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Pet Poodles – Personality traits, Cost and Care

Poodles
Reading Time: 15 minutes

Classy. Smart. Proud.

Poodles have been known to be one of the most stylish dog breeds. Once you’re a dog lover, seeing them makes your heart flutter.

Beneath that coat of fur is a highly intelligent dog, which makes them very easy to train. They are energetic and affectionate towards the family.

Since they are energetic, poodles can easily engage in different activities. They are highly trainable and suitable for many tasks.

Even though owning a poodle would be adorable, many are still skeptical about it. To help you, I’ll be talking about everything you need to know about owning a poodle.

Poodles typically live 10-15 years. Poodles are active, intelligent, loyal, and social. Standard poodles cost $700-1,500, while toy and miniature poodles cost around $1,000-2,000. After the initial purchase, grooming and food are the main costs.

You’re probably confused as to which is standard and which is miniature, I’ll explain in a bit. Now let’s break this down.

Physical Appearance Of A Poodle

poodle

Poodles are recognized easily. Even if you’ve never owned one, you can recognize it easily. They are famous for different things.

The poodle’s coat length is long. Their hair continues to grow long and curly which is why grooming is an important part of owning a poodle.

Other breeds of dogs simply shed, but poodles grow out theirs like humans into being beautiful and curly. This is why they are hypoallergenic. They don’t shed, so people with allergies can safely own a poodle.

Poodle hair is one of their most defining features as it gets really curly. The color of a Poodle’s coat varies but is usually a solid color. It can be white, gray, or black.

Now for the standard and miniature mentioned above. There are typically three types of poodle based on their size.

  • Standard: Largest poodle
  • Miniature: Medium-sized poodle
  • Toy: Smallest poodle

The long curly hair is the same in all the types, so that doesn’t change. From these names, one might think the standard is quite big. No, it isn’t.

Standard poodles were the original sized poodles. But after a while, the miniature and toy poodles were bred from standard poodles mainly for the bourgeoisie.

Due to the size difference, these three types of poodles vary in size and weight as you can see from the table.

Standard PoodleMiniature PoodleToy Podle
HeightOver 15 inches10 – 15 inchesLess than 10 inches
Weight40 – 45 lbs10 – 20 lbs5 – 10 lbs

Apart from the sizes, all poodles have a lot in common. These physical features are unique to them.

All Poodles have a square outline which gives them a more broad-shouldered look. A Poodle’s back is straight rather than curved like many other breeds.

Poodles have a long face. This means that their snout is extended from their face. Some dogs’ snouts are closer to the rest of their face, similar to how our noses are. However, standard poodles noses are farther out. The miniature and toy poodles have a shorter snout.

Poodles have a long elegant neck and a straight back. Their tail is ducked, but not short, so it can wave gaily.

Poodles tend to have a leggy appearance and a long muzzle combined with dropped ears. Their ears still have those precious curls to them as they flop downwards.

Overall, poodles are generally attractive and appealing dogs. There is a reason they are the top show dog.

Although many people find the toy and miniature poodles to be cuter because they are smaller in size, each type of poodle has very similar physical characteristics.

Temperament/Personality Of A Poodle

Dogs have a genetic predisposition to behave in certain ways and poodles aren’t any different. Sure the environment in which the grow contributes as well.

Even though genes have given poodles a certain temperament, each poodle can express this differently. This is due to environmental factors.

For better understanding, I’ll give a brief history about the Poodle.

Poodles were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers to hunt waterfowls. The name “poodle” comes from “pudeln” which means splash around.

From that, you can guess poodles are great swimmers and playful. They are energetic dogs which makes them very active.

Poodles have a lot of good qualities such as being alert, friendly, loyal, intelligent, playful, empathetic, and many others.

Due to these qualities, poodles are great companions. They get along very well with the family, not so much with strangers. It takes time for them to warm up to strangers.

The poodle is protective of its home and will sound a warning bark if any stranger approaches it.

Poodles are clingy to their owners and require more affection than many other dogs out there. Because of this, it does well with positive rewards. But this can also cause separation anxiety.

Poodles thrive on attention and can develop bad habits such as nuisance barking if ignored or left alone.

An outstanding trait of the Poodle is its intelligence. It is often said to have human-like intelligence, an amazing cleverness that surprises its owners. Of course, smart dogs can be difficult to live with. They learn fast — good habits and bad — and they remember everything.

Poodles are very well suited in most homes. This breed is extremely flexible and able to cooperate in any household.

Poodle Health

You want a dog that’ll stay with you for a long time because why not? You’re owning a dog for companionship amidst other things. One of the questions asked frequently about poodles is “how long do they live?”.

A poodle’s life expectancy is 10 – 15 years.

In contrast to many other dog breeds, they live a long, happy, and energetic life. Even though there is a decline later in their life. Even at their old age, they’re still more lively than low energy dogs like bulldogs.

Poodles are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Poodles will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

When buying a puppy, find a breeder who has health clearance for your puppy’s parents. The health clearance shows that a dog has been tested and cleared for certain conditions.

Some of the health conditions to look out for include;

Addison’s Disease:

This extremely serious condition is caused by insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland. Most dogs with Addison’s disease vomit, have a poor appetite, and lethargy. These signs are vague and can be mistaken for other conditions or even just mood changes, so it’s usually overlooked until things get bad.

More severe signs occur when a dog is stressed enough to interfere with heart function, causing severe shock and death. It’s advisable one you notice something new with your poodle, take it to the vet.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus:

Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that affects dog breeds like Poodles, especially if they are fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink large volumes of water after eating, and exercise vigorously after eating.

Bloat occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists. The dog is unable to vomit to remove the excess air and passage of blood to the heart is blocked. Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen, is salivating excessively, and retching without throwing up.

He also may be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak with a rapid heart rate. It’s important to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Cushings Disease:

This condition occurs when the body produces too much cortisol. It can be because of a problem in the pituitary or adrenal gland, or it can occur when a dog has too much cortisol coming from elsewhere.

Common signs are excessive drinking and urination. If your Poodle exhibits these two symptoms, take it to the veterinarian.

Epilepsy:

A common cause of seizures in all varieties of Poodles is idiopathic epilepsy, which means the cause is not known. It often is inherited and can cause mild or severe seizures. Seizures may be exhibited by unusual behavior, such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding.

Seizures are frightening to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. Therefore, if your Poodle has seizures, it’s important to take him to the vet right away for a checkup.

Hip Dysplasia:

When the hip socket is poorly formed or the ligaments are loose enough to allow the ball of the thigh bone (femur) to slide partly out of the hip socket, it’s called dysplastic.

Canine hip dysplasia is inherited. Over time, there is degeneration of the joint that can cause arthritis and pain, even lameness. Excess weight, prolonged exercise before maturity, a fast growth rate, and high-calorie or supplemented diets can contribute to the development of canine hip dysplasia.

Veterinary care includes nutritional supplements, medication, and, in some cases, surgery.

Hypothyroidism:

Hypothyroidism is caused by is an underactive thyroid gland. It’s thought to be responsible for conditions such as epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin conditions.

Patellar Luxation:

The patella is the kneecap. Luxation means dislocation. Patellar luxation is when the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing pain. This can be crippling, but many dogs lead relatively normal lives with this condition.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):

PRA is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected poodles become night-blind. As the disease progresses, they lose sight during the day. Many affected poodles adapt to their limited or loss of vision very well, as long as the surroundings remain the same.

Sebaceous Adenitis (SA):

SA is a serious problem in Poodles, especially Standards. It’s estimated that 50 percent of all Standard Poodles are carriers, or affected.

When a dog has SA, the sebaceous glands in the skin become inflamed for unknown reasons and are eventually destroyed. These glands typically produce sebum, a fatty secretion that aids in preventing drying of the skin. 

Affected dogs typically have dry, scaly skin with hair loss on top of the head, neck, and back. Severely affected dogs can have thickened skin and an unpleasant odor, along with secondary skin infections.

Von Willebrand’s Disease:

This is an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The main symptom is excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. Other symptoms include nosebleeds or bleeding gums. Poodles with von Willebrand’s disease can lead normal lives. A vet can test your dog for the condition.

That might have been too medical for you to clearly understand so i will just make a table of the least you have to know.

Health ConditionWhat to look out for
Addison’s diseasevomiting, poor appetite, weakness.
BloatDistended abdomen, excessive salivation, retching without vomiting.
Cushing’s diseaseexcessive drinking, excessive urination.
EpilepsyDrooling, running frantically, difficulty breathing, staggering.
Hip dysplasiaWeak limbs, limping, no desire to walk, pain while walking.
HypothyroidismHair loss, weight gain, always looking for warm spaces.
Progressive retinal atrophyNight blindness, dilated pupil, glassy eyes

Throughout its lifetime, your poodle might not come down with any of these health issues. But since there’s always a possibility, it’s important to be aware. Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms and report to your vet immediately.

The health issues above affect all types of poodles. However, some conditions are more likely to occur in miniature or toy poodles. And this is because of their small size.

Some of them are;

  • Dental problems
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Luxating Patellas
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.

From all these, you can see that your poodle is prone to a lot of health conditions. This doesn’t mean they’ll have all or any of them. The major aim is awareness.

The worst-case scenario is if you as a poodle owner can’t spot out when your dog is behaving abnormally. Then that’s a huge problem.

Once you’re on the lookout, you’re good.

The Cost Of Owning A healthy Poodle

poodle

The above-listed health conditions are just probabilities. And it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are several other things you have to do to ensure the good health of your poodle. And well, it goes without saying, these things accrue expenses.

First Vet Visit

This is the first thing you should do once you own a puppy. It usually costs anywhere from $80 – 100. It’s not that costly considering all the procedures that would be done.

During this first visit, the vet would make sure your poodle is healthy. If there are any areas of concern you have concerning your poodle’s health, make sure to ask questions. The vet would guide you best.

Some of the procedures your poodle would have to go through are;

  • Weigh the puppy
  • Examine the coat
  • Take temperature
  • Look at the teeth and mouth
  • Listen to his/her heart and lungs
  • Examine the eyes, ears, feet, genitalia, and nose
  • Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine feces for worms

At the end of your visit, the vet would tell you all the important details you need to know.

Neutering

The majority of people who yearn for a poodle want to keep it as a pet for companionship. But some others are interested in breeding it.

So asides from those who want to breed poodles, it is normal procedure to neuter your dog. Low-cost vets or human societies would charge $50 – 100 to do it.

However, there are animal hospitals as well. Though they do it for a higher price. The vets or human societies do a good job at a cheaper price, so it’s the better option in my opinion.

Vaccinations

All these health conditions mentioned above cannot be transmitted or gotten from the air. So another area of concern is infectious diseases.

Vaccinations go a long way in preventing your poodle from catching these diseases. With the number of vaccines available today, you have little to worry about once your dog is vaccinated properly.

Some vaccines are given just once while others are given more frequently. DHPP and rabies are vaccines that are extremely recommended for your poodle to take every  1- 2 years.

Other vaccinations available to you are;

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Canine Parainfluenza
  • Corona Virus
  • Heartworm
  • Kennel Cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Parvovirus

All these can be prevented through vaccinations. You can see how important it is that your poodle is properly vaccinated. It saves them a lot of trouble in the future.

The cost of vaccination differs depending on where you go. It can be anywhere from free to  $100. There are free rabies clinics where you can get your poodle vaccinated for free. Just prepare for a crowd and barking from dogs……well, it’s free.

The Cost Of Buying A Poodle

So you’ve decided to get a poodle and you look into different places. You find out that there are different prices for the same dog.

Well, a lot of factors are at play here and these determine the price of the poodle. These factors are;

  • Type of Poodle
  • Breeder location
  • The lineage of the puppy
  • Litter Size
  • Breeder Reputation

When it comes to poodles, there are you average poodles and then the high-end ones. These high-end poodles are bred to be show dogs.

I’m not saying the average poodle is lacking but the poodles bred as show dogs have higher qualifications to meet.

Below is the expected cost of a poodle.

AverageHigh end
Standard Poodle$700 – 1200$2500 – 5000
Miniature or toy poodle$1000 – 1500$1700 – 2200

Litter size is the number of puppies in one birth. With miniature and toy poodles, the litters are normally around 3 puppies. While the litter size of the standard poodle is double that size. This contributes to making the miniature and toy poodle more expensive.

Apart from all these, who you buy your poodle from also determines the price. There are different places you can get your poodle from and I’ll explain each.

1.Purebred Breeders: These breeders are the most expensive on the list. From the name, they specialize in making pure breeds. They make a business out of that.

They are more or less for the high-end poodles, the show dogs. This is top quality so it is costly.

The good thing with purebred breeders is that you get to know everything about the poodle you’re about to buy. The history, the lineage, health clearance of parents….you would know it all.

2. Accidental breeders: As the name suggests, the dog was birthed by accident. The usual scenario is that their dog got impregnated by another dog, usually the neighbour’s. They are not into the business of breeding dogs.

With accidental breeders, you won’t get much information about your puppy because Its birth wasn’t planned. However, these puppies might be as good as a purebred….you never know.

3. Puppy Mill: These people are trying to make money from breeding dogs. They breed so many dogs.

Your puppy is just one out of the many. And as you could guess, not much information will be given to you about its health nor lineage. To top that, there might even be health risks associated due to the method of breeding or treatment of the mother.

4. Rescue shelter: This is the cheapest place to get a poodle. Although you might not always find one in a shelter. You can either wait or search in other shelters within the area.

The shelters make sure the dogs have been properly vaccinated before giving it to you. This is great because it will save you some extra cash and time off the clinic.

Extra Costs Of Maintaining A Poodle

Asides from buying a new poodle and health expenses involved, there are whole other things that involve spending.

One might wonder why owning a poodle is so expensive, but if you own one you’d understand. Here’s a breakdown of some of the things you’d need to buy.

These are prices to things that your poodle might need. Of course, every poodle is unique. There may be things that your poodle loves that others don’t.

ItemCost
Training$250 – 600
Food$35 – 45/month
Collar$5 – 20
Dog bed$50 – 65
Leash$5 – 20
Collar$5 – 20
Food and water bowl$20 – 30
Toys and treat$40 – 60
Poop bags$10 – 20
Gates$15 – 60
Leash$5 – 20

Taking a glance at that table, you’d see that most items there are one-off buys. But don’t be surprised if you need to buy them again. Depending on the materials, they might wear out with time.

When it comes to spending on poodles, there are two extremes. Those who spend lavishly on their dog, and treat it as their child. On the other hand, some just see dogs as animals and give it only the necessities like food or water.

It’s more like a spectrum and a lot of people fall between those two extremes. The amount you’re willing to spend on your poodle depends on you as its owner.

Though it would be good practice to keep a budget to help you track how you spend.

Feeding

Recommended daily amount:

Standards; 1.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

Miniatures; 3/4 to 1 cup; Toys, 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like us, and their food requirements vary.

It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more food than a sedentary dog.

The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward growing your poodle into a healthy one.

Like any breed, the poodle will pack on weight if it’s overfed, which can cause joint problems and other health issues. Limit treats, keep the dog active, and feed it meals rather than leaving food available at all times.

Although many owners of Miniature or Toy Poodles in particular give their dogs table scraps, resist those pleading eyes — you’ll create a picky eater. He’ll turn up his nose at dog food, which is healthier for him.

Keep your Poodle in good shape by measuring its food and feeding it twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time.

Poodle Grooming

Poodle coat is one of their striking features and this sets it apart from other dog breeds. One of the major differences between owning a poodle in contrast to other dog breeds is the amount you’ll spend on grooming. Yep.

Poodle coat keeps growing out and is more similar to human hair than fur. This is why it is hypoallergenic and hardly evokes any reaction in allergic people.

Because of the constant growth of poodle hair, it can easily get matted if not taken care of. Matting means when the hair is tangled with dirt to form clumps.

It’s best not to let your poodle’s hair mat, or even if it does, it should be taken care of instantly. If left for a long time, your poodle might have to be shaved bald to get rid of the clumps of hair.

For the dog, this mattes could irritate Its skin and might even cause infection.

Because of this, it’s advisable to brush your poodle’s hair daily. Owning a poodle requires at least this amount of dedication.

As I’ve said earlier, a poodle’s coat keeps growing out, so just like us, it needs clippings at intervals. Most poodles will require grooming every three to six weeks. Some others might need it more frequently to keep the coat in good condition.

As a new poodle owner, the best thing will be to take your dog to a professional dog groomer. This will cost about $35 – 150 depending on where you take your poodle and the kind of grooming involved.

It’s safe to assume that after a few visits to a professional dog groomer, you might have learnt enough to do it by yourself. Well, there are many videos online that could help you out if you need more help.

Before you start grooming your dog at home, there are supplies that are necessary to have. These are;

  • Dog Shampoo
  • Dog Conditioner
  • Clippers
  • Scissors
  • Brush
  • Dog Grooming Table

The dog grooming table is not necessary but it would make the process a whole lot easier.

As for the haircuts, the are many different styles. The most common ones are;

  1. Lion Cut
  2. English Saddle Cut
  3. Modern Cut
  4. Puppy Cut
  5. Dutch Cut
  6. Lamb Cut
  7. Teddy Bear Cut
  8. Kennel Cut
  9. Town and Country Cut
  10. Cupcake Cut

These are just the ones you see the most on poodles. There are more out there. You can do a custom cut as well. Mix it up.

Because of these different hair cuts, your poodle doesn’t have to look the same. You can give it a different look every few weeks. How stylish is that?

If it’s too much work, you could just find the style you’re comfortable with and stick with it.

Care and Hygiene

poodle

Hair grooming is a major part of maintaining good hygiene for your poodle but there are other aspects as well. These are the little things that count.

Many Poodles have weepy eyes that stain the hair under their eyes. It is more noticeable if your poodle has a light coat color. To reduce staining, wipe around the eyes, and face every day with an alcohol-free pet wipe or washcloth dampened with warm water.

Be sure to check your Poodle’s ears often every week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You should also clean them weekly with a cotton ball dampened with ear cleaner to prevent problems. Breeds with drop-down ears are prone to ear infections because the ear canal stays dark and moist.

Brush your Poodle’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is more stressful but better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition.

It’s a no brainer that you’d have to bathe your poodle regularly.

Make your Poodle accustomed to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.

As you groom your poodle, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Living With A Poodle

Living with a poodle can be tasking and stressful. But they are so loving and adorable that it’s all worth it.

Poodle needs are on the high side but once all these are met, you’re left with a very happy and playful dog.

These are some tips that might help you with your poodle;

  • Give your poodle lots of playtimes ( at least 40 minutes every day).
  • Include your poodle in activities.
  • Spend time training.
  • Take care of grooming needs.

In general, poodles require an owner with time. Both for playing and taking care of it. But best believe it, the feeling of owning a poodle is phenomenal.

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