid matting and clipping at home or by a groomer every 4-8 weeks depending on how they wear their hair and the seasons. If you can’t commit to keeping your dog’s hair tangle-free and spending time or money on grooming services, you might want to choose another breed of pup.
2. They require a lot of mental stimulation
While these pups have learned to live a luxurious lifestyle they’re rarely content to live as lap dogs. Poodles need something to do or they will use their intelligence for less desired behaviors like digging, chewing, or excessive barking. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to provide ample mental stimulation for your dog, it might be worth considering another breed.
3. They can be emotionally sensitive
Poodles can be hypersensitive to loud noises and startle easily. If there is a lot of yelling or chaos in the home it can be upsetting to a poodle. They may show stress responses like gastrointestinal issues or even develop neurotic behaviors.
Are poodles good pets?
Yes, poodles make very good pets and even family dogs. Their friendliness, eagerness to learn, and desire to connect with their people make them a wonderful addition to any household. When bringing a new poodle into your home, remember to keep things calm and work on creating an environment in which they’ll thrive. This means making sure they have a cozy place to rest and decompress, things to do (toys and enrichment puzzles), and time to learn. If you’re bringing home a new poodle puppy, consider enrolling in some puppy kindergarten classes as soon as your dog is eligible. They will love the opportunity to learn and bond with you.
At Ollie, we know a thing or two about feeding poodles. In fact, this breed is one of the 15 most common dogs we provide food for. When you welcome your new poodle into your family, take our quiz to learn which Ollie recipe will be best for your dog.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.