So, you have decided to become a Poodle parent! Congratulations! Poodles are gorgeous dogs that date back to the 15th century. Once used primarily as gun dogs, Poodles have since become a popular family favorite around the world. Today, Poodles are not only companion animals; they are also service dogs for the disabled, as well as participants in competitive obedience and agility competitions. Poodles are energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise and of course, a lot of grooming.

If the grooming needs of the Poodle have not yet scared you off, then you are in good shape! But don’t ignore the dog care information to follow. For example, do you know what type of Poodle you want to add to your family? There are several different types available including the standard, miniature, and toy. The Standard Poodle is 21 to 26 inches in height, weighs 45 to 70 pounds, and lives approximately 11 to 13 years. They come in a variety of colors including white, cream, brown, apricot, black, silver and blue. Poodles that are a mix of colors are available; however, only solids are recognized by the AKC.

Miniature Poodles were originally bred as lapdogs and still serve that purpose today. They are 11 to 15 inches in height, weigh 26 to 30 pounds and live approximately 12 to 14 years. Miniature Poodles are smaller versions of the Standard. They are adaptable dogs and do just as well in the city as they do in the country or suburbs. They are perfect apartment companions as long as they get their daily exercise and have plenty of toys to keep them busy.

Both the Standard and Miniature Poodle do well with other animals, especially if they are socialized early. Poodles are happy-go-lucky dogs that tend to get excited easily. They can quickly become a nuisance to older pets so if you have an elderly dog, it is important to teach your Poodle proper doggie manners early on. All three Poodle varieties are intelligent, quick learners. Because Poodles tend to get excited easily, training should be calm, positive and consistent! When training your Poodle, patience will be key. These dogs aim to please their owners but do get bored quickly if training is not fun and interactive.

The Toy Poodle is in one word, adorable! Though they look like cute, stuffed toys, don’t let them fool you! Toy Poodles are not just fashion accessories for celebrities; they are fluffy, little balls of fun that are quick on their paws and quite intelligent. Toy Poodles are ideal if you live in a small apartment and just so happen to hate exercise! These little lapdogs will keep you company and will cuddle until the cows come home. Unfortunately, due to popularity, the Miniature Poodle has kept many puppy mills in business. If you are considering purchasing a Poodle of any type, please, please, please only buy from a responsible breeder or better yet, save a life and adopt from a Poodle rescue group.

Most purebred dogs have certain medical problems that they are prone to and the Poodle is no exception. Possible medical problems of the Standard Poodle include: hip malformation (dysplasia), eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy and Willebrand’s Disease which is a bleeding disorder. Standard Poodles are also prone to bloat and ear infections. Miniature and Toy Poodles are also prone to medical problems such as kneecap dislocation, epilepsy and progressive retinal atrophy. All poodles can suffer from skin disorders if their coats are not properly groomed and cared for. As with any dog, it is important to take your Poodle to the veterinarian for regular health check -ups and vaccinations.

Grooming your Poodle is very important. It is a task that cannot be ignored! Poodles have thick, curly coats that require daily brushing. If not groomed on a consistent basis, Poodles can easily develop mats that can cause skin problems and infections. The less you groom your poodle, the greater the chance you will need to take your four-legged friend to the vet and that means money out of your wallet! Poodles also need to be clipped every six to eight weeks. Their coat s do not molt and will quickly grow into a huge, matted mess if not clipped. If you do not have time for proper Poodle maintenance, then it would be wise to choose a different breed. Though Poodles are fun, intelligent, wonderful family dogs, if they are not cared for properly they will be miserable and so will you when your bank account dwindles down because of vet bills.

Poodles make wonderful, family pets. They have an air of elegance about them and they are very intelligent. Whether you choose the Standard, Miniature or Toy, you will be adding a loving, affectionate dog to your family.