The Poodle is one of the most popular dogs either in its purebred form — it comes in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy — or in its “Poodle Mixes” or “Designer Dog” form, in which it has been crossed with a variety of other pure breeds to produce the Yorkie Poo, Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Maltipoo and a host of others.
The Poodle has probably been around since the 15th century. It appears to have been first bred in Germany but it rapidly gained favor in France and Spain, before ultimately gaining popularity in England.
Even though it has been caricatured so often as the epitome of a “spoilt dog”, the Poodle has all the instincts and the temperament of a retriever or gun dog, a role it continues to perform today. Here are the top six traits of the Poodle temperament.
1. Playful and Active Poodle Temperament
The typical Poodle, irrespective of size, loves to play. Their instinct to retrieve is always close to surface. And, they are quite happy to horse around in the water.
In fact, you need to ensure that your Poodle gets his daily dose of activity. A moderately vigorous hour every day should do the trick. Alternatively, an active presence in competition with all the activity that is part and parcel of it will do nicely.
Without that release of energy, your Poodle will get bored and restless, and will be quite prone to getting into trouble.
2. Intelligent and Trainable
The Poodle is noted for its intelligence. Many animal behaviorists suggest that it comes a close second to the Border Collie .
Housetraining is usually a breeze, compared to a number of other breeds. And, the Poodle can pick up tricks quickly, in part because they love being the center of attention, but also because of their native intelligence.
They can easily excel in agility competitions; besides, they are sure to enjoy the training sessions leading up to competition.
Many owners report that their Poodles, especially the male ones, tend to be highly instinctual. There will be a somewhat excessive tendency to mark their “territory”, so be sure to take housetraining seriously while he is young.
Their retriever instincts also make them more than likely to respond to “prey”, like birds or squirrels. Obedience training is a must if you want to keep matters under control when out in the woods for a walk.
4. Alert and Sensitive
The Poodle is one of the more alert breeds. That’s probably an offshoot of their intelligence and hunting instincts. Irrespective, they are quick to respond to approaching strangers or within their “territory”.
The incessant barking of an untrained Poodle can easily become a nuisance to you and your neighbors — in an apartment complex for example.
5. Needs Company
A typical Poodle is an extrovert. It thrives in a large, active, household. Heaven is being the center of attention while it performs its tricks.
If you find that your Poodle is becoming destructive, one of the first things to do is give him more of your time. One of the simplest ways to accomplish that is through a “talking” outing — for example, a quick walk or run during which you are regularly conversing with him.
6. High Strung
Some Poodles have been known to respond inappropriately to normal stimuli.
Often, this high strung behavior is a result of one of two extremes: either he is being over-pampered or he has been ignored during the critical socialization period (4 to 14 weeks of age).
Such dogs can even become “biters” — not fun at all.
A Final Word
Now that you know these Poodle temperament traits, It is any wonder that it has regularly made the top ten registered breeds at the AKC for the past few years?
However, like any breed that combines intelligence with high activity, it does need a higher than average level of effort on your part.
Also, appropriate socialization is very important when he is growing up. And, he needs to be engaged with you and your family much more than most other breeds.
If you already are a family that enjoys remaining active and doing fun things together, your Poodle will fit right in.