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Mini Poodle Temperament

40009 Views 24 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Purley
I'm drawn to the mini poodle because of its size, low/ no shed status and intelligence compared to some other smaller breeds. I have met lots of minis at agility matches who have fantastic temperaments and are just what I'm looking for. Calm and friendly outside the ring, excited and happy inside the ring.

Having said that, when my mom and I recently visited a breeder with a number of poodles in outside pens they were running around and leaping like jack rabbits and basically just looked like everything the uneducated person might think the poodle to be (hysterical). To be fair, the breeder had just got back from a 2 day show and these guys probably had some energy to burn, but as I watched them leap higher than my waist I got nervous about my decision and started questioning whether the mini was right for me. This is a breeder who also told me that they don't temperament test, as their minis are all the same, so I left there feeling like they most likely didn't have the dog for me.

I have since got over my nerves and am back on the track to getting a mini poodle (obviously, as I'm here!) but I wanted to hear what your mini poodles are like. Please tell me those dogs were the exception, and I just happened to see them at a bad time! Also, is it common for mini poodle breeders not to temperament test or did I just happen to talk to one who didn't?
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I'm drawn to the mini poodle because of its size, low/ no shed status and intelligence compared to some other smaller breeds. I have met lots of minis at agility matches who have fantastic temperaments and are just what I'm looking for. Calm and friendly outside the ring, excited and happy inside the ring.

Having said that, when my mom and I recently visited a breeder with a number of poodles in outside pens they were running around and leaping like jack rabbits and basically just looked...
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you worried that a mini would have too much energy or are you getting the mini to do agility? You can ask the breeder to do temperament testing or ask for a referral for someone to do it for you. If they are not experienced, the test results can be misinterpreted. I would ask for references and have a clear goal in mind as far as what temperament you want the dog to be pre-disposed to.
My primary focus is a mini to be a companion and good in the house with me. The agility/ obedience is secondary to that, and is only on the table if it's something the dog enjoys doing. In my experience, you can have a dog that's calm and great in the house and still able to get excited in the ring! I want that perfect mix. :curl-lip:

Getting someone in to do the temperament testing is a good idea. My mom actually has a lot of experience in that area, as she has tested many PWD litters. The main problem seems to be that the breeders I have spoken to allocate the pups at birth, which means a temperament test at 7 weeks is useless as the pups are already allocated.

We (my mom and I) have had 2 litters of PWDs over 20 years, always to keep one for ourselves. We never allocated the pups until after temperament testing at 7 weeks and always reserved the right to let the pup buyers know if we didn't have the right dog for them in terms of temperament. Now, the PWD is a very different breed to the mini poodle. Place a PWD in the wrong home and it's no fun for anybody.

I guess what I'm finding confusing in the breeders I have spoken to is that they seem to feel that all the pups in their litter are the same with no temperament differences. Is this true for minis, or are they just placing more emphasis on confirmation? How can you know at birth or 2 weeks how that pup is going to turn out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you considered a Toy Poodle? I had never had a dog smaller than a Lab until this past December when I made the (well thought-out) leap of faith and got a Toy Poodle, and couldn't be happier.
Thanks for your thoughts Tangerineman! It's nice to hear from someone who made the switch down in size and is happy! And I totally agree on the benefits of a non shedding dog!

I have considered the toy poodle. The benefits you mentioned are definitely something I have thought about - especially being able to pick it up and carry it around. I will never tie my dog up outside a store, even for a second, after we're pretty sure someone (unsuccesfully thank goodness) tried to steal one of our PWDs a couple of years ago, so it would be nice to be able to carry my dog in with me. I'm talking with a breeder now in Toronto who tends to breed oversized toys or small minis, which might be just right for me! And her dogs have full health testing and compete in confirmation, agility and obedience, so that's even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was seriously considering a Mini before getting Sammy, but decided I really wanted a dog I could scoop up with one hand .... I even used one of my 15-pound free weights (the lower end of mini weight), and decided I wanted a lighter dog (I told you it was well thought-out :).
This is awesome! I really struggle to figure out weight and sizing, so using free weights is such a great idea. And you are so right - I picked up a mini boy last week-end and my arm went numb after about 5 minutes. You definitely wouldn't want to be carrying him around for long. :curl-lip:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You guys have really given me something to think about! I had two reservations with the toys. First is the problems they can have with patellas. Second is having a big dog at the park come and eat my pup! But I know going to a good breeder who does all the health testing should help with the first. And being aware and picking my pup up at the first hint of trouble should help with the second. I babysat my friend's Shih Tzu puppy for a week-end. She was tiny and didn't get eaten, so I should be fine with my own dog. :) Although I have to say for the first time I noticed this HUGE open drain that is located right outside my place. I've never had to worry about my dog falling down a drain before, it opened my eyes to a whole new set of dangers! I'm seriously considering calling the city to let them know how dangerous it is, I should take a photo and post it here.

I think I will contact some toy breeders as well, meet them and their dogs and make a decision. I know my mom prefers the mini, but as I keep telling her (nicely), it's my dog not hers and needs to suit my life. If it were up to her I'd get a mini that's totally driven to work, like her PWD. It's hard to believe I'm in my late 20s when my mom keeps having so much influence on my decisions! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Wow. Daddy is a 1.5 years old miniature poodle and weight 6 pounds. Tangerineman says his toy is 7.5 at 9 months?? I would have expected the mini to be heavier then a toy.
Daddy123, I'm no expert (obvi, or I wouldn't be asking so many questions here!) but the weight actually isn't important in the classification according to my friend Google. Rather they are defined by height.

Toys are 10 inches in height and under.
Miniatures are over 10 inches to 15 inches.
Standards are over 15 inches.

NOTE: A poodles height is measured from the ground up to the top of the withers (shoulder blades).

So it's Daddy's height that classifies him, as well as what his parents were I believe. Someone else will correct me if I'm wrong! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the input Poodle_Lover and bigpoodleperson, it's great to get so many people's opinions! I'm in Toronto, Canada. I have poured over the club of Canada and America breeder lists and contacted many of them. I'm now talking to someone who breeds large toy parti poodles (her foundation bitch is a Ynot breeding) who competes in agility herself and knows the importance of solid knees and hips, so hopefully I'm on the right track. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Excessive barking would be a problem, especially considering I live in a condo! I have been doing some reading on barking amongst toy poodles, and am hoping that (if I end up with one) consistency and training will keep the barking to a minimum. :)
 
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