Often thought of as the national dog of France, this beautiful breed actually originates from Germany, and is loved the world over. Poodles dominate in the dog show arena, and for good reason. With their show-stopping good looks, stunning and often wild hairstyles, elegant appearance and acute intelligence, this is a breed that quickly impresses. The poodle isn't just a dog for those interested in shows however; he's a much-loved affectionate family dog with a personality as big as his many potential hairdos.
Poodles are a unique breed in having a highly-tuned sense of humour, developed over years of breeding. Unfortunately, despite poodles' intelligence, sharp sense of humour, and loving nature, they are often overlooked by families as a good pet choice. They have a reputation for being a 'posh' dog, developed from their status as a popular show dog. The somewhat dysfunctional and unnecessary way that poodles' fur is cut (they are shaved to look as though they are wearing a coat and boots) often puts people off. In reality the average poodle is far from his posh and spoiled reputation. Poodle-lovers recognise the strong qualities of this breed as a family pet; loving, minimal fur shedding, intelligent, and easy to train. The oddly-shaved fur is also optional.
Poodles come in four different sizes: Standard, Miniature, Toy, Teacup, and each size packs in a fun-loving and amiable personality. Poodles are people-pleasers at heart. They are happy, friendly, and love to mingle with people and other dogs. Poodle puppies enjoy nothing more than to be the centre of attention, which is why they respond so well to learning tricks. Be warned though; the poodle is a highly-intelligent and humorous dog who frequently outsmarts his owner. Poodles are among the smartest of dog breeds, and while this intelligence is for the most part entertaining and endearing, it can also translate to stubbornness. Despite this, poodles make great companion dogs and therapy dogs. Though the four different poodle sizes are largely similar in personality and temperament, there are some differences. Standard Poodles are active and energetic, but more reserved than Miniature, Toy and Teacup Poodles; they enjoy having a job to do. Miniature Poodles tend to follow their families around and are the most active of all four poodle sizes. Toy and Teacup Poodles are the most companionable, and really know how to work it in the show ring.
Caring for your Poodle
Whichever size poodle you choose, they will do well in any type of home; whether an apartment or large family house. While all four poodle sizes require regular exercise, they are all home dogs at heart, and enjoy spending most of their time indoors. Toy and Teacup Poodles can easily be exercised inside or in your own back garden, whereas Standard and Minatare Poodles require more regular outdoor walking. Poodles are a non-shedding breed, but are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their fine curly coat needs to be clipped every six to eight weeks, and requires regular brushing at home. Poodles have the potential to be born with and acquire a variety of conditions, which differ slightly depending on their size. When looking at poodle puppies for sale it is important to only consider buying from a breeder who offers a health guarantee for all their puppies.
Training your Poodle
Due to years of breeding as show dogs, poodles are remarkably keen when it comes to training and learning tricks. Poodle puppies, and adult dogs, will be quick to learn anything you wish to teach them, and can be taught just about anywhere; they get on well with other animals, people, and are easy to house-train. Though this breed learns quickly, particularly as puppies, it is just as easy for them to pick up bad behaviours as good ones. Their high intelligence makes them more difficult in this respect, as they will be quick to notice a behaviour that earns them attention from their owner. As long as the attention you give for bad behaviour is negative (non-forceful), they should learn not to do it again.
Buying a Poodle For Sale
Considering the popularity of poodles as a show breed, there are plenty of breeders out there advertising poodle puppies for sale. Unfortunately, there are many irresponsible breeders selling poodle puppies as well as responsible ones. An irresponsible breeder will be more interested in the monetary side of things than about the welfare of the puppies. As these breeders often breed puppies with health problems and sell them on without health checks, it is vital that you only consider buying a poodle puppy from a reputable breeder like Teacups.co.uk.
Ideally puppies should be kept with their mothers (and therefore the breeders) until they are between eight and ten weeks of age. If a breeder tries to sell you a puppy that is much younger than this, this should raise a red flag. Puppies that are taken away from their mothers too early have a much higher chance of developing health problems. For assurances look for a breeder who is a member of the Kennel Club and has agreed to abide by the club code of ethics. Use your instinct when meeting a breeder, if you get the feeling that they aren't knowledgeable enough about the breed or seem overly interested in the monetary side of things, it may be best to find a another breeder.