The change in public perception of poodles has been a magnificent one. From a highly regarded aquatic retrievers in Austria, they are now mostly associated with France and with being a sign of elegance. Most of these ideas are misconceptions as Poodles are a loving breed in all sizes, and they prefer to spend most of their time with people, playing, cuddling, or having a walk.
There are four types of Poodles depending on the size, with the Royal Poodle, or Standard Poodle, being the biggest type, followed by miniature poodles that are still a decent size. The smallest breeds are the Toy Poodle and the Teacup Poodle, which have little in common with their retriever ancestors and are mostly little puffy balls of joy that would prefer to spend their days in the arms of their owner. This makes the poodle one of the best emotional support animals, even if their stubbornness will often bar them from becoming service animals.
Many people think that Poodle grooming is difficult, but that level is reserved for shows and exhibitions, with household Poodles only needing some brushing, nail clipping, and a haircut every month or two.
The actual size of the meals for poodles depends on the size of the dog itself, but the general ingredients are similar for all sizes. Although this breed is mostly carnivorous, they do need a balanced and diverse diet and are much more resistant to various vegetables and even fruit.
A good meal should have between 50% and 60% of meaty protein, with fish and poultry being the best options and the ones their digestive tract has been used to in the past. The other 40% should be evenly split between carbs and fats. In most cases, high-quality wet canned food will be the best everyday option, but kibble and raw food are also good.
You should inquire on the label of the food to see if there is any vitamins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as these are very beneficial to the dog and should be supplemented if the dog food doesn’t contain any.
The time, effort, and resources you may spend grooming a poodle will depend wildly on whether you wish to prepare your dog for an exhibition or just keep them tidy. For the former, you will probably require some help from a professional groomer, and it will cost a pretty penny to get the dog to perfection.
For regular grooming, brushing several times a week should be more than adequate, as well as a haircut every few months. Unlike almost all other breeds, poodles do not shed their hair, and the only way to remove excess coat is to trim it off. This also means that you can brush the dog anywhere you want, as there will not be a mess once you are done. Most poodles will need nail clipping, but the periods between these trims will depend on the size. For standard poodles, this will be around once a month, while toy poodles and teacup poodles can last up to six months without a good pedicure.
Finally, the eyes and the ears should be checked and cleaned regularly, as this is a common place for infection. Cleaning these places with a baby wipe every now and then will ensure that the dog is both pretty, healthy, and happy.
As with other aspects of a poodle, this will also depend on the actual size of the dog. Generally, this dog breed is very active, and there are a lot of benefits with keeping your poodle well exercised. Playing fetch and walking is the best option for exercise, with the more robust types needing more.
With any exercise, make sure to adapt to the needs of the dog. A standard poodle will easily fetch a tennis ball from across the part, while a tea-cup poodle will not even be able to lift the ball, as it is wider than their head. Poodles have a much better color recognition than most dogs, and they will have an easier time fetching interesting items that they can play with later.
You shouldn’t worry too much about over exercising your dog, as they are quite stubborn and will not do more work than they can. Thankfully, for toy poodles and especially teacup poodles you can always take them in your arms and carry them everywhere.
Poodles are one of the most intelligent dogs in existence, which means that they are both easy to train, but also easy to be stubborn about listening to your commands. Unlike some other breeds, a poodle usually knows what you want it to do. It just doesn’t want to comply. This must be solved with constant positive reinforcement and creativity in training, as keeping it fun will make the dog interested long enough to internalize the commands.
While their stubbornness means that poodles are hard to become service dogs and need training for these jobs from the moment they are tiny poodle puppies, their pro activity and intuition mean that they are a perfect therapy dog that will come to comfort you even when you don’t call it over.
People who are in need of an emotional support animal should be happy by the fact that the poodle will do most of the ESA training, with them only needing to learn a couple of tips and tricks as to make this process easier.
Poodles are generally a healthy breed, and any health issues they might have can be divided into problems that exist at birth, and problems that develop with old age. Hip dysplasia is common, as it is with most breeds today as well as hypoglycemia in puppies. Both of these health issues will be noticed by the vet at birth and should be addressed at once.
As they grow older, progressive retinal atrophy, as well as epilepsy, are known to emerge, which are usually combated with medication. Finally, as poodles are highly intelligent, there is a chance of some health problems that are more commonly associated with humans, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
The Bottom Line
Due to their high intelligence, there is no such thing as a common poodle psychology, as the dogs will try to mimic the behavior of their owners. If properly taken care of, poodles are excellent therapy animals and very grateful pets, and they will gladly give their love and affection to you if you decide to be their owner.