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Facts & Advice

These elegant dogs are intelligent and friendly and make great family pets.

Often associated with the image of a pampered pooch, Poodles are in fact part of the working dog family and were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl. They have many sides to their personality, mixing a lively, fun-loving temperament with an alert and responsive nature. Considered one of the most intelligent breeds, Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature and Toy and are commonly bred with Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels to create popular crossbreeds such as the Cockapoo.

Vital Stats

Life span:
Breed group:

Thick, curly, hypoallergenic
1 hour a day
12 – 15 years
Intelligent, friendly, responsive, alert
Life span

Poodle Temperament & Personality

The Poodle temperament is friendly, playful, responsive and fun – making them ideal family dogs for households with lots going on. All three sizes – Standard, Toy and Miniature – share very similar personality characteristics.
  • Affectionate and lively, Poodles are a very companionable breed and will be loyal and loving members of a family unit. They can initially be wary of strangers until they get to know them, but are very good with children and friendly towards other animals, especially if socialisation begins from a young age.
  • Poodles are one of the smartest dog breeds, which make them very adaptable and easy to train. But their intelligence can also mean they’re capable of being quite stubborn and aloof at times and they can become easily bored if not mentally stimulated and well exercised.
  • Their tendency to be wary of strangers and a strong territorial instinct means they can often bark at visitors. New owners should be prepared to train this side of their character.
  • High-energy and high-spirited, Poodles love nothing more than being the centre of attention and will thrive on being part of family activities and at the centre of a busy household.

Poodle Training & Exercise

Poodles are a bouncy breed and will need up to an hour of physical exercise every day. Introducing games as part of your Poodle’s training plan will help exercise their minds and prevent boredom too.
Training tips
  • Thanks to their intelligence and people-pleasing disposition, Poodles respond very well to training. In fact, they are one of the most trainable breeds. And with a history as a working dog, they are often very obedient.
  • Make sure that training is consistent and uses positive reinforcement. And begin socialisation from a young age.
  • Poodles love to learn and tend to excel at canine sports – particularly those involving agility and obedience. They will be very responsive to learning new commands and can often be taught to do tricks.
Keeping them happy
  • Mental stimulation is very important to a Poodle’s happiness. As a very intelligent breed, keeping their minds as well as their bodies active is crucial to avoiding any behavioural problems that could occur if they become too bored.
  • Poodles are natural show offs and love being the centre of attention. Making them part of your daily exercise routine or family activity will keep them very content.
  • As with most dogs, showing your Poodle lots of love and affection will make it feel very happy – and they will reciprocate in abundance.
  • Adult Poodles need at least an hour of physical exercise each day with two good walks as part of the routine.
  • Poodles will also enjoy exploring a well-fenced, secure garden where they can stretch their legs, burn off excess energy and go to the toilet.
  • Poodles are natural swimmers and usually love being in the water –something that stems from having originally been bred as water retrievers. In fact, the name Poodle is said to come from the German word, Pudeln, which means to splash. As a low impact form of exercise, swimming is really good for older Poodles or those with joint problems.
Game ideas
  • As well as ‘fetch’ games such as chasing a ball or Frisbee that play to their retrieval instinct, Poodles will love anything that tests their high level of intelligence. Hide and seek or tracking training will put their strong sense of smell, hunting instinct and curiosity to the test – especially if a tasty treat is involved.
  • Dog puzzles can be another great way to test their brain power and keep them mentally stimulated too.
  • Poodles take well to all types of canine sports. They particularly enjoy agility and obedience training courses where their energetic minds and bodies are given a thorough workout. They will also love a game of Flyball – a competitive canine relay that involves teams of dogs collecting balls from a Flyball box at the end of a track.

Common Poodle Health Conditions

As a dog owner you will want what’s best for your pet’s health so they can live a long, happy life. Like all breeds, Poodles are prone to certain health conditions. To help you be more aware and prepared for these potential ailments if they should arise, we have put together information on the health issues that we see the most in Poodles.
We see that Poodles are prone to developing dental and mouth issues. Food, bacteria and minerals can accumulate on the gum line which causes a build up of ‘tartar’ which eventually affects the gum causing ‘gingivitis’, this means small spaces between the gum and teeth are formed where bacteria grow and results in periodontal disease. This can be serious as the bacteria from infected gums can spread around the body and damage the liver and kidneys. This condition can be prevented with regular dental descales and at home tooth brushing.
Poodles are susceptible to various common ear diseases. These can affect the external ear flap, the middle/inner ear, or the ear canal (otitis). Irritation from various sources can lead to a condition called otitis, which simply means ‘inflammation of the ear canal’. It causes an intense itch, leading the dog to shake its head, flap its ears and scratch them using its back paws. If the otitis is due to an allergy, treatment is required for the lifetime of the dog.
Poodles are prone to suffering from problems affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a long, winding tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, with various twists and turns along the way. Conditions such as gastroenteritis or an obstruction within the bowel (due to the dog to eating stones, cloth or string, for example) commonly cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Treatment depends on the exact cause, but prompt intervention usually results in a full recovery.

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Poodle Temperament & Personality

Poodle coats come in a variety of solid colours, including white, black, cream, brown, silver, apricot, red and fawn. They are considered to be a non to low shedding dog, which means they are a good choice for people with allergies.
  • Poodles have a naturally curly, thick coat that can look and feel like lamb’s wool. It requires lots of grooming and coats should be brushed every day to avoid tangles, knots and matting.
  • Professional grooming and clipping is recommended every 6 weeks to keep their coats in top condition.
  • Thanks to their easy going nature, grooming a Poodle is usually fairly straight forward. However, just as with all breeds, it’s a good idea to introduce Poodle puppies to grooming early in their development so they are familiar with it. Use a soft brush on their coat as regularly as possible.
  • Good oral hygiene is essential for all dogs, so brush your Poodle’s teeth regularly with a vet-approved toothpaste to prevent decay and gum disease.
  • Use your grooming session as an opportunity to check your Poodle for any parasites or lumps and bumps.

Poodle Nutrition

Feeding your Poodle will depend on their size. The larger, Standard Poodle has a much bigger appetite and capacity than the smaller Toy Poodle. Depending on how much exercise they get, an adult Standard Poodle will typically consume up to 1,500 calories a day.
  • Ideally, you should feed your adult Poodle twice a day to spread their daily calorie intake across both meals.
  • Poodles are a hardy breed, but Standard Poodles can be prone to bloating so smaller, more frequent meals are often recommended. Consult your vet for advice on meal frequency and amounts.
  • Whether your Poodle is a fussy eater or not, it’s still very important to feed them a high quality, balanced diet of a feed that meets all of their nutritional requirements. As an active breed, Poodles need a sufficient quantity of good quality protein – ask vet for details.

What to know before you buy or rehome a Poodle

Considering offering a Poodle puppy a home? Before you buy or adopt a Poodle, here are a few crucial things to take into consideration.
  • Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature and Toy. All share the same personality characteristics.
  • Thanks to their friendly, playful and easy-going nature, Poodles make for great family dogs. They are great with children and other pets, especially if socialised early in their development, and they love being the centre of attention.
  • Poodles love to learn. As one of the most intelligent and responsive breeds with an instinct for obedience and a people-pleasing nature, they are one of the easiest dogs to train.
  • As a non or low shedding breed, Poodles are hypoallergenic, but their thick, curly coats are high maintenance and require daily grooming as well as regular visits to a professional groomer.
  • Be fussy about the breeder you choose if you’re buying a Poodle puppy. ‘Lucy’s Law’ dictates that new puppies or kittens must be bought directly from a breeder or adopted from rescue. Third party sellers are illegal.
  • There are many things to consider before getting a dog. Always find out whether a canine friend is the best pet for you before you make the leap from dog lover to dog owner.


Poodles are considered a low to no shedding breed, meaning that they tend to be a popular choice for those with allergies. It’s important to remember that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but there are some breeds that are considered better suited to allergy sufferers than others.
Whilst Poodles are kind and affectionate with their families, they also have a strong territorial instinct which can be seen as aggressive. Consistent training and early socialisation can help to lessen this behaviour. As a highly active and intelligent breed, Poodles also may develop unwanted behaviours, such as aggression, if they do not receive plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
Contrary to their reputation as pampered pooches, Poodles were originally bred as water retrievers and therefore are instinctive swimmers. Generally, Poodles love to swim and this is a great alternative form of exercise for older dogs and those with joint conditions.
In general, Poodles are gentle, even-tempered dogs who get along well with children. Standard Poodles tend to be the best choice for families as smaller Poodle varieties can be more highly strung and may be snappy with children. Poodles’ playful nature means they can keep up with very active children, but larger varieties of the breed may be too boisterous for younger kids. As with all dog breeds, Poodles should always be supervised when around children to make sure everyone is safe and happy. Poodles are also a key element in many popular family breeds, such as the Labradoodle, Cavapoo and Cockapoo.
Poodles are among the world’s most intelligent dog breeds making them highly trainable. However, this high intelligence also means they can be a little wilful at times and can become easily bored. Poodles are known to excel at all kinds of canine trials including obedience and agility and will love learning new tricks and commands, as well as the chance to burn off some energy.
Poodles are among the world’s most intelligent dog breeds making them highly trainable. However, this high intelligence also means they can be a little wilful at times and can become easily bored. Poodles are known to excel at all kinds of canine trials including obedience and agility and will love learning new tricks and commands, as well as the chance to burn off some energy.

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Cockapoo insurance considerations

Poodles sometimes suffer with certain health conditions and may require treatment. Petplan dog insurance offers peace of mind that they will always be protected.
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