Importance of Toy Poodle Training

Toy poodles have more energy than any other dog I have encountered, even labs. Their small size makes it seem like they are easy to control, but poodles are smart dogs and toy poodles are endlessly active. It is important to have training, otherwise every time someone says a word that your dog recognizes (like “”squirrel”” or “”ball””, you will find yourself with incessant barking.

Training helps toy poodles become more socialized with people. They are social, sweet dogs as a rule, but they need guidance to become part of a family. I have never known anyone who regretted training, but I have known people who have regretted not getting proper training.

A toy poodle lives for a long time, and you want to have a good companion. You want a dog that will behave and be happy, and training supports those goals.

Know Your Stuff Before Contacting Poodle Breeders

Before you contact and/or visit the poodle breeders you have found and are interested in, you need to be aware of the following –

Know what variety of poodle you want

Poodles come in three sizes:

  • Toy Poodle – These are the smallest size and are ideal for people who live in apartments and do not have small children.
  • Miniature Poodle – These poodles are slightly larger than the toy and not as fragile, making them acceptable for apartments and compatible with children.
  • Standard Poodle – These poodles would be happier in a house with a yard, and require plenty of exercise. They are good with children.

Although these are the three types of poodles, some poodle breeders will claim to breed what is known as a “Tiny Toy” or “Teacup” poodle. Essentially this is a poodle that has been bred so small it is less than 4 pounds when fully grown. Although it may sound cute to own a pocket dog, take into consideration how fragile and unhealthy these dogs would be. Avoid purchasing any type of poodle that is not recognized by kennel clubs.

Know the breed standard

Even if you don’t plan on showing your poodle, it is imperative that you know what the dog’s appearance, temperament, and life expectancy is. Research as much as you can about the poodle by reading books, articles, magazines, websites, and first hand experiences of poodle owners. You need to know what to look for in a poodle, as well as both the good and bad side when it comes to owning one.

Once you have fully researched the dog, you can then make a list of questions you can ask poodle breeders. You will also be able to compare the sire and dam to the breed standard.

Investigate health problems

Poodles are prone to a number of genetic disorders including:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy – An eye disease that can lead to blindness.
  • Juvenile Renal Disease – Serious kidney disease that can occur in standard poodles. The disease usually results in death.
  • Von Willerbrand’s disease – Blood disorder characterized by lack of, or poor blood clot formation.
  • Addison’s Disease – Secretion deficiency of mineralcorticoids and glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex.
  • Sebaceous Adenitis – Skin disorder that occurs mainly in standard poodles
  • Epilepsy – Chronic seizures.
  • Hip Dysplasia – Malformed hip joint that can easily slip out of the socket
  • Hypothyroidism – Endocrine disorder that affects the thyroid gland and causes abnormal functioning of organs and body tissues resulting in a sluggish, overweight dog.
  • Bloat – Severe and sudden swelling of the stomach caused by gas and/or fluid. Bloat is a medical emergency and often results in death.

It is imperative that you know all about these illnesses so you can ask the poodle breeders about the genetics of the dogs they have bred. Furthermore, you can find out if the breeders have certified their dogs with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFFA). This is an organization that works to eliminate genetic disease such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

The more you know about the poodle before contacting the breeder, the better chance you have of finding reputable poodle breeders and a healthy poodle to call your own.

Poodles At A Glance

Poodles are prized for their dynamic, clever and friendly manner. They are recognized as one of the most intelligent breeds and are eager to learn and please their master. They enjoy the company of humans and can adapt to virtually any environment as long as they are with the people they love.

The most defining feature of the poodle breed is their incredibly curly mop of hair that covers their entire body, making them appear incredibly puffy when not trimmed.

Poodles are available in three different sizes – standard, miniature and toy. Each type is very popular and makes wonderful, loveable, active family pets.

Poodles and Their History

Poodles have existed in Western Europe since at least the 17 th century. Although there is much controversy over where the breed originated, France has finally been declared the official country of origin. However, despite the fact that France is said to have developed the breed, it is clear that the breed has roots in Denmark, Germany and ancient Piedmont.

It is believed that the poodle breed was developed from the Barbet the French water dog, and the Hungarian water hound. It is likely that the name “Poodle” was derived from “Pudel” a German word which roughly translates to one who plays in water.

Poodles were originally bread as hunting dogs to track scents and retrieve waterfowl. In fact it is because of hunting that they were given their distinctive coat cut. The hunters clipped the thick coat of the poodle to help them be more agile and so that they could swim better. However, they left tufts of hair around the leg joints to protect them from sharp reeds and the cold.

Since its development, the poodle breed has been celebrated for its intelligence and trainability. The French capitalized on these characteristics and often had the poodle perform as a circus dog. Due to the fact that poodles were so popular in France, the breed is commonly known as “French Poodles”. That being said, it is interesting to note that in France the poodle is actually known as “Caniche” a word that translates to duckdog.

Although the original poodle breed is the larger standard poodle, the miniature and toy poodle came into existence in the 18 th century and were just as popular. The toy poodle was especially popular in the French royal court in the 1700s.

Today, poodles of all sizes are still loved and enjoyed by many families. They have not lost their charm and are still recognized as one of the most intelligent of dog breeds currently in existence.


Poodles – Standard, Miniature or Toy

Standard poodles were originally bread as hunters and are part of the Gun Dog, Utility and Non-Sporting groups. The miniature or toy poodle is more of a lap dog and is part of the Gun Dog and Toy groups.

The poodle is a natural born swimmer, loves long walks, enjoys running, and vigorous play time. That being said, all poodles are rather inactive indoors and can adapt well to virtually any environment, including apartment life (especially the toy and miniature), if provided with sufficient exercise and the freedom to run around off leash on occasion. Just remember that the standard poodle will require more exercise than the smaller poodle varieties.

The height and weight of the three poodle varieties are as follows:

Standard Poodle – Height 15 inches or taller, weight is 45 – 70 pounds

Miniature Poodle – Height 11-15 inches, weight 15 – 17 pounds

Toy Poodle – Height no taller than 10 inches, weight 6-9 pounds.

Note: The Tea Cup poodle variety (those smaller than the Toy) does not exist, even though Toy poodles are sometimes referred to as Tea Cup poodles.

Poodles are a long lived breed and live anywhere from 12 – 15+ years. Although they have a decent life expectancy, poodles are prone to a number of hereditary health problems including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, hip dysplasia, allergies, skin problems, bloat and Von Willebrand’s Disease. In addition, it’s not uncommon for the brown-colored poodle variety to gray prematurely.

As was previously mentioned, poodles are very intelligent and are highly trainable. However, like all dogs they require a certain level of obedience training to develop into a credit to their breed. Furthermore, keep in mind that their clever nature also makes them quite mischievous.

Poodles are very friendly dogs and enjoy human companionship; however, they can be very protective and standoffish towards strangers if not socialized at a young age. Moreover, poodles make excellent watchdogs and standards can also be trained as guard dogs if desired.

A poodle tends to get along well with other dogs, but is not usually compatible with cats and rodents. In addition, although the poodle breed is tolerant of children, it is imperative that a child knows how to properly interact with a poodle to avoid any mishaps, as poodles do not take kindly to being teased or treated poorly.

Poodles are an excellent choice for those who have allergies to dog fur as they shed little to no hair. That being said, their coat requires daily grooming (brushing) and extensive grooming (bathing, clipping and ear care) is required every 1 ½ – 2 months. The teeth of the poodle also require scaling regularly. The coat of the poodle is available in a variety of different solid colors including white, black, gray, brown, tan and red. There are even multicolor coat varieties.

Poodles make ideal family pets and will never leave you feeling lonely. They are faithful companions, and are happiest when they are with their owners. They do not like to be alone. Therefore, think long and hard about adopting this breed if you have a busy life that will not include the dog most of the time.

Breed Standards For Poodle Puppies

Poodle puppies are adorable and feisty, and are covered from head to toe in curly hair. However, there is more to selecting a puppy than choosing the cutest, cuddly, and fluffiest one. The following is what you need to keep in mind when you go on your poodle puppy hunt.

There are two important aspects you need to consider when selecting a pup:

  • Appearance
  • Temperament

Appearance – you need to carefully analyze the puppy’s overall appearance. A poodle pup should have a relatively long head and muzzle. The skull is slightly round and features a minor stop. They have a well-defined chin, a perfect scissor bite, and their head should be proportioned to the rest of their body.

Poodle puppies should have wide ears that fold down and hang close to the head. Their eyes are almond shaped and vary in color based on their coat coloring; however, they are usually a dark shade. The eyes convey an intelligent and bright expression.

Poodles have relatively wide and deep chest bodies. Their ribs are round and well sprung, and the loins are muscular and broad. Their short back is strong and the tail may be either docked or undocked. The docked tail is quite high and is carried at an angle, not over the back. The undocked tail is also high and should be carried as straight as possible and away from the body.

The legs of poodle puppies are muscular and strong. The front legs are straight and the back legs feature bent stifles. Neither the front nor the back legs should turn out or in. The legs taper into tight, small feet that are oval shaped and should be straight. The pads of the paws should be thick and hard and the toes well arched.

Make sure you watch the puppy walk before you make your selection. Although the pup will be slightly awkward due to his/her size, they should be free in their movements and have plenty of drive. In addition, poodle puppies should have a proud look and an air of elegance about them.

The coat of the poodle puppy should be made up of thick curly hair that is of a dense, harsh texture. Poodle puppies come in a variety of solid coat colors including:

  • White/Cream – Dark brown eyes and black features (I.E. nose, eye rims, lips, and toenails
  • Brown – Dark amber eyes and dark liver colored features
  • Apricot/Red – Dark brown eyes and black features or dark amber eyes and liver colored features.
  • Black/Silver/Blue – Dark brown eyes and black features

Temperament – Poodle puppies should have a happy and friendly temperament. They should not be shy or aggressive, and be very playful and affectionate.

It is vital for you to keep all of this information in mind when looking at poodle puppies to ensure that the dog you are selecting is a healthy and ideal representation of their breed.

Poodle Care – All About Grooming Your Poodle

Grooming is an important part of poodle care. It dramatically enhances the elegance, beauty and even the health of the dog. Although a poodle requires daily brushing and/or combing to keep their fur mat free, a poodle also requires a washing and trimming every 1 – 2 months, as their coat grows quickly and can easily overwhelm the poodle.

Grooming a poodle is an involved process and is a mandatory part of poodle care. Therefore, it needs to be introduced to the dog at an early age so he/she becomes used to the process. Most breeders will actually begin clipping the tail, feet and face of poodle puppies as early as 6 weeks of age.

You may choose to have a professional groomer clip your dog or you may wish to learn how to groom them yourself. If you are willing to learn how to groom your poodle yourself, you will need to purchase grooming supplies such as:

  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Clippers
  • Scissors
  • Dog shampoo
  • Blow dryer

Once you have your poodle care supplies you need to take your time introducing your dog to the items you will be using. For instance, introduce your puppy to the clippers by turning the machine on and holding it near the puppy for a few minutes so they become familiar with the noise and are less likely to be frightened. Once he/she is familiar with the noise, you can begin touching the clippers to the puppy so he/she can become used to the vibrations (don’t clip your dog at this point).

You should keep introducing your dog to the noise and feeling of the clippers a few times during a week before you actually begin grooming. Don’t rush your dog. Some poodles will become accustomed to the clippers faster than others.

When you begin your grooming poodle care, make sure your puppy knows this is not a game. Be firm but gentle with your dog. It is only natural for your puppy to want to resist grooming. He/she may try crying, snapping or wiggly away. Don’t permit this behavior and make sure your puppy knows that this is something he/she will have to tolerate. You must be firm with your dog and correct any negative behavior during first grooming experiences so you don’t fight with your dog every time you go through the grooming process.

Do not groom your dog on the floor or a flat surface that is slippery. The poodle must have secure footing. A sturdy grooming table is a good idea to invest in, as it won’t allow your dog to run away, and will make him feel safe. In addition, you should groom your poodle in good lighting and should make sure no other distractions are in the room.

Now that you know the basics of poodle care when it comes to grooming, let’s take a look at the different coat cuts you can give your poodle –

Pet or Puppy Clip – Hair is clipped short all over the body

Continental Clip – The rear half of the body is shaved and tufts of hair (known as bracelets) are left around the ankles and there is a pom-pom on the end of the tail.

Traditional or Lamb Clip – The coat is left the same length (slightly long) all over the body.

The puppy and lamb clip are usually the preferred choice among the average poodle owner, as these coats are the easiest to create and maintain. It’s important that you choose the cut that is most convenient for you and your dog when it comes to your time and poodle care.

Poodle Dogs and Children – Are they compatible?

Poodle dogs and children have the potential to develop a wonderful relationship. Poodles are a very affectionate dog breed and can be devoted to all of their human family members regardless of their gender or age. However, the opposite can be true if children neglect the dog or are mean, tease, or harm them in any way. This type of cruel behavior is what turns trusting and loving poodles into fearful, untrusting or aggressive dogs. Most poodles will not put up with abusive behavior.

Therefore, to ensure a poodle dog and children get along well, it’s imperative that parents invest time in teaching their children how to properly care for the poodle, how to play with him/her, and when to leave the dog alone. When you provide children with understanding of the dog, the more conscious they will be of how they interact with the family pet and the more they will love the poodle.

To help a child understand a poodle, it’s a good idea to allow them to participate in all the care that is required to maintain a health, happy dog. This means including children in –

  • Feeding the dog
  • Walking the dog
  • Grooming the dog
  • Giving water to the dog

Children like to participate and they enjoy a certain level of responsibility. The older they become, the more they can learn and their responsibility will grow. Although school-age children can handle feeding the poodle dog and providing him/her with water, these tasks shouldn’t be trusted with very small children.

For instance, toddlers should never be left alone with the poodle, or any family pet for that matter. Toddlers are curious and will not understand how to interact with the dog. There is a greater chance that the poodle will snap at very small children, even though teasing done to the dog may have been unintentional.

It’s always best to introduce your poodle to a newborn baby, instead of trying to keep the dog away from the infant. By segregating the poodle from the baby, you risk giving the poodle the idea that the baby is an intruder and not a member of the family.

Even though you may want to keep the poodle dog away from your baby to avoid germs being passed, there is actually very little chance that a disease can be passed to the baby from the dog. Just remember to teach the dog to not lick the baby. It’s best to introduce the dog and baby and allow the poodle to sniff the infant and accept it as a new member of the family. You will likely find that when your poodle accepts your baby, he/she will be more patient with the infant and even be protective of the child.

This is how you can begin developing a beautiful relationship between a young child and a dog.

Finally, keep in mind that miniature poodles, and especially toy poodles, are more fragile than the standard poodle dog. Hence, make sure children know how to handle these dogs to ensure no injury comes to the pet.

All About Standard Poodles

Standard poodles are a very old breed of dog that have been perfected for centuries to create the unique, energetic, and intelligent form that we have today. It is believed to have been around for at least 400 years, finding its roots in Western Europe.

Its actual origin location isn’t known for certain, but it is believed that the original breeding between a Barbet and an Hungarian Water Hound occurred somewhere in the region of Denmark, Germany, France, or Piedmont. Though all of these countries do have their own justified claims to the standard poodle origins, the official title has been given to France, to which the standard poodle is most heavily associated; some do call the standard poodle the “French Poodle”. Amusingly enough, though, the French don’t call it “poodle” at all, but refer to the breed as Caniche, which means “duck dog”.

Though officially French, the standard poodle’s name is believed to stemmed from the German word that means one who plays in water, pudel. This is because the first use for standard poodles was a gundog for hunting waterfowl in Germany and France. The coat was trimmed so that the legs were bare except for its joints so that they remained protected from both the cold air and water temperatures, as well as the plants and reeds that could be sharp as the dog ran or swam through them.

Since standard poodles also had great intelligence and trainability to go with their physical capabilities, the French made the breed extremely popular for jobs other than hunting. In fact, they were used for just about everything from scenting to entertainment as performers in the circuses!

The standard poodle is an elegant dog with a moderate build. It’s not a bulky dog, but it’s also not slim nor frail. It’s overall appearance should be well balanced and have a very dignified and satisfied air about it.

One of the most distinguishing features of the standard poodle is its coat. It has a very wooly; long, curly, and thick. It is considered to be a non-shedding dog. This means that like all dogs, they do go through seasonal hair loss and replacement, it is not at the substantial, constant rate as seen, for example, with golden retrievers. There are many different clips (styles) that poodles can wear, including the “English saddle”, and “continental”, which are the most widely used. Dogs younger than a year will usually wear the “puppy clip”.

Standard poodles make great pets as well as working dogs, as they are alert, active, intelligent, and very eager to please. In fact, they are widely considered to be among the most intelligent dog breeds. Because of this brightness, though, owners need to make certain that their dogs are always stimulated and entertained because they are easily bored, leading them to become quite imaginative in the ways that they will get into mischief.

Best of all for standard poodles as pets are great with families and visitors, as they adore people. They do remain, though, great watchdogs since they are so loyal to their family and want to ensure its security. They are also usually quite mellow dogs, making them great and manageable company. Keep in mind, however, that they do like lots of exercise because of their athletic nature, and if they don’t receive their exercise through playing and walking, they will find other ways to use their energy.

Overall, the standard poodle is a joy as a pet, a companion, and as a working dog. It is one of the most practical, intelligent, and appealing breeds, and lives up to its popularity wholly.

All About Toy Poodles

Like its larger cousins, the toy poodle – a version of the breed reaching only 10 inches – is an intelligent, elegant, and appealing dog, with a distinct wooly coat. The toy poodle is extremely attractive with its long, wide, flat ears that lay down close to its head, and its wide, happy, alert almond-shaped eyes. The breed maintains the webbed, arched toes, which are good for swimming, though the feet are quite small in relation to its body.

There are three primary grooming styles that are used for the toy poodle. The first is the “pet clip” also referred to as the “puppy clip”, which leaves the hair short throughout the body of the animal.

The second style is the “English saddle” clip, which clips the throat and face, as well as the feet and forelegs, and the base of the tail (not the end, where a puff shaped like a pompom is shaped). Puffs remain in the center of the shaved forelegs. The hind end of the English saddle clip allows for a short even coat except for two bands shaved into the hind legs and an area clipped from each flank. The feet should be clearly visible below the puffs on the legs. The rest of the body’s coat is left “naturally”, but it can be clipped into shapes for a balanced overall appearance.

The third style is the “Continental” clip, which shaves the entire rear half of the dog, leaving only thin fur bracelets around the dog’s hind ankles, and pompoms on its tail and even on its hips.

The gait of the toy poodle is light and springy to go with its buoyant personality. It is a very sensitive dog, and is startlingly intelligent. They are among the most trainable breeds, even though many owners of toy dogs don’t give as much attention to training as their larger sized counterparts. They are quite demanding for attention and play time, but they are delightful and happy overall.

Toy poodles can be quite reserved with strangers, so they should be socialized form an early age as much as is possible. This trait does, however, make them particularly good watch dogs, as they are always watching out for the ones they love, while they can be suspicious of every other person who approaches.

It is not uncommon for a toy poodle to be timid and rather high strung, so owners need to make an effort to teach then not to snap when they are startled or teased. A toy poodle is therefore a great dog for families with older children who understand how to be considerate of dogs, or simply no children at all.