The Poodle, though often equated to the beauty with no brains, is exceptionally smart, active and excels in obedience training. The breed comes in three size varieties, which may contribute to why Poodle is one of the most popular breeds according to AKC®. Poodles can be a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray, but never parti-colored.
The Poodle can accommodate nearly any size living quarters. His hypoallergenic coat may reduce allergic reactions but requires regular professional grooming. The Poodle is an active breed and requires daily exercise.
A Poodle is a high maintenance dog that requires regular bathing and grooming. This active and intelligent dog has a double coat that needs to be bathed as frequently as every week and no longer than every 3 weeks. Frequency of baths depends on you and your dog’s lifestyle. The care and maintenance of the coat sets the foundation for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Regular baths promote coat growth. A dirty coat will mat and tangle much easier than a clean coat. When the coat is dirty and breaks, the hair shaft becomes rough and eventually breaks down, which will lead to further damage of the coat. Therefore, keeping the coat clean and healthy is of utmost importance.
Selecting the appropriate products and using them correctly is necessary to maintain the coat, which is the hallmark of the breed. A properly cared for coat contributes to the glamour of the Poodle’s every step. Keeping the coat clean, conditioned, and mat free is the key to a beautiful coat. The most important thing when bathing this breed is to be very thorough. Sink your fingers deep into the coat while massaging the shampoo into the coat making sure every part of the coat is shampooed and rinsed well. Condition the coat every other bath being careful not to add too much weight to the coat. Do this on a maintenance bath day, rather than a full grooming day, in order to achieve a beautiful end result.
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
The coat should be line dried completing one section at a time before moving onto the next. The coat is curly when wet, but with the use of a soft slicker brush, it is gently pulled straight when dry. This is best achieved using a force dryer then finishing with a fluff dryer. The coat should have a velvet like smooth finish. In order to achieve the velvet smooth finish, a wide tooth comb should easily glide through coat all the way down to the skin. Once the coat has been worked to achieve this beautiful finish, then the pattern can be set. The trim should be well balanced, maintaining the integrity of the breed standard.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, trimming the pads, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Some need to have the hair plucked from the ear canal. This allows the ear to have proper air circulation. It is not necessary to remove all of the hair in the ear, as some serves as a barrier to foreign debris. It is imperative that you are properly trained to pull ear hair before attempting this endeavor. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.
Do they require a lot of grooming?
Poodles do require routine grooming. As a young dog, it is imperative that you get the dog used to regular grooming. A full brush out 2 to 3 times a week is best with baths every 1 to 2 weeks. Never brush a dry coat, always lightly mist with a hydrating spray. If the Poodle is kept in a shorter trim, weekly brush outs are still preferred. Routine baths ranging between 1 to 3 weeks is desirable. This is a breed that requires their caring owner to stay on top of routine maintenance.
What is a common problem in Poodles?
Every breed has its set of health concerns, and fortunately the list for Poodles is relatively short. Juvenile cataracts slipped stifle (knee issues), epilepsy, and hip dysplasia are the most common problems in the breed. The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) promotes the health and welfare of companion animals by decreasing the incidence of genetic diseases through testing. OFA tests for these genetic issues that are prevalent in the Poodles.
Do Poodles shed or cause allergies?
Poodles makes the top 10 list for the most hypoallergenic dogs. This breed does not shed or at least the shedding is absolutely minimal. Because of this, they tend to cause less severe reactions in people who suffer from allergies. However, before bringing a Poodle into your home if you have allergies, you should spend some time around the breed to make sure you do not have a reaction.
Are Poodle’s good with children?
The Poodle’s enthusiasm for life makes this breed great for children. However, it is important that the child is respectful and kind to the dog. As with any breed, a small child should never be left alone with a dog.
What if I have a show dog?
Whether you have a show dog or a companion quality dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. A major difference is the method of grooming that is required and the conditioning for the show ring. The Poodle abundant show coat can sometimes be overwhelming to maintain. It is quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you and lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of showing dogs. A great place to start is with the national breed club like the Poodle of America, www.poodleclubofamerica.org.