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As of last week, I'm 1 year into poodle ownership - and I've learned a LOT. I did a whole bunch of research before I got my poodle - but this is what i've been surprised by....

1) I thought poodles were water dogs. Hah. Hah. She says NOT.
2) I thought poodles were "medium energy " dogs - she needs more exercise and brain stimulation than my sisters' Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs ever did to remain sane.
3) I thought I'd be doing "fast and easy" retriever cuts. But, well, the gorgeous poodles on here inspired me, and instead I'm eyeing a HV dryer as my next purchase, and I've never yet done a full shave of topknot and tail.
4) I thought poodles (especially ones from many generations of conformation dogs) were "cityfied" retrievers, and lacked the instincts to retrieve. After a couple of 1 hr games of indoor fetch that end when I put away the toys - I think not!
5) I thought poodles were lower prey drive - the neighbours and the local squirrels can DEFINITELY attest not.
6) I thought she'd be focused on learning like the border collie cross I used to have - nope, more than a few repetitions and she gets bored, bored, bored!

What have you learned or were surprised by with your poodles?
 

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As of last week, I'm 1 year into poodle ownership - and I've learned a LOT. I did a whole bunch of research before I got my poodle - but this is what i've been surprised by....

1) I thought poodles were water dogs. Hah. Hah. She says NOT.
2) I thought poodles were "medium energy " dogs - she needs more exercise and brain stimulation than my sisters' Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs ever did to remain sane.
3) I thought I'd be doing "fast and easy" retriever cuts. But, well, the gorgeous poodles on here inspired me, and instead I'm eyeing a HV dryer as my next purchase, and I've never yet done a full shave of topknot and tail.
4) I thought poodles (especially ones from many generations of conformation dogs) were "cityfied" retrievers, and lacked the instincts to retrieve. After a couple of 1 hr games of indoor fetch that end when I put away the toys - I think not!
5) I thought poodles were lower prey drive - the neighbours and the local squirrels can DEFINITELY attest not.
6) I thought she'd be focused on learning like the border collie cross I used to have - nope, more than a few repetitions and she gets bored, bored, bored!

What have you learned or were surprised by with your poodles?
How affectionate she is! She comes up on my lap (not always easy, as she’s a standard) and leans into my chest, getting as close as she possibly can, then presses her head against my neck and sneaks in a few licks and nuzzles. What? If I don’t let her up, she puts her paw in my hand and just...holds hands. I’ve never seen anything like it.
 

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Training them is not at all like training a BC or Aussie or the like. They are not good dogs to do drills open endedly with. That said although mine are pretty high drive they do have good off switches.
 

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I was surprised at the big differences in personality. Bella is brave and fearless - except in the car where she turns into a shivering barking hot mess of anxiety. She communicates really well with her eyes. She'll look at something she wants on the dresser, bookcase or counter, then look at me, look at it, on and on. If I ignore her and say not now, she'll give a little bark and do it all over again until I get up and get her toy, etc. She knows a lot of words too. If I say time to turn off the lights, she' looks at the lamp. She'll also look to wherever I'm pointing. With her potty pads, she never misses the spot.

Compared to Bella, Sachii loves car rides. He's my goofball jock. While Bella likes fetch, he's obsessed with balls sun up to sun down. But he's not real bright for a poodle. I can point all day at something and say look, and he just looks at me. I can say sit, and he won't do that unless he feels like it. And he's not fearless. Loud noise from dropping something? Backs away quickly. Sometimes he misses the pad when pooping, and it's like his attitude is close enough, what's the problem? Fuss at him over that? He cringes, so I can't even fuss with him when I catch him in the act which is weird b/c I've never laid a hand on him. I try to talk to him and tap on the pad, and he gets the darn ball instead. Yeah Mom, I heard ya, now let's play ball again!

And lastly, Sachii loves to be groomed; stands like a prince and knows he's the hottest thing since baked bread. Bella, on the other hand, would blow up grooming shop if she could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Training them is not at all like training a BC or Aussie or the like. They are not good dogs to do drills open endedly with. That said although mine are pretty high drive they do have good off switches.
Yes - that's it exactly. The border collie X thrived on drills, Annie does best with doing a bunch of different things a few times. And yes - so long as I provide her with 2 hrs or so of walking AND training (can't forget either!), she is a chill dog with a great off switch and mostly just wants to cuddle and nap.

She communicates really well with her eyes. She'll look at something she wants on the dresser, bookcase or counter, then look at me, look at it, on and on. If I ignore her and say not now, she'll give a little bark and do it all over again until I get up and get her toy, etc. She knows a lot of words too. If I say time to turn off the lights, she' looks at the lamp. She'll also look to wherever I'm pointing. With her potty pads, she never misses the spot.
Yes, this too! I've never had a dog who communicates so clearly with me and so obviously knows and tries to predict what I'm thinking/what I want, what we are doing.
 

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How affectionate she is! She comes up on my lap (not always easy, as she’s a standard) and leans into my chest, getting as close as she possibly can, then presses her head against my neck and sneaks in a few licks and nuzzles. What? If I don’t let her up, she puts her paw in my hand and just...holds hands. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Wow! You just described my mini!! He “holds hands” in the car, waiting for the vet to come in, when he’s tired, on my lap, and won’t give in to a nap.

I thought I would teach him lots of games, tricks etc. But no. He taught me about every game we play. Things that a “commoner” wouldn’t even think of. He also taught me how he could trade his fave toys for tiny bites of food.
 

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I was surprised at the big differences in personality. Bella is brave and fearless - except in the car where she turns into a shivering barking hot mess of anxiety. She communicates really well with her eyes. She'll look at something she wants on the dresser, bookcase or counter, then look at me, look at it, on and on. If I ignore her and say not now, she'll give a little bark and do it all over again until I get up and get her toy, etc. She knows a lot of words too. If I say time to turn off the lights, she' looks at the lamp. She'll also look to wherever I'm pointing. With her potty pads, she never misses the spot.
This also describes Zeke. It never ceases to amaze me at how much he really does know. He know so many words it frightens me. If I tell him his Kong is in the bathroom, that’s where he goes to get it. If I happen to mention so-and- so will be here in a few minutes, he picks up a toy and goes and lays down in front of the door, just waiting to hear their car door shut. So many things he knows!
 

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After a lifetime of dogs, Normie is our first poodle. He's by far the most affectionate people-centric dog we've had. And he seems to be a born cuddler.

I knew poodles were smart, but he tries to think one step ahead of what I'm saying.
 

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As of last week, I'm 1 year into poodle ownership - and I've learned a LOT. I did a whole bunch of research before I got my poodle - but this is what i've been surprised by....

1) I thought poodles were water dogs. Hah. Hah. She says NOT.
2) I thought poodles were "medium energy " dogs - she needs more exercise and brain stimulation than my sisters' Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs ever did to remain sane.
3) I thought I'd be doing "fast and easy" retriever cuts. But, well, the gorgeous poodles on here inspired me, and instead I'm eyeing a HV dryer as my next purchase, and I've never yet done a full shave of topknot and tail.
4) I thought poodles (especially ones from many generations of conformation dogs) were "cityfied" retrievers, and lacked the instincts to retrieve. After a couple of 1 hr games of indoor fetch that end when I put away the toys - I think not!
5) I thought poodles were lower prey drive - the neighbours and the local squirrels can DEFINITELY attest not.
6) I thought she'd be focused on learning like the border collie cross I used to have - nope, more than a few repetitions and she gets bored, bored, bored!

What have you learned or were surprised by with your poodles?
The vet said “I am going to do another rectal” and he (Sammy, 9 mth standard) crawled up onto my lap.
 

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I thought my poodle would be easy to train because she's so smart. Ha! Because she's so smart, Noelle learns the wrong thing just as easily as she learns the right thing. I spend a ton of time undoing training I didn't realize I was doing. For example, I thought the easiest way to train Drop on Recall would be to teach Noelle to run to a target and lie down on it. Then gradually make the target smaller and smaller, and poof, presto, Noelle can drop on recall. Um... no.

By lying down on a target, Noelle learned that Drop on Recall means run to a specific area and lie down. It doesn't mean lie down when I tell her to. She runs to about the same place where the target was and lies down... six feet after I told her to lie down. Facepalm! Now, I have to hit the magic poodle trainer undo button and start all over. Where did I leave that magic button? Wait, are you telling me there isn't a magic poodle trainer undo button? Oh noes!
 

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I've owned and trained a lot of different dogs in my 70 years GSD, Lab, Pointer, Irish Setter, Toy Aussie, Schnauzers, Terriers, Pyrenese and Rottweiler but this danged SPoo is nothing, NOTHING, like any of them. The Schnauzer, Rottie and GSD were the most devoted, Pointer dullest, Terriers most stubborn, Pyrenees least needy, Toy Aussie most sensitive but this new girl is all of the above at any given time and the biggest thinker and most expressive.... those eyes, oh those eyes and the quickest on the uptake (unless she chooses not to be). She has had her phobias so far but has overcome them all. Waiting for warm weather to see if she's a swimmer but likes playing with the water hose. We're working on some Service Dog type training and at 7 1/2 mos has learned to pick up things for me, very basic obedience, and consistently tries to help me get dressed or undressed. She's one different dog for sure!
 

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I thought my poodle would be easy to train because she's so smart. Ha! Because she's so smart, Noelle learns the wrong thing just as easily as she learns the right thing. I spend a ton of time undoing training I didn't realize I was doing. For example, I thought the easiest way to train Drop on Recall would be to teach Noelle to run to a target and lie down on it. Then gradually make the target smaller and smaller, and poof, presto, Noelle can drop on recall. Um... no.

By lying down on a target, Noelle learned that Drop on Recall means run to a specific area and lie down. It doesn't mean lie down when I tell her to. She runs to about the same place where the target was and lies down... six feet after I told her to lie down. Facepalm! Now, I have to hit the magic poodle trainer undo button and start all over. Where did I leave that magic button? Wait, are you telling me there isn't a magic poodle trainer undo button? Oh noes!
THIS is exactly what I've been wanting to say here. I just couldn't figure out how to articulate it.

I suspect Peggy might be extremely intelligent, even by poodle standards. And it's sure added a dimension to training that I did not expect.

I also assumed poodle intelligence would = a desire to please.

Um. Nope! They are absolutely mutually exclusive. Peggy is affectionate, sometimes even clingy, but she is her own woman.
 

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Ah, that magic combination of smart + eager to please. It's not just herding dogs, but it does seem to be less of a sure thing if you are getting any breed but a herding dog. I always try to know what my dog values, and maintain some control over the things with value. This builds up their willingness to please to some degree.

My dream dog is smart + eager to please + cuddly + beautiful. However, if my dog had the same expectations of ME I might be a bit of a disappointment to the dog. ? We all manage to love and enjoy one another despite our imperfections.

Violet would like to start a thread called "What I thought I knew about Hoomans." Her list would look like this:
1. I thought we would always be together. Bathroom? Work? Grocery store? How dare you!
2. I thought she would always throw the ball. Cooking dinner is no reason to not throw a balll. Amiright?!
3. I thought she would understand about that cat poo I found in the yard. Nope. No sense of taste, that one.
 

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I’m also suprised at the difference in personality and drives. Sandy is clingy , doesn’t like to be outside unless we are there, learns everything super quick, lower prey drive , loves water, not a big tail wagger just waves her tail gently, loves playing ball, and no hunt instinct unless something is running from her.

Nova her puppy has a big hunt instinct, she wants to explore and really could careless where I am when she is outside ( it’s all about the smell or chase) . She likes to dig holes trying to find critters ?. Doesn’t want to come inside. She learns fast but has adhd compared to Sandy at the same age. I think she likes water as she likes to play in her water bowl and make a mess and doesnt mind rain. Now at 8 months she is finally starting to play ball as long as there are no other distractions. I can tell she is going to be the dominate female as Sandy will back off when Nova tells her . She wags her tail so hard it gets stuck to one side at times and greets each of us like she hasn’t seen us for ages if we are out of her sight for a long period of times ( like when the kids come home from school.. it’s very funny).
 
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