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Hi everyone! My first post and it is one of many,,lol
First off,, I lost my Miniature, Dixie, last December at 12yrs. old she was the joy of our lives and miss her dearly. I have been looking last few months for another poodle and am seriously considering a Standard this time. My upper 80’s elderly mother who gets around really good and has had a Mini herself just moved in with me and would be here by herself for most of day. Would a Standard be a good choice or should I be looking at another Mini ? I’m worried a Mini would get under her feet and she falls but with a Standand,, not so much I’m thinking 🤔
I really “need“ another poodle in my life and wanting a Standard but not sure with this new living situation.
What say you ?
Thanks
 

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Welcome! So sorry to hear about Dixie. Would love to hear stories about her and see some photos when you feel like reminiscing. :)

We live in a popular retirement destination, and there are quite a few elderly spoo owners around here. Since you'd be the primary caretaker and not your mother, you won't face many of the challenges they do. But one thing that could be problematic are those razorsharp teeth. Spoos especially seem to love grabbing hands, and by adolescence, they don't even have to jump to do it. Peggy inadvertently made both my parents bleed.

Our neighbour is in his mid-80s and similarly struggles with his friends' doodle. His skin tears easily and he always comes home from visiting them with puncture wounds.

A spoo could also easily knock your mother over, so I'd personally lean towards a mini. They are so agile and aware. Accidents can still happen, of course, but I think your mother is just as likely to trip over a spoo, and much more likely to get knocked or pulled over by one.

Either way, I'd probably not have her walk your puppy on a leash, as I think the leash poses the biggest fall risk. And I'd be asking for a mellow pick from your breeder.
 

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No leash walking for her for sure. The breeder I’m looking at her Standards are-sized in between Moyen and Standard max out 45 - 50lbs. I’ve got my eye on the gorgeous black / white parti which is the smallest pup in a litter of 4.
 

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The dog who got under my feet the most was a black dog, who I couldn't see at night, and so he learned to shake his head loudly to let me know where he was when the lights were off. As for minis vs standards, I'd ask her, since she has experience with minis. A standard will be a lot of dog for her, but a mini may have its own problems.
 

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A big part of this is going to be how well trained the new dog is. What are your training plans? Will the dog have a crate or x-pen for when he gets to be too much for your mother? Can he run free in the backyard during the day to work off energy?

How strong is your mom? How steady on her feet? How patient? How much chaos can she deal with?
(I ask these questions because I'm old as the hills. They are not put-downs, but reality checks.)
 

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A big part of this is going to be how well trained the new dog is. What are your training plans? Will the dog have a crate or x-pen for when he gets to be too much for your mother? Can he run free in the backyard during the day to work off energy?

How strong is your mom? How steady on her feet? How patient? How much chaos can she deal with?
(I ask these questions because I'm old as the hills. They are not put-downs, but reality checks.)
Much appreciated ! That’s why I posted this question. If it were just me no doubt I’d have a Standard over a Mini. I have a LARGE fenced yard and a fairly modest 2200sf home next to a very large public park. My training experience only goes back to basic commands with my Mini I lost but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge which was minimal due to her learning so dang fast,,amazingly smart. I would be the primary caretaker but she would be with it most of day about 6 - 7 hours,, she said she likes the larger size due to feeling safer (stranger danger) when I’m not there.
thanks
 

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One thing I do know for a fact though,, repeat buyers of her pup’s from this one particular female are put on a waiting list for her next litter due to the calm nature and extremely mild temperaments her pup’s have as this is her last litter than that particular female is being retired.
 

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I have a 1.5 year old 50 lb standard, and lived with my mid-90s grandma for 2 months this year. I couldn't have done it with her as a puppy. Spoos LOVE to jump, and even though Annie was the calmest, cuddliest dog in her litter, and only has jumped on my grandma twice in her life, it was a risk. My friends 90 year old grandma thinks Annie is fantastic, but she had large breed dogs all her life, and I was VERY careful introducing them when she was seated.

If it were me, I would probably try to find an oversized mini. Alternatively, that unicorn, a 3 year old spoo who has good manners.
,
 

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One thing I do know for a fact though,, repeat buyers of her pup’s from this one particular female are put on a waiting list for her next litter due to the calm nature and extremely mild temperaments her pup’s have as this is her last litter than that particular female is being retired.
Sign me up for one, too, please! Lol.

I think whichever poodle you choose will be a wonderful daytime companion for your mom. And the spoo bark will absolutely make her feel safe! But those needle teeth plus springs-for-legs is something she will need to be prepared for. And it'll get worse before it gets better. Possibly a couple of years of worse.

(As I type this, my 14-month-old spoo is sleeping soundly next to me, and has been for most of the day. But it was a journey to get here, and I know the journey's not over yet. My best recommendation is an excellent indoor crate/exercise pen combo, plus puppy classes followed by basic obedience with a positive reinforcement trainer.)
 

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Yeah good point,,, only problem with obedience classes is Covid-19 and no classes.
It’s not ideal, but you can train a dog without going to obedience classes. I personally have never set foot in a training ring, and while I’ll admit that my two aren’t angels, they aren’t exactly unholy terrors either. You’ll have to do a LOT of reading, though, and get out and socialize more than you would without obedience classes. I suggest starting with Ian Dunbar’s books and shooting out from there (My preference is Karen Pryor, but she can get a bit technical.). This thread is a good place to start. Zak George also has some puppy training videos starting from day 1 (Which, coincidentally, feed my ravenous puppy fever).
 

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So,,,, is the training for a Standard “that much” different than my last Mini ? Maybe a dumb question but good to know I reckon
 

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Theoretically, yes, it's the same, dogs learn the same way. Practically, its not the same at all. t's a big dog vs small dog thing. We had this discussion here recently - small dogs can get away it a lot of things big dogs cant. Like the jumping thing - did your mini ever greet you by putting her feet up on your legs? Totally normal dog behaviour, our 11 lb dog does it all the time, some people even encourage it.... but for my 50 lb dog, it's a scary behaviour that is never allowed. Same as barking, growling etc. Most people aren't afraid of the smaller dogs. Counter surfing, pulling, etc - they are the same behaviours, the consequences are just bigger in a bigger dog. Lunging - if our 11 lb dog strains towards a person on leash, it's adorable and they bend down and call her. My 50 lb dog? Many people take a step away. I have found training a big dog to be a completely different set of rules for dog behaviour than a small dog.

So basically - I am not sure it's more difficult to train a big dog, just that the criteria for good large dog behaviour is much stricter for most people.

As for training classes - they aren't essential, but are probably really helpful. I didn't take Annie to one until she was 1.5 years, and that was a sports class for dogs with good obedience already. But I also have had and trained several other large dogs, and come from a dog crazy family, and researched for years before I got her, and spent a lot of time reading after I got her too... (and asking for advice here). A training class likely would have been far less invested time.
 

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I would not recommend getting a spoo without doing at least a good puppy class. This is even more important during covid, because organic socialization opportunities have been dramatically reduced.

I didn't do any formal training or classes with my mini mix, but she was a piece of cake compared to Peggy: I could take her everywhere. Socialization was a breeze. Everyone who saw her just started cooing. The world was her oyster!

We've had a few spoos and minis in our classes for me to directly compare, and the minis are consistently more gregarious, while the spoos are busy, but watchful. I think they could easily become overly wary of strangers if not actively socialized in a positive way.

Ian Dunbar would be the best resource for doing this without the help of a trainer.
 

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I got my my spoo boys Snarky and Pogo when we still had my elderly MIL living with us. Success depended on all three aspects of the equation: the puppies, my MIL, and my husband & me. Without all three falling into line it would have been a disaster.

I had zero, and I mean zero, tolerance for any behavior that might be dangerous. Start as you mean to continue.
  • I did not permit the puppies to mouth my MIL. Mouthing resulted in instant banishment.
  • I did not permit my puppies to jump on anyone. This was hard. A lot of people think it's cute when a 10 pound ball of fluff puts his paws on their knees. "Oh, its ok, I don't mind." No, it's not ok. It's a lot less cute when a 60 pound hairball it putting his paws on an elderly lady's shoulders. Puppies stay on leash in the presence of the guests and are pulled back if they fail to keep 4 on the floor.
  • My puppies were not permitted to pretzel or lean on my MIL's or guests' legs. Again, this rule was a tough one to enforce with guests. Everyone wants to cuddle the fuzzy puppy. Fine, cuddle the puppy from the safety of a chair. Not while you are standing.
  • Nobody was allowed to open the door while the dogs were excited about guests. The dogs either needed to go into another room or needed to be sitting on leash when guests came in. Frail guests needed to be seated before the dogs could greet them. Sturdy guests needed to be paying attention and have their weight properly balanced.
Temperament is essential. Snarky and Pogo were a bit more excitable and reactive than ideal, but they were very trainable. I think my current boy Galen would have been even better.

A cooperative mother-in-law was essential. She did not undermine our rules. When we said, "don't open the door until the dog is under control, " she didn't open the door.

Constant vigilance and discipline from us was essential. We knew the puppies would get the zoomies and need to be redirected. We knew the puppies would need to be taught not to jump. We knew the puppies would need direction when dealing with guests. We made the commitment to teach the puppies what they needed to know and get them plenty of exercise. We didn't just expect them to outgrow bad behavior.

It sounds like you are looking at a good temperament. However, it will probably be two years before the puppy gets his adult brain. Are both you and your mother prepared for two years of strict and consistent training?
 

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Excellent point’s,, thank you cowpony ! The more I’m reading into Standard’s the more it’s making me question wanting a Standard now,, my Mini was so amazing from 6 weeks till she passed at 12yrs. never had any of the issues that Standards seem to have such as land shark, counter surfing, high prey drive, zoomies, ect. I kinda figured all poodles were as good and easy going as Dixie was. Maybe I need to rethink this and go back to a Mini,, it’s actually kind of intimidating now.
 

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Excellent point’s,, thank you cowpony ! The more I’m reading into Standard’s the more it’s making me question wanting a Standard now,, my Mini was so amazing from 6 weeks till she passed at 12yrs. never had any of the issues that Standards seem to have such as land shark, counter surfing, high prey drive, zoomies, ect. I kinda figured all poodles were as good and easy going as Dixie was. Maybe I need to rethink this and go back to a Mini,, it’s actually kind of intimidating now.
It's funny, because some people believe mini poodle are more energetic than spoos, at least in adulthood. Whether or not that difference is real, it's undeniable that a spoo is taller and heavier. They can get into more mischief and do more damage simply because they are bigger.
 

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My mini got the zoomies, but even if she was inside, they were just cute and funny because she was small.

Everything is amplified with a spoo. People can't believe Peggy weighs so little, because those long legs just give her a real horse vibe. Lol.

But my spoo has a better off switch than the minis I know. She's a total couch potato at only 14 months.
 
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