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My long drawn out research into getting a new dog is coming to head (so exciting! More news on this to come later). I have been looking for a toy, but then I held a mini. Oh my gosh. I love this dog. She is six months old, and not for sale...but her sister is... Anyway, I can't stop thinking about her but she is black- and I simultaneously love hiking/camping and hate ticks!

I'm trying not to make rushed decisions, so I have been considering whether a black mini is a "practical" choice. (Who can be practical when it comes to poodles?!) It seems that it would be very hard to find ticks on a black dog.

I live in the Pacific NW, and haven't had too many problems with ticks. Except for one horrifying experience years ago where I took my dogs down by a river and realized afterwards they were both crawling with ticks. Ugh.

Thoughts? Am I being too concerned about ticks? Would a white or light-colored mini be just as awesome and easier to find unwelcome bugs? Are tick-pants a thing? Haha, you know those pee-pants look like tick-prevention to me.

Also, any thoughts on skipping the puppy stage and getting a six month old? I'm not going to have too many puppy opportunities in my life, maybe I would be missing out. I tell you what, poodle shopping is tough! I want them all.
 

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I never gave it much thought about ticks. I've pulled them out numerous times when I lived in Snohomish on acreage and had a Lab. She managed to get them a lot. I have no idea what kind they were. I had a black Doberman when I lived in Idaho and I never thought much about ticks. He would be easy to find them on though. I would sort of give them the once over look now and then. But I didn't think of it very much. And now I have a black and a white poodle and live way north in western Washington. I love to hike too but when I read this, I start thinking...hmmmm, stay on the side walks. lol.

https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Pests/Ticks


As far as a tiny puppy vs a 6 month old one, I would think it depends on how many more dogs you expect to get in your life time. I always loved getting puppies, bringing them up the way I like, socializing, training...basically starting from a clean slate. If I were to get another dog now though...I don't think I'd want to start all over with a puppy...the potty training, all the puppy stuff. I'm kind of over that. So, it might depend on your energy, your age, if you've been there, done that enough with puppies. Everyone is different. I think with a 6 month old pup, you'd still get a puppyish, cute little dog. Heck, at 6 years old, my poodles still act like puppies minus the peeing in the house and by now they've acquired pretty good manners and are easy to live with. Do you know if this 6 month old has any training at all?

Anyhow, you're wise to think things over first. But maybe try not to over think. (that's something I'm accused of doing a lot.) lol. I think with ticks, they seem to attach themselves to the face a lot more than other places. I noticed that with my Lab. And if the tick is elsewhere, I wonder if the dog would bite, lick, bother with that area more. I just don't know. But you can go over the dog, though it might be hard to spot on a poodle with all that curly hair.

Good luck. This is exciting!
 

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I think if you are somewhere where ticks are a problem you need to use a safe and effective preventative, so the coat colour is not really relevant. I have found combing thoroughly is the only way of finding them before they attach in any case.

On puppy v 6 months old, there are many people who very much prefer the older pups - nearly there on housetraining, past the worst of the chewing, fully vaccinated and ready to meet the world! For me it would depend upon how well the puppy had been raised and how well it was socialised - it can be hard work making up for missed or bad experiences of life in those early crucial months. If the pup was happy, confident, well bred and well reared I would not hesitate for an instant!
 

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A correct poodle coat is so thick and coarse, I don't think it would matter much what color the dog is--ticks would be pretty hard to spot. But I'd keep the coat stripped down, no matter what color you get, since you have an active poodle lifestyle (the ideal one for a poodle, imho).

As for age, I'd be just thrilled to get a 6 mo. old IF properly socialized and with the correct temperament. I do not enjoy the young puppy stage too much, honestly. Sure, they're precious, but they can be into everything and you're just trying to keep them safe and worrying about potty training 24/7. And, they are land sharks.

So, if this pup is super nice at 6 mos. I would not pass up the opportunity!

ETA: Simparica supposedly works on ticks. That's what I give mine for flea control and none of them have any side effects.
 

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As far as the ticks, my 12-week-old pup is still mostly black, and I do check when i brush and comb her, or when I'm petting her, to see if i feel anything. Her face is silver, but she has black around the eyes. We started her on Credelio last week (i think at 6 months they will give her something else), and yesterday my son pulled a tick out of the corner of her eye. I thought it was black eye-goo...nope. Apparently, it attached and then died. So the stuff works, i guess.
 

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As far as the ticks, my 12-week-old pup is still mostly black, and I do check when i brush and comb her, or when I'm petting her, to see if i feel anything. Her face is silver, but she has black around the eyes. We started her on Credelio last week (i think at 6 months they will give her something else), and yesterday my son pulled a tick out of the corner of her eye. I thought it was black eye-goo...nope. Apparently, it attached and then died. So the stuff works, i guess.
That's good to know that they have something for fleas/ticks for puppies!
 

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Since we live in Tick Central - our neighboring county was called out as the #1 county in the nation for new Lyme cases and I just lost two dogs (one at 4 1/2 the other at 8 1/2) in short succession to diseases were tick triggered diseases could not be ruled out altogether according to the vet, I was in your shoes not too long ago. We are happy as can be with Louie who is a cream mini - although by now completely white. My husband who insisted on a Poodle was incredibly strong on white and light colored dogs only as a choice. Louie is wearing his Soresto collar since he can (with the weight restrictions) at about 3 months and once in a while we will still see a tick on him - usually right after a walk. Since he sleeps in my bed I cannot imagine having a dark colored dog. Even though my favorite color is sliver - since they are so dark as puppies even that is something I cannot even consider. The two dogs I lost were mainly white - and were checked over thoroughly every single day several times, but as we had to learn the hard way "natural" tick management which worked fine for us the last two decades in Upstate New York is just no longer an option here. I have had Lyme three times - my husband had a severe case of Anaplasmosis and my grandson at 4 has already tested positive for Lyme twice. To say it is a major threat in our lives is an understatement. We are very hands on with our dogs - they get cuddled and are allowed on all furniture so any bit that helps keep our house tick free is a must - including choice of color of the dog. I wish I could afford a more carefree attitude about this but reality is truly scary here. I also put Diatemecous Earth in my yard and use tick tubes.
 

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Ewwww....I think I'd move away from somewhere that was so high risk or where there were sooooo many ticks or other nasties. That's terrible Moni. There didn't use to be those disease carrying ticks around here. And now apparently they're showing up more recently, though I haven't seen any. But I'm going to start looking more carefully. The only thing we had in western Washington were fleas and boy did we ever. Now, I hardly ever see fleas and my dogs haven't had any for a few years...must be the cold snaps in the winter lately. So now it's the ticks. Grrrrr.

This tells about Washington but there's also a picture that shows where on the dog's body the ticks are most likely to go or where they like to attach. And tells a little about it.
 

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Ewwww....I think I'd move away from somewhere that was so high risk or where there were sooooo many ticks or other nasties. That's terrible Moni. There didn't use to be those disease carrying ticks around here. And now apparently they're showing up more recently, though I haven't seen any. But I'm going to start looking more carefully. The only thing we had in western Washington were fleas and boy did we ever. Now, I hardly ever see fleas and my dogs haven't had any for a few years...must be the cold snaps in the winter lately. So now it's the ticks. Grrrrr.

This tells about Washington but there's also a picture that shows where on the dog's body the ticks are most likely to go or where they like to attach. And tells a little about it.
Moving is not that simple when you have 30 year ties to an area. Family and friends are all here. I remember tick awareness from back in Europe when I was a child although European ticks carry a different disease that is likely not as chronic as Lyme. My Lyme is under control for now - I was a runner and could immediately tell when I had a flare up (probably caused by a new bite) would get crazy headaches and be sensitive to the sun. Most of the time you will never even know you were bitten - I have seen only one case were there was a bull's eye rash (poor little 4 year old boy - the tick was behind his ear!). Since the OP had asked whether color was a concern for anyone - it definitely was for us. As I can tell ticks are becoming an issue almost all over the US and on the bright side we don't have too many other issues here with critters (never have had fleas ever).
 

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We have a big tick problem here in Kentucky too. Raven wore a Soresto collar her first year and after that we’ve used Frontline Plus. I have not had trouble with tick resistance but a I know folks who have. If that happens, I will find something else. The collar worked but was a real annoyance to me which is why I switched. Although a darker dog, Raven does not have super dense fur and I have never found a tick attached. I have seen one crawling I was just able to flick off. She has never had a flea so I have been blessed the protection has worked.
 

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I have a black (who I adore) so was a little bit worried about your concern. Vet put him on Bravecto and nary a problem. Good prevention is a key. I would for sure be interested in Another black if I were going to have a second dog.
 

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Moving is not that simple when you have 30 year ties to an area. Family and friends are all here. I remember tick awareness from back in Europe when I was a child although European ticks carry a different disease that is likely not as chronic as Lyme. My Lyme is under control for now - I was a runner and could immediately tell when I had a flare up (probably caused by a new bite) would get crazy headaches and be sensitive to the sun. Most of the time you will never even know you were bitten - I have seen only one case were there was a bull's eye rash (poor little 4 year old boy - the tick was behind his ear!). Since the OP had asked whether color was a concern for anyone - it definitely was for us. As I can tell ticks are becoming an issue almost all over the US and on the bright side we don't have too many other issues here with critters (never have had fleas ever).
If you don’t mind me asking, what did you treat Lyme disease with ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thank you for all the feedback everyone!

PB: I went to the Washington Tick website you posted. Dear me. Ticks are icky, and science proves it is true. As far as the 6-month old black beauty is concerned, I may have spent too much time thinking for I am now second in line. :afraid:

Which maybe is a good thing?? because MONI your experience is my nightmare. You absolutely needed to get a cream/white dog. That makes perfect sense to me. I am fortunate that my area is not even half that bad. Of course tick prevention from the vet is very helpful, and I like your tick tube idea (I had to look that one up!). Thank you for the perspective you bring to this.

fjm (by the way, what does that stand for? I've been meaning to ask for years), I have read many of your funny stories and posts of sensible advice so I appreciate you weighing in here. Especially since your advice encourages me to do what I want to do anyway! I have heard wonderful things about this puppy's original home. She has lost her home due to owner tragedy and no fault of her own.

MaiseyFrosty, it's nice that someone out there thinks it's not impossible to dig ticks out of a black poodle coat. Keeping her shaved down for hiking is very practical...I feel as excited about it as I would shaving my own head, but that doesn't mean I won't do it. And I got new Andi's clippers in the mail just today, so I could do it myself. You make good points about the downside of having a puppy. I'll find out about miss black beauty tomorrow night.

MustLoveDogs: ticks in eyes? OY! Say it isn't so.

Raven's Mom: thanks for showing me a scenario where it is just not that big a deal. You have triumphed over ticks, and I salute you. I'm starting to think I might be brave enough to handle ticks. With gloves.

Asta's Mom: Bravecta seems to be a popular choice. I have never heard of it, so I guess I've got some research to do.

Thanks again to all of you for your insight!
 

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My girl was eight months old when we got her, and had been poorly socialized. It was a long, drawn out affair to get her to the level of training that comes easily to a well socialized younger pup. When she was eight years old, I took her through a therapy dog class. She sailed right through the class, doing visits until she was almost fourteen years old. My next poodle came home at seven weeks old, and he passed his therapy dog class at six months of age. It was much easier to teach him new things, than it was to "fix" what was wrong with her. I will add that every color of poodle has some good and bad about it. Even though I have had three different color poodles, I somehow always end up with white legs. I swear a freshly washed and blown dry poodle is a dirt magnet, ha-ha. Choose the pup that best fits your desires; coping with the coat color will just become second nature to you. Have fun!
 

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This strategy truly isn't for everyone. My two toy poodles (one black, one creamy white) are indoor dogs and use wee pads, but when I do take them on a weekly walk, it's usually in high-end neighborhoods where most people use anti-tick/flea medication. It's a 'protection of the herd' idea.

I cannot see fleas or ticks on my black tpoo, but I can with the white. So far I've never found a tick and only once found a few fleas, and they got baths right away after the walk.
 

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If you don’t mind me asking, what did you treat Lyme disease with ?
Everything from the usual rounds of doxycycline - which works for some (me included) have done about 3 full rounds of that over the years (full round is twice for about 10 days about 6 weeks apart). And herbal support. I am an herbalist by trade so obviously that is of greater interest to me, although I am not one to play with longterm consequences and forgo the doxy...I rather focus my energy on rebuilding my microbiome after the antibiotic. The herbalist formula was made for me by a friend - i can look it up if you are curious.
 

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Everything from the usual rounds of doxycycline - which works for some (me included) have done about 3 full rounds of that over the years (full round is twice for about 10 days about 6 weeks apart). And herbal support. I am an herbalist by trade so obviously that is of greater interest to me, although I am not one to play with longterm consequences and forgo the doxy...I rather focus my energy on rebuilding my microbiome after the antibiotic. The herbalist formula was made for me by a friend - i can look it up if you are curious.
Thanks for the info. I will probably start treatment eventually, with a few different antibiotics. I’ll keep in mind there is a possibility of a herbal remedy, thank you !
 

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We have tons of ticks of several different species here and also several different tick borne diseases, but I have never found a live tick on many of our dogs using Advantix, Seresto collar or Bravecto. Both of my poodles are black. They important places to look are on the ear leather and the "arm pits" as well as the groin and lower abdomen and between paw pads. Actually I've never found any ticks on Lily ever, but on myself yes after we've been outdoors together.
 
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Choose the pup that best fits your desires; coping with the coat color will just become second nature to you. Have fun!
Thank you, Charmed. Truer words could not be spoken!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
They important places to look are on the ear leather and the "arm pits" as well as the groin and lower abdomen and between paw pads.
Good to know where to focus my best efforts, thank you.
 
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