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Hi Everyone,

I have a Standard Poodle that thinks he's a Golden, yes, he has never met a stranger and loves eveyone. People are always impressed by how outgoing and friendly he is, they believe poodles are reserved with strangers. He's the only poodle we ever had so I'm not sure if that is true. He's a senior now and my husband and I want to downsize in the future to a smaller more portable dog. I like to certify my dogs as therapy dogs because I enjoy volunteering with them. I want a dog 7 to 10 pounds, can travel in a plane in the cabin with us, that has a personality like a Golden, loves everyone. Do you think a toy poodle would fit the bill or should I check out other toy breeds?

Thank you
 

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Killa and Tekno
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Hi Everyone,

I have a Standard Poodle that thinks he's a Golden, yes, he has never met a stranger and loves eveyone. People are always impressed by how outgoing and friendly he is, they believe poodles are reserved with strangers. He's the only poodle we ever had so I'm not sure if that is true. He's a senior now and my husband and I want to downsize in the future to a smaller more portable dog. I like to certify my dogs as therapy dogs because I enjoy volunteering with them. I want a dog 7 to 10 pounds, can travel in a plane in the cabin with us, that has a personality like a Golden, loves everyone. Do you think a toy poodle would fit the bill or should I check out other toy breeds?

Thank you
Maaaybe, I think it depends on the breeder. Overall when I think of small dogs that are outgoing with strangers, I think of Cavalier King Charles, Pugs, obedience-oriented lines of Min Pins, and maybe Papillons. I can't think of any small dog that acts like a golden though. When I think of Golden I think of a dog that's always looking to it's people for what to do next, is very biddable, medium energy, goofy, and maybe a little on the not-so-smart side (I know, I know, that's controversial but I find Goldens to be very trainable but not necessarily what I would label "smart"). Anecdotally, my toy has had a lot of exposure to people and is friendly to strangers but only when released to greet them. He is reserved and turns his nose to strangers when I haven't given some sort of indication that things are okay, and he doesn't seem to "love" meeting people, more just tolerates it for the attention and "ohs" and "ahs".
 

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I think if you love poodles, you should seek out a poodle breeder who’s producing puppies with very mild, easygoing temperaments and carefully matching them with owners.

But I don’t think a toy poodle is ever going to have a Golden vibe. Their size fundamentally shapes their relationship with the world. In fact, I can’t think of any really small dogs I’ve known who’ve behaved like Goldens. The closest might have been my parents’ adopted Shih tzu. She was so simple and easy and happy to get any attention. She even loved to carry a toy in her mouth at all times like a retriever.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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It sounds like you got really lucky with your spoo. You could reach out to Margaretta Patton ("Maggie") at Poodle Club of America and Therapy Dog International, who shows and does therapy work with her tpoos. Good luck!
 

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If you really like poodles, then get another! Not every poodle will be the same, but with some training and early exposure, you might get lucky with a people friendly poodle. They are more likely to be shy and reserved, though.

I like the Suggestion of a cavalier king charles spaniel. They are often reffered to as Mini goldens, due to their ever outgoing personality. They have a host of health issues, though
 

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Are 7-10 pound minis easy to find? My little guy weighs 18 heavy pounds.

He loves strangers unless they try to pat his head. He ducks and moves away from that. But otherwise, he expects praise and a treat.
 

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Have you considered a Havanese? I have heard a. breeder describe them as a Golden Retriever in a portable package. Like poodles, they're very smart and require a lot of grooming unless you keep the coat short.
 

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My feeling is that no dog/breed in the 7-10 lb range can be expected to be a naturally outgoing, therapy type dog.
Like someone else mentioned, their size means they have to be more aware of their physical safety. Obviously there are many individual cases that are like that, through genetics, training, or luck of the draw. Papillons, poms, toy poodles, and even some chihuahuas are breeds I have seen examples of. Maltese as well, when I was younger I used to walk a little Maltese who was the most confident, sociable, tough, well rounded dog you ever met- I frequently had him off leash and he kept up on intense hikes.
Cavaliers would probably have the perfect temperament for what you want, but they are certainly not under 10lbs.
You might want to increase your target weight range a bit, so that you could look at a bit more sturdy dogs. But overall I think you are going to have to search out breeders who specifically produce the kind of temperament that you want, in a range of breeds; rather than anyone breed in general.
 

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I agree with what others have said. I find most small dogs to have a slightly different temperament that probably stems from how they interact with the world. I would also agree that a Cavalier King Charles spaniel is your best bet for a golden retriever type temperament in a small dog. Some small minis or toys would fit this temperament, but it's really down to individual dogs because there's a huge variation in poodles. I think cavaliers on average tend to be closer to golden temperament. A small female may be able to fly in an airline cabin.
 

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Another vote for Cavaliers, and also Havanese. It's probably easier to find a smaller Havanese than a smaller cavalier.

I had a cavalier for years, such a sweet girl. She loved everyone she ever met except for one person ( I never could figure out why). She had a soft, silky coat that was so nice to pet; she did shed a lot compared to my poodle. I got her from a very good breeder and did not have any health problems with her until she was about 12 years old and developed terminal cancer.
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Hi Everyone,

I have a Standard Poodle that thinks he's a Golden, yes, he has never met a stranger and loves eveyone. People are always impressed by how outgoing and friendly he is, they believe poodles are reserved with strangers. He's the only poodle we ever had so I'm not sure if that is true. He's a senior now and my husband and I want to downsize in the future to a smaller more portable dog. I like to certify my dogs as therapy dogs because I enjoy volunteering with them. I want a dog 7 to 10 pounds, can travel in a plane in the cabin with us, that has a personality like a Golden, loves everyone. Do you think a toy poodle would fit the bill or should I check out other toy breeds?

Thank you
Hi Everyone,

I have a Standard Poodle that thinks he's a Golden, yes, he has never met a stranger and loves eveyone. People are always impressed by how outgoing and friendly he is, they believe poodles are reserved with strangers. He's the only poodle we ever had so I'm not sure if that is true. He's a senior now and my husband and I want to downsize in the future to a smaller more portable dog. I like to certify my dogs as therapy dogs because I enjoy volunteering with them. I want a dog 7 to 10 pounds, can travel in a plane in the cabin with us, that has a personality like a Golden, loves everyone. Do you think a toy poodle would fit the bill or should I check out other toy breeds?

Thank you
Speaking from our own experience, our one-year-old female mini is extremely confident and friendly with every single human, dog, or other animal she meets. In obedience training she happily played with the full-grown Newfoundlander. I think it just may depend on the individual dog. She is 12 pounds so we can take her in cabin with us too.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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It sounds like you got really lucky with your spoo. You could reach out to Margaretta Patton ("Maggie") at Poodle Club of America and Therapy Dog International, who shows and does therapy work with her tpoos. Good luck!
It is so easy for posts to get overlooked, that I want to draw attention to my earlier post: Maggie is a leader with both PCA and TDI, and has toy poodles. She even wrote a tip sheet on how to train toy dogs for therapy work. I really hope you reach out to her, or at least google her, before giving up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses. Funny, I have a Standard Poodle and a Havanese, both therapy dogs and both incredibly friendly and outgoing with every human and animal. My Havanese is really low energy, even though he's elderly now, he has always loved lazy days and my vet said that is typical of Havanese so I wanted a more active dog. I do love Cavs but I worry about their health, it seems more have health issues than not. I will look up Maggie, thank you. I would have to find a breeder that matches temperament to what families are looking for, I find a lot of breeders just let families pick out puppies at a few days old based on gender and color and that would not work for me. I, also, am considering getting a rescue, most of my dogs have been rescues and what is great about rescues is you can see the temperament, personality and size so you know what you are getting. Many need some training but if you have the temperament you want the training and socialization is the easy part. I really do not care if I get a mix or purebred just a friendly dog that I can do therapy volunteering with and travel with.
I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond.
 

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A rescue sounds like a wonderful idea if you are willing to work through any behavior issues. Its a great way to see if the dog fits you, and most rescues allow you to bring a dog home for a trial period now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know, I go back and forth a rescue is wonderful but there is a selfish part of me that wants a little well bred, healthy puppy. My dog's health has been going down and focusing on this new dog keeps my mind off the inevitable and heartbreaking loss I will face in the future. I guess it's my way of trying to cope with impeding grief. I know, I am kind of weird.
 

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yeah, I feel the same. I am reluctant to get another rescue after all of mine have gotten sick, and part of me just wants less heartbreak, hence the want for a well bred pure bred. It all comes down to personal preference. A well bred pure bred toy poodle might not be very friendly with strangers, although they might be! its a shot in the dark. Some random mutt at the shelter might be the biggest love bug.
 

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Ava, Hi, I just caught your post. Personally, I've had small dogs growing up that my parents were responsible for getting me. A Cockerpoo, my Uncle gave me. A dach/poo mix, she was a delite and a hoot. 2 Yorkie/Chihuaha mix pups, a bro & sis. All of them quite outgoing, laid back, silly, golden personalities, and extremely circus training smart. I think because they were puppies brought into a household with kids 10-16 years old, handled by friends and family, dragged everywhere into multi environments, met people of all types and ages,.... My point is a well socialized, small cross bred or purebred pup can adapt to become anything with confidence building training/handling and taught/having acceptable temperment/behavior. I gifted my mother-in-law a purebred Chihuaha from a breeder I knew, that she in turn socialized in every situation. She handed her to everyone including a special needs child. That little 8 lb. Chihuaha was exceptional. You know their snappy ankle biting reputation right? If you can train a pup to enjoy belly rubs, you are in luck of creating and training a well balanced dog. If they absolutely refuse to submiss? Good luck or skip that pup. Breeders know what they are seeing out of their litters. Good breeders do anyways. I hope this helps. Just my 2 cents. Go with your heart. You've seen the best. You own them.
 
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