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From Top Dog To Family Favorite: Why Poodles Are The Top Choice

At A Glance

They are loyal, friendly, energetic, and playful and get along like a house on fire with adults and kids alike. We’re talking about the adorable Poodle, and if you’re looking for answers to the question, “Is a poodle a good family dog?” you’ll hear a resounding yes. Poodles make great companions for families of all types and sizes and are excellent therapy dogs.

But that doesn’t mean owning a Poodle is easy.

  • The Poodle is not a kennel dog. It prefers being around people all the time.
  • The breed requires regular physical and mental exercise and must be socialized early on.
  • Poodles are hypoallergenic, which means they don’t shed and are generally regarded as healthy and non-aggressive dogs

Last Updated on: Mar 17, 2023

Poodles are pooches that pack a punch

Outstanding in obedience, they’ll never flinch

Outgoing and friendly, always wagging their tail

Devoted to their owners, they’ll never fail

Loyal and loving, a true friend to the end

Elegant and graceful, a true beauty to befriend

Now, how’s that for an acrostic poem on Poodles?

“I find standard poodles very people oriented and extremely intuitive. They love playing, but know to be gentle around little ones and babies”, says Melanie Bevilacqua on Quora. And that kind of sums it up – poodles ARE and will always be among the best family dogs.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Why Is A Poodle A Great Choice for Families

Poodles sporting the iconic Poodle Cut are kings (and queens) of family portraits with pets. Setting aside their sophisticated French origins and worldly appeal, Poodles forge strong bonds with their families because they are highly intelligent and trainable and love to please their owners.

Here are a bunch of pro-poodle pointers.

Friendly Nature

Poodles are particularly known to be friendly with children. The breed comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard – and can quickly adapt to any living environment or family lifestyle.

And given that they love to please, they can also be trained to perform entertaining tricks.

Hypoallergenic Coats

Since they have hair instead of fur, Poodles produce much less dander – a combination of hair and dead skin cells. As such, the breed harbors fewer allergens than other breeds.

Poodles also fall in the category of single-coated breeds with hair similar to human hair, along with breeds like Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, and Maltese.

Energetic And Playful Demeanor

Under all that hair that screams adorable, Poodles are highly agile dogs with an athletic build and strong-muscled legs. Known for their quick and graceful movements, they are well-suited for agility training and competitions.

They have a long history as a water retrieving breed and are exceptional in dock diving and retrieving.

poodle sitting

Easy To Train

Intelligence, trainability, obedience, and a desire to please are trademark traits of the Poodle breed. They are, therefore, relatively easy to train.

They exhibit an eagerness to learn and respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques such as praise, treats and play. Thanks to good memory, they can also learn complex commands quickly

Consistency and patience are key when training a poodle.


All dogs are loyal, and the Poodle is no less. They are known for their strong sense of attachment to their owners, and may even become anxious or stressed when left alone for extended periods.

Poodles rank among the breeds that are extremely protective of families. From alerting owners to potential dangers to performing tasks such as hunting, retrieving, and search and rescue, Poodles can do it all.

Lack Of Aggression

Poodles are generally considered non-aggressive dogs, known for their friendly and good-natured personalities. They make ideal companion pets and are not typically meant for guarding or protection. One need not be concerned about Poodles being good with kids and first-time dog owners.

That said, any dog can exhibit aggressive behavior if it is not trained or socialized properly, or if it has been mistreated or abused. Aggression can also stem from fear or pain or it can be a sign that your pet is suffering from a medical condition or feeling threatened.

“You shouldn’t leave the poodle and the kid together unsupervised and should do resource guarding training. You should also know dog body language and signs they’re about to attack”, says Yeewen, another Quora user.

Behaves Well With Strangers

Poodles are known to be sociable dogs. However, how they behave with strangers trickles down to their personalities and how they’re raised. Like most dogs, your Poodle may be wary around strangers. While some Poodles are naturally outgoing and friendly towards strangers, others may be more reserved and take longer to warm up to people.

Exposing your pet Poodle to different people, environments, and situations early on is crucial so it can learn to feel comfortable around new people.

Knowing The Breed Better

Poodles are a breed of water dog, essentially a type of gun dog, and are considered the most modern progenitors of retriever breeds. They have been depicted in works dating way back to the 15th century.


The Poodle breed can be classified into Standard, Medium, Miniature, and Toy Poodle.

Size Weight (lbs) Height (inches)
Toy 4 - 6 10
Miniature 15 - 17 11 - 15
Standard 45 - 70 Over 15

The Medium Poodle is not universally recognized, even by the AKC.

The ‘Teacup Poodle’ is another variety not recognized by all kennel clubs. They are the smallest of the breed, weigh less than 4 lbs, and are less than 10 inches tall. However, Teacup Poodles are recognized by the AKC.

Life Expectancy

Poodles can live anywhere between 10-18 years. Given that smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs, Toy Poodles tend to live longer than Miniature and Standard Poodles.

They typically have a 12-15 years lifespan, while their Miniature counterparts live for about 14-18 years. The lifespan of a standard Poodle ranges between 12-15 years.

Note that these are average life expectancies. Your poodle may live longer or shorter depending on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall care.

Grooming Needs

The curls of a Poodle are made of a single coat of hair, very similar to human hair. The breed demands regular grooming depending on the type of cut or trim. And that’s just one of their many grooming requisites. Others include:

  • Regular brushing – You must brush a Poodle at least twice a week to remove tangles and mats from its distinctive, thick curly coat.
  • Haircuts – Some owners choose to have their Poodles clipped every 4-6 weeks, while others do it every 8-12 weeks. It depends on the preferred cut or trim.
  • Bathing – Usually, a monthly bath is sufficient for Poodles. They may need more frequent bathing if they are very active and prone to getting dirty or smelly.
  • Ear cleaning – Poodles are among those dog breeds whose ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent wax build since excessive buildup can lead to infections. The naturally long hair of Poodles can interfere with healthy airflow in the ear canal.
  • Teeth cleaning and nail trimming – These need no special mention and should be done regularly to prevent dental diseases, injury/infection on the paws, and discomfort.

If you plan on getting a Poodle, remember that its grooming can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you are particular about trimming and maintaining your Poodle’s coat, consider taking it to a professional pet groomer.

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Health Vulnerabilities Of A Poodle

Although Poodles are a generally healthy breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Hip dysplasia, von Willebrands disease, and Addison’s disease are genetics-related diseases affecting Poodles. While most breeders test their Poodles for these conditions it is important to research the breeder and the parent dogs’ health history to ensure you are getting a pup without genetic issues.

Epilepsy, gloat, and hypoglycemia are diseases that stem from underlying conditions. The first two can occur from genetics as well.

Keep reading to know more about the illnesses that can lay your Poodle low.

Hip Dysplasia

Although hip dysplasia is a genetic condition, it can also be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and exercise. The disease results from a malformation in the hip joint, causing instability and eventual degeneration of the joint. Left untreated, it can lead to pain, lameness, and decreased mobility.

In Poodles, hip dysplasia is often inherited. However, environmental factors like excessive weight gain, overexertion, and poor nutrition can also contribute to its development and severity.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in Poodles may include:

  • Stiffness and pain in the hind legs
  • Difficulty rising or sitting
  • Decreased activity and exercise tolerance
  • Limping or favoring one leg over the other
  • Reduced range of motion in the hip joint

Treatment options for hip dysplasia in Poodles may include weight management, exercise modification, pain management, and surgery in severe cases.

Von Willebrands Disease

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a bleeding disorder that can affect humans and animals, including dogs such as Poodles. It is caused by a deficiency or malfunction of the von Willebrand factor (vWF), a protein that plays an important role in blood clotting.

Poodles are among the breeds at higher risk of inheriting VWD.

The condition can be inherited autosomal recessively. To develop the disease, a dog must inherit two copies of the mutated gene – one from each parent.

Symptoms of VWD in Poodles may include:

  • Excessive bleeding after injury, surgery, or during heat cycles
  • Bleeding from the gums, nose, or digestive tract
  • Blood in urine or feces
  • Easy bruising
  • Prolonged bleeding after a toenail trim or other minor injury

If you suspect your Poodle has VWD, have it evaluated by a veterinarian who will perform tests to confirm your diagnosis. Treatment options include transfusions of vWF-containing blood products and medications to stimulate clotting. The vet may also advise you to keep your pet from activities that may trigger excessive bleeding.

Responsible breeding practices can help reduce the incidence of VWD in Poodles and other susceptible breeds. Breeders must test their breeding dogs for VWD and only breed those free of the disease. Alternatively, carriers must be mated to non-carriers to reduce the risk of producing affected puppies.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, or hypoadrenocorticism, is a hormonal disorder. It occurs when the adrenal glands, which produce hormones that regulate various bodily functions, do not produce enough of certain hormones, particularly cortisol and aldosterone.

In Poodles, Addison’s disease is believed to be inherited. However, environmental factors and other underlying health conditions can also contribute to its development.

Symptoms of Addison’s disease in Poodles may include:

  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dehydration and increased thirst
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Collapse or sudden onset of weakness

Addison’s disease can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms can be vague and may come and go. Treatment for Addison’s disease in Poodles usually involves hormone replacement therapy with medications. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary for supportive care and to correct electrolyte imbalances.

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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect Poodles and cause recurrent seizures. While it is believed to be inherited, it can also be caused by factors like genetics, injury, infection, or exposure to toxins. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep the disease at bay.

Treatment may involve medications to control seizures and management of triggers, but there is no known cure.


Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a life-threatening condition that can affect Poodles and other deep-chested breeds. It occurs when the stomach becomes distended and then twists, cutting off blood flow to the stomach and other organs. Causative factors include eating too quickly, overeating, or drinking large amounts of water immediately after a meal.

Symptoms may include restlessness, abdominal pain, bloating, and unproductive vomiting. Immediate emergency veterinary care is necessary to treat bloat.


Although it is a less common condition, it can happen to any breed. Toy poodles are particularly prone to it.

Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar levels drop too low, causing your pet to feel weak, disoriented, and prone to seizures. It also results from a lack of food, illness, or reaction to certain medications.

Training Poodles

We’ve established that Poodles are a highly intelligent and trainable breed. They are known to excel in many activities, such as obedience training, agility, and therapy work. Here are some crucial aspects of training a Poodle.

  • Positive Reinforcement – Poodles respond well to rewards-based training. Well, who doesn’t? Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise encourage good and expected behavior.
  • Consistency – Like most easily trainable dog breeds, Poodles thrive on consistency and routine. Using the same commands and training techniques will help your Poodle train faster and retain its learnings better.
  • Socialization – The importance of introducing Poodles to new people, animals, and environments early on cannot be overestimated. As a highly sociable breed, connecting with other dogs and humans will help them become confident and well-adjusted adult dogs.
  • Professional Training – As far as training your pet goes, it is worth getting a professional to help you with it. A professional dog trainer can identify your Poodle’s specific needs and even guide you in training it effectively.
  • Incorrect Training – Physical punishments, yelling or using harsh tones, over-training, ignoring bad behavior, and skipping socialization are among the biggest training mistakes that Poodle owners make. practices can instill fear and anxiety, making the training process more difficult.

poodle playing

Meeting Your Poodle’s Exercise Requirements

As energetic and active dogs, Poodles require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. The exercise needs of a Poodle depend on the dog’s personality, age, size, and overall health. You should consult your vet to determine your Poodle’s exercise routine.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day. This includes daily walks and interactive games such as fetch and tug of war. Being a dog breed that prefers variety, Poodles enjoy activities such as running, swimming, and agility training. Mixing up the exercise routine will keep them engaged, entertained, and, more importantly, mentally and physically stimulated.

That said, keep an eye out for your aging Poodle’s energy levels and adjust its exercises accordingly.

On that note, a Poodle’s thick, curly coat can cause its body to overheat quickly. Look out for signs of heat stroke and avoid exercising in extreme heat or hot weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Poodles Bark A Lot?

All dogs bark, and Poodles are no exception! They bark to communicate with their owners or to alert them about the varied situation or circumstances they perceive.

However, Poodles are known to be a relatively quiet breed, but they aren’t completely silent. That said, It also depends a lot on your dog’s personality and how it has been raised/trained.

Lack of socialization, boredom, separation anxiety, and health issues are reasons that cause Poodles to bark more than other dogs.

Which Poodle Is Best For Kids?

Standard poodles are generally ideal for families with kids. They tick the check box of ‘are poodles good with children?’ Miniature poodles tend to be very high-strung, and may be too delicate for young children.

Standard Poodles tend to be calm, patient, and easygoing. A well trained and friendly Poodle is ideal for families with kids.

Are Poodles High Maintenance?

Yes, poodles are among those dog breeds considered high maintenance since the breed requires regular grooming every three to six weeks – something would be Poodle owners ought to keep in mind.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.