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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was talking to a breeder and I described myself as an indoorsy person who does daily exercise. I do jog/walk for 30-60 mins a day, which I'd definitely love to take my mini on too. However, I'm otherwise a very laid back person at home, so I wouldn't want the most hyper dog in the litter.

I'm afraid that the breeder misinterpreted what I meant, as she said her minis are "busier" than what I'm hoping for. I don't know if her minis specifically tend to be very energetic, or if I might have seemed like I wouldn't stimulate my poodle enough. I understand that poodles are energetic as a breed and I'd definitely be willing to accommodate that.

She does breed her poodles for agility performance though, so that may have been what she was referring to as well. I really like this breeder and the timing is perfect for me, so I'm wondering if an agility performance line would be "too energetic" if I want an indoor companion, or if I need to communicate that I would be able to accommodate a mini's activity needs.
 

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It really depends on the line. There are some minis who are watered down, they come from a line of dogs who aren't used in sport. If you choose a sport line dog, your dog will end up with more drive and energy than a "normal" dog.

Your breeder may be able to pick out a lower energy dog from her litter, but if she is telling you her dogs may be too much for you, I'd accept that and move on, unless you are willing to accommodate for that energy.

I'd suggest finding a show line breeder, poodles ARE high energy, but a line of dogs that aren't specifically being bred for preformance sports (like it seems your breeder breeds for) will be a little less energy
 
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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I have a very doggy-centric lifestyle and I don’t think I could handle a poodle that was bred to be more energetic than your average mini. Hoping @Raindrops weighs in, as she’s got a miniature firecracker and could give you an idea of what he requires daily.

Do you have experience with poodles or puppies in general? If not, that could partly explain the breeder’s concern. Peggy, for example, would not have been suitable for a first-time puppy owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a very doggy-centric lifestyle and I don’t think I could handle a poodle that was bred to be more energetic than your average mini. Hoping @Raindrops weighs in, as she’s got a miniature firecracker and could give you an idea of what he requires daily.

Do you have experience with poodles or puppies in general? If not, that could partly explain the breeder’s concern. Peggy, for example, would not have been suitable for a first-time puppy owner.
I personally don't, but my mom does. I can definitely understand the breeder's concern then. I do think I would be able to learn my puppy's needs, even an energetic one, but it's not one of my preferred characteristics. I've inquired a little more, because I really do like this breeder, but I'd understand if in the end her dogs aren't a good fit for me :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It really depends on the line. There are some minis who are watered down, they come from a line of dogs who aren't used in sport. If you choose a sport line dog, your dog will end up with more drive and energy than a "normal" dog.

Your breeder may be able to pick out a lower energy dog from her litter, but if she is telling you her dogs may be too much for you, I'd accept that and move on, unless you are willing to accommodate for that energy.

I'd suggest finding a show line breeder, poodles ARE high energy, but a line of dogs that aren't specifically being bred for preformance sports (like it seems your breeder breeds for) will be a little less energy
I did ask if she could give me a lower energy dog in my initial email, but even then her response was that they still might be busier than I'm hoping for. She said some of her dogs can become couch potatoes with a few years on them, so that's what I imagined, but yeah I'd understand in the end if she wasn't a good fit.
 

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I did ask if she could give me a lower energy dog in my initial email, but even then her response was that they still might be busier than I'm hoping for. She said some of her dogs can become couch potatoes with a few years on them, so that's what I imagined, but yeah I'd understand in the end if she wasn't a good fit.
If you are willing to really give that dog all it needs in the first few years, in order to have a couch potato in later years, then go for it. Most dogs do calm down after awhile, and if your high energy dog is exersised, they usually snooze for quite some time
 
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I got rejected by a spoo breeder last year after a conversation that was very similar to yours. She bred for sport and performance. She felt the whole litter was likely to be too energetic for my lifestyle.

I was a bit disappointed, but I was ok with the recommendation overall. One of my coworkers used to compete in herding trials with her dogs. Seeing what she struggled with made me realize it's not just a matter of exercising a high drive dog. They need constant mental stimulation. If my coworker didn't entertain her dog enough she'd find him going through her clean laundry and sorting out all the socks. No, he didn't fold them. He merely hid them. A challenging dog like hers is just a little more dog than I can handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got rejected by a spoo breeder last year after a conversation that was very similar to yours. She bred for sport and performance. She felt the whole litter was likely to be too energetic for my lifestyle.

I was a bit disappointed, but I was ok with the recommendation overall. One of my coworkers used to compete in herding trials with her dogs. Seeing what she struggled with made me realize it's not just a matter of exercising a high drive dog. They need constant mental stimulation. If my coworker didn't entertain her dog enough she'd find him going through her clean laundry and sorting out all the socks. No, he didn't fold them. He merely hid them. A challenging dog like hers is just a little more dog than I can handle.
Ah okay, I see. I did inquire with her a bit more just to get some more detail, but yeah maybe another breeder would be a better fit. This is useful to know, thank you!
 

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There are many ways to deal with a dog's energy. There have been days when I've thought my 6-month old mini was too much puppy for me - but they're growing fewer now that he's growing up a bit. I'm 65, recently retired and have a quiet lifestyle. I love to walk and hike, and wanted a dog to walk with. Most of the time, my puppy is fine with a daily walk, several minutes of active fetch, and training games. We also play brain games with puzzle toys and feeders, snuffle mats, hidden treats or kibble, etc. Nose work also helps to burn off energy. I also put him on a long tether and let him run around in the yard or park. His energy level is good for me - he helps me get more exercise and challenges my creativity. So don't shy away from poodles because of the energy or exercise requirement. I discussed energy level and drive with the breeder, who breeds for conformation, temperament and performance. She told me that her performance dogs may have too much drive for me, but not all. She does temperament testing on the puppies before matching them with perspective owners. My pup's test showed that he has a very high pack drive but isn't highly independent. Be sure to be honest and clear with your breeder, as it sounds like you have been, and allow her to pick a puppy the will fit into your lifestyle.
 

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I was talking to a breeder and I described myself as an indoorsy person who does daily exercise. I do jog/walk for 30-60 mins a day, which I'd definitely love to take my mini on too. However, I'm otherwise a very laid back person at home, so I wouldn't want the most hyper dog in the litter.

I'm afraid that the breeder misinterpreted what I meant, as she said her minis are "busier" than what I'm hoping for. I don't know if her minis specifically tend to be very energetic, or if I might have seemed like I wouldn't stimulate my poodle enough. I understand that poodles are energetic as a breed and I'd definitely be willing to accommodate that.

She does breed her poodles for agility performance though, so that may have been what she was referring to as well. I really like this breeder and the timing is perfect for me, so I'm wondering if an agility performance line would be "too energetic" if I want an indoor companion, or if I need to communicate that I would be able to accommodate a mini's activity needs.
Physical and mental exercise are two different things. I find that jogging/biking with my mini may result in him napping for an hour, but his brain will be ready to go when he wakes. I think that's probably adequate for exercise needs, but probably not for mental stimulation. Playing with your dog and training in addition to the physical exercise is very important. I would describe my mini as mid-high in stimulation needs. We go for a 15 minute walk early in the day, then 1 hr + of either training class (agility/rally), hiking off leash, or walking in a metropolitan area incorporating training. We typically will go for a 20 minute walk late before bed as well. So all in all probably 2 hours of activity a day. Occasionally we miss a day and just go on a 20 minute walk instead of a hike. And that's fine.

Lower energy dogs are probably fine with less, but minis in general do need dedicated mental stimulation every day. As puppies their needs are very high, and I found mine started to settle down more by 1.5 years of age.

There will be variation in any litter, but if you're wanting a pup from a performance line I would suggest keeping your options open in terms of sports your dog might enjoy. Maybe your dog won't need it, but maybe they will. My dog was an insane bouncing ping pong ball with fangs as a puppy. It took so much work compared to the easy puppies I've seen some people have. Other dogs might naturally settle and take a snooze at a café. Misha had to have it trained in with a lot of practice. He was a terror on the grooming table. He needed a lot of work on leash manners and a lot of work on not mouthing everything in sight. He was a lot of dog. But I was very committed to laying a good foundation in training and eventually he gained more impulse control and it paid off. But he wasn't an easy puppy.

I would recommend a sport line dog for people who want to actively do dog-centered things with their dog every day, but not for people who mainly want a snuggle buddy that will accompany them on normal daily routines.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Seeing what she struggled with made me realize it's not just a matter of exercising a high drive dog. They need constant mental stimulation.
Yep. This.

Peggy’s not even remotely high-drive relative to her doggy pals. And tiring her body out is easy. But if I slack on challenging her, she will make up her own jobs (all of which somehow = more work for me). That might be what the breeder means by “busy.”
 

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Yep. This.

Peggy’s not even remotely high-drive relative to her doggy pals. And tiring her body out is easy. But if I slack on challenging her, she will make up her own jobs (all of which somehow = more work for me). That might be what the breeder means by “busy.”
If I slack on doing things with Misha, he will do a few different things. A) neuroticism: He will go around the house and paw at things like the oven door. B) annoy me: He will constantly bring me toys when I'm trying to work or try to get me to play handsy games with him. C) beg for walk: He will constantly go to the door and tap it with his paw, stare at me, walk up to me, stare at me, then run back to the door and repeat.

Covid shutdown was really rough. All the parks were closed down. We did neighborhood walks and bike rides. But he displayed a lot of the neurotic behavior from boredom.
 

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If I slack on doing things with Misha, he will do a few different things. A) neuroticism: He will go around the house and paw at things like the oven door. B) annoy me: He will constantly bring me toys when I'm trying to work or try to get me to play handsy games with him. C) beg for walk: He will constantly go to the door and tap it with his paw, stare at me, walk up to me, stare at me, then run back to the door and repeat.

Covid shutdown was really rough. All the parks were closed down. We did neighborhood walks and bike rides. But he displayed a lot of the neurotic behavior from boredom.
Peggy gets a little neurotic, too, when she’s overtired. A bad combo is when her body has been exhausted/adrenalized, and her brain is still pinging. We quickly realized that daily fetch was the worst for this.

Luckily a slow sniffy walk satisfies her mind and body with very minimal effort, as does a little backyard training or agility, with lots of short training sessions scattered throughout the day.

If that’s what you’re looking for, @lialili338 —a hobby, not just a companion—you’re going to love poodle life. :) Don’t give up hope that the right breeder is out there for you.
 

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When I chose my first puppy I thought very carefully about exercise requirement. All the books said that a papillon would be more than happy with 30-60 minutes of outdoor exercise, which felt about right for me at the time - like you, I was a rather sedentary type. I quickly discovered that dogs don't read the books, and that in fact long walks and other fun activities are amongst the joys of dog ownership, and definitely among the health benefits. I now reckon that an hour is the minimum my dogs and I need for health and happiness, and more is better. I am not sure any poodle would be happy with 30 minutes a day once they reach young adulthood - it may be better to raise your own expectations of having a dog now, and embrace it!
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Apple Butter (mini poo) is from a performance breeder. She is one of the laid back pet home puppies. I still take her for a sniffy walk each day. I still go through multiple short training sessions each day. I take her out to stores multiple times a week. I set up puppy play dates. We've begun hiking in state parks on weekends. (Or, at least, as much as you can call it hiking because she is still young and I don't want to hurt her developing joints.) My kids throw the ball for her each day. When her joints mature, we will run agility. She doesn't need that much physical exercise, but she needs to be kept busy in her mind.

I am currently watching a friend who is struggling with a performance minipoo from a different breeder. The dog is great, but HOLY COW does she require every single trick in the book. Her owner is an agility trainer, and she is STILL feeling overwhelmed. These performance dogs can be high high octane. I wish you could see this dog at 10pm at night springing up straight into the air, spinning circles, and generally just FULL of the crazies. The dog does not sleep without being taught and forced to settle. As I mentioned before, she is a trainer and she still is struggling with onboarding basic obedience skills. I have no doubt that the puppy will grow into an AMAZING agility champion, but holy smokes. The average pet owner would be way in over their heads.

I think it's great that you're having this convo with the breeder and you're open to hearing what the breeder has to say. :)
 
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