Due to their elaborate coat clip patterns and often, fuzzy white coats, many people often assume that the Poodle is a bit of a canine beauty queen, and is delicate, not keen on getting their paws dirty, and not well suited to the rigours of family life. However in reality, nothing could be further from the truth- the Poodle was originally bred as a working dog, and is more than capable of holding their own in a rough and tumble environment and with playful children!
If you are considering getting a new dog for your family and the Poodle is one of the dogs on your shortlist, read on to find out more about how the Poodle fits into a family situation, and how they get on with children.
The Poodle is a dog that is renowned for being very instinctive, and they have a strong hunting drive, making them lively, inquisitive and keen to explore! While this means that you would need to carefully assess if having a Poodle within the home might mean that the dog is possibly likely to attempt to chase the neighbourhood cats, it also means that they are full of fun, love to play, and are likely to keep your children entertained with ball games and other forms of play.
There are many good reasons behind why the Poodle makes a good family dog, aside from their temperament, outlook and personality. First of all the term “Poodle” encompasses many different sizes; there are Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Standard Poodles, so whatever size of dog you are looking to own, there is a Poodle to fit your needs!
Added to this, while the Poodle coat needs grooming and possibly trips to the grooming parlour for bathing and clipping, their coats are very low-shedding, meaning that your home will not be covered in clouds of dog hair. This trait also means that they also do not drop shed skin and dander very heavily, which can mean that they are suitable for a household where some members are sensitive to allergies, although this will of course vary on a case-by-case basis.
Poodles generally love people of all ages, and young children are no exception! Your Poodle of any size will generally be friendly and kind to your children, and will make a good introduction for young kids to dogs, and form the foundations of their good experiences with canines. However, bored or untrained Poodles can become unruly, so in order to keep your Poodle under control and calm around your young children, you must ensure that they get enough entertainment.
Poodles and older children are an excellent match, and often, dog and child will bond strongly and display a distinctive preference for each other over the adults! Older children that like to play with the dog and spend time in the garden with them will generally go a long way towards fulfilling your Poodle’s need for exercise and stimulation, although it is of course essential that your Poodle gets enough walks and supervised exercise as well.
Poodles love to play games such as catch and chase, and older children will generally also enjoy these games. The Poodle is an always-available playmate for an older child on their own too!
Poodles thrive on variety and having plenty to do, see and explore, so having visitors over and often visiting new places is an excellent environment for the Poodle. They are generally happy and friendly around new people, and will often enjoy playing games with others, even if they have only just met! If you can also take your Poodle out and about with you, such as when dropping the kids off to see friends or take part in clubs, or when you visit friends and run your errands, the Poodle will be more than happy. However, ensure that if you live as part of a busy household that the Poodle is not left alone or ignored on a regular basis while you do other things, or they will soon become bored and unhappy and start to feel neglected.
Poodles are generally friendly and sociable with other dogs, so owning another dog alongside of a Poodle is not normally a problem. The Poodle is also generally well behaved when meeting other dogs out on walks, or at the dog park.
Keeping smaller animals with the Poodle can prove challenging, as the Poodle has strong hunting and prey instincts, and will often view smaller pets such as cats as their prey, or to be chased. If you introduce a Poodle to a home with a cat while the dog is still young, this can usually be managed; but bear in mind that outside of the home, your Poodle may still display a marked instinct to chase smaller animals.