‘Smarty Pants’ Pups: The Standard, Miniature and Toy Poodle Breeds

Poodles get a bad rap. They’re often referred to as “yappy” dogs that are high strung, but it’s not their fault. The poodle by nature prefers humans to canines, so forgive him if he just wants to get in on your conversation. Despite being energetic dogs, poodles of all sizes are highly intelligent and, therefore, easy to train.

If you’re looking for a poodle you might have questions about the breed. Are they easy to train? What kind of grooming do poodles need? Would a poodle make a good pet for someone with allergies? Learn more about the poodle breed.

Do Poodles Bark a Lot?

Yes, poodles bark; it’s their innate way of communicating. However, unlike other breeds, poodles aren’t considered a high-barking breed, minus the few poodles that have an anxious personality or lack routine exercise or playtime. Of course, poodles bark as a response to many sounds such as thunderstorms, other barking dogs, or strange sounds from outside.

To reduce unwarranted barking episodes, it’s essential your poodle gets plenty of physical exercises, such as a walk or game of fetch, every day (AKC recommends up to an hour). Poodles require mental stimulation to exercise their minds, like nose work games, to prevent them from getting bored. The combination of these regular activities and training will reduce or eliminate demand or attention barking.

How to stop poodles from barking?

Although poodles are highly intelligent, which should make training your dog to stop barking fairly easy, training any dog to stop barking requires time, patience, and consistent corrections. Remember a tired dog is more likely to focus on you than surrounding distractions, so make sure your poodle gets plenty of daily exercise.

First, identify what triggers your poodle to bark then look for ways to eliminate them. If you can’t remove the sights or sounds that make your dog bark at least try to distract your pet. For example, if your poodle reacts to thunderstorms, sit with him and turn up your TV or play music to help drown out the sounds.

Next, use our dog training method: train, treat, repeat. This positive reinforcement will benefit your training. Give your dog plenty of immediate praise and treats. While you may be tempted to use a harsh tone or physical correction when a poodle is misbehaving, this type of negative reinforcement will potentially scare him or cause him to act out even more. A better option is to use a combination of firm voice commands with the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool.

Make sure everyone in your home is on the same page about correcting your dog’s behavior and is willing to practice your chosen training techniques. If you’re the only one training your poodle, your dog will learn to not bark around only you and bark like crazy when left with other household members.

Facts About Poodles 

Poodles come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Coats can be black, white or apricot. The “poodle cut” isn’t about fashion at all; it’s about function, as less hair made the poodle an efficient swimmer. Historically, some poodle grooming styles left them vulnerable to cold water, so poodle owners added tufts or puffs around their pet’s joints and organs to keep them warm. Regardless of size, a poodle has the same body build and proportions. They are an energetic, athletic, and highly intelligent breed.

  • Size: According to the AKC, standard poodles are those with a height of over 15 inches, miniature poodles must be 15 inches or shorter, while toy poodles measure no more than 10 inches tall. The weight range for toy poodles is 4-6 pounds, miniature poodles weigh around about 10-15 pounds, and standard poodles come in around 40-70 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: The average lifespan of a healthy poodle, no matter its size is 10-18 years.
  • Coat: The coat of a poodle is curly and low-allergen, making this breed an ideal pet choice for those with allergies.
  • AKC group: The poodle belongs to the AKC non-sporting group.

Are Poodles Easy to Train?

While you may fall for the poodle stereotype of a boring, snobbish dog, they are quite the opposite. Poodles are friendly, loyal, and committed to their owners. Add those characteristics with a poodle’s intelligence and eagerness to please, and you’ll find poodles are a cakewalk to train compared to many other breeds. Known for their agility and grace, poodles excel at several canine sports such as agility and tracking. Poodles stand out as water-retrievers and perform well in dock diving and retriever hunt tests. This breed thrives on learning, so be sure that your training sessions are fun and positive.

Do Poodles Need Grooming?

Yep. While they might be an easy-to-train breed, the grooming routine necessary to keep your poodles healthy and happy requires lots of time and commitment on your part. You will have to brush your poodle daily to prevent matting unless you keep his coat trimmed short. Poodles are prone to matting, so the best brush for poodle fur and coats is a self-cleaning slicker brush.

If you groom your poodles at home include regular nail trims and daily tooth brushing to keep your poodle in good health.

What If My Breed Is a Poodle Mix?

Although some poodle mixes are the result of natural breeding, most are intentionally bred to help the offspring inherit the favorable characteristics and looks of both the poodle and other breeds. This practice means that most poodle mixes will possess poodle traits like friendliness, intelligence, and its low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat.

Here are some popular poodle breed mixes:

  • Aussiedoodle — poodle + Australian shepherd
  • Bernedoodle — poodle + Bernese mountain dog
  • Chipoo — poodle + Chihuahua
  • Corgipoo — poodle + Corgi
  • Goldendoodle — poodle + golden retriever
  • Great Danoodle — poodle + Great Dane
  • Poochon — poodle + bichon frise
  • Poogle — poodle + beagle
  • Schnoodle — poodle + schnauzer
  • Shepadoodle — poodle + German shepherd
  • Shih-poo — poodle + Shih tzu
  • Siberpoo — poodle + Siberian husky