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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve read mixed things, and I’d like a very cuddly dog. I’m very outgoing and social, I like having house parties with lots of people coming and going, and I’d like a pup that enjoys people and sees everyone has a friend as well.

Some people have said that poodles are more aloof, stoic, and reserved toward strangers, and not very cuddly. Has this been your experience?
 

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Sorry I don't have an answer for you, but I'm also interested to know so I'm looking forward to the responses!
 

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Not a Spoo owner, but my toy poodle kisses everyone he meets, and lets most people pet him (some taller men he is a little afraid of at first, but he will warm up eventually). He’ll also ask to play with people.
 

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Well- this morning, I got up before my mom, so kept my spoo on a leash until my mom woke up-the moment Mom talked to me, I let go of the leash and my spoo ran into her room, jumped on her bed, licked her face and arm and leg, then settled down for a snuggle.... Later on, I went to read a book for a bit and my spoo followed me upstairs after i was gone for 5 min, plopped on my bed, leaned her whole back half on top of me, and plopped her head on my arm so I couldnt turn a page without disturbing her, and then demanded a head rub. Does that answer your question?

She is far snugglier in the winter and prefers to always touch me. In the summer she overheats quite quickly so tends to sleep on the floor or lie down with me in sight instead of touching me.

With guests- if she knows them well, she is VERY friendly and enthusiastic. If she doesnt know them well, she is rather aloof and mostly ignores them. She was more demonstrative with strangers as a puppy. We did go through a month or two where she wasnt interested in petting- I had to learn to let petting be on her terms mostly.

I asked the breeder when I was picking which were the cuddliest puppies as it was important to me, too. I chose the puppy that just wanted to lean on me.
 

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Zephyr is not cuddly at home, he will not sleep on the bed or even in the bedroom, rarely wants to sit or lie down touching me. He does really like being petted and will sit behind my chair while I am on the computer and nudge nudge nudge until one hand goes back and pets him, and if that fails he will start pawing at me. He knows I have two hands and is pretty sure I only need one for the computer.

We go out to the park nearly every day where he is off leash, and he likes to "shmoose". He is not demonstrative (since growing out of the puppy jump on everybody phase), but he likes to approach people and be friendly in hopes of getting them to pet him. He likes to lean against people. It's just a friendly chat, though, and when I move on he moves on. He is very perceptive in which people (and dogs) to approach and which ones to circle around and avoid.
 

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They vary. Snarky loved meeting new people and would pretzel himself around their legs. If someone sat on the couch he woul hop up and attempt to crawl into their lap. (Be careful what you wish for. Sixty pounds of affectionate dog in your lap is a lot, especially if the sixty pound dog has just been romping in the wet grass or snow.)

Pogo is most loyal to my husband and follows him everywhere. He will come to me, lay his head in my lap, and soulfully gaze up at me when he wants something, feels unwell, or isn't getting what he wants from my husband. A few close friends get the same treatment. Everyone else is simply a tennis ball thrower.

One of my friends had a spoo that was about the same as Pogo: loving with his mistress, and everyone else was staff.

It's a little early to be sure, but I think Galen is going to be more extroverted than Pogo. About 75% of the time on walks he wants to approach strangers. Then he discovers the strangers are big and near, so he retreats. When they leave he gazes after them. I think he'll be more friendly when he gets more social opportunities and matures a bit.
 

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Here's Peggy as I type this:

467844


She loves this sort of contact: A head on a knee. A paw on a foot. A chin on a shoulder. She'll press her body against you while you nap. Occasionally she'll throw herself backwards and beg for a belly rub.

But she's not a golden retriever. She doesn't have an insatiable desire for being rubbed and scratched and loved on, and just generally carries herself in a more reserved way.

I don't think "aloof" is the right word, though. Honestly, she kind of reminds me of a person.
 

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(I should add that she does often growl and bark at people from a distance, but then wiggles like a fool when they get close. A lot of that might still be her age, though. She just turned a year old.)
 

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Raffi is extremely attached to my daughter and myself, and cuddly with the rest of my family.
When it comes to visitors, he loves all kids, he will bark when adults come on the property but once we are there he often will slide himself under the hand of some people but keeps his distance from others. Prefers females, but he does like quite a few males as well. He mostly just wants some petting or toy throwing, he is not one to want belly rubs from visitors.
 

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Though a mini rather than a spoo, Misha is a paradox. He loves people and loves to snuggle and be close, but he does not like to be pet unless it's for a scratch or massage when he's very relaxed. It's actually a concern of mine because I'm going to have my work cut out for me if I want him to get his CGC. He reminds me of a person as well. He sometimes gives me a look when I'm petting him as if to say this is kind of weird.
 

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What a charming and heartwarming thread :)

Mia is very friendly and affectionate but not at all snuggly. Don't expect her to curl up with you on the couch or bed, unless she's cold or unwell. Nonetheless, she loves people: all people. She's such a ham, always prancing for strangers and rubbing against people's legs, kind of like a cat. Of course, she expects to be cooed over in return and usually is.
 

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My spoo will cuddle me and likes to sleep plastered against me. She’ll rest her head or paws on me and prefers to sit next to me on the couch or anywhere. She’s not one to seek out pets or anything from strangers (heck, she doesn’t like it from us unless it’s ear/chest scratches when she asks). That said, she’ll run up to strangers at the dog park and say hi with a wagging tail and wiggly body but dart away if they try to pet her lol.

If I have people come over, she’ll go and sit and cuddle with them on the couch or chair after she’s given them a sniff or two and offered them a bunch of toys - nothing like getting soggy stuffy or sloppy chew toy dropped in your lap!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here’s what I’ve heard from elsewhere on the inter webs:

My poodles act like big guard dogs when people approach our door, but they are friendly and wagging when we let people in. They are always friendly to people on walks.
They are cuddly with me, and follow me around everywhere. I live with a family member and two standard poodles, her senior (13 yr) male and my puppy (17 mo), also male. The puppy was a bit of a handful (ripped all of my clothes for a stretch and tried to swallow everything) but is now chilling out considerably and is becoming a great dog.

They are not super active, but are athletic when they play - and the puppy has really helped perk up the older one, who seems to be doing better than ever trying to keep up. They will devise games, for example the older one will watch for an opportunity to intercept the frisbee from the puppy while we're playing and try to initiate tug with it, and they both seem very sensitive to fairness and rules, even when they're breaking them.

I have never done dog sports or therapy work, but might consider trying agility or something with the puppy later on. He is also interested in retrieving odd objects (like glass bottles - he used to steal things off the open pantry) so I might try to channel that into some useful tasks. I have a minor disability that impacts mobility and is likely to get worse as I get older, so I hope I might be able to train him to pick up objects for me or let me brace against him. But I don't have any experience to report in that area.

I have known standard poodles who were distinctly neurotic about things - "stranger danger" alert barking, pacing, refusing to eat, etc. I don't know if that's because they were easy to mess up or just because of normal failures on the part of their owners, or some combination of genetics and environment. In raising my puppy I've tried to be there for him but not hover too much and I try to encourage him to be brave and try things for himself. Every (male) standard poodle in my family has been housetrained in about a day, and eventually it feels like they understand English. They're very, very smart. The intelligence is almost certainly why they can develop problems and neuroses. My vet told me that he sees a lot of standard poodles given up because of aggression. But they're also so smart that no, I don't think they're especially likely to be "messed up" by one bad incident - they can learn and develop their whole lives. My old dog picked up every single command I have taught my puppy just by being around.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another take from a mini owner:

My first poodle liked me and only me. She wasn't mean to other people, but she definitely wasn't friendly. My current poodle is much friendlier. She still likes to make sure she knows exactly where I am, but she will socialize. My poodles have both been very sassy and opinionated. I personally feel their aloofness is more a kinda goofy awkwardness (based on my experiences).

My first poodle was very into playing fetch, but hated walks. She passed away before her 2nd birthday because of some health conditions that unfortunately didn't work together. I will say she seemed very sensitive to stress. Each time her condition seemed to really flair up was when I was stressed. My current poodle has no chill. She needs an energy outlet all day, or she turns into a little monster. It's activity, 1 hour nap, activity! But she is still a puppy (8 months) so it's expected.

For poodles, I've heard it's very important to get a line that isn't neurotic.
 

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Spoo owner:

My standard was a more aloof (think: stoic gentleman) personality. His world clearly revolved around me, he would sometimes cuddle in my lap, but mostly just wanted to be in the room with me. He would politely accept attention from strangers, but was always a bit cautious around new people.

I would say he was a bit manipulative. I realized after the fact that he had trained me in how he preferred to play, when I thought I was teaching him the boundaries of the yard.
He could also be very clear about what he wanted, so in his final months, I would just comply with most of what he 'asked'. I'm sure he would have become a bully if I had been so complacent when he was younger.

I think personality will be driven a lot by the breeder/line, but my guy was often described as "the chillest dog" when people first met him.
 

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For neuroticism- make sure you get a dog from a decent breeder who shows conformation or other sports (harder to do have a neurotic dog that succeeds at these things), make sure you meet the parents, and socialize/train.

If having a dog that loves people over/parties was a priority- I would tell the breeder that so they could help me select a more outgoing dog. And then I would make sure to have LOTS of good experiences with people visiting prior to 16 weeks (which would mean waiting until after Covid to get one). Small to medium groups of patient people, lots of treats, no grabbing the puppy, letting the puppy come to them and be rewarded. Still, I would also make sure the dog always has a safe place to retreat to- a crate, a quiet room, etc to have a nap when things get too busy.
 

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I’ve read mixed things, and I’d like a very cuddly dog. I’m very outgoing and social, I like having house parties with lots of people coming and going, and I’d like a pup that enjoys people and sees everyone has a friend as well.

Some people have said that poodles are more aloof, stoic, and reserved toward strangers, and not very cuddly. Has this been your experience?
I got Martini, a silver beige standard 6 weeks ago from a rescue. She just turned 3yrs old and I’m her third owner. She loves every person she sees. She thinks humans were put on this earth to pet Her and play With her. She will bark if someone comes to the door or pulls up in the driveway but the minute they’re in her space she’s gently jumps on them to be petted then brings them a toy. She’s my third poodle all three were rescues. It’s funny how the personality s were so different. The only problem I have with Martini is she turns aggressive towards other animals. Bella, My silver beige mini was scared of humans and other animals and would run away from women and bark and men she would shake and pee. After a year of socializing she would like to be near people but not overly cuddly. Romeo my white standard was a cuddly playful lovey dovey with everyone but aloof with other dogs.
 

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I have one of each. They both usually keep their distance with strangers if they’re off leash (super outgoing one is still a puppy and has probably picked up cues from her brother) unless I strike up a conversation and they reach out for them. If I’m walking them on leash and someone asks to pet them, I’ll usually ask them to sit and they’ll accept pets. Groot (the older one) will tolerate petting from strangers if I ask him to sit, but otherwise is very discerning as to who he likes. He is usually indifferent, but loves kids, older folks, and people that are admiring him. I joke that he can spot the poodle people and he’ll lean into them for petting.

Even though Groot is more stoic, he does really well when we’ve had lots of people over. He is happy to engage in play with my friends who initiate it, but also knows who he should leave alone. That’s been nice since I have some friends who are afraid of dogs. They’ve slowly warmed up to him, but he is still respectful of their space and doesn’t expect them to pet him or anything. He doesn’t like to snuggle much, but will grace us with his presence on the bed each morning, give kisses when we get back home, and will ask for neck/butt scratches when he wants them.

The puppy is a lot friendlier with everyone and loves to snuggle and give many kisses. The only downside to this is that I’ve actually had to work on getting her to not jump up on people (even if they think it’s cute). I’m pretty sure she’s going to love it when we can host social gatherings again, but I’ll probably have to keep an eye out for her so that she doesn’t get overexcited...

I think it really just depends on the individual dog’s personality. It helps if they are handled by many people at a young age, but there still might be individual differences. My puppy’s littermate is a lot more reserved with strangers compared to her.
 

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I don't think poodles are very forgiving from a training standpoint. I think you could easily plant the seeds of some very neurotic behaviour without even realizing it. They learn so quickly and deeply.

My current regret is training Peggy to jump over my legs and arms. Now I'm struggling to teach her to ignore the physical cue of a raised limb, and wait for the verbal. She reminds me of a very literal, rigid-thinking human in this regard.

I have known standard poodles who were distinctly neurotic about things - "stranger danger" alert barking, pacing, refusing to eat, etc. I don't know if that's because they were easy to mess up or just because of normal failures on the part of their owners, or some combination of genetics and environment.
Peggy absolutely came with a keen eye for "stranger danger" baked into her temperament, either from genetics or very early experiences. She's always on the lookout for interlopers, but she was born on a small farm and had multiple adult poodles modelling this behaviour for her from a young age.

Even with this annoying paranoia, she's very welcoming once she gets to see you up close. And she loves making the human rounds when she's at a playdate with her puppy friends. But if I wanted a true "love everyone!" dog, I'd lean more towards a well-bred Golden Retriever.
 
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