Breed of the month - Poodle

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Loyal and low allergen, poodles make for an elegant and intelligent companion.

Poodles are known for their fierce loyalty to their owners – often picking one person within a family as their ‘person’, following and protecting them fiercely. Temperament wise, the general rule is the taller the poodle, the calmer the nature (of course all dogs vary depending on their upbringing and genetics.) They’re also highly intelligent creatures.  Do be warned poodles can become neurotic if overly indulged, and obedience training from an early age can help with this.

Poodles come in three sizes – toy, miniature and standard. The smaller varieties; the toy and the miniature, clock in at under 28cm, and 38 cm respectively, while the standard is quite a tall dog -they reach around the same height as the Doberman. Their wool like hair comes in a wide range of colours, across white, black, brown, and apricot. If you’re not a fan of grooming, the poodle is probably not for you, they’ll need their dense, curly mop cropped on a regular basis or it will tangle and pull on their skin. On the plus side, their woolly hair doesn’t shed, making them great for folk with dog hair allergies.   

For owners with children, take care to teach your children how to interact with toy and miniature varieties, as they are delicate and be injured through rough play. If you’ve got a standard, be aware that despite their gentle, loyal natures, they are still big, strong dogs and capable of pulling away and running off, so children should not be in charge of them unsupervised when out and about.

Health complaints

Naturally trim in build, the bigger the poodle, the more exercise they will require to maintain their health and wellbeing. This is also good for their mental health, and for ensuring they socialise well with other dogs and people. Smaller varieties will only need exercising every other day – and this is more for socialisation and mental wellbeing than weight management.

A key health issue for all varieties of poodles is ear infection. They tend to have more hair growing in their ears than most breeds, and this interferes with air flow in the ear canal. Their “flap” ear shape also holds in warmth and moisture, and debris – creating the perfect environment for bacteria, yeast and parasites to breed. Poodle owners will need to become very familiar with their dog’s ears, checking them frequently for signs of ear infections, and taking them to the vet’s for treatment (ear infections will not self-resolve and will require medication.)

One of the key ways to prevent – and detect – ear infections, is to ensure your poodle’s ear area is kept clean. Their ears should look and smell clean, and be free from wax. Hair loss, redness, shaking their heads frequently or showing signs of pain when you approach them are all signs of ear infections. To clean the ears, use an alcohol and acid free ear cleaner like PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner and some cotton wool balls on a semi-regular basis (and always after swimming.) Ensure the ear canal is kept clean and dry, and avoid excessive ear cleaning (this can irritate the area). If you have your poodle clipped, ensure your groomer is familiar with the warning signs of ear infection, and that they take care when washing this area.

Got questions? Ask a vet now

Related Products

PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner

A natural, gentle ear cleaner that cleans without irritation.It contains:

  • Purified hydrolysed oats for a mild, product for cleaning your cat or dog’s ears.
  • NO alcohol, harsh chemicals or acids commonly found in other cat or dog ear cleaners, so its more comfortable for your pet.
  • This easy-to-apply formulation means you only need to use this product once a week, making it easier for you and your pet.