SO YOU WANT TO OWN A POODLE
The basic areas to explore when planning to purchase a Poodle are:
The Breeder - Registered /reputable / recommended / will they mentor you?
Variety - Consider expense, size, your situation, family, holidays etc.
The Vet – your new best friend
Accommodation – safe, secure, clean, comfortable, weatherproof
Food – no fads, just basic good nutrition for physical fitness
Exercise – socialization at first, more physical exercise as puppy matures,then daily commitment.
Grooming routines – after puppy training, 5 minutes daily, ½ hour weekly and 6 weekly groomer visits (your new second best friend)
Training – early puppy training in particular involves a time commitment by you. Use your local Obedience Club
(check the Dogs QLD website www.dogsqld.org.au).
Companionship – your Poodle is a friend, not an accessory.
History The Poodle's origins can be found mainly in Germany, France and Russia. The word Poodle derives from the German word ‘Pudel’ meaning to splash in water. Appearing in European art from the fifteenth century (1400's), the poodle became the national dog of France and a popular companion dog. Poodle Clubs were formed in the United Kingdom in 1876, in the USA in 1931 and in New South Wales in 1955.
Did you know Winston Churchill owned a Miniature Poodle called ‘Rufus’?
The Standard Poodles are the largest of the breed and primarily bred as water retrievers. The thick coat and the traditional trims reflect the practical requirements of retrieving in cold European waters. Miniature and Toy Poodles were developed over the centuries as companions, circus and street performers, and for searching out truffles, the mushroom-like fungus used in gourmet cooking. In Australia Poodles performed in circuses on the gold fields in the nineteenth century. Poodles first appeared in a show catalogue at the Sydney Royal Easter Show of 1873. At first all Poodles were shown as ‘Standards’. The first classification of Miniature Poodle at a Sydney Royal Easter Show occurred in 1950. Toy Poodles are now extremely popular.
Finding your Poodle – Research the breed this can’t be stressed firmly enough, poodles do think they are humans on 4 paws, they will own you not vice versa! They are a very intelligent breed and crave companionship. Research the breeder, find those that breed the size you want, get recommendation from someone who knows the breed, avoid cross breed dogs despite the stories you will hear, crossing poodles with other breeds only serves to create genetic time bombs, shorten life spans, often leading to early blindness, huge vet bills with heart and limb problems, poor temperaments and often other serious problems, definitely not what you want in a poodle.
A reputable poodle breeder will have good lines in their breeding, usually stick to one or two solid colours and can show you genetic test results, often they will have all their breeding stock to view and can show you previous litter information to give you a better idea of size, colour and look of pup. Their pups will be robust healthy pups, good size litters, and excellent temperament and give you a positive, passionate vibe for their dogs. They will also be supportive in your choices and offer after sales support and be professional with all dealings with you.
Suitability with children - all dogs require responsible training and socialization to become good companions. Poodles of all sizes are suitable to be around children as long as supervised by a responsible adult. Children should also be provided with advice so they can learn about the needs of the dog and be aware of basic handling requirements. It is important children remain calm around dogs and young children may require additional supervision. Toy Poodles are small dogs and may require extra care to avoid injury from active, boisterous children. Standard Poodles are large dogs and young children cannot be expected to take responsibility for them.
Exercise requirements Can you commit? Adult Standard Poodles benefit from regular, moderately vigorous outside exercise and stimulation. However, puppy outings (after 12-weeks of age) should be primarily for experience and socialization, and care should be taken not to over exercise the pup. The smaller varieties of Poodles also benefit from regular outings, especially if living in an apartment or townhouse. Smaller Poodles can be satisfied with a mix of walks and active games in a good sized garden. Diet and exercise need to be in balance to avoid weight issues. Avoid rigorous exercise in hot weather and immediately after meals. Dogs should have access to fresh water.
Height, size and longevity The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) recognizes only three sizes. These are: Standard 38cm (15 inches) and over at the top of the shoulder, and usually over 55cm (22 inches) at the shoulder; Miniature 28cm (11 inches) and under 38cm (15 inches); Toy under 28cm (11 inches). ‘Pocket Poodle’, ‘Teacup Poodle’ or ‘Royal Standard Poodle’ are not recognized in Australia. Toy poodle’s average life span is 12 years; miniature poodles can live up to 16 years, Standards being a larger dog usually has a shorter lifespan but can live up to 15yrs.
Colour confusion Colours according to the ANKC a Poodle can be any solid colour including black, white, cream, brown, silver, blue, and apricot. Some of these solid colours will have shade variants especially Browns, silvers, apricot and blue, however they must be solid colour, and show no miss mark colour in their coats. Mixed colour or parti-colour (two different colours in coat)Poodles cannot be shown on full register, but can compete in Obedience, Agility and Rally-O and other dog sports on the limited register.
Silver and Blue poodles are born jet black with tiny wisps of grayish tinged hair in pads of feet, over the first few weeks fading of the black wool to show patches of grey indicates a silver or blue, it can take up to 3 years for the poodle to complete the colour change. Blues have a blue tinge to skin and often look brownish in the sun or strong light silvers grow black new growth wool in their coat which as it grows longer slowly fades to silver or grey, they also have a different texture to their coat and often remain ‘softer’ to touch then other colours. RED is NOT a colour it is ONLY a shade variation of apricot.
Coat maintenance All Poodles require daily attention and regular brushing, bathing and trimming. Regular clipping (e.g. 6-week cycles) and a short pet or sporting trim can help to reduce the amount of work required. The coat must never be allowed to mat or tangle and care must be taken to keep the eyes, ears (inside and out), mouth, feet and anal area clean. Diet and products used in coat can influence overall colour, wool strength and density. Bitches going through season or in pup will often drop coat and a colour change happens when new coat grows through. With Browns, and apricots strong sunlight will bleach the coat. The Poodle coat changes to a harsher, denser quality at around 10-12 months of age. During this period matting must be avoided in pet Poodles with daily brushing and by keeping the coat short. Show Poodles require frequent bathing, brushing and trimming during coat change. The adult plush quality coat lends itself to easy trimming. The true Poodle coat does not shed like other dogs and is said to be non-allergenic. These qualities (and others) can be lost by careless breeding and by cross breeding.
Are you the ideal Poodle owner? The ideal Poodle owner is a caring, sensible person who takes the responsibilities of owning a dog seriously and is willing to commit to regular grooming sessions. The Poodle owner must have the capacity to provide quality lifelong care including accommodation, coat care, feeding, exercise, training, health care (when required) and companionship. Poodles thrive on human companionship and do not do well if deprived of this companionship for extended periods of time on a regular basis.