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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all. I'm new here and am trying to decide between a poodle and a shih tzu. I have allergies, so I need a dog that would be allergy-friendly. I have read up a lot on both breeds. My questions:

How much exercise does the poodle need? Do they need to be exercised every day? I live in a 3rd floor condo, so there is no yard. I want a dog who doesn't need a lot of outdoor exercise.

Are they good with pottytraining?

How often does the coat need clipping? I would want to keep it as low maintenance as possible.

Lastly, will they want to go with me everytime I leave the house to go shopping? or run errands? Also, I work during the day so the dog would have to be okay being in my kitchen with toys and food and water while I'm gone.

I don't want a dog that's particularly clingy.

I would so appreciate answers and advice. Thank you.
 

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A poodle all day alone, I wouldn't do it. They can be very clingy, they NEED people. They also require a lot of grooming. Unless of course, you would be willing to use dog sitting services? You can also take him to the groomer. Any toy breed dog may have challenges with house breaking, even mroe so if you are never home.

Why not get a cat instead? Cats don't mind being alone, and they can be lovely companions. There ARE hypoallergenic cat breeds, such as the Siberian, Cornish Rex and Russian Blue.
 

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I agree with Gigit. Of course, poodles can be left alone, but leaving them alone for long periods of time is probably asking for trouble. Then again, that can probably be said of most dogs, though poodles are definitely more people-oriented than many breeds. Same goes for exercise. I think a lot of people don't exercise their dogs enough (poodle owners included), and then they wonder why their dog is crazy with energy and not well-behaved. You don't need a yard to exercise your dog -- parks, walks, jogs all work -- but you have to be willing to spend the time.

I suspect if you have allergies that a cat is not an option. How many hours are you gone? If you can duck in for a visit at lunch, and can find time in your schedule to get the dog his/her exercise, a poodle might work. Otherwise, maybe a fish or a bird??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the answers thus far. I cannot get a cat, I'm extremely allergic to them and never have taken to their ways.

I'm considering the poodle because I've learnt they are extremely smart. Also, friendly. I thought that since they are that smart, it would be very easy to pottytrain them, which would be a plus for me. I'd be getting a toy or a miniature and since I live on a third floor condo, I need to know if I need to take them out everday for exercise and how long?
 

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Poodle are indeed extremely smart and easy to "potty train." And yes, they tend to be very friendly with people and other dogs, though you have to socialize them (as with all dogs).

There are plenty of people with toys and minis who don't give them much exercise. Those poodles can live to ripe old ages and give pleasure to their owners. But in my opinion, the dogs don't really flourish without regular exercise - I'd say every day there should be a long walk, a jog, or a game of fetch in the park. (Fetch is good because it gives the dog mental stimulation as well as exercise). If your dog is going to be home by itself a lot, it is much more likely to be well-behaved if you can tire it out a bit in the morning. :) So, in other words, you might be able to get away with not much exercise and not much time for the dog, but in my opinion that's not fair to the dog.

Again, though, I would say this about all dogs. All dogs need exercise, and all dogs are pack animals that need to be around their people. They vary in their needs to some degree, but not a lot. I think the reality is that dogs require time, and sad to say, a lot of dogs end up in shelters because their people didn't have enough time for them. Remember that puppies in particular are VERY time intensive. You should really think hard about whether you have the time for a dog; it sounds as though your situation might not allow for that, but maybe it's more flexible than what you've said so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi, rmillstein. No, it's not that I won't have a lot of time for a dog. It's just that when I get home sometimes, I'm tired and I don't want a dog waiting for me at the door with a leash in his mouth as if to say, "Let's go".

I'd also rather have a couch potato like dog instead of one that craves exercise, that's why I'm trying to find out how much the poodle likes to be exercised outside.

I'm going to take my dog out for a walk everday, but it may not be a long walk every single day. I'm not an active kind of person that likes hiking, jogging, rollerblading and that kind of stuff. I'm more of watch movies kind of person, but I do walk most nights for exercise. I'd like a dog that has a couch potato personality. I'd like it to get most of its exercise running around my condo. I have a two bedroom condo that's a nice size. I have two patios here, and we have a nice grassed area to walk dogs and take them potty when we choose to.
 

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How about a ferret or rabbit? Poodles are smart, and are easy to potty train, but I take out Finn every 2 hours to go, and every 4 hours at night. I have to brush him every single day because he is not shaved. You will have to shave your puppy if you don't want to brush and for sure plan on monthly trips to the groomer for a shave. Full grown, this will cost approx $50.

Unless you can have somebody help you let the dog out and will take him to the groomers, I would investigate other animals. You know, birds actually CAN be rewarding.

My Uncle had a bird, a parrot or "Orange-winged Amazon" and it actually showed affection. This bird was fantastic with people, but he LOVED my uncle, in fact, he adored him. He even took showers with him.

Please don't take offense, but I really find any toy breed left home alone all day to be yappy with possible potty problems. I've seen this in many friends and family members with toys (not minis.) It takes months and months for them or any puppy to be able to hold it all day long, and even then, if you are going to crate it, being in a crate all day, then at night, doesn't sound very nice to me at all. And without a crate, you are going to have poo and pee puddles all over, regardless of breed. And even with a crate, while it's young, it won't be able to hold it all day, and you are going to face scrubbing poop and pee out of your dog and crate every time you come home from work.

Instead of crating all day long, I would create a safe room with papers or wee wee pads and reserve crating for nights only, so they can move and go potty in a designated spot. Leave the crate in the safe room, but with the door open with his bed inside.

If you DO have a dog sitter to help in those early years, get a male MINI, not a toy. My mini IS a couch potato and is not yappy at all. He is very smart.
 

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PS want to add:

My male mini is very lazy. I picked the laziest of the litter, but not all are lazy, some can be high strung, especially toys. He plays for all of 10 minutes outside with the kids and then off he goes to lay down. He is very much a lap dog. At 10 weeks old, he never goes poo or pee in the house or his crate, but keep in mind, he gets a potty break every 2-4 hours, even during the night.

Now, another option, is wee wee pads. Before I got Finnigan, he was 100% paper trained, meaning, he only ever went on a paper or wee wee pad.

Eventually, if your buddy IS lonely, you could get him a second buddy, to take the edge off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gigit, I have no intention of crating a dog all day long. While I'm at work, I planned on leaving in the kitchen area that has a tile floor. The kitchen is big for a condo and open unto the family room and the rest of the house. I was going to leave it toys, food and water bowls and secure it from the rest of the carpeted house with a child gate while it is being pottytrained.

If a poodle is not the type of dog to pee on the carpet after it has been trained, then later on, I can open it up to the rest of the house while we are gone during the day.

It will be crated at night, I guess. Actually, if it's potty trained, it doesn't have to be.
 

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Wee wee pads will work out very very well. Once your pup is out of the "I wanna chew everything in sight phase" you can fully trust him to have free run of the house, so long as it is a happy dog. If it's an angry dog, it may chew things.

Poodles that are healthy and properly trained will not go all over the house like most other small dogs, only on your pee pee rug or wee wee pad (yes, they are called wee wee pads =P they have a special scent to encourage use.)

The people next door crate their dog for 10 hours during the day and all night. It's why I mentioned it. People do it all the time :( It's just not right.

As far as exercise, it's not like a lab or anything that needs long daily runs. They are more of a lap breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, gigit. I appreciate your concern for the breed, no it's not right for people to crate for that many hours. Can you call animal control on them?

I'm doing my research and asking a lot of questions because if I decide to take the step and get a dog, I want to make sure I do this right and the breed I choose is a fit for me.
 

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Ok, I've already said my piece about exercise, so I'm not going to repeat myself. Here's the thing you have to realize: everyone here loves poodles in general and their poodles in particular and so we will sing their praises. They are amazing dogs and most of us think they are the best breed you could possible get: intelligent, loving, fun, sweet, playful, athletic and more.

But it is possible that you could get a poodle (or any dog) only to find out that he/she does any or all of the following:

Barks constantly
Chews up furniture, shoes, cell phones... whatever is around
Pees/poops inside
Is crazy with energy
Is aggressive with children or other dogs
etc. (I'm sure I'm missing some bad behaviors here)

So, you have to ask yourself whether you are prepared for these possibilities, knowing that the less time you spend with your dog, the more likely you are to see them. You have to ask yourself, what will I do if I get a dog that does these things? Will I give him to a shelter or will I take the time to train him? Do I have the time to train him? I'm not asking you to answer these questions here, since you don't owe me any answers -- I'm just asking you to be honest with yourself, and to do what is right for you and the dog, because it sounds as though you are looking for the perfect dog who will fit exactly into your life (maybe that's not true, but that's what it sounds like). But that might not be the dog you get, and you need to be prepared for that.
 
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