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Old 07-30-2009, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mini Poodle Temperament

I'm drawn to the mini poodle because of its size, low/ no shed status and intelligence compared to some other smaller breeds. I have met lots of minis at agility matches who have fantastic temperaments and are just what I'm looking for. Calm and friendly outside the ring, excited and happy inside the ring.

Having said that, when my mom and I recently visited a breeder with a number of poodles in outside pens they were running around and leaping like jack rabbits and basically just looked like everything the uneducated person might think the poodle to be (hysterical). To be fair, the breeder had just got back from a 2 day show and these guys probably had some energy to burn, but as I watched them leap higher than my waist I got nervous about my decision and started questioning whether the mini was right for me. This is a breeder who also told me that they don't temperament test, as their minis are all the same, so I left there feeling like they most likely didn't have the dog for me.

I have since got over my nerves and am back on the track to getting a mini poodle (obviously, as I'm here!) but I wanted to hear what your mini poodles are like. Please tell me those dogs were the exception, and I just happened to see them at a bad time! Also, is it common for mini poodle breeders not to temperament test or did I just happen to talk to one who didn't?
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Daddy doesn't like strangers and barks at every little noise. He is very smart and easy to train. He is convinced he is the boss and is sometimes upset when I don't listen to what he wants

He does love to run and it's a pleasure to watch when I go with my son's schnauzers. He outruns them all. I must admit I've never like poodles before. I bought him because I wanted a lap dog and that's all the pet shop had at the time.

Since then I am very happy with my choice and my views of poodles have changed a lot. I love to groom him. He sleeps with me and I would have a fit if I ever lost him.

Before I had 2 miniature schnauzer and 2 lhasa apso but I think overall it's my poodle that I like best.

I don't think all min poodles are the same personality wise so don't base your choice on mine but I just wanted to share my experience with mine.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Moose is a standard poodle but he hops around when he gets excited and sometimes looks like a horse lifting his front end off the ground going up! He is also very calm if he needs to be and SUPER gentle around kits. He also barks at strangers, and anyone new to the house, and then he gets to know them and plays with`m. He does not bark other than that or at a bird/animal here`n`there.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've met mini poodles that are playful, goofy, funny. They are also obedient, smart, and focused if they are trained. Just like a child, if they are given affection and attention, have rules and boundaries, they are wonderful amazing companions.

My first toy poodle had more of a prey instinct. She would go absolutely crazy if she saw a squirrel. it was fascinating to watch her run after lizards hiding in the fall leaves. She was also sweet, cuddly, and obedient to her little girl master. My second poodle could care less about a squirrel or lizards. She loved to fish and could stand staring at the water for hours. Again, she was loving, cuddly, and obedient. Each had a very distinctive personality and energy level.

Are you worried that a mini would have too much energy or are you getting the mini to do agility? You can ask the breeder to do temperament testing or ask for a referral for someone to do it for you. If they are not experienced, the test results can be misinterpreted. I would ask for references and have a clear goal in mind as far as what temperament you want the dog to be pre-disposed to.

It sounds like you caught that breeder at the wrong time. Regardless, it would be helpful to get another recommendation and visit with another breeder to help you compare them.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you considered a Toy Poodle? I had never had a dog smaller than a Lab until this past December when I made the (well thought-out) leap of faith and got a Toy Poodle, and couldn't be happier.

Sammy's only 7.5 lbs at 9 months, and I've never had such a calm puppy. He's unbelievable.

I was seriously considering a Mini before getting Sammy, but decided I really wanted a dog I could scoop up with one hand .... I even used one of my 15-pound free weights (the lower end of mini weight), and decided I wanted a lighter dog (I told you it was well thought-out . His small size makes it very easy to pop him into the sink for a bath, to quickly pick him up if he's tired on a long hike (over 2 hours), or if an aggressive dog comes along.

He reacts with a bark more readily than my Labs, but he's also learning to keep that to a minimum with gentle encouragement.

The non-shedding characteristic of Poodles is fantastic. I didn't realize how much I was going to enjoy it. Even with Labs, who have extremely short fur, little fur clouds would appear in corners and stairs, or giving her a pat, I'd end up with bits of fluffy fur on my hands....not with a non-shedder, though. Really, it's fantastic....I clip his fur myself, and both he and I find it to be a very enjoyable activity.

In this house, Sammy's been declared the Perfect Pet, and we couldn't be happier. Love ya, Sammy!
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFF View Post
Are you worried that a mini would have too much energy or are you getting the mini to do agility? You can ask the breeder to do temperament testing or ask for a referral for someone to do it for you. If they are not experienced, the test results can be misinterpreted. I would ask for references and have a clear goal in mind as far as what temperament you want the dog to be pre-disposed to.
My primary focus is a mini to be a companion and good in the house with me. The agility/ obedience is secondary to that, and is only on the table if it's something the dog enjoys doing. In my experience, you can have a dog that's calm and great in the house and still able to get excited in the ring! I want that perfect mix.

Getting someone in to do the temperament testing is a good idea. My mom actually has a lot of experience in that area, as she has tested many PWD litters. The main problem seems to be that the breeders I have spoken to allocate the pups at birth, which means a temperament test at 7 weeks is useless as the pups are already allocated.

We (my mom and I) have had 2 litters of PWDs over 20 years, always to keep one for ourselves. We never allocated the pups until after temperament testing at 7 weeks and always reserved the right to let the pup buyers know if we didn't have the right dog for them in terms of temperament. Now, the PWD is a very different breed to the mini poodle. Place a PWD in the wrong home and it's no fun for anybody.

I guess what I'm finding confusing in the breeders I have spoken to is that they seem to feel that all the pups in their litter are the same with no temperament differences. Is this true for minis, or are they just placing more emphasis on confirmation? How can you know at birth or 2 weeks how that pup is going to turn out?
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Have you considered a Toy Poodle? I had never had a dog smaller than a Lab until this past December when I made the (well thought-out) leap of faith and got a Toy Poodle, and couldn't be happier.
Thanks for your thoughts Tangerineman! It's nice to hear from someone who made the switch down in size and is happy! And I totally agree on the benefits of a non shedding dog!

I have considered the toy poodle. The benefits you mentioned are definitely something I have thought about - especially being able to pick it up and carry it around. I will never tie my dog up outside a store, even for a second, after we're pretty sure someone (unsuccesfully thank goodness) tried to steal one of our PWDs a couple of years ago, so it would be nice to be able to carry my dog in with me. I'm talking with a breeder now in Toronto who tends to breed oversized toys or small minis, which might be just right for me! And her dogs have full health testing and compete in confirmation, agility and obedience, so that's even better.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangerineman View Post
I was seriously considering a Mini before getting Sammy, but decided I really wanted a dog I could scoop up with one hand .... I even used one of my 15-pound free weights (the lower end of mini weight), and decided I wanted a lighter dog (I told you it was well thought-out .
This is awesome! I really struggle to figure out weight and sizing, so using free weights is such a great idea. And you are so right - I picked up a mini boy last week-end and my arm went numb after about 5 minutes. You definitely wouldn't want to be carrying him around for long.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have limited experience on choosing a pup, so someone else might have a better answer for you. My breeder is letting me have first choice out of the litter of three females. I will pick her when I go to pick them up and get some advice from the breeder as to their personalities. If you ask around enough, I think you can find a breeder to work with you.

A properly bred and well trained poodle will have no problem performing in the ring and being calm outside the ring. I don't think a temperament test is going to be as informative as knowing your breeder. Find out the energy level of the parents and grandparents. In my opinion, poodles have gotten a bad stereotype of being hyper because of poor breeding and total lack of training.

Any kid will act like a hyper brat if they are not trained and don't know what behavior you want. Keep in mind that all poodles are from the same breed, so a temperament in a mini really isn't going to be any different than a toy or standard.

If you really want to be competitive in agility, then I would ask which breeders they recommend at the ring. Keep in mind that these dogs will have the highest energy level and will require a lot of training and exercise at home. I don't know of any breeders that truly specialize in hunting vs agility vs conformation. Sounds to me like you really want a well balanced dog which means a well breed dog. I don't put too much emphasis on the temperament test.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am also partial to toys. I really enjoy having a lap dog and it's so much easier traveling with her. I can take her on the plane with me. I am even going to put a basket on my bicycle so she can go riding with me. I did this with my first poodle and she loved it. When picking a size just think about the things you want to do and which size dog best fits. Even a standard can be a lap dog. They just require more room on the sofa! I have to admit though. It's nice taking a nap on the sofa and having her snuggle her little face on my arm or carrying her around with me.

My little puppy will have lots of walks and get plenty of exercise too.
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