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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I’m currently on the lookout for a standard poodle puppy in Illinois. Poodle owners, what are some tips when it comes to owning a standard, finding a good breeder, ect.

Premium Member
4,104 Posts
I hope you don't mind but I'm going to add that you'd said this would be your first ever dog, to be chosen and raised by yourself. I didn't ask if you have had a family dog at any time in your life, and I didn't ask if you're doing this completely on your own or if you have family or others to help with the raising.

Premium Member
4,104 Posts
Until someone else drops by, here are two threads you might read thru. One offers slices of real life from new pup owners. The other is about choosing a breeder.


Super Moderator
9,049 Posts
Welcome @caradiamond! I think you've received some excellent advice on what to look for in a breeder in your other thread. I can't think of anything to add except to take this advice to heart and seriously vet any potential breeder. The process is going to take longer than usual right now, due to the covid puppy demand, but it will be well worth it. There are a lot of unscrupulous breeders out there, and it's gotten much worse with the rise in demand.

Poodles are smart and sensitive dogs. You want to ensure your puppy is healthy and given the best possible opportunity to thrive, and that his or her parents are being cared for like treasured companions. This good beginning will help you and your puppy get off to the best possible start. It's very hard to overcome social and genetic deficits in poodles.

When it comes to owning a standard, let me just say that I was not prepared! Lol. I thought I was. I've had dogs most of my life. I've raised multiple puppies. Training has been a hobby of mine since I was about 8 years old. And I still found myself in over my head!

Peggy is a brilliant, sweet poodle, but she had some of those social deficits I mentioned above. We spent a lot of time and money in her first year, working closely with an excellent positive reinforcement trainer to address our areas of concern.

I could elaborate on that aspect of poodle ownership. Or there are also the everyday social and training requirements, exercise guidelines, grooming needs, etc. etc. etc. Is there anything you have specific questions about?

I'm sure you're also browsing the forum and absorbing information that way. One good search topic is adolescence, as many of our standard-owning members (myself included!) have found this stage of development exceptionally challenging at times. It's good to be prepared.

I'd also recommend familiarizing yourself with the principles of positive reinforcement. This is truly the language of poodles, and the more fluent you are prior to bringing home your poodle baby, the happier you both will be. :)

Premium Member
4,104 Posts
I'm surprised your post hasn't got more attention and as a suggestion, I wonder if you added "Tips Needed for..." to your title would help.

You'd mentioned in your thread in thread in the Breeder Directory that you'd researched poodles and allergies but didn't say whether you'd looked into grooming needs, exercise needs, and potential health issues, for a start.

In the spirit of puppy reality, here's some additional for you.

Grooming is bathing and drying about every two weeks, clipping feet and sanitary areas weekly or bi weekly, clipping face periodically, combing and brushing daily or every other day unless clipped very short, nail trimming periodically, ear cleaning periodically.
If you do all this yourself you'll need to have a place to bathe your pup and you'll need all the supplies to do this.
If you have it professionally done, that can run as much as $100 a month.

Do you have a yard to exercise your pup in? Is it fenced? If no yard, how will you exercise the pup and how will you meet their exercise needs as they grow older?

Are you familiar with the health issues that can happen with spoos? Bloat/Gastric Dilation Volvulus and it's deadly potential? Are you familiar with Addison's Disease? Cushings? Sebaceous Adenitis?
Are you prepared to spend a significant amount of money to save your poodle if he/she swallows an object which causes an obstruction? Are you prepared to spend a significant amount of money to repair a fracture?
Have you looked into pet insurance to help with those costs?

These are only a very few things to research, if you haven't already and this isn't even touching on raising and training a pup.

Here's two links to online books from a respected trainer and animal behaviorist that will be very helpful:

https://www.dogstardaily.com/files/BEFORE You Get Your Puppy.pdf


and here's a list of supplies that you'd need to get started. Another member has recently posted their own list which has a few things I don't have on this one yet.

New Pup/Dog startup

Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel
Harnesses, Collars, Leashes
Food, Water, Bowls
Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels
Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties

This is really more your basic startup info. It's taken from other threads and posts that many active members of PF has contributed to. I hope more Pfer's will add to this, comment or correct any mistakes.

Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel
Hard side plastic or wire is best for early days. If you choose wire, be sure there are no sharp bits, and be very sure that the door will stay fully latched with a bumptious puppy in it. It's not common but there have been some concerning reviews mentioning injuries.
No collars in the crate for safety.
Look for one with a divider in the size you expect them to grow into and use the divider to keep them comfortably cozy (stand up, turn around, sleep) til then.
Use a blanket as a crate cover.
Use a washable bath rug/towels or sherpa crate mat for bedding.
Put something leak proof on the floor of the crate or under it.
Depending on the layout of the house/apt, consider 2 crates, one for the sleeping space, one for the living space.

If you can manage it, have the pup sleep in your bedroom. They just think they're on an adventure until bedtime, especially the first night, rolls around. Suddenly they realize that NOTHING is familiar, no scent, warmth or comfort of mom or siblings. They are Alone.

Ask the breeder to do this or bring a towel or blanket to get mom and siblings scent on it, to comfort them.
Keeping them in the same room allows you to hear if they are unwell or need to go out.
Expect to have the young ones out several times during the night for a while.
Set a periodic alarm to beat them to it.

Don't count on a lot of sleep the first days or weeks. Taking a few days off from work or work from home, if you can, will really help set routines and gives some time to get to know each other. Find out if the breeder had them on a daily routine and try to follow that for a few days.

They're facing so many instant and incomprehensible changes. Keep what you can the same for a while.

Ex Pen
This expands their relaxation space but keeps them contained and out of mischief.
Food and water bowls as well as pee pads can be in that space.
Use a leak proof flooring here also.
These can be plastic or wire or even pop up soft side. (Same caution on wire construction.)

Beds and bedding
This may depend on the pups age and what they're used to. A young pup probably doesn't need one just yet. An older pup or dog may already be using one.

These are generally only good up to about 15lbs but have their place.
A smaller crate with handles can double as a carrier.

Keeping your pup comfortable and safe in the car is important.
Depending on size and age, you might use a carrier, a crate, or a harness with seat belts.

Sleepypod brand is a highest safety rated product. Testing was done by the independent Center for Pet Safety, with some testing sponsored by Subaru.
There are a number of threads covering other brand suggestions. You can use the Search function to find them.

Harnesses, Collars and Leashes
Harnesses are usually a better safety choice for smaller pups due to potential trachea injury from collars, but it may not be the best choice for a pup who wants to pull.
Collars will carry tags and ID but don't have to be worn inside the home due to potential choking hazards.

Food, Water, Bowls
It's best to keep them on the same food as the breeder had for a while. They're already under stress from the abrupt change in their lives and this is one thing that doesn't usually need to change immediately.
They may go off their feed as it is, so keep an eye on that.
Toys are especially subject to hypoglycemia. This can very quickly become fatal. Look for the sticky on it.
If/when you want to change foods, look for foods which follow the AAFCO guidelines and companies which have a veterinary nutritionist formulating the foods.
Stainless steel or ceramic is best for their food and water bowls.
You might consider filling a bottle with the water they've been drinking at the breeders and mix it with the water at their new home, to acclimate.

Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels, Bitter Apple Spray
Pretty much all self explanatory.
Natures Miracle is usually recommended for enzyme cleaner.
Bitter Apple Spray is to keep them from mouthing and biting on what you don't want them to.

Have a selection of several different types on hand.
Check with your vet for safe chewing toys. They also work as trade to get your fingers back
Puzzle toys are good, and Kongs to hide kibble and treats are helpful.
Not exactly a toy, but something to consider is the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy toy. This can help soothe a pup.

I hope others will have brand specific suggestions for combs, brushes, shampoos…
Generally, a puppy shampoo with or w/o conditioner added
Greyhound comb
Pin brush with rounded tips
Slicker brush
Grooming table or designated area
Nail trimmer or Dremel tool
It is important to get them used to the grooming process asap.
The longer you wait, the harder it is on the pup and whoever's doing the grooming.
It does not hurt their coat to get a puppy trimmed

Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Ask if any other dog on the premises has been ill in the last week or so. Choose a vet if you don't have one and know where the ER clinic is.
Have the pup checked out by a vet within a day or two of homecoming whether the breeder requires it or not.
Puppies can socialize with vaccinated adult dogs, and probably known puppies who aren't fully vaccinated yet.
Best to stay away from paws on the ground at places a lot of dogs might be til yours is fully vaccinated.
People are not usually any risk or at risk.
Consider pet insurance, at least for the first year or two, or sign up for Care Credit if there is a health emergency.
If you can, a healthy four figure separate savings account dedicated to emergencies can be a life saver, literally.
Keep a first aid kit and learn some first aid procedures.

Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties, bunnies, older pets
Check your fencing if there is any. You want to keep things out as well as puppy in.
Check your plant life for possible toxic plants.
Inside keep cords and cables covered or out of reach.
Be sure that kitties or other free roaming animals in the home have a safe retreat from Puppy.
Anything puppy level is at risk.

Besides pet stores, there is Amazon, Chewy.com, and eBay and Etsy for supplies. Other brick and mortar stores if they're nearby are Tuesday Morning, Marshall's, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post and TJ Maxx. The last two are also online.
(Apologies for the US centric shopping references, but they're what I know.
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