Monday, July 7, 2014

How About a Standard Poodle As a Pet?

When one thinks of a Standard Poodle what generally comes to mind is a nearly bare-skinned dog with large powder puffs protruding from its head, ankles, tail tip and sometimes its buttocks. They are viewed as high maintenance and often just plain silly looking. But the Standard Poodle never asked for and doesn't deserve such a reputation.

This was originally a water dog, as well as a hunter. It is a sportsman at heart. In fact the name actually translates to "one who plays in water." It is also a good-natured, family oriented dog with a surprisingly high intelligence. He plays nice with both people and other dogs and is very trainable.

That is the upside to this beautiful and strong specimen of canine excellence. The down-side, if there is one at all, stems from its predisposition toward certain genetic disorders. These include a tendency toward retinal atrophy which can cause blindness. Some also have sensitive skin and ear infections. Then, of course, as is true of most larger breeds, the Standard Poodle is prone to hip dysplasia.

Generally though this is a hardy breed that can be just as content living in an apartment as in a yard with lots of room to run. It is just a matter of making sure it gets the exercise it needs; something as simple as a daily walk will do.

Grooming

Obviously, the typical poodle cut requires more groom time, as well as a certain expertise to accomplish. Your standard poodle should visit the groomer every 6-8 weeks for its bath and groom session. In between, it should be brushed daily to prevent uncomfortable tangling that can quickly turn to matting that is difficult to remove.

But there is no rule or requirement that just because you have a Standard Poodle, you must get him the standard poodle clip, unless you plan to show him. Many poodle owners prefer a simple puppy clip. This is a groom in which the fur is cut the same short length all over. It is much easier to maintain and is a very popular look.

Temperament

Besides the above-mentioned skills, Standard Poodles are excellent watchdogs due to their natural instinct to protect. This is not to be confused with an aggressive nature; far from it. This dog is excellent pet material. It's loyal and playful and easy to train.

Socialization and Training

Start socializing them early and they will not be a problem around either people of other dogs, and even cats. They are smart dogs and catch on quickly. They respond especially well to positive reinforcement and clicker training techniques. The better trained your dog is, the easier it is on you when you have visitors or must take him out in public, so be consistent and firm.

These dogs are often seen running agility courses, as they are fast, agile and thrive on the challenge of competing with other dogs. All in all, a Standard Poodle is a good choice for a family pet. He will give you years and years of pleasure and companionship and you will find him both loving and fiercely loyal.