(Didn't think this would get long, but it somehow did... sorry!!)
I'm in the process of making the final decision on the next pup my husband and I will be getting. So far, from everything I've read and learned about poodles, they'll be an excellent choice for us.
We're looking primarily at the standards, mainly because after years of having smaller dogs, it'd be a nice change of pace for us to have a bigger, more "rugged" dog for hiking and such.
The personality of my future dog means a whole lot to me, much more so than looks. If I could find a way to compare/contrast a poodle's personality to that of boxers, shepherds, and cavalier king charles spaniels (all dogs I've had/have), I would be much more aware of what to expect... which would be fantastic for me as I don't like to make decisions blindly.
I understand poodles are extremely intelligent, which is very exciting for me. However, I keep noticing in different threads/breed info guides that they may not be very cuddly/affectionate with their owners, which is pretty much a deal breaker for me.
I like my dogs to be "clingy," always be around me, in my lap, sleep with me, cuddle with me... this is exactly what I get from both my cavaliers and have gotten from my boxers, and its what I LOVE about those two breeds. If I could get that same level of affection from a non-shedding, supremely intelligent dog, I'd be in heaven...
.. is this a possibility with a standard poodle?
I do realize each dog is an individual and breeding/lines of a particular dog means a whole lot here as well, but I thought I'd start this thread anyway as more of a general guide, hoping to get some personal experiences. If any of you have noticed personality trends based on color, I'd like to hear about this as well (loving the look of apricots, reds, and browns at the moment -- not sure if this is of any significance).
Thanks a million, apologies again for the length of this!
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I have had 3 Boxers and find that my 2 standards are not much differant. They both think that they are lap dogs , as did my Boxers... The differance that I do notice is that my Spoos like to play more, they love to chase balls and play tag with each other. I prefer the Poodles because they don't shed nor do they smell . I love that about them, even wet, there is no doggie smell. The con is all the grooming. You really need to consider how much time you want to devote to grooming, it can become a chore.
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Poodles are not called velcro dogs for nothing ...
But beware of what you wish for - that attachment may be quite charming when it means you never go to the bathroom without a poodle watching attentively in case you fall down the loo - it can be a bit more worrying when your poodle has a nervous breakdown every time you leave her with someone else for more than a minute or two...
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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I have two standard females and it seems that the males are a bit more cuddly than females, based on forum members' comments here. My two girls are very athletic, I love to run and they do too! Plus they have tons of energy left over when we get home. They love me, they go wild with happiness when I come home from somewhere or get up in the morning, but they are not always touching me. They love to snuggle in my lap in the evenings though, and to sleep in our bed, snuggled right up to my husband and me. My two are just the right amount of affectionate for me. I think in many ways boxers and poodles are similar; poodles are super smart and they hate to be alone. Obedience training is a must. They do have that coat, but you can keep them trimmed right down if you want, they're really cute with no hair! All legs
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Poodle Type: Standards, Solid Silver and Parti Silver
Location: Athens, Georgia
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What I've noticed working with several standards is the amount of "affection" can vary greatly among lines. I've never owned boxers or cavaliers, so can't really compare to those. However, I can offer a bit of a comparison with Shepherds.
In my experience, poodles aren't as "needy" or as severely attached to owners as shepherds can be. All the GSD's I've worked with were extremely attached to the owners, to the point of becoming extremely worried and anxious if their owner simply walked away or walked out the door for a few minutes. And it isn't that the poodles don't love you as much, it's just that they are independent enough to be left alone and not panic. (Obviously, there are poodles out there with extreme separation anxiety just like other breeds; however I feel that as a breed, they do not tend to have those sort of attachment issues).
All of mine have always sought out affection, wanted to be on the couch, and wanted to sleep in the bed. One of my girls can be very independent and doesn't really care if she's in the bed with you or asleep in another room, but she's kind of the extreme example and she still is very affectionate, without being extremely needy (which I don't like in a dog; I want a dog that can entertain themselves and leave me be if I need to be left alone).
I've heard that males can be more affectionate than females, but can't attest to that as I've never owned a male poodle.
My advice to you would be to make sure you purchase a poodle out of parents whose personalities you like. Meet the breeders other dogs, try and meet pups from previous litters if possible, and make sure you like the personalities that you see.
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fjm, brought up a great point. I did not think nothing of leaving for vacation with my Boxers home alone being cared for by my mom . I would never dream of leaving my Poodles! They would just curl up and die... I have to take them or stay home. Poodle have to be with their people, it is a must for them.
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Names of dogs: Piccolo's Niall Delaney, and rescued rat terriers Devlin & Bridget
Poodle Type: Standard
Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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I'm enjoying my first Standard—he is truly the happiest dog I've ever seen. He likes to cuddle, too, and will drape himself across my lap while I'm trying to work at the computer.
That said, I don't encourage clinging. I want him to be confident enough to be content and unafraid if he must be left alone for awhile, or left in someone else's care. And, on top of that, I hope to show him in obedience, and a clingy dog will have trouble with out-of-sight stays. I want him to feel comfortable, confident, and able to understand that I'll be back.
You'll be doing your veterinarian and groomer a favor if you make sure he doesn't wig out when he can't see you.
So, from the first night, my guy has slept in a crate in the bedroom. I'm sure he'd rather be on the bed, and actually, I wouldn't mind that, except I'm afraid he'd accidentally suffocate the two rat terriers, who both sleep under the covers.
Marguerite in Gettysburg, PA
Standard Poodle CH URO1 Piccolo's Niall Delaney ("Neely"), CGC, RLP (World Cynosport Rally, Level Puppy), UKC Group 1
URX3 UROG UCD ARCHEX CD-CCH Devlin, CGC, RN, CDX-C, AOE-L2, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3, ITD, UKC 2011 and 2012 Rally All Star, Levels 2 & 3 (rescued Rat Terrier, found fending for himself on a farm)
URO1 Bridget, CGC, RL1, CD-C (rescued Rat Terrier)
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Names of dogs: Baloo, Pepper, Dusty, Sammie, Trevvor, Raven
Poodle Type: Miniature, Toy
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I don't have a spoo, but a mpoo and a tpoo. My mini Trev is quite needy and affectionate...as we speak he is on his back with his head pressed into me, sleeping. He will willingly cuddle in my lap, be held on his back like a baby, or wrap his paws around my neck while I carry him about. I've had to work with him on separation anxiety....as a youngster he actually jumped out of an open window (never fear, it was only a couple feet to the ground.) to follow me down the road as I left. He would scream bloody murder when I left him in a room or crated him away from me, and would take quite a while to calm down. He's much much better now, age and the realization that I ALWAYS come back helped. He rarely cries anymore, but he will still try to follow me down the road if he gets out when I'm leaving. (Which is why I almost always shut him into my room in my absence). If he gets out while I am gone, he will sit in the front yard and wait for me. And it's not that he isn't a confident poodle....he is quite confident. He's just very attached to me. It's part of why I love poodles, they need me. I like to be needed.
My tpoo Raven, on the other hand, while I am most definitely his mama and he follows me around, will cuddle when he isn't distracted (lol), and is quite affectionate, he doesn't have the separation anxiety issues and is generally not quite as clingy. He whines in a crate only when he needs to go potty, not because I left. Maybe it's because I raised him differently....when I got Trev I quit my job shortly afterwards and had about 4 or so months at home with him, he was rarely without me. With Raven though I've worked the whole way through his puppyhood, and while he does come to work with me he stays crated about 75% of the time because I can't watch him and he most definitely needs watching! So he's not following me around constantly.
Spoos aren't any different. They bond quite tightly....most of the ones that I groom regularly love me almost as much as my own dogs do. One in particular goes bananas when he sees me, he's only 8-9 mo or so and I've groomed him since he was a little baby and I could still cuddle him in my arms lol. Now he's probably 24-25" and starting to fill out, no more cuddling for him! I had to teach him how to put his feet up on the table for me last time, it was too hard to lift him. (Btw, it took me like 5 minutes or less...he was so proud of himself too. Love how smart these guys are!)
Anyways, I wouldn't worry about them not being affectionate. Of course, every dog is an individual, but as a general rule poodles are very affectionate. Boys especially in my experience. Girls are too, but are a little different.
"Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man." ~George Jean Nathan
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We have a female standard, and she is my shadow. She follows me everywhere and yes, that includes the bathroom when I'm taking a shower. (She also comes in when I go to the toilet, but I've been discouraging that so she doesn't do it much anymore).
I've had dogs of both sexes, but have no experience with a male standard poodle. Though we are getting one in January so will be able to comment on that soon!
My female spoo is a velcro dog - and she does try to cuddle on my lap. She loves to "hug" too, and is always giving kisses. She was a total star at Christmas yesterday - we had all the family over to our house, and she totally worked the crowd! All the kids were hanging off her and cuddling her and she was so calm and well mannered - not jumping on anybody. Even all the grown-ups who were anti-poodle ("they're a sissy dog") were converted and have started commenting that they wouldn't mind having a poodle or taking Gracie home with them!!
I just LOVE my spoo girl - can you tell?
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