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Mia, a 1,5 year old toy poodle and Chico, a 4 year old cockatiel
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Discussion Starter #1
So, a little info on me. I am a student who has two years left till going to college. However, I am not the only one taking care of Mia, my toy and Chico, my tiel. I plan on going to med school, it’s definitely going to be in the city I live. We have a garden, it’s a shared one but it’s big and the
neighbours don’t mind Mia since I pick up after her. Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic I don’t take her on walks, instead she has 30mins of garden time in the afternoon, plenty of play sessions and one training session. I love poodles and especially spoos, but there are only puppies available where I live and I’m nervous about that since I never had a puppy before. We got Mia as an adult. I know puppies have a crazy ton of energy. Is 1 hour of garden playtime, play and training sessions frequently enough to burn out the energy of a spoo? Me and my mother share responsibilites, mostly me but the financial support is of course from her. Of course, getting a second dog isn’t a definitive answer since it’s a big commitment. Waiting on your thoughts.
 

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Welcome! I also love spoos. :) I can share a bit about my personal experience with them:

Peggy is almost 1.5 years old. She sleeps 10-12 hours per night, naps about 5 hours throughout the day, and the rest of the time really just wants to be close to us (really close to us) and involved in whatever we're doing.

She probably gets 1-2 hours of physical exercise each day, in the form of play with us and/or other dogs, multiple short "potty" walks on our property or street, sometimes a 20-minute walk downtown for socialization or a longer meandering walk on a trail for lots of sniffing, etc.

What really tires her out, though, is training, which I always keep light and fun. As a puppy, she could only tolerate 30 seconds at a time. Now I do a few minutes here and there, plus a longer session (10 minutes or so) every evening after dinner.

Spoos need a lot of mental stimulation and human company. If we weren't home with her during the day, I think she'd struggle (and, consequently, so would we). Honestly, she's an awful lot like a human toddler.

So I guess you have to ask yourself: Do you want a toddler around while you're attending med school?

If the answer to this question is "yes," I'd recommend doing some careful research of breeders in your area, so you can be properly matched with a puppy who's well-suited to your lifestyle.

We put a lot of effort into training Peggy to relax at home, especially at night. But we also lucked out with her medium energy level. Some spoos have much larger batteries!

I'd also ensure your mother is as enthusiastic about your decision as you are.
 

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Mia, a 1,5 year old toy poodle and Chico, a 4 year old cockatiel
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your input! I’ll think about the things you said.
 

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Mia, a 1,5 year old toy poodle and Chico, a 4 year old cockatiel
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Discussion Starter #4
I also thought about getting a golden retriever, since there are adults available to adopt, but I’m hesitant because of the shedding and the doggy smell.
 

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Standard poodles are great and as PTP said they require exercise and mental stimulation and really are a lot like toddlers at times who just can't contain themselves. Mine will be 3 years old in December. He is pretty good now but he needs that interaction every day. My daughter lives at home and has her "own" dog. She doesn't have the time she needs for a dog while going to school. Right now she is just working but in all honesty medical school is huge and a lot of work. I think I would stay happy with the dog I already have until I am through with school and know where life is taking me. Thats just my opinion of course.
 

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A little off subject, but I’m worried about puppies being available in your area. Worried they would be from backyard breeders (greeders) or puppy mill, since most ethical breeders‘ waiting lists are full for the next 2-3 years and finding puppies in those days of pandemic, where everyone wants one, is almost impossible...
 

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I'm currently in college as a second-year student with two dogs--during exam weeks, my day usually goes something like this:

Wake up at around 8
Shower
Take the dogs out for exercise
Eat breakfast at around 8:45-9
Get started on the day's homework (usually chemistry and calculus)
Work on that until my 1'oclock class
Take the dogs out again, then eat lunch while in my 1'clock class
Finish classes around 2:50
Study for the upcoming test until my 4:00 class
Take the dogs out, then go to my 4:00 class
Depending on if I have 'discussion' that day, I either sit in discussion until 8 with a small break to snarf down dinner, feed the dogs, and take them out, or cram material some more.
Then I either do more homework or study.
I don't usually wind down until around 10 pm, and fall asleep around 12 (this is more of an insomnia problem than anything)

That all being said, I do take small, 15 minute-ish breaks throughout the day (like the one I'm using to write this) so I can get other things done and give my brain a chance to breathe.

I've actually lost 5 pounds so far because there's less time for me to snack (that, and I've skipped lunch a couple of times because I found chemistry so interesting... You probably shouldn't do that.). However, I am in an honors college (well, I'm in a college with an honors program, but many of the classes are the same, to the point where our common finals are cake compared to the midterms), so the workload might be a bit less, depending. But as you can see, there's not a whole lot of time for a super energetic dog like a 3-year-old spoo in there, although it is doable if you were to really push it. If you do want to get a spoo in the near future, I'd suggest getting an older one from a breeder who needs to rehome, or waiting until your senior college or med school years when the class load is intentionally smaller so you can get started in life.
 

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Mia, a 1,5 year old toy poodle and Chico, a 4 year old cockatiel
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the replies. I’ve decided that I will either adopt an older dog (toy poodle, maltese or golden) or wait until after college. Even though I adore spoos I never may have the time to fully exercise and stimulate them compared to smaller breeds. So for now having a spoo is off the table, which I’m not too sad about since I have my fluffballs Mia and Chico.
 

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I'm currently in college as a second-year student with two dogs--during exam weeks, my day usually goes something like this:
I'm a university prof (working from home until at least May though) with a 12-week old standard poodle puppy, and my schedule is kind of similar to yours, Floofypoodle (with meetings, class prep and research/writing instead of studying). I am very sympathetic to students in Remote Learning Land! You sound like you have great discipline.

Wingsandpaws, one hour of exercise would not be enough for Oona at this point, but I guess it depends how you are defining exercise and how you are imagining breaking it up. In the puppy stage she sleeps a lot but not all at once - she needs several short play, food, and exercise breaks and she's too little for the kind of high impact exercise (running, chasing a ball a long distance, etc) that would be a more efficient way to tire out an adult dog. Lately our days involve 2 or 3 20-40 minute relaxed, exploring walks in the neighborhood (these are not long in distance, just take longer than an adult dog walk would because we are sniffing, learning to sit at corners, socializing and exposing to different things). When she's awake and not crated at home with me, she is still going out to pee in the yard every hour or so and wants a lot of play and attention, so getting work done at home can be a bit of a brain twister some time when she's awake (though she is learning to play with her toys somewhat more, I usually retreat to my office upstairs during one of her crated naps). I also have the help of my partner who is also home, and does about half the walks and potty breaks.

The puppy naps for around 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. After dinner she gets a bunch more playtime usually inside now that its dark and colder, and then she usually is mostly sleepy for the rest of the evening from around 6:30-7 pm with a couple short awake pee and play breaks. At 10:30 or so before we go to bed we wake her up to take her out for a last pee and then put her in her crate at night.

If you are studying from home for the next while, the puppy phase is probably more manageable (but still hard!). If I had to go in to campus to teach now, she'd be crated when I left and I'd be running home at lunch or paying someone to come and take her out, even as an adult. I think a lot depends on how old the dog would be when you're in med school and what your living situation will be like at that point so that you can plan to meet the dog's needs for exercise and attention when you are at school and then working long hours, whether that is with family or friends helping, dog daycare, or paying someone to come and exercise the dogs.
 

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Yes I wanted a spoo for many years (think over 20) before I felt my life style could possibly be fair for keeping one and enjoying the dog fully. I waited through college and a Ph.D. in immunology/microbiology and a number of years into my career before I got Lily. I wanted a predictable teaching schedule and a fenced yard. Oonapup I have a life similar to you right now, teaching through Zoom and a remote software class management program has been complex. Even at ages of 5 and 12 (2 12 year olds) managing our 3 dogs while home alone is complex. My partner has still been going out to work. What we want is not always what we should get right when we first express the desire. I think you are wise to wait a while.
 

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As you know, You have a lot of schooling to get thru. College can be a challenge to managing your time, med school takes even more of your free (ahem) time and then if you go on, you'll have residencies and internships and your time will be even less your own.

You are wise to wait until you get to a settled point in your life, hard as it may be to do that. Dogs in general and poodles in particular thrive with their people and have far less fulfilled lives without them.
 

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I think you are wise to wait. At the end of medical school comes several years of rotations and studying for boards, and your schedule will become even more hectic.
 
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