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As a first time poodle owner (previously had golden retrievers and mutts) I am constantly and simultaneously surprised, delighted and aghast at my new pup. We've had Cricket (spoo) for almost two months now, and boy has she been keeping me on my toes!

Some of the best surprises:
  • I knew poodles had a reputation for being cuddly, but I had no idea how ahhhhhmazing she would be at snuggling. When I let her up on the bed with me, she finds just the right way to curl up and gently lean on me. It. is. the. best. I just feel my body relax with her beside it. Also, she will find anything soft in the house to lie on...cracks me up.
  • I had high hope my daughters would fall in love with Cricket, but I am surprised by how much she loves them (almost 3 yrs and 6 yrs.) too. At bedtime she runs right to their shared bedroom and snuggles up to listen to their bedtime stories and songs. Then, what really surprises me the most is that even after I leave the room, she stays in their with the girls until it is time for her to go outside before bed. I mean this pup follows me around all day, but when the girls go to bed she stays right in their room. Warms my heart.
  • This one might change, but I have been so surprised that Cricket, although an avid chewer, hasn't actually destroyed much. Obviously she can shred paper and cardboard but she doesn't tear up the girls stuffed animals, her plush toys, or our shoes/sandals, even when she has been chewing on them for a bit. As her adult teeth come in, and she gets bigger and stronger will this change? Will she actually start shredding/destroying toys?
Some of the not-so-great surprises:
  • Holy counter/table surfing! Wow. I was not prepared for this and clearly did not plan out a strategy to prevent it. Wooweee. She is training US to not leave anything on the counter or table.
  • The stinky toots! Her poop has always been healthy and well formed, but boy the toots are terrible! Yikes!
What surprised/surprises you most about your poodle(s)?
 

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As her adult teeth come in, and she gets bigger and stronger will this change? Will she actually start shredding/destroying toys?
I was similarly surprised by how not destructive Peggy was, and then one day she destroyed a beloved toy. And then another. And another. And then she destroyed a sock in under a minute. And then she started eyeing our drink coasters, our books, our dish cloths, our blankets.... And now, at a year old, she's back to being limited to certain areas of the house unless she's being watched.

The "change" happened at around 10 months, I'd say. And it was dramatic.

That's not to say your poodle will be the same, but adolescence is likely to bring some unexpected challenges, so best to prepare for the worst and then sigh with happy relief when it's not quite so bad. :)
 

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Poodle Asta amazed me. Learned his bipolar and my medications schedule - quite a good boy. I started his commands for bipolar 2 years old. (yes old dogs can learn new tricks )
 

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I totally agree about cuddly. The first evening that we had Normie home, he came and sat on my foot while we ate dinner. Over six months later, he's still resting on my foot while we have dinner. (I like it, and he doesn't ask for food.)

Why nap in a dog bed when you can nap in a chair beside a human?

His trainer was impressed both by how calm is he and what great eye contact he's capable of. I can actually give him the stink eye and get a result. (Of course, I perfected it on my kids, university freshmen, and rowdy Girl Scouts.)

And I came back to add, how nosey he is. He wants to see and, if possible, understand everything. I guess it's part of the poodle smarts.
 

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I've been pleasantly surprised by how not destructive Misha is, but he does have his weaknesses. He does not destroy toys. The few times he has ripped a hole, I was careful to remove the toy before he actually discovered the goodies inside. He does, however, love small plastic things and will chew anything tiny, plastic, and fragile.

I was surprised by how stubborn he is. I was used to dogs that would do what I wanted simply because they knew I wanted it, and would only not do what I wanted if they were overcome by other drives. Misha is different. He has the capability to do what I want, but he doesn't mind being a pain in the butt when he wants. He takes great pleasure in games that he enjoys but I really don't. I have to be much more creative to make what I want the most fun option for him.

He has an incredibly complex emotional self and is extremely in tune with peoples' emotions and non verbal communication. He amazes me with the range of emotions he can convey. He is also so very trusting and really looks to me to see how he should react to things. If he sees something new that he's unsure of, he will look at the thing, then look at me, then look at the thing, then look at me. He constantly looks for my direction.

With barking he is very weird. He is not much of a barker, but when he does bark it is hit or miss. Sometimes he finds things that are legitimately good to alert me to. Like if a tree fell in the yard, or if there's a roach crawling on our ceiling. But he also likes to bark if he thinks something's been put where it doesn't belong. He's the organization police. He'll bark if I accidentally leave something out that I normally put away, or if something is in a new location that he doesn't approve of. Sometimes I have to convince him that it's okay for it to be there. Sometimes I need to go touch something to reassure him that it's fine. I'm not sure why he thinks it's worth barking at.
 

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Organization police, that’s so funny.

As a new poodle person, I’m loving reading these. Our boy has been with us for a short while but has has surprised me in a few ways.

He seems to be very in tune, as @Raindrops mentioned, to people on an emotional level. I was out in the yard yesterday and had him on leash, we were chatting with our neighbor. She lost her husband last June and mentioned that the one year mark was coming up. She had a few tears, and took one of those deep, trying not to break down sighs. Our poodle planted himself against her legs, leaned in and looked up at her. She started interacting him him, and he leaned into her neck scratch so hard that he almost fell over. He was contorted in a ridiculous pose with a blissful look on his face which made us both laugh. I thought it was a very sweet moment.

He also seems to prioritize a good pet, scratch, snuggle etc. over anything else. My husband put a piece of chicken in his bowl last night, while my daughter was petting him across the room. He watched the chicken go in, thought about it, but changed his mind and stayed for the loving. The minute my daughter got up and left him, he was over to the bowl in an instant.

And the last thing is how he prefers to lay on the floor instead of in one of the beds we got for him. He’s a bit too thin, and has a very short haircut so I thought that a warm comfy bed would be nice. Nope, he’d rather be flat out on the floor, it’s gotta be uncomfortable on his bones. The only thing the beds are good for is the occasional bite and shake if he’s feeling exceptionally frisky and wants me to pay more attention.
 

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Mine was training. I never knew how easy training could be until I got my first tpoo. hoping this pup will be easy training as well. She was also super quiet, only barked at the knock on the door. soooo different than all other dogs I owned. I also very much enjoy that I'm not cleaning dog hair up every day. I shed more than her. overall that one poodle made spoiled enough that I won't go back to any other breed besides a purebred poodle or poodle mix. My poodle often sang to me, if I said who's pretty she'd sing and sing until you said stop. I loved it.
 

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I was surprised when Galen developed a ridiculous gay tail. Snarky and Pogo both had curled tails, Snarky a little more so. I used to joke that Snarky's tail made him look like a tea pot. Pogo's tail forms an elegant arced plume over his haunches. Galen's tail, however, is so curled that the tip flops down on his back. My husband commented that this tail was made to be docked, lol. It really does look very silly as is.
 

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I was similarly surprised by how not destructive Peggy was, and then one day she destroyed a beloved toy. And then another. And another. And then she destroyed a sock in under a minute. And then she started eyeing our drink coasters, our books, our dish cloths, our blankets.... And now, at a year old, she's back to being limited to certain areas of the house unless she's being watched.

The "change" happened at around 10 months, I'd say. And it was dramatic.

That's not to say your poodle will be the same, but adolescence is likely to bring some unexpected challenges, so best to prepare for the worst and then sigh with happy relief when it's not quite so bad. :)
My first poodle was a chewer until about 5 yrs old.then practically overnight change. If we were home with him he was fine ,but if my husband and I were both working and the kids were in school he was a terrorist. Once he matured he was the best dog ever. I had him until he was 13.5 years old.After Romeo passed I rescued a mini poo and now Martini the spoo. Bella was 4 yrs and Martini 3 yrs so I missed the puppy stages with them.
 

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My first poodle was a chewer until about 5 yrs old.then practically overnight change. If we were home with him he was fine ,but if my husband and I were both working and the kids were in school he was a terrorist. Once he matured he was the best dog ever. I had him until he was 13.5 years old.After Romeo passed I rescued a mini poo and now Martini the spoo. Bella was 4 yrs and Martini 3 yrs so I missed the puppy stages with them.
5 is such a magical age!

I'm glad you resurrected this thread, as Peggy has changed so much (again!) in just a month. She's back to having access to the whole house when we're home, and playing reasonably gently with her favourite toys. (New ones continue to get torn to shreds.)

I wonder if it was a second round of teething pain.
 

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P”
5 is such a magical age!

I'm glad you resurrected this thread, as Peggy has changed so much (again!) in just a month. She's back to having access to the whole house when we're home, and playing reasonably gently with her favourite toys. (New ones continue to get torn to shreds.)

I wonder if it was a second round of teething pain.
try this ball,my daughters 10 ms old doodle loves it
 

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What surprises me most? Beatrice is a self taught emotional support dog, as a pup she would not walk on a lead unless I was totally calm. Beatrice is normally aloof, but when I am having a hard time, she lays on me. When my mom died she let me carry her around every ehere.
Bea was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, I opted not to put her through chemo and radiation and just let her live. So Beatrice comes most places with me and has made me a calmer person through the insanity the world is now.
 

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When I first got my mini poodle, I had NO IDEA how smart she was! She was amazing at figuring things out from day one. Pumpkin even figured out how to turn the TV on and off. 😜
 
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