The curly coat is naturally harsh and dense.
Solid and even shades of blue, gray, silver, brown, cafe-au-lait, apricot and cream.
All sizes of Poodles are considered intelligent, lively dogs. The Standard is described as proud and elegant. He is a stable, affectionate and sensitive dog, very much in tune with his family. The Miniature Poodle is a lively, clever dog who is also very in tune with his family. He is good-natured if not somewhat shy and reserved around strangers. The Toy can also be shy, and he tends to be more sensitive. He is happiest with people and is responsive and intelligent, blossoming with training and socialization.
Even with the size differences, all three varieties can adapt to and thrive in a tremendous range of lifestyles. The Standard can do just as well in the city as a Toy, provided his exercise needs are met. The Toy can enjoy a rural environment, provided he is protected from predatory wildlife. Poodles make devoted companions and watchdogs. Miniature and Toy Poodles tend to bark more than Standards.
Standard Poodles are still being used as retrievers, and more and more are participating in hunting tests and trials around the world. All the sizes excel at dog sports and activities, including obedience, rally, agility and flyball. They also love to do tricks.
All Poodles like to spend time outdoors and enjoy the physical and social benefits of going for walks. The Standard should have at least 45 minutes of brisk exercise daily. A Mini does well with two 15- to 20-minute outings a day. A few 10- to 15-minute walks for the Toy will suffice.
Standard and Miniature Poodles are good eaters who are not particularly finicky. Toy Poodles may be more so. It is important to feed the highest-quality food that's age-appropriate for the individual dog and to restrict fattening and non-nutritious snacks. Feed at least twice a day as adults.
All the Poodles are highly trainable. Intelligent and sensitive, they are eager to please and do what is asked of them. Using positive, reward-based methods, Poodles can be taught any number of requests, games and sports.
The Standard is good with children and other dogs and is generally the calmest of the sizes. Older children are best around Toys or Minis, who can be persnickety when it comes to small children. To overcome the smaller-sized Poodles' shyness and help boost their confidence, they should be socialized from puppyhood.
The average life span of the Poodle is 10 to 15 years and often longer. Common health problems of all sizes of Poodles include epilepsy; hip dysplasia; patellar luxation; and sebaceous adenitis. Runny eyes and ear infections are common, as are skin diseases. Miniature and Toy Poodles can also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Standards sometimes get bloat, and Standards and Minis are susceptible to von Willebrand disease.
Poodles need lots of attention where grooming is concerned. Their naturally curly and dense hair doesn't shed, but it does grow out fairly quickly, and they are typically clipped every six to eight weeks. Most owners take their dogs to a professional groomer, who will know about the different clips. In between visits to a professional, the coat should be brushed regularly.
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