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Hey All,
I’m new to this forum and have a couple of concerns when it comes to dog owning. Especially a standard poodle. I’ve done a lot of research on this breed and finally made the decision to get one after four months. My whole thing is feeling anxious about failing at taking care of this dog. I have no intentions to be neglectful I just have my worries about keeping up with this dog breed. I read a lot about how these dogs have a lot of energy and feeling as though I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with it. I wouldn’t say I’m an active person which makes me feel concerned about keeping up with its daily exercising. I’m having slight regrets about getting this dog. Not sure if this dog breed will be right for me or not. I’m single 24 and don’t really do much with my life besides go to work and come home. I work fairly close to home and thought about coming home during my lunch break to tend to it. I also live in an apartment. Not sure if this is all in my head or I’m just overthinking the whole situation. I’m just looking for any solid advice to help me make this decision. I know it’ll be up to me in the end. It’s just the commitment part that I think about. I sometimes wonder if I’m just bored wanting something to spend money on or what. Just curious if anyone else has been in this situation before or feel this way?
 

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I think you are very sensible to think hard about whether you are ready for the commitment of a puppy, especially a standard poodle. It is a bit like having a baby - life will be completely different for at least the next 10 years. Things to consider:

Puppies really need to go out every hour during the day, and several times during the night. A young puppy should not really be left for more than an hour or two, especially in the first week or so with you (Kidnapped From Planet Dog - Whole Dog Journal) - can you take time off, and deal with the lack of sleep and getting the puppy up and out at night for several months? How will your neighbours react to a puppy crying plaintively for hours while you are gone?

A puppy or dog left alone while you are at work is going to need your attention before you leave, including a decent walk before you go as it gets older, probably a walk or daycare during the day, and to be let out as early as possible when you finish work, with another walk. That means getting up an hour early to see to the dog, dashing back at lunchtime every day or paying for a dog walker or daycare, and no hanging around or going out with friends in the evenings.

Do you own your apartment? Does it have easy access to outdoors? How are you going to cope with chewing, peeing, pooping, barking, howling while you are gone, etc?

Do you plan on travelling or holidaying away from home? Who will care for the dog while you are away?

Have you planned for all the expenses of dog ownership? Insurance, routine vet bills, damage deposit on your apartment, daycare etc as above, grooming (particularly in the case of a Spoo - a full groom will be needed every 6-8 weeks and can be expensive), etc, etc.

In essence, do you want a dog so much that you are prepared to drop everything else and turn your whole life upside down, putting the puppy first? And not just for a few weeks, but for years to come...
 

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Your situation sounds a lot like mine, except that I still live with my parents.
One of the most important reasons we got a Spoo was that we (OK, I was) were sure I could give up everything for him. Another big plus for me was that he could come home and I would have a full month dedicated to him between him coming home and me returning to work after training. The month of transition was so important for us.
We also have a stay in helper for his company even though I do most of the caring for Whiskey.
While not impossible, I would say it took a great deal of effort on our end for the transition.

And I have gotten more active thanks to Whiskey, we go out to the dog run twice a week in addition to our every other day 15 min walks (don't judge, I was total homebody before we got Whiskey). I do work full time so while it is far from enough, I try to tire him out while in the apartment while playing games and doing training. We are trying to increase the walks to a daily walk before increasing the duration to 30 min...It's a little too hot for him beyond 15 minutes at the moment..
 

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I think your concerns are valid. In your situation I would be looking for an adult dog. Surviving apartment living with a puppy - any puppy, not just a poodle puppy - requires a lot of extra planning and financial resources. It's possible, but it can go badly very easily. It's not something to attempt on a shoestring budget or with an unforgiving employer. Working from home can help, but you will still have the occasional situation when you need to go get groceries or something.
  • Puppies don't like to be alone. They will wail loudly. They do not believe you should be allowed to go to the bathroom, make lunch, or do anything other than sit next to them. Their protests will not endear you to your fellow tenants and landlord.
  • Puppies chew things including, possibly, the woodwork in your dwelling. Again, your landlord will not love you.
  • Young puppies need to pee frequently. Handling their needs requires pee pads and/or many trips outside. When they are very small they will probably need one or two trips to potty in the middle of the night along with frequent trips during the day. They cannot always be trusted to hit the pee pad, as sometimes dragging the pee pad around is a lot more fun than actually peeing on it. Your landlord will not love you if you have carpeted or hardwood floors.
Many of these issues can be mitigated for the first six months if you are in a financial situation to send your puppy to puppy daycare every day. The puppy will get to play with other puppies and won't be alone disturbing your neighbors during the day. However, many doggy day care providers do not accept intact dogs older than six months. Many breeders now request that dogs stay intact until they are more than a year old and have stopped growing. This leaves you with an adolescent dog that can't go to daycare. You might be able to get away with hiring a dog walker to come in; it depends on whether the puppy daycare has successfully crate trained the dog for you, so he doesn't wail when you are gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your quick replies!
I didn’t really give a whole backstory when it comes to my life and all.
I am financially prepared and can afford the life style for sure. My whole thing is commitment and to basically put it fear of failure really. Can’t really say I’ve ever done this before. I’ve talked to many dog owners and many breeders to get insight on it. The good the bad and the ugly. I thought I could handle it but then I just thought about it in the long run and think “when will I just get tired of doing the same thing over and over again”. I wanted a change in my life to help with anxiety and depression. I live alone and want championship too. I really don’t travel except to go to church but I have the option to watch it from home. From every now and then I want to see friends or family. I just come home and play video games and just want to do more with my life. I guess being in this pandemic has effected how I’ve been feeling about wanting to get a dog.It was just in a couple of days where I just felt like “do I really want a dog or am I just bored in life” which could possibly be it. I’m just being honest with myself and with others to help me figure it all out. Btw I do have the option to work from home if I wanted to. I particularly don’t care to work from home because I just like being out of the house. I don’t really hang out with anyone like that since I moved away from family and friends. So I’m pretty much a homebody. I do have a coworker who offered to watch my dog anytime I go out of town but I told her it’ll be rare that I ever do.

I don’t own my apartment, I rent, and we are aloud to have dogs, I’ve seen a lot of different dogs here including German Shepard’s.I’m on the second floor and have easy access to being outside. I don’t mind the peeing, pooping or chewing. I’ve been buying stuff to prepare for that including different textured toys, different textured Nylabones, treats etc. I also have a crate for it as well. Lastly I just bought a months worth of puppy food so I have food for the month. I have been putting away money to save up for the dog but other finical issues I might run into. Our job offers up a pet insurance that I was going to use.

When it comes to the puppy being alone a lot of dog owners said it was okay for the schedule I came up with. I work from 7-3:30. I was going to work four hours then come home for my lunch break and tend to it then go back home. My other option was to work from home every other week. The week that I don’t work from home I was going to follow that “come home on lunch” schedule. I want to teach my spoo to be independent. They said dogs adapt and thought it could be possible. Like I said it’s rare that I need to leave besides getting groceries and going to church.

that last question is the one that made me really think hard about wanting to get it. I have the time for it but at what point will I get bored (doubt it) but I have habit of getting something new then just not thinking about it as strong as I use to when I first got it. Like I said before I wouldn’t neglect it because it’s a living being and I love dogs, it’s just thinking would I be able to really handle the responsibilities of owning a dog because I’m new to it and all. Questions for me to think about, but that’s just my thought process.
 

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I’ve had those same thoughts too “will I get bored of the puppy?”, “what if I really don’t want to go out?” (this though is because I really hate being in the sun, allergies, and that it’s really hot here, home is the most comfortable for us).

For me, those worries still haunt me, and there are days Whiskey and I lie at home and nurse my allergies, with him wishing we could go out. And then there are days we go out even when I am not feeling 100% and the weather is brutal, just because I can watch him show off his good looks and proud poodle prance to people.
Will I get bored of him? I highly doubt so, there may be days I’m too tired and worn out to play with the dogs (I teach SpEd,14 kids, no aide), but there’s always time for a cuddle because I love them so so much.

But make your own decision based on your readiness. Don’t rush into it. I had a Spoo planned in my life 10 years before I ever got one. And they aren’t a lightweight toy dog that you can scoop up..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’ve had those same thoughts too “will I get bored of the puppy?”, “what if I really don’t want to go out?” (this though is because I really hate being in the sun, allergies, and that it’s really hot here, home is the most comfortable for us).

For me, those worries still haunt me, and there are days Whiskey and I lie at home and nurse my allergies, with him wishing we could go out. And then there are days we go out even when I am not feeling 100% and the weather is brutal, just because I can watch him show off his good looks and proud poodle prance to people.
Will I get bored of him? I highly doubt so, there may be days I’m too tired and worn out to play with the dogs (I teach SpEd,14 kids, no aide), but there’s always time for a cuddle because I love them so so much.

But make your own decision based on your readiness. Don’t rush into it. I had a Spoo planned in my life 10 years before I ever got one. And they aren’t a lightweight toy dog that you can scoop up..
yeah most of my thoughts come from my anxiety. Unfortunately haha. I’ve been wanting to get a dog for some time now (3 years) and I finally live on my own without any roommates and thought this was the perfect opportunity. I like being outside and wanted to explore the area where I’m at more and go on hikes with someone. Not everyday though. Just being able to get out of my house helps and being forced to I thought would be a good idea. But I have some days where I just want to relax and chill. I like the fact that it won’t be light weight I like a sturdy medium - large dog :). I hope your allergies get better! You sound like me haha.
 

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I did the apartment spoo thing.

Daily walks (multiple) and 2x per week opportunities for offleash running were key.

A low key lazy day might be only 3 short (10-15 min) walks. But I paid for them the next day, when she required way more exercise! Food puzzles, trick training, and down stays were important strategies. As we're regular walks in novel places, like stores, downtown, etc. Key is to balance physical and mental exercise


Adolescence was definitely the worst. Now that Annie is 2, she can handle lazy days better.
 

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I think it is very good to consider these things. I would be more likely to agree with your anxiety if decided you wanted a dog merely a month ago, but it sounds like you've been considering this for years now.

I got my mini as a puppy when I was 27, renting a small cottage property with my partner. I have not had children but I would say it is most akin to having a child, with the contradictory exception that dogs both grow up faster and don't grow up at all. Having Misha has changed my life enormously. I also wanted a dog because I felt like I just wanted more from life. I wanted somebody to accompany me through life who wasn't a person. You ultimately cannot count on your friends and partners to stick with you through thick and thin, but your dog will. I think having Misha has given me an emotional freedom to not be dependent on other humans. But he is my whole world. I spend most my free time doing things with him. Any spare money I have is spent on classes and training. I still have my human friends but everything I do is with him in mind. If I go to work I am thinking about how long I am leaving him and if he has had enough activity to keep him happy. If I travel I must think if I can bring him or if I can arrange to have somebody watch him. It is a different life with a dog. I also was not particularly active before I got him. But I wanted to be, and he has given me a reason to get out and be active for 1-2 hours every day. I do not resent this, but it can be difficult if I am extremely busy. I always have to sacrifice my sleep before I sacrifice time that he needs with me.

When Misha was a puppy I got him at the beginning of summer when I knew I wouldn't have to leave him often. By the time he was 5 months old I was able to leave him for ~4 hours to go to work, but I am not sure it would have been possible when he was much younger. I know many people do it, but I would have found it difficult with him. Potty training was hard and he peed on any soft material and also had tendencies of occasional vomit and diarrhea. So leaving him was liable to mean returning to a bad situation. It does depend on the puppy for sure. Some adapt great to using a litter box and barely have any accidents. I just didn't have that experience with him. Perhaps a friend could pop in and take the pup out for a potty while you work, and you can also use a camera to watch while away.

For those reasons I would second the possibility of finding an older puppy or adolescent dog. The young puppy stages are just rough. You don't get much sleep and you feel like a pincushion. It does get better as they age, but the teenage phase (for me ~ 9 months to 14 months) offers its own struggles.

I would ask your reasons for wanting a spoo rather than a smaller poodle. I originally felt that a mini was small, but I am so happy that I went with a mini. I live in an apartment and a standard would just feel like a whole lot of dog for the size of my place. With my mini he can play fetch and do training exercises in my apartment. And he is a whole lot of dog for his size. I'd rather get a larger dog when I have a yard I think. I know it's totally possible in an apartment, but I would just think about why you prefer one over the other.
 

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My first dog was an old fashion Irish Setter. My last dog was a working border collie. Frankly, I did not find my standard poodle to be particularly energetic. If you can give the dog a nice walk with plenty of running in the morning, I think he will be fine.

If you are so worried, get an older dog. Two years would be a good age for you.
 

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Please read Ian Dubar's books Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy as soon as possible. They will help you learn how to structure your dog's environment so he or she is happy and healthy. Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, too.

I too suggest considering a smaller variety of Poodle.
 

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I would ask your reasons for wanting a spoo rather than a smaller poodle. I originally felt that a mini was small, but I am so happy that I went with a mini.
I think this is a good question. I was always a “big dog person,” but I followed my gut and got a small dog while I was single in my 20s: a puppy who was half miniature poodle and matured at 10.5 lbs. I never could have predicted it at the time, but her size allowed her to accompany me wherever life took me. I got her when things felt very settled—almost boring—but my life with her ending up taking me in directions I never would have imagined. Career changes, home changes, relationship changes, even country changes. Really dramatic lifestyle changes that she always fit into nicely.

You never know what the future may bring.

If you’re passionate about dogs—not just about having a companion or something to do—I think you’ll manage fine. Just know that your poodle’s needs will often come first, which I happen to think is actually quite nice. Like having a fluffy little anchor in the sea of life.
 

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Hey OP,

Responding here because I remember feeling similarly before I got Joonie. I honestly would think very, very hard about the possibility of waiting and an alternative to a puppy. I wish I would have, at least, and here's why:

I was in a similar position to you last year before Joonie, and thought I was more than prepared (emotionally, physically, and financially) to get a poodle puppy. My work is stable and offers pet insurance. I mapped out finances and figured I could afford daycare/a walker once I returned to the office. I was emotionally lonely, and have always leaned on dog companionship. I'd fostered several dogs beforehand (one of them a poodle), and thought I knew how to handle a puppy.

I was really unprepared, even given all this. The first three months with my Joon were beyond tough. Every day I wondered whether I made the right decision. It's really no exaggeration - bringing home a puppy (especially one as emotionally intense and intelligent as a poodle) is similar to bringing home a baby. It's intense.

Beyond the usually considerations that everyone has done a really great job of touching upon - are you prepared for the possibility that this puppy will have emotional needs incompatible with your own? You mentioned wanting companionship (totally valid!) but poodles often come with a velcro-dog mentality, and Joonie even has tons of separation anxiety and barrier frustration that makes alone-time difficult. It's a huge strain on my own mental health, on the worst days. Behaviour training is so important but is also time-consuming, mentally exhausting and can be an additional financial strain if you end up needing professional help via a trainer or vet behaviourist.

Poodles are so emotionally intelligent and come with their own needs in order to be happy - are you up for the challenge of meeting that puppy's emotional needs as well as your own? I only bring this up because I truly, truly see where you're coming from. I think it's amazing you're thinking about this ahead of time, and that you reached out to ask the PF community. I just wish someone had asked me this question before I got Joonie.

You mentioned being not too active either. Have you researched other, low-activity breeds? Joonie is a mini-poodle, and while I don't consider him to be a super active dog, he 100% needs something to do every day in order to be a happy guy. I'm a homebody myself, and never went out before I got Joonie. I literally structure my day around giving him time to exercise and play - work days, holidays, birthdays, every day. Otherwise, he gets bark-y and cries and it's not a fun time for him or me. On the flip side - this can also be a great thing! I never once went to the beach, on a hike, or to the park, and this is one area I really feel like improved my own quality of life post-Joonie.

Have you explored alternatives to a puppy - someone mentioned an adult dog, which is a great suggestion. Or maybe fostering for a local rescue for a bit, to help out a pup in need and also see what living with a dog is like?

In any case, I hope this didn't come off too harsh. I just know I would've liked someone to give me a Reality check and ask the harder questions before I got a poodle. I hope this all turns out okay for you, and we're here to support!
 

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Hey All,
I’m new to this forum and have a couple of concerns when it comes to dog owning. Especially a standard poodle. I’ve done a lot of research on this breed and finally made the decision to get one after four months. My whole thing is feeling anxious about failing at taking care of this dog. I have no intentions to be neglectful I just have my worries about keeping up with this dog breed. I read a lot about how these dogs have a lot of energy and feeling as though I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with it. I wouldn’t say I’m an active person which makes me feel concerned about keeping up with its daily exercising. I’m having slight regrets about getting this dog. Not sure if this dog breed will be right for me or not. I’m single 24 and don’t really do much with my life besides go to work and come home. I work fairly close to home and thought about coming home during my lunch break to tend to it. I also live in an apartment. Not sure if this is all in my head or I’m just overthinking the whole situation. I’m just looking for any solid advice to help me make this decision. I know it’ll be up to me in the end. It’s just the commitment part that I think about. I sometimes wonder if I’m just bored wanting something to spend money on or what. Just curious if anyone else has been in this situation before or feel this way?
I have a standard poodle she is about six months old. They are the best, so intelligent so stubborn and so loving.They do need exercise but honestly I find mental work tires my poodle out more than physical exercise ever could. So some days we only play fetch for 30 minutes and the rest is mental work throughout the day to keep her tired and her brain busy. That’s not every day they still need physical exercise but mental work is the most important honestly amor.Just make sure you do the mental work and training in a little bit of exercise like a walk in the morning or evening in touch throughout the day and you’ll be OK. Don’t over stress it give give your poodle all the love
 

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I agree regarding the overwhelming value of mental exercise, and that includes loose-leash sniffy walks and also obedience training. But I still believe it’s essential for spoos to be able to run full-speed sometimes, to really stretch their bodies out and revel in their poodle-ness. Anyone getting an athletic breed needs to be prepared to fulfill this need. And sadly you cannot count on all dog parks to be safe or healthy for your poodle. Some people luck out in this regard, but most have to get a little more creative.
 

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First dog ever or first poodle ever, it is a huge, unimaginably life changing commitment. Your deep consideration is the right approach, your vacillation is understandable.

That said, if you can't go into this new life wholeheartedly, it may not be the right time, or the right breed, something isn't in place. Anything else starts looking like a rehome for the puppy just waiting to happen. I'm sure that's exactly where your big concern lies.

This is a lifetime commitment, years for you, an entire lifetime for your dog. I'm not trying to put you off the idea, but one of the things I've learned about making a decision in my life is that if I'm vacillating long term, it's not the right decision. This may not be the case for you. Only you can know that.

In the meantime, some light reading is here Puppy reality

(jk, it's a reality check from members going thru their own poodle angst :))
 

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Much will depend on what you're willing to set aside or give up (especially during puppyhood). Puppies need our attention. They need their human to see when they are circling or sniffing around to pee/poo, to see when they test their teeth on the furniture or the electrical cords. Basically through puppyhood you are both parent, tour guide, & language instructor to your new puppy throughout his/her life. You teach the puppy how to navigate Humansville. This is like if you were plucked up out of your home & taken to a foreign land where you do not speak the language, do not know how anything works, & since you don't speak their language & you don't speak theirs... there will be a period of time where they will have to teach you how to communicate with them. It can be fun & fascinating if you are 100% committed. If you are not, it can be trying, frustrating, & a total disruption.

The main thing to remember is that the puppy/dog does not operate out of a place of getting even. Most of the time when our dogs do bad things it's because 1) we haven't trained properly, 2) we allowed bad behavior to develop into habits, 3) not enough exercise. A tired puppy is a good puppy & that means both mental & (age appropriate) exercise.

So it will depend on what kind of gamer you are. I enjoy gaming on a much lower tech scale than someone your age but I know that the game will be lost or the controller tossed if one of my dogs gets up to mischief. With young puppies my focus is on them. My husband gets so focused on his game playing on his phone that he doesn't notice much & he's the first to admit that as he's gotten older, he prefers the tiny dogs (little Chihuahuas) because they're up on him. When they jump off the couch or start wandering around on him, he knows it's time to put the phone down or pause the tv.

i hope this helps. Only you can know whether you're willing to make the changes to accommodate the dog. It's a good sign that when you're having these doubts you put them out there to examine them. If more people did this - & they were honest with themselves - there would be less homeless animals. Since animals are completely dependent on us to help them navigate through our world, we have to decide if we want to be their guide.
 
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