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Hi all,
I've been reading various threads on here for a few days and decided to register to make it easier. I grew up with toy poodles since I was 4, and love the breed. My grandfather has major dog and cat allergies and is, like so many, fine with poodles, so my dad grew up with them, and they were the natural choice for us to get even without my sister's allergies, so basically poodle love runs in the family. I currently have an adorable mutt (Boxer/GSD/Husky) of unknown-but-adult age, Storm, who recently had to career-change from SDiT to pet. I'm considering a standard poodle for my next SDiT and have been really enjoying reading posts by others going down this path as I make my decisions.

Current poodles are the family dogs who live nearby with my parents. One is "my" dog from childhood, a 13 year old toy poodle (black with a silver mustache, just shy of 5 pounds, one of my great loves) named Jazzy, and the other is a 15 year old apricot-colored toy poodle named AJ who thinks my mother is actually his and the rest of us are just mildly annoying friends of hers. We've had Jazzy since she was 8wks and 3 days old and got AJ when he was about 7, shortly after our first dog (also a poodle) died and the vet told us that what Jazzy needed was a companion. They're both in relatively good shape for their age but have lasting health problems: Jazzy has very nasty recurring pancreatitis (it's as well managed as it can be and she's totally healthy most of the time, but when she has a flare-up it's very hard) and is allergic to chicken so she's on a very particular diet to manage it all; AJ has Cushing's (much less of a devastating diagnosis when he got it than a few years earlier when our first dog did) and had a stroke a few months ago, from which he's recovered incredibly well. Jazzy is brilliant, intuitive, all the usual wonderful poodle traits; AJ is not very bright and also socially inept with humans and dogs alike but is a sweet and loving fellow who seems to mean well and love being loved, more of a Labrador typical personality than a poodle one.

I've never had a Standard and am trying to learn as much about them as I can, including their particular strengths and challenges/weaknesses as service dogs. I know they're incredibly smart and have a decently long average lifespan for a dog that size, are highly intuitive and learn (whether you meant to teach something or not!) very quickly, and are wonderful problems solvers, for strengths. In terms of negatives, I know that a dog that smart can get bored with "same old, same old" routine, their intuition and sensitivity can lead them to be too sensitive and jumpy in many lines making them unsuitable for SD work, they're more likely to be too high energy and drive than some other breeds, and their nonshedding coats require very regular grooming and clipping which is an extra expense (ditto for toy poodles so that one I'm used to family dogs needing professional grooming every 6ish weeks and I love brushing dogs in terms of the daily upkeep, so that's actually a positive).

I'm in Massachusetts and was hoping to find any events locally at which I might get to meet some Standard Poodle people (and their dogs!) with time on their hands, the local breed club's website is not very informative and looks like it may not have been updated for the last year or two. Preferably not a formal show since I assume everyone would be pretty busy there and I'm more interested in finding a gathering with people who have time for casual interaction and questions if that exists!
 

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Welcome to PF. It is great that you have experience with poodles and have a good idea about what they are like so you can give consideration to finding a pup that would suit your needs.


I have two standard poodles and generally agree with your comments, including that if bored their mischief can be creative. As far as SD kinds of considerations since poodles really love being with their people I don't know that being bored doing tasks in service would be a problem. My boy is doing SD training with me and he is coming along, but still has some issues we have to work through.



I can't quite say I know of any informal kinds of events where you would meet a group of poodle owners/handlers who were just chillin. There are dog shows at the Big E in W. Springfield somewhat regularly and you may be able to chat with some of those folks as long as you catch them after their rings.
 

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Hi, and welcome! You obviously know poodles well and raise some realistic concerns for them as SDs. If I lived in your area, I would be happy for you to have you meet mine. Maybe there is a PF member near you!
 

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Thanks for the lovely replies!

@twyla: That's actually one of the reasons I made an account here, reading multiple threads by people with their own poodle SD and SDiT experiences! It seems like an amazing collection of knowledge between all of you and I'm grateful for any of it.

@lily cd re: Thanks so much! Nice to hear from someone actually doing this.
I'll take a look at the Big E, thanks so much! I know it was a longshot that there might be a less formal type of event, just wasn't sure how much "down time" there typically is at a dog show. Appreciate the feedback.

@zooeysmom: haha thanks! I wouldn't say I know them "well" compared to most of the people here but I know them better than I know other breeds, so there's a start at least, and I like learning more. They're remarkable dogs and my little Jazzy was my only friend for many years (I was 9 when we got her, it was not my best decade except the arrival of Jazzy) and is a large part of the reason I'm a semi-functional human. Gave me someone to love and play with and use that energy with running around the neighborhood, gave me an outlet for all the nervous research I still do (I read every dog book I could find as a child), etc. To be clear Jazzy would have been a dreadful service dog, but she was/is a perfect pet and was exactly what I needed in my life. Her breeder liked her temperament but her snout was apparently a little too short to be considered for future show or breeding. Then us idiots didn't expose her to enough types of experiences and she ended up not a fan of crowds because her primary human, me, hates crowds and avoided them her whole life, so she is content in her suburban life with weekly visits from me.
That was very kind of you about meeting your poodles if we were in the same area; I'm sure I'll find something around here, like the suggestion of shows at Big E. I'll get a dog-sitter for my Storm to free up a day and spend some time there sometime in the next few weeks

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I'm curious, if anyone has had both toys and standards in their lives, are there any particularly big differences apart from, well, size?
 
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