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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Our family has fallen in love with Poodles and is considering getting one. We are not sure if we are a good fit for a dog. So I join in hope to get some advice from the experienced.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hi and Welcome to you and your puppy dreams :)

Ask away and poke around the forum if you haven't already. Would you be first time dog owners or first time for poodles?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a Pomeranian for 16 years and my husband had a mixed Poodle before. But that was 20+ years ago.

My husband and I both work full-time outside the home. We have two kids aged 10 and 12, who are in school. Our family would like to get a new Poodle puppy in early summer. My husband and I plan to take a 1 month vacation so we can spend time with the new pup. After that, while we are away at work and school, the pup would be by itself. In the morning before going to school, my kids can spend about 30 mins to feed, take the pup potty, and play with it. I can come home for an hour during lunch time to have lunch and check on the puppy because my work place is 10 min from home. In the afternoon after we get home from work/school, we can spend about 1.5 hours with the pup (30 min walk and 1 hour to care for and play with the pup) before going to bed.

During the kids' winter break, spring break, summer break, and holidays and other school days off, we can spend more time with the pup. This is what we envision we can provide for a new dog currently. But what if in the future, my job changes and I can no longer come home during lunch. And, assuming worst case scenario, we cannot afford to pay for petsitter to come everyday, would an adult poodle be OK being alone for 8-9 hours?

I've contacted a couple of breeders, who both felt that with our busy schedule, we are really not ready to have a dog. Do most poodle owners stay at home? Or take their dogs to petsitters if they work out of the home? I hope to hear from those that have raised poodles in similar situations.
 

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I have the exact situation with the same age kids. However all of us are home for lunch, work/school is only 10 mins drive for us. If your husband is the one home for the first month, expect your pup to bond deeply with your husband. Your pup will still bond with you and the kids but it will be another level with your husband. I ran a Home business when we first got milo. I went back to work full time around 6 months ago and his bond for me is unchanged, very strong. We got milo in early summer as well and the timing was perfect. Raising a puppy is very much like having an infant except all milestones and development is achieved a lot faster.

Milo is old enough to have free roam of the house. He is left alone 4 hours at a time. I won’t leave him for 8-9 hours, though I am sure he will be fine. Most importantly, we made it work since all of us wanted a dog.
 

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There are days where our dogs may spend extended time on their own in the house and they are fine, but I would not want to leave a dog under 6-8 months for that long. If you can't pay a dog walker/sitter is there someone with whom you could barter for them to make a midday visit? I have a barter/trade arrangement with one of my neighbors. We both watch each others animals and homes when one of us is traveling. No money changes hands.
 
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I would also bring up the issue of classes and training. Poodles being as smart as they are should be trained - preferably within a dog school with other dogs using positive training only, starting with Puppy manners and playgroup - all the way up to obedience - and then you take it from there. If you have loads of fun you can continue with tricks, rally or other forms of enrichment. A trained and worked with dog is a happy dog - especially a Poodle. Training has come far in the last 20 years and things are done very differently. I like going to a training center with as many family members as possible, so training is shown hands on and consistently done using the same methods by everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From poking around the forum, I've learned that we should not leave a puppy alone all day. So for the first year, we are planning to leave her alone for 3-4 hours at a time and I'll either come home for lunch for pay a pet-sitter to come. Yes, we can probably take her to pet training classes on the weekend.

But a dog can live 15-16 years. We might not be able to afford the expense for pet-sitting on a long-term basis (year after year). We are unsure if an adult poodle who's older than 1 year be OK if left alone 8-9 hours (if I can no longer come home during lunch)? Or would it turn out wacko? We want to make it work, but would like to listen to others before making our decision.

No, I have not check with our neighbors. But I don't think any of our neighbors has the same need as us to barter (e.g. one family with dog also has their parents living in the same division).
 

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Do you plan to leave the dog in a crate when you are gone, or loose in the house? Of course, the puppy will need to be confined when he is alone until reliably house trained, and old enough to physically "hold it" for long periods of time, but after that what do you plan to do with him?

If the dog is to be crated when you are gone, then leaving him for 8-9 hours is in my opinion not acceptable. If he is to be loose or confined to a room or rooms, then there should be no problem with leaving him for that period of time.
 

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I have toy poodles all my life and worked outside of the home until the last 5 years. I confined them to the kitchen at that time they all went outside to potty. So I put a green plastic bag and newspaper down for them. My day was aminum of 8 to 9 hours gone. If i was back with in that time no problem, if 10 or 11 hours they used the newspaper. I would never crate a dog that long, they had room to ply, sleep eat drink in the kitchen.

None of my dogs have been to any formal training, I trained them myself to sit, stay, not jump up, as I did not have the time for training classes. They are very well trained and I take them out in public all the time with no problem. I gave them a lot of attention when I got home of an evening, they sleep with me.

I would say it depends on the size dog you get. One of my dogs goes out at 7AM and again at^Pm and will not go any other time, one uses a potty patch to do both, and the other one pees on potty patch and goes out in the morning to poop and at night. So no problem for me with 3
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We are thinking of setting up a playpen about 3ft x 6 ft in front of a sliding glass door looking out the backyard, which is in our kitchen/breakfast nook. This room is where we spend a lot of time in. We would put a crate and portable potty tray, and food in the play pen. During the puppy phase, it would stay in the crate/playpen when unsupervised. When it's more reliably house-broken, we would leave it in the playpen (not crate) or even the whole breakfast nook and kitchen area (we can install baby gates to block it off).

The concern is more about the lack of playmate or human interaction during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have toy poodles all my life and worked outside of the home until the last 5 years. I confined them to the kitchen at that time they all went outside to potty. So I put a green plastic bag and newspaper down for them. My day was aminum of 8 to 9 hours gone. If i was back with in that time no problem, if 10 or 11 hours they used the newspaper. I would never crate a dog that long, they had room to ply, sleep eat drink in the kitchen.
It's great that you have 3; your pups have friends to play with during the day. Do we need more than one pup if we will be gone that long? BTW, how did you train the one that goes on the newspaper? I would think puppies would chew it up during the teething period.
 

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We are thinking of setting up a playpen about 3ft x 6 ft in front of a sliding glass door looking out the backyard, which is in our kitchen/breakfast nook. This room is where we spend a lot of time in. We would put a crate and portable potty tray, and food in the play pen. During the puppy phase, it would stay in the crate/playpen when unsupervised. When it's more reliably house-broken, we would leave it in the playpen (not crate) or even the whole breakfast nook and kitchen area (we can install baby gates to block it off).

The concern is more about the lack of playmate or human interaction during the day.
If you play brain games before all of you leave the house, the mental stimulation will leave your puppy plenty tired. Also when they are young, they do tend to sleep a lot more. As they grow older, they learn your schedule and rules. And when we are not home, milo spends his time either looking outside the window or sleeping. He has never played with his toys or need a Kong. Some dogs do and this is ok too. I dont feel milo needs another dog or is deprived of attention when he is home alone.

That said, this was milo today while I went on a “kon Mari” spree at home..lol. Having this “off” switch for me is essential.
 

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It's great that you have 3; your pups have friends to play with during the day. Do we need more than one pup if we will be gone that long? BTW, how did you train the one that goes on the newspaper? I would think puppies would chew it up during the teething period.
I had 2 puppies the rest was 8 months to 5 years when I got them but not really trained potty themes. The tearing of paper with the pups was there, but I changed to a astro turf potty patch and no problem.

Actually I only had 1 for 15 years my first and he was fine as I worked then as well. Gated him in laundry room with all necessities. I do not actually think a dog needs a buddy, personally. I keep normally 2 but as may as 4, and twice 3 for myself. I always want 2 incase something happens to one of them. I know me I would grab the first poodle I see, this way I take my time.

What size are you getting, as I said mine are toys, so plenty of space.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That said, this was milo today while I went on a “kon Mari” spree at home..lol. Having this “off” switch for me is essential.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Asuk. Milo looks so comfy. If he can turn on the TV, he might have it all set. LOL.
 

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What size are you getting, as I said mine are toys, so plenty of space.
Thanks, Glorybee. We are thinking of getting a mini poodle. Our girls prefer a toy. But I'm concerned it might be too fragile. And, waiting for an oversized toy or undersized mini might take a long time.
 

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Thanks, Glorybee. We are thinking of getting a mini poodle. Our girls prefer a toy. But I'm concerned it might be too fragile. And, waiting for an oversized toy or undersized mini might take a long time.
Actually minis are the hardest to find size in comparison to toys or standard. Personally I don’t think we can do it with toys and the kids. Minis are perfect for us, robust but small enough to travel. That said, minis generally are the most active among the 3 sizes. Something to consider depending on your lifestyle and breeder of choice.
 

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Your game plan sounds good. I think the breeders are likely being (reasonably) protective of their pup's lives but if we had to wait til we could be at home for a dog all their lives, there'd be far fewer homes with dogs.

Don't fall into the "needs a companion" trap, and really not two puppies at the same time, if you can't be with them to manage their raising. Down the road, sure, another pup if you like. Once you have the skills, then your well trained and well adjusted pup can even help by showing the new addition the ropes, too.

Puppies especially need a lot of sleep to counteract the bursts of energy, learning, and growth. Once they are reliable in the house (for my two mini boys that was about 8-9 mos old) they can be left for longer periods. I even got several inexpensive cameras and placed them thru the house to see what they did while we were both away. They sleep or they look out the window and bark then go back to sleep. Pretty much they just wait for us to come back.

If you're in a house, is there a fenced yard, predator-free community, and possibility of a doggy door ? What size are you thinking of? Generally standards seem to take longer to mature, followed by the mini's, with toys the quickest. They're all wonderful!

Are you open to an older pup, say up to a year? It's true you'd miss the early fun and games, worry, etc but an older pup might be a good option for you. Our previous mini girls were from a breeder who'd decided to change her breeding focus. We got them a few months before their second birthday and it was a great fit for my DH as he'd never done puppy before. Even when we got our boys at almost 9wks, our search started with looking for a single girl of a young adult age. Now that we've all survived it, we're glad we did, but the end result is still POODLE-loving, smart, playful, wonderful no matter their age when they come home with you :)
 

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It's great that you have 3; your pups have friends to play with during the day. Do we need more than one pup if we will be gone that long? BTW, how did you train the one that goes on the newspaper? I would think puppies would chew it up during the teething period.

Oh dear lord NO! We have three dogs and when we are not at home I am sure they spend 90%+ of their time asleep since that is what they do when we are home for the most part.


A puppy needs a lot fo time and attention until they are at least a year old. After that a well trained dog can be left alone just fine as long as their physiological needs (potty, water, etc.) are provided for and as long as their time with people at home is rewarding and enriching for both the people and for the dog (otherwise why have a real dog, just get a robot dog).
 

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No they sleep even being together so need no playmates. My aunt comes and se says they lay in there bed or under my desk until I come home, then go wild. LOL. When I m home they set on my aunts lap, but not when I am gone, just sleep
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you all very much for your help. I feel relieved to know that we don't necessarily need to get two dogs. From your inputs, I think our family situation might not be ideal but is likely workable for a mini poodle.

Asuk thinks the mini is the most active of all the poodle variety. Does this translate to the mini needing the most exercise compared to the standard/toy? I had thought the standard, being bigger, would need more exercise.

My husband and I are fine with a young poodle; my kids wish for a puppy, but they might be convinced if we find a suitable one. The challenge is where to find them. We live in Washington and would appreciate getting some breeder references.
 
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