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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I would love your thoughts on what size of poodle to choose for our family! I've done a ton of research and found a great breeder for each size (I feel especially good about the Spoo breeder), but now it's time to choose and put down a deposit!

We have three kids (13, 11 and 7) and a big fenced backyard. We're an active family (but the kids are sensible around dogs), and the house is always filled with friends visiting. I'm at home all the time, so the dog would get lots of attention and exercise. No other pets. One of my kids has allergies (including dog/cat-induced asthma) but they are getting weekly shots and will have been having them for a year before we get our puppy.

Here's where my head's at:
  • Spoo. Pros - I prefer big dogs (I grew up with goldens, GSDs and an ex-racing greyhound), I love the temperaments of the ones I've met, I'd like a dog that's a good watchdog (but not too barky). Cons - some people have suggested that a Spoo is the worst choice of size for allergies (although the contact at the Poodle Club for my state said size doesn't make a difference for allergies and she's as allergic to a dachshund as she is to a great dane)
  • Mpoo. Pros - Could be the perfect choice for us, i.e. smaller but robust enough to be a family dog. A better choice on the allergy front? Cons - I've met some poor examples of the breed both in terms of confirmation (very spindly on the one hand, and a bit short legged and squat on the other, some poor quality looking coats), and super-hyper personalities (there's one near us who is a lunatic and spends their time zooming back and forth in the garden and barking crazily)
  • Tpoo. Pros - the best size for allergies? Super cuddly. Closer to a spoo in personality than a mpoo? Cons - too small for kids? too yappy? won't like a busy household? hard to housebreak? won't be able to go for long walks with us?

Of course, all sizes are sooo intelligent, and very beautiful! Decisions, decisions...
 

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How serious are these allergies? Have you discussed adding a poodle with the allergist your kids see for injections? Dose can matter for some people, and you will have a smaller dose with a smaller dog. However, if allergies weren't a part of the picture you probably would prefer a spoo. Some spoos are smaller, so if you go that route aim more for 35-40 female than 60 lb male (for example). Then make a big commitment, knowing some people need to bathe their dog weekly to keep allergies at bay and in some sad scenarios families have to return the loved puppy to the breeder because the allergy situation is just too dangerous.

You mention you have breeders lined up for all sizes. What size in pounds are the spoos?
 

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I'm just going to comment that it is highly unlikely that you have seen a well bred miniature poodle. They are very uncommon. Almost all you see will be backyard bred dogs with poor temperament and structure. Getting one from a good breeder would negate any of these negative qualities you have observed. They are wonderful dogs and nothing like the byb ones. Just make sure you are looking at a breeder that does full genetic and orthopedic health testing, and who shows their dogs in conformation. I don't know of any good mini breeders that don't show at least some of their dogs.
 

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Given the allergy situation, I suspect you will want to bathe the dog between regular trips to the groomer. You can tell it's pollen season when your white dog turns greenish yellow! Therefore, you might want to consider the feasibility of bathing and blow drying different dog sizes.

What is your sink situation at home? A miniature will fit in a laundry sink or large kitchen sink. A spoo probably won't fit unless you have an oversized utility sink. Even if you do have a spoo sized sink, you need to consider how to put the dog into the sink. Not everyone is comfortable lifting a 40-70 pound dog. I have a sprayer nozzle installed on one of my bathtubs, so the dog can put himself in the tub. Hoever, sitting on the edge of a bathtub to bathe my spoo is an ergonomic fail. I wish I had a large curbless shower stall. Then I could just walk the dog in, sit on a stool, and comfortably reach all sides of the dog with a sprayer wand.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I'll second Cowpony. I have allergies and bathed my dogs weekly when they were younger - between indoor classes, playdates, and hikes in the woods, they were covered in allergens. It was an exhausting process to wash and dry two spoos. As they aged, we attended more outdoor classes and fewer playdates with shedding friends, so the weekly baths became less frequent.

I own and have owned spoos, but I have fostered minis. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the smaller dogs - all the personality, zeal, and intelligence of a standard, but in an easier to manage package. If I had to do it over, I'd have both sizes, a standard and a mini.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I think a contributing factor to the behaviour difference you see is that more active folks might choose a spoo, not realizing that a mini can keep up, while inactive folks get a mini, incorrectly thinking they don’t need much exercise. So you’re going to see a lot of frustrated minis!

That said, if you love big dogs and are comfortable with them, you really can’t go wrong with a well-bred spoo, especially since you’re used to mouthy retrievers. Just be sure you’re not picking your puppy based on appearance. You want one that’s a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

We’ve been very careful not to build up Peggy’s stamina to marathon-levels and really appreciate her off-switch in the house. If she had a higher drive or hyperactive tendencies, we would struggle to keep her (and us!) happy.
 

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My answer would depend on how bad the allergies are. I have moderate/severe allergies to dogs and in my case, yes, size does matter. I’m still allergic to both my toys but after buying and having equipment installed to help me breathe better I can live with them.

So, assuming your kid is seriously allergic, I would go for an oversized toy or a small or undersized miniature. The apricot dog you see below is Merlin, an oversized toy. Both are the same height but different bone structure and weight. The blue dog is Beckie, a small miniature. Merlin is finer boned and weighs 6 pounds. He likes walking a lot but is not the athlete type. He loves cuddling. He broke a leg while he was a few months old. Those long, thin paws are easier to break. He is more fragile and at risk of injury than Beckie.

Beckie is bigger boned, as miniatures are, and weighs 8.5 lbs. Beckie is a « beast »... She has a lot more energy, doesn’t mind the snow or the ice, doesn’t get cold in winter and doesn’t get hot in summer. She would keep up with long hours of walking and would play endlessly with your kids. With me, since I have health conditions she’s very laid back. She has adapted.

If the allergies aren’t too serious, option 3 would be a small standard, probably more mellow than a miniature once it’s reached adulthood (around 3 years old).

Don’t hesitate if you have any questions, we’re here to help !
 

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I'm with Raindrops on the quality of miniatures you've probably seen, tho not suggesting them over the other varieties. My experience is only with miniatures, from the old days when someone you knew had puppies and you got one, to a quality breeder and back again (long story). (Your poor neighboring "lunatic" mpoo sounds as much of an owner issue to me.)


Poodles of any size are a (good) challenge, especially for those new to poodles.

473305


What size do you feel up to managing ;)?
 

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I don't know anything about the allergy side of things as I don't have allergies thank goodness but Winnie is large for a mini which I find the perfect size. She is currently 7.5kg and 16 inches at the shoulder and not yet 7 months old. She is athletic and robust enough to play fight, rolling around on the floor with the 'kids' (in their 20's). Yet super cuddly too and loves to sleep cuddled up next to me. She occasionally has the zoomies but not every week. But my GSD also got the zoomies occasionally. It lasts no more than 30 seconds when it happens. She is a good manageable size to get in to the car or give her a wash. She seems pretty square shaped to me (she is the same length as height). A few weeks ago she looked like she was standing on a hill as her butt was up in the air but her front has now caught up. I wasn't expecting her to grow bigger than a mini but I feel I have the best of both mini/spoo worlds.
 

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I would likely go with a mini perhaps one that is on the larger end. I have a standard who I adore. He adores me and because of his size even as a puppy I didn't allow him to greet and jump on neighborhood kids. He would bark at them and want to play but the scared many parents. Consequently he does not really like kids at all. He has a good temperament and while I wouldn't fear him actually biting anyone, he is big and under the right condition he could. So I think if I were a busy household with young kids coming and going I would likely go to a mini.
 

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I don't know anything about the allergy side of things as I don't have allergies thank goodness but Winnie is large for a mini which I find the perfect size. She is currently 7.5kg and 16 inches at the shoulder and not yet 7 months old. She is athletic and robust enough to play fight, rolling around on the floor with the 'kids' (in their 20's). Yet super cuddly too and loves to sleep cuddled up next to me. She occasionally has the zoomies but not every week. But my GSD also got the zoomies occasionally. It lasts no more than 30 seconds when it happens. She is a good manageable size to get in to the car or give her a wash. She seems pretty square shaped to me (she is the same length as height). A few weeks ago she looked like she was standing on a hill as her butt was up in the air but her front has now caught up. I wasn't expecting her to grow bigger than a mini but I feel I have the best of both mini/spoo worlds.
Winnie sounds like a perfect Moyen size. I wish more reputable breeders worked with this size in the US. I can only think of a couple I'd buy from right now, although there was a fad for this size among the greeders.
 

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I have had some experience with all 3 sizes in my home and the homes of relatives, most as a child.
Toys are nice lap dogs usually, but to be honest of the 3 I have known well, I did not find any of them overly intelligent. I am not saying they are not intelligent dogs and perhaps it was a lack of training with 2 of the 3. Their personalities varied greatly. The most trained one was laid back and not overly interested in being active or learning commands though he was never a mischievous dog and enjoyed sitting with people. Another was hyper, often zooming around and rarely still. He tended to drag off cloth dolls and stuffed animals under the children's beds to pleasure himself. The other was a female who was re-homed. She had no training in her first years of life. In her second home, she tended to be a bit grumpy and possessive of food (possibly due to issues in first home), but was a nice lapdog. None of these toys were "yappers."
I found the minis that I knew to be very intelligent and both wanted to please their owners. Both were female and both were fun dogs and easy to train. This size dog can be big enough that children don't want to carry them around. Neither dog was prone to barking.
In my experience with 2 male spoos, they are good dogs to have around. They do sound the alarm when someone arrives on the scene, but neither were aggressive in the least. In fact, more likely to offer friendly greetings quickly. I currently have a spoo. He is still young...14 months. He is goofy and seems to enjoy trying to make us laugh. He does still need a lot of supervision to stay out of mischief. He does not know that he is not little and wants to sit on people and is nervous around dogs his size if they are not older and have patience. He has been the biggest (not talking size) baby of a puppy that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, but we enjoy him so very much.
Obviously, temperaments do vary in every breed. Overall, you need to think about what is best for your family and future pet. Will you travel with your dog? Think about your vehicle size. We enjoy walking trails at state parks, but our spoo takes plenty of space. All poodles need grooming, so like others mentioned think about how that will work at your home. With children at home, consider how much time you have to dedicate to exercise your new dog now and in years to come. My personal thought is that because you have a family a mini would probably be the best fit size-wise...not so small that kids want to constantly hold and carry the dog and not too big that the dog knocks anyone down or "hurts" them if the dog accidentally steps on them. I don't think you will regret it and you can always consider the bigger size you love as your next pet later. Like my neighbor who until last year always had big dogs, you may find you fall in love with a smaller sized dog. Whatever size you choose, you will have years of love and enjoyment.
 

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Hello!

I would love your thoughts on what size of poodle to choose for our family! I've done a ton of research and found a great breeder for each size (I feel especially good about the Spoo breeder), but now it's time to choose and put down a deposit!

We have three kids (13, 11 and 7) and a big fenced backyard. We're an active family (but the kids are sensible around dogs), and the house is always filled with friends visiting. I'm at home all the time, so the dog would get lots of attention and exercise. No other pets. One of my kids has allergies (including dog/cat-induced asthma) but they are getting weekly shots and will have been having them for a year before we get our puppy.

Here's where my head's at:
  • Spoo. Pros - I prefer big dogs (I grew up with goldens, GSDs and an ex-racing greyhound), I love the temperaments of the ones I've met, I'd like a dog that's a good watchdog (but not too barky). Cons - some people have suggested that a Spoo is the worst choice of size for allergies (although the contact at the Poodle Club for my state said size doesn't make a difference for allergies and she's as allergic to a dachshund as she is to a great dane)
  • Mpoo. Pros - Could be the perfect choice for us, i.e. smaller but robust enough to be a family dog. A better choice on the allergy front? Cons - I've met some poor examples of the breed both in terms of confirmation (very spindly on the one hand, and a bit short legged and squat on the other, some poor quality looking coats), and super-hyper personalities (there's one near us who is a lunatic and spends their time zooming back and forth in the garden and barking crazily)
  • Tpoo. Pros - the best size for allergies? Super cuddly. Closer to a spoo in personality than a mpoo? Cons - too small for kids? too yappy? won't like a busy household? hard to housebreak? won't be able to go for long walks with us?

Of course, all sizes are sooo intelligent, and very beautiful! Decisions, decisions...
Personally, I would choose a standard size. All purebred poodles should have the same type of coat and cause less allergies. Toys are too small and delicate for young children even the most careful child could inadvertently hurt a Toy. The standard will be more robust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your thoughts on this! My heart is saying spoo, my head is saying mpoo! At least, thanks to your guidance, tpoo is now not an option! I was actually a little worried about my husband who is a big guy accidentally standing or sitting on a tpoo! I don't think I've met enough good examples of mpoos to form a proper judgement of them. I wish we were in a non-Covid world so I could meet some at dog shows, or even at breeders before deciding! I do think a spoo would be a great choice for our family. A smaller girl spoo maybe (I read a study last year that sometimes you can be more allergic to the prostate hormone that males carry in their urine).

So now the only concern I have is whether they won't work with my son's allergies because they produce more dander than a smaller dog. But hopefully his reactions will be greatly reduced by 18 months of allergy shots by the time we get her. And it sounds like whatever route a choose and however much I prepare, that's going to be a bit of a leap of faith, as it depends so much on the individual dog and how he reacts with her, as a puppy, and then as an adult, and over time. Decisions, decisions!! But I think I'm going to go with a spoo!!! I'm kinda obsessing over getting one now...LOL! I've wanted a dog for our family for the last 10 years!!! And a spoo for the last 18 months since meeting some gorgeous ones!!
 

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I am so glad I did not see this thread early and try to answer. I am such a Spoo lover that I was afraid I would come across very down on toys for absolutely sure, and even for mini's as I still haven't seen a really well bred one. But yeah! You seem to want a spoo:)

So, go for the best bred spoo you can find, possibly on the smaller side, with excellent temperament. I got a spoo because I have allergies. The only time I have a problem with him is if he is around other dogs that are not 100% poodle, even and especially sometimes doodles. (and cats too). Then I have to bathe him. So I am careful who we visit and let come over. I even had a problem with him with a couple of people that had dogs at home and were not wearing clean clothing!

Best of luck!
 
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