A dog has an amazing ability to become a special part of our family. Somehow, this bundle of fur that may or may not drool all over your belongings, has the capacity to fill a huge part of your heart. Therefore, it’s no surprise that over 63 million people in the US have decided to bring a dog into their lives.
But, what makes a pup a good fit for a family? There are so many different kinds of dogs, ranging from tiny to large breeds and a whole host of varied personalities. You probably want your pooch to have qualities like friendliness, loyalty, and trust if you have a home with kids. Perhaps one of the most popular dog breeds, the poodle, could be the right choice for you.
Why a Poodle Is a Great Choice for Families
Although a toy poodle might be considered too tiny for homes with small children, whether you’re considering the toy, miniature, or standard poodle, all of them possess the highly-sought-after qualities that make up an excellent family dog:
- A poodle is affectionate, especially a miniature poodle.
- A poodle is very energetic and playful, making him a great choice for a pup that can keep up with active children. A standard poodle is an especially great option for homes with kids because he is extremely patient and his size makes it easy to tolerate a lot of rough-and-tumble play.
- A poodle is very smart and easy to train, which means you can teach him a lot of fun tricks that your kids will simply love.
- A poodle is patient.
- A poodle does not shed, so if you have kids with allergies, this may be a strong deciding factor for you.
- A poodle is gentle. A poodle loves to play and has a lot of energy, but he also knows when to slow down and can switch easily from one mode to the other.
- A poodle is very alert and will warn you quickly if something is amiss, making him a good guardian for your kids and family.
- A poodle is very loyal and bonds easily with his owners.
Getting To Know the Poodle
In addition to knowing the overall temperament of your potential new furry family member, it’s also important to consider the basic stats of any dog you’re considering adding into the mix. In the case of the poodle, you also have the added element of which particular poodle you favor between the toy, miniature, and standard varieties.
Even if a pup has the perfect personality for your family, the reality might be that he is too big for your living space, or you don’t have the time necessary for all of the grooming, or maybe you travel often and specifically need a pooch that handles separation well.
These are all things that are just as necessary to factor into your decision about what kind of dog is right for your family. Here are a few more things that you should know about the affectionate and loyal poodle:
A toy poodle is the smallest of the three, reaching a height of up to 10 inches and a weight between 5 and 10 pounds. You can see why this tiny pup might not be best suited for families with very young children. A miniature poodle is a little more sturdy than his toy counterpart, coming in between 10 and 15 inches in height and weighing between 15 and 20 pounds. Then comes the impressive stature of the standard poodle, with a height of over 15 inches and a weight between 40 and 60 pounds.
A poodle’s life expectancy is 10 to 18 years, with a standard poodle coming in closer to the end of this spectrum. If you are thinking about purchasing or adopting a younger or older dog, knowing the average lifespan is a good thing to keep in mind; especially when you compare your future pup’s age to the age of your children.
While it is a great thing that the poodle doesn’t shed often, on the flip side of the coin this means that his coat has a lot of hair that will need to be brushed daily, unless you plan to keep your pup’s coat clipped short. If you do want your dog to sport the classic poodle look, be prepared for frequent grooming, or at least include regular visits to a professional groomer in your budget. As with all pups, nail trims, keeping eyes and ears clean, and maintaining proper dental care are also essential parts of the grooming routine.
Many poodles enjoy long, healthy lives, but they are prone to several health conditions like hip dysplasia and various eye disorders. The smaller poodles are more likely to deal with orthopedic problems, like luxating patella (when the knee-cap slides in and out of place) than the standard poodles, and standards are more at risk for things like bloat and other gastric issues. If this is the case with your pup, make sure to have an established relationship with a vet that you trust. She can offer helpful suggestions, like using a slow-feed bowl to help reduce bloat or any behavior modifications that might be necessary to keep your pup safe and healthy.
A poodle, no matter what size he is, needs a lot of exercise and ample opportunities for engaging activities. A poodle is pretty much up for any kind of fun, but he especially loves to swim and go on long walks and jogs with his family. This offers a great way for your children to bond with your dog. Let the whole family participate in a walk and let older children hold the leash. This is also a great way to start helping your kids take part in the care of your new family member.
A poodle is extremely easy to train and one of the most intelligent dog breeds, enjoying things like agility training and tracking activities. Since this pup is eager-to-please, he is the perfect pooch to teach some entertaining tricks to, which is always a hit with kids. It is important to keep training positive and, as with most dogs, proper socialization from early on is a must.
Poodles and Kids
Although poodles are a great match for families with kids, you always want to be prepared before bringing home a new dog. Let your children know the expectations when it comes to caring for your new pup, and make sure everyone is on board and knows how to properly interact with and touch an animal. Of course, it’s also important to do the same with your new pooch, so that everyone can treat each other with mutual respect.
Let your kids share in the responsibility of caring for your new dog, whether it be brushing, feeding, or taking your pup for walks. Always supervise young children with any dog, and stay consistent with your rules and schedule to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.There is no doubt that a poodle makes a great family dog, but it’s always good to weigh all of your options and know all that you can about the breed before making your final decision. If you think you might want to rescue a poodle or adopt, you can check out petfinder.com, which provides great resources about different rescue and adoption organizations across the USA. Plus, when you check out the rest of our blogs, you’ll find all kinds of helpful tips and resources for being a fabulous pet parent.