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Discussion Starter #1
Could you all tell me the pros and cons of raising a Standard Poodle?
I know that no one likes to tell the bad points of their beloved babies but I really would like to make an informed decision on weather or not the spoo is the breed for me. I currently own English Mastiffs (and absolutely love them), they are getting older so would like to find a breed that I like as well but not as heavy and messy as the Eng Mastiff.
I will wait until my Mastiff's have gone to the bridge before getting another furbaby.
Im talking house dog and part of our family,as I don't think any dog should live outside =)
For example: Do they get into your trash cans?
Do they counter surf? Tear the house apart when left unattended ect.....
I know alot of it is in the training but I would like to know how many people have problems with their spoo's?
I also want to hear their good points as well of course =)
 

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My spoo is only 6 months old, and has been with me since mid-August.

I can only speak for her, as I've had no experience with other poodles (large or small) before this.

CONS
* She was (is) a bit difficult to house train. Took until she was about 16 weeks old before she started going out routinely. Even now at 6 months I have to be careful if the door is closed because she's not always good at ringing the bells to tell me she wants out (this seems to not be the general rule with poodles - who are often extremely quick to housetrain)
* Her coat needs trimmed/shaved about every 4-6 weeks. It's a trade-off between paying a good amount of $ to have someone do this (I pay about $40, which is extremely expensive for Mozambique) or dealing with the hassle and the amazing amounts of fur (that get into everything, including getting stuck in your clothes) to do it yourself
* Her stomach is more sensitive than the last dog I had (a small-breed mutt that was likely some sort of sheltie/collie/beagle/hound mix), leading to fairly frequent episodes of diarrhea (nothing serious, but more difficult to clean given that I have a concrete yard)
* She LOVES to jump, still working on getting her to stay on all 4 feet when people come in (not helped by her being so cute that other humans like and encourage her to jump up on them)
* She gets bored really fast when training, playing, or learning new tricks - it can be difficult to keep up and maintain her interest by introducing novelty at her pace. She can also be stubborn, and sometimes borders on being pushy (especially when she wants attention and isn't getting it)
* She was (and still tries to be) very mouthy - nothing makes her more happy than gnawing on a human hand. At first she mouthed too hard and left scratch marks on my hands and arms (especially when in play-mode). She quickly learned to mouth softly, and now when her teeth make contact (which is increasingly rare as we're moving her off of ever mouthing) it is with the gentlest little touch imaginable.
* Her ears need regularly wiped out and cleaned or she gets ear infections
* She LOVES trash cans, especially the bathroom ones, and would eat plastic, paper, cardboard, tampons, pretty much anything if left to her own devices. I had to buy swing-lid metal trashcans for the bathrooms (I always keep the kitchen trash under the sink so that wasn't an issue)



PROS
* She doesn't have doggie odor, doesn't shed on anything ever, and if her coat is short is probably the cleanest and easiest to care for (appearance-wise) dog I've encountered (she is incredibly patient with baths, brushing, nail clipping, etc)
* She switches pretty quick from calm and snuggly indoors to revved up and fully energized out of doors - which is quite convenient! She can play or walk or run seemingly forever if the opportunity arises, but on slow days just a 20 minute session of fetch or a quick walk will suffice for her to expend her energy
* She learns new commands after about 4 or 5 repetitions most of the time (though she's easily distracted and doesn't always obey 'down', 'come', or 'stay' yet in busy environments).
* She has a fantastic temperament, and has made a wide circle of friends among adults, kids, and other dogs even in this city where most people are terribly afraid of dogs (I sometimes have to go claim her away from the security guard or the neighbors, who adore her, and I never lack for volunteers to dog-sit when I travel... even the dog-walker will hang around long after their scheduled walks to play with her in the yard)
* She adapts very quickly to people, animals, environments, or new items like an easy-walk harness, car seat belt, doggie booties - you name it.
* She is extremely affectionate, likes to snuggle and be near her humans, but she is also ok on her own and has no separation anxiety or problems with crate training
* She is very expressive and basically screams out her moods or intentions with tail, eye, and facial movements. Once I got to know her better, I can tell you exactly what to expect (if she will obey commands at that moment, if she's about to bark at a kid that she wants to play with, if it's ok for the 1-year old to pull her ears or if she's feeling mouthy and playful, etc)
* Although she happily and frequently steals dirty laundry, shoes, bags, etc and parades around the house with these treasures, she has only ever damaged one shoe - most of the time she gnaws but does not shred or destroy things, even when she was teething. Her toys, my house, everything - are all still fine even though she is a puppy (I anticipated mass puppy-related destruction, but never happened)
* In general, she is simply very calm, easy to manage, easy to predict, and easy to love


I got my poodle because I weighed the pros and cons as you are doing. I must say I've been surprised at how easy Lilith's puppyhood has been so far. We've had FAR less problems than I expected from a puppy, and nearly every day I am just so amazed by and proud of what a lovely dog she is. All poodles are different, but I'm so happy with this dog that I've probably become a poodle person for life. :)

Good luck with your decision. This forum is FULL of folks asking for help with their most difficult problems, as well as full of folks bragging about how wonderful their poodles are, so I'm sure you'll find lots and lots of pros and cons to weigh.
 

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jessie is my first and only standard. after waiting so long to be able to have a standard, i have to say she is 100% of what i want / expected.

every breed has it downside and every dog has its own set of problems. what i didn't do and didn't know to do before getting jessie is that i should've developed a relationship with a breeder or several breeders to see how they handle their litters. even if you are just looking for a family member and not a "show" dog, you want a dog that is health tested, especially for the diseases and problems that could exist in the standard line. lillith touched on many individual problems or cons, but i have to say some of them are general puppy problems. jessie did gnaw on socks & slippers and ripped linoleum in the beginning when she teething. even now, at almost 2, she will once in the while grab a tissue or a sock, but we just take it away and tell her no, and give her something she is allowed to chew on. she did have accidents on the rug (which i hated anyway so that was my excuse to change the flooring - lol), but that was my fault for giving her free reign before she was trained. and yes, she has a sensitve stomach and her ears need cleaning a couple of times a week, and her coat needs to be brushed a couple of times a week and groomed every 4-6 weeks, but we use that as mommy & me times which are great for bonding.

regardless of the puppy challenge issues, this is one of the most, if not the most amazing breed. their intelligence is only surpassed by the border collie - standards have a reasoning ability of a 3 year old child. they have the capacity of understanding a vocabulary of 250 words or more (as opposed to 100-150 of other breeds). yes, there are many trainable dogs (sheppards, dobies, rotties, etc etc), but none with the intelligence of the poodle. and you see their intelligence in their eyes. if you read back on their heritage, you will understand how they got where they are today. they were originally bred by the germans for hunting foul - all the extreme cuts you see were done purposely to protect their internal organs from the extreme cold waters. they were eventually adopted by the french and were the dog of the prominent because of their grace and beauty. nothing is more beautiful than to watch a poodle prance when they walk. they hold their head high and their tale just as high and walk with an air that demands attention. i've had people stop their cars to watch her. the english royalty also adopted the poodle as their own and would adorn them with jewels. groomers of poodles back in the 1700 and 1800 hundreds made a very good living. it was this treatment that gave them the reputation of being a foo foo dog. they are anything but. watching a poodle run in an open field will amaze you. their speed is unbelievable. their energy should be bottled. their desire to please is endearing. even when the germans had them for hunting, the dogs lived with the families, in their homes. they crave human contact.

i could go on and on but i won't. you will see by talking to others on this forum the respect we have for this breed. i will never own another breed of dog and i can't wait for the day that i can have more than just one.
 

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I also have standards for the first time. I have always loved the breed, and was deam come true when I finally brought Jazzi home, then six months later we brought home Ella! They have different personalities, and complement each other.
Cons: Grooming can be expensive/time consuming (depending on whether you do it or pay to have it done.
Trash stays behind closed doors/bathroom trash closed cans
Yes to counter surfing/still working on that, better but still happens
Destruction not since puppyhood/Jazzi 3, Ella 2.6
Sometimes I think intelligence is a con, learn how to get HUMAN to do what dog wants lol
sometimes a little reactive/barky
MPS: Multiple Poodle Syndrom, we have two!


Pros: Intelligence learn very quickly/ potty training a breeze
High energy outside/couch potato inside
very loving and intuitive to moods/sad/happy/tense/stressed
Loves people dogs kids
good watch dogs/alarm dogs
adaptable, easy travelers/IMO
Hope all these responces help in your final decision! Good luck with whatever your choice may be!
 

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i have to say, jessie never counter surfed, she'll sit & cry till you break & give it to her - lol. hence the "get the human to do what i want" syndrome...lol
 

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Every individual dog (even within a single breed) will exhibit different tendencies. We have two standard poodles who live with us (one belongs to our adult daughter who also still lives at home) The two poodles have many similar traits, but they also have some distinct differences.

Both need regular grooming/bathing/combing/clipping/shaving/etc... My daughter and I do most of it ourselves with a professional groom thrown in once in a while. We own a grooming table, a high velocity dryer and a multitude of books, videos, clippers, trimmers, shears, combs, brushes, clips, bands, wraps, etc., etc., etc...

Both dogs are scary smart and catch on to things very quickly - both were basically potty trained within the first week or two they lived with us; and even then we had very few accidents.

Now the differences... Chalumeau (daughter's dog) is a Kleenex-eater!! We had to buy step-lid trash cans to keep her out of the garbage. She'll also sneak thing off the counter if we're not watching. She doesn't do it often, but just often enough to keep us on our toes. When she was a puppy, she also chewed through a couple cords (lamp, computer), but hasn't done anything like that lately. She also would eat ANYTHING that she could reach from her crate - we could not put blankets or beds in her crate or she'd eat them. Again, that was mostly puppy stuff and she has become MUCH better at not chewing things anymore (except Kleenexes - she LOVES Kleenexes!!) Our other spoo, Lucy, has never counter-surfed or dumpster-dived. She chewed a little bit on the wooden legs of our kitchen chairs when she was a puppy, but they had already been chewed on by foster puppies, so there wasn't any harm done. She chewed one of my favorite sandals once (but it was TOTALLY my fault as I had just kicked my shoes off and she was lying right beside me and I didn't notice that she was enjoying my sandal instead of her chew toy!) :doh:

I have enjoyed our standard poodles immensely and until I am too old, weak and frail to care for ANY dog, I will have one in my life!!

Good luck with your decision!

Barb
 

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Glad you do not have a surfer! Jazzi is not our first surfer (had collies for years) I think any tall dog has the ability, not just Poodles, once they figure it out it is hard to stop! Instant gratification, but it is much less now, sometimes she just can't help herself!
What is also funny is Ella will tattle on Jazzi, when Jazzi is being bad, Ella will race to me and get my attention as if to say I"M GOOD, I"m Good and get her aliby in place. I always know at that point to go check on Jazzi.
Some times i feel like have to preschoolers!LOL
 

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All of the things you mentioned in your post (counter surfing, trash diving, destruction, etc) are not breed-based... It's not even always a training thing, a lot of it's based on the individual dog. MY dog does counter surf and get in the trash, but it's nothing really that bad. Keep dinner off the counters if you're not right there, and we got a new trash can he can't get into. He has NEVER been destructive (other than panties!). But like I said, that isn't because he's a poodle, or even because he's a more "high energy" breed... he's just like that. He likes to get into stuff, and I have to know that about him and keep my ears and eyes open. Choose your puppy wisely and talk to your breeder about their individual tendencies to be sure you know what you're getting.

Pros about owning a poodle:
They are exceptionally smart and devoted; from what I know of the English Mastiff, you will likely find that kind of intense bond that you must have with your babies in a poodle as well. :)
They are energetic and playful, fun loving guys.
Poodles are total clowns! They will always make you smile and laugh
They are sensitive and gentle, and almost always are very mindful of themselves (The only spoo I've ever met who was rude or mean was really poorly bred and poorly raised)
They are GORGEOUS! Sometimes I just look at Desmond and I'm taken aback by how cute and beautiful he really is. Those soulful eyes just get me every time.
They are soft and cuddly little things and are pretty clean
Training them is a blast! They love to learn and please you

Cons:
They are crazy sometimes; poodles are a high energy breed. Though there are exceptions like my boy, they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.
They are high maintenance in grooming
They are sometimes too smart for their own good... they can be pretty mischievous
Sometimes they are TOO cute and you end up letting them get away with being naughty... ;)
You will ALWAYS be stopped when you're walking down the street, though I'm sure you're used to that after owning an impressive breed like a Mastiff. :) They really draw in attention!
 

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We went from greyhounds to standard poodle. I think what you will find going from English Mastiffs to Standard Poodle will likely be a similar experience. Greyhounds like Mastiffs are very quiet dogs, particularly once they mature. They also are pretty good at entertaining themselves(typically by sleeping). We find our standard looks to us for entertainment and if we don't give it to him he makes his own. He's still a puppy but from what we understand of the breed we can expect him to stay active and oriented towards interacting with people after he matures.

Someone else mentioned the characteristics you list aren't breed based. I agree with this. We raised one greyhound from a young puppy. He was very destructive and a power chewer. Our poodle is not at all destructive nor does he chew on unauthorized. However, he needs to be occupied much more than our greyhound ever did even as a very active puppy.

We made a choice to go to a more active breed. I think that's the question you need to think about more. Things like countersurfing really aren't reflective of the breed(both dogs counter surfed as puppies in our case).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all so much for the replies,keep them coming as it is helping me to understand the breed so much more =)
 

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We find our standard looks to us for entertainment and if we don't give it to him he makes his own.

However, he needs to be occupied much more than our greyhound ever did even as a very active puppy.

We made a choice to go to a more active breed. I think that's the question you need to think about more. Things like countersurfing really aren't reflective of the breed(both dogs counter surfed as puppies in our case).

Agreed. I had heard that poodles want to be members of the family when I decided to buy one, and that has definitely turned out to be true. But unlike my last dog, who was a member of the family in that he slept in the living room while we watched TV and was always sort of around, my poodle demands to be A.PART.OF.THINGS. She is not content just being nearby - she wants to be actively involved. In everything. Always.

Luckily she is also frequently lazy indoors, so will lie up against me and sleep while I watch tv or work on my computer (and by 'up against' I'm not joking, some part of her must be touching some part of me about 80% of the time). But if she's awake that turns into her sitting nearly on my lap and watching TV with me (often with her head in the way), or her placing her squeaky toy on my laptop keyboard while I'm typing, or her sticking her face straight up to the pen I'm writing with or the project I'm working on to see what I'm up to. If I ignore her too long she'll wander outside to get attention from the security guard or a neighbor. OR, times like last night when it was pouring rain and nobody else was out, she gets mischievous in ways that have proven to always get my attention (like wandering into the room with my work shoe in her mouth, or pulling at the drape tie-backs... as soon as I tell her to 'leave it' or 'drop it' she excitedly grabs an approved toy and bounces over to play - having finally won the war to get my attention off of whatever else and onto her...)

And as to counter surfing or garbage-eating - if a dog is tall enough for it and hasnt' been trained otherwise I can't imagine why he or she wouldn't counter surf or steal interesting things from the garbage. A 2-3 year old child most certainly would take, examine, and potentially chew on anything interesting within their reach, and dogs aren't much different. I'd say that if one has a dog that doesn't countersurf, they got lucky or the dog hasn't discovered this joy yet (I say that as a person whose dog hasn't discovered it yet - so far we've had no countersurfing woes, but I make it a habit to not leave tasty things on the counter within reach).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My Mastiffs have never countersurfed even though they wouldn't have to leave the floor to reach it,lol.It was just one thing I mentioned to get the conversation started =)
I have taken several of those breed tests to see what breed would most fit our lifestyle and the Standard Poodle comes up top every time,(except once when the spoo was second to a mixbreed).
One test I took, the results were the Standard Poodle and when I clicked on description under grooming it said "low maintanance",huh?
That is basically what is making me unsure about this breed.It sounds like it would be very time consuming and expensive to keep them groomed?
Not that Im lazy and not into keeping my dogs properly cleaned and groomed,but as I read the posts on grooming I wonder if a person can hold down a full time job and still keep their poodle groomed properly?
 

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That is basically what is making me unsure about this breed.It sounds like it would be very time consuming and expensive to keep them groomed?
Not that Im lazy and not into keeping my dogs properly cleaned and groomed,but as I read the posts on grooming I wonder if a person can hold down a full time job and still keep their poodle groomed properly?
There is a huge difference in the work required to keep a poodle in full show coat, and keeping a poodle in a short pet trim. Standard poodles in particular go through the dreaded coat change, when the coat mats very easily, but after that you are looking at a thorough brush and comb a couple of times a week, and a trim every 6 weeks or so. They are, of course, higher maintenance than a mastiff - although I would think the face folds on a mastiff need regular attention, and poodles don't usually drool (not sure whether mastiffs do, but most other big dogs I know drool copiously!).

You are obviously into big dogs, but have you considered a smaller poodle? Just as much fun, just as much intelligence, possibly even higher energy - and easier to lift, bath and groom.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There is a huge difference in the work required to keep a poodle in full show coat, and keeping a poodle in a short pet trim. Standard poodles in particular go through the dreaded coat change, when the coat mats very easily, but after that you are looking at a thorough brush and comb a couple of times a week, and a trim every 6 weeks or so. They are, of course, higher maintenance than a mastiff - although I would think the face folds on a mastiff need regular attention, and poodles don't usually drool (not sure whether mastiffs do, but most other big dogs I know drool copiously!).

You are obviously into big dogs, but have you considered a smaller poodle? Just as much fun, just as much intelligence, possibly even higher energy - and easier to lift, bath and groom.
~a thorough brush and comb a couple of times a week,and a trim every 6 weeks or so~
You make it sound easy,lol.
If that is all it takes I would be spending about the same amount of time on one Standard Poodle as I am on four English Mastiffs now =)
You are right the drool is unbelievable after drinking water,other than that they don't drool(mine don't anyway).
I definately want a large dog so smaller poodle is out of the question for me.
Lifting a Standard Poodle at what 70 to 80 lbs? compared to a Mastiff at over 200 lbs is "very" do-able,lol.
 

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There are a few other disadvantages to a full, woolly coat, of course - like the mud, and the wet, and the snow and ice balls ...
 

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Everyone gave you good advice. Hope you consider a Spoo. They are a joy!

They truly are like little toddlers, so you just have to use common sense.
The key is prevention.
I think it is funny that everyone is owning up to that it was their fault when their dog misbehaved. Lol!!!
It's so True!
They are not bad dogs, they are just NOSY! I can't stress that enough.
IF they are too quite, it is time to check up on them.

If you don't want your Spoo biting your things- Put them away.
Handbags, shoes, clothes, etc.

Getting into things?- Secure them.
Trash bins, food, figurines. I removed vases, decorations, etc from the living room tables. Don't leave nail files, nail clippers, socks, eye drops, sunglasses, snacks, etc on top of low tables. Those days are over!

Wandering off where you can't see them?- Close all bedroom/bathroom doors. If they wander off call your dog to come back.

Persia is only allowed in the kitchen, family room, garage door area. She got into the habit of 'trying' to take her pillow and toys to go sit in the main room couches. While it was soooo cute, it was also a big no-no.

They will test you, but set the boundaries and stick to them.

Be prepare to have a 'little shadow' everywhere you go. Soooo, cute!

Cons-
-Expensive grooming
-Sensitive tummy? Once you have the food figure out, put your dog in the crate for a nap when she finishes eating for at least an hour. This will prevent upset stomach and vomiting due to high energy.
-Persia was a biter, too. Now, she is mouthy. Softer, but those 2 sharp side teeth still dig into my hands. Working on this. She is 4 months.
-Take extra time when going out with your Spoo. Everyone will want to talk to you.
Luckily, Spoos love people and other dogs.
 

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~a thorough brush and comb a couple of times a week,and a trim every 6 weeks or so~
You make it sound easy,lol.
If that is all it takes I would be spending about the same amount of time on one Standard Poodle as I am on four English Mastiffs now =)
You are right the drool is unbelievable after drinking water,other than that they don't drool(mine don't anyway).
I definately want a large dog so smaller poodle is out of the question for me.
Lifting a Standard Poodle at what 70 to 80 lbs? compared to a Mastiff at over 200 lbs is "very" do-able,lol.
If you keep them clipped short enough, you do not have to brush that often. I will tell you that we almost never brush Henry. Just his tail and TK every week or so. Sometimes even longer....oops! But he is never matted because he is clipped so short.

Millie has 4+ inches of hair on her TK and a few inches throughout her long areas of her CC. On average, I would say I brush her once weekly. No tangles or matts. Both dogs get fully groomed every 4 weeks.

Okay so now my pro/con list. Subjectively, I do not believe there are any cons to owning a Standard. I would never want another breed and frankly cannot have another large breed due to allergies :)

But, from an objective point of view, it really depends on what your expectations are and what you want in a dog. The cons everyone else listed are pretty comprehensive :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Your Persia is just beautiful!
Thanks for the input,Im leaning more and more towards getting a Standard Poodle =)
 

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Thank you ChocolateMillie,Im thinking they are just the dog for me =)
Im loving all of this input by owners =)
 

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Cosmo is our first poodle and we did not have any previous experience with the breed (we chose to get a poodle because of my allergies). Now I don't think I would have any other breed. He has converted my whole family into poodle lovers. Based on our experience, here is my top 5 pros and cons - I hope it helps inform your decision.

Cons:
(1) Expensive or time consuming grooming. This is definitely the biggest con for us and one of the main reasons we do not have more than one dog at this time. My husband and I both work full time and, where we live, professional grooms are extremely expensive so we do our own. We keep Cosmo's body clipped fairly close, so that saves time on brushing and bathing and we like the sporty/non-frufru look. We do a good brushing and ear cleaning every 2-3 weeks and clip down about every 6-7 weeks (we should probably brush more often, but he does not mat with this amount of brushing at the length we keep his coat). The clipping takes a few hours and the better I get at it, the faster and easier it is.
(2) Sensitive stomach and picky eater. Cosmo had tummy trouble, which led to bouts of diarrhea for much of his first few years of life. He also was fussy about his kibble and was a bit underweight for a while. We finally got it figured out, but it took some work.
(3) Paper shredding. Cosmo likes to hunt through the garbage cans for tissues or paper of any kind and shred it into little pieces on the floor - kind of annoying. He did this much more when he was a puppy and seems to have grown out of it, but he will still do it when he has some excess energy and we have not fit in enough long walks or trips to the dog park for a few days.
(4) Worrying about bloat. I have not had any problems with bloat, but I know that it can be a problem with poodles, so I worry about it a lot and definitely make sure to limit exercise before and after meal time.
(5) Sometimes jumpy/mouthy and overly excited when greeting people at the door. This is surely our fault and due to poor training on this issue. We have been lax, and he picked up some very bad habits from my parents' unruly lab when we lived with them for a few months.

Pros:
(1) No shedding or stinky god smell and minimal allergies!!! This is the most important pro for us, and the reason we got a poodle in the first place. I cannot imagine sharing my house with a shedder again. In my opinion, this pro greatly outweighs the con of grooming.
(2) Extremely athletic and versatile. We do lots of hiking and camping, we go for runs, and do agility training. Cosmo is an enthusiastic companion and is always up for anything. (He also enjoys playing in the water, but is not a great swimmer, although I understand that many poodles are fantastic swimmers).
(3) Extremely intelligent. Sometimes I think he is more human than dog. He listens to conversations, learns commands and tricks super fast, and "reads the crowd" and figures out how to fit in in all situations. He is also very polite - no begging or counter-surfing. He makes friends (more with people than dogs) wherever we go.
(4) Beautiful. I just love his long snoot and soulful/expressive eyes.
(5) Playful, affectionate, and loves to snuggle and cuddle, but not demanding of attention.
 
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