Why Poodles Are The Best Dogs Ever
Let’s talk poodles
Anyone that knows me, knows that the poodle is a breed I am very passionate about and personally think are a totally underrated breed. Currently, Poodles are in fashion to cross with other breeds for the temperament and “hypoallergenic” coat but what people don’t realise is that those characteristics are also present in a purebred poodle.
I own 3 poodles, 2 of which are standards and my eldest is a toy poodle. People sometimes ask me if the temperaments of each dog differ, and in one word, yes. I find standards are a lot more energetic, more food-focused and easier to train. They are a really good companion or therapy dog as they are so in tune with their owners. This is down to the fact that they are working dogs so need a lot of stimulation mentally and physically otherwise they can become destructive if they are bored.
Toy poodles are more people orientated and their one aim in life is to please their owner. I notice that toy poodles can be particularly sensitive but love cuddles. My toy poodle is honestly obsessed with me. He is my shadow wherever I go, and I always joke he would love to live on someone’s lap all day! The mini poodles are a bit of both.
What were poodles bred for?
The history of the poodle is fascinating and one that people often underestimate. Poodles are water dogs. They have a certain reputation for being stuck up and pampered, and not being “proper dogs” but I can assure you they are strong, extremely intelligent, faithful, hardworking athletes in a puffy jacket. The poodle originated in Germany and was originally used by hunters to retrieve game from the cold water. The common misconception that poodles are French, is incorrect. They became the country’s national breed and so people assumed this is where they originated from.
Their role in hunting is where their hair cut also originates from. The poodles were trimmed short in areas to keep them agile, quick and to avoid them getting stuck in the undergrowth. The bits that were left longer were to protect their vital organs such as the heart and lungs, the hips, and the joints. Although the cut is over-exaggerated now this is where the poms came from. Poodles may look stuck up with a regal air about them, but I can assure you they are fun-loving people-pleasers who just love to play.
There are now over 50 poodle styles recognised for showing and each of them has a history of why they were clipped in that style. I won’t explain all of them as we would be here forever but the most common trim for the poodle in the show ring is the continental clip.
In pet styling the Miami trim or a lamb trim are more common for ease for the owner and comfort for the dog, if they are going 6 to 8 weeks between cuts. Most people who keep poodles in the longer trims such as continental or puppy pants either show them or are groomers. These longer styles require daily attention to keep them in tip-top shape and to avoid matting, which is obviously not ideal for most pet owners. I’m going to be totally honest, and I hope my hairdresser isn’t reading this, but I look after my dog’s hair better than I look after my own.
Poodles are fun
Poodles are probably one of the quirkiest breeds but without training and stimulation, and with boredom as a driver, they can become destructive. With active owners who meet their needs however, they are brilliant dogs. My toy poodle Baloo’s quirkiest trait is just lying in the “Bow” position staring at me, wagging his tail until I do something…anything with him! My standard poodle Mavericks’ quirkiest trait is the completely ridiculous zoomies that he does on every single walk, which usually ends in him falling over his feet and landing in a heap like a scrambled egg. My other standard Peaches’ quirkiest trait is the fact she smiles at me if I talk to her, it cracks me up every time. We have now trained it on command, so if you mention the word “teef” she’ll play bow and show me her smile. So, behind that regal trot they have, they are clowns at heart. I love the fact they are like that.
Poodle coats and grooming
Many people know that a poodle’s coat doesn’t shed. They have a wool coat which is amazing because they don’t shed, but it does mean they do matt up easily and need regular combing at home as well as regular trips to the groomers to avoid them becoming uncomfortable. For anyone looking into this bred, I would highly recommend considering grooming costs first, as with any wool coat, this will be a regular cost for the next 12 to 15 years, which a lot of people don’t research properly before getting a breed like a poodle.
Grooming wise, we often hear that people have crossed a poodle because they don’t like the shaved face or as us groomers hear a lot “don’t poodle him”. It actually isn’t required for them to have a short face just because they are a poodle and I groom many poodles in a teddy style rather than a poodle style and they look just as cute.
To groom a poodle, I would highly recommend using good quality products. For weekly baths I use the Nature’s Specialties Plum Silky range on my poodles, and for shows or if I am giving them a full groom I use the Show Dog Crisp Coat shampoo, as this ensures the coat stands on end and isn’t too soft to scissor. I also love the Groom Professional Wonder Coat anti-static spray and the Artero shine spray for after bath maintenance.
So, the verdict is that I love poodles, if you hadn’t guessed! I would highly recommend them as a breed to anyone who is after an active, loyal, intelligent, hardworking, eager to please and cuddly breed as a companion.