Which Size Poodle is Right for You?

The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Poodles" by Tarah Schwartz. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.

Author Credit: Tarah Schwartz

Before deciding whether to buy or adopt your new Poodle, you need to decide which size is right for you and your lifestyle. Each size requires a different type of care, so you need to consider all aspects of your life and your expectations for your new Poodle. With enough physical and mental stimulation, any dog can live in an apartment, but typically smaller dogs do better in small homes while larger dogs thrive with more space. Bigger dogs will also require more food and may cost more to have professionally groomed. You’ll also need to consider your intentions for your new puppy. Are you simply looking for a companion or are you looking for a dog to accompany you on long-distance hikes or runs? If you intend to compete in any dog sports, you’ll also need to examine the different traits of each size variety and decide which one is best suited for your particular needs.

The Right-Sized Poodle for the Right-Sized Home

poodle in apartmentConsider how much space you have in your home for your new dog. Do you live in a studio apartment in a high-rise building or do you live on a farm in the country? All three sizes can live comfortably in either of these environments, but it may be more difficult to have a large dog in a tiny apartment. Standard Poodles can be excellent apartment dogs, but you may find it difficult to find space for a large crate or space dedicated to your new dog. Some apartment buildings also have weight limits on the dogs they allow to live in the complex. If you live in the country, the wide-open spaces and the predators that live there can be a danger to a Toy Poodle if he is allowed to run loose or escapes. With proper management, a Poodle of any size can thrive in any environment, but it’s important to consider the extra work involved.

Cost Considerations

One of the biggest differences in the three varieties is the cost of raising them. Toy and Miniature Poodles are smaller dogs and will cost less to feed, simply because they eat less than a Standard Poodle. Groomers also typically charge higher prices for larger dogs because they require more time and more work than smaller dogs. Before deciding which type of Poodle you’d like to bring into your home, make sure you can fit the additional costs into your monthly budget.

Exercise Requirements – How active do you expect your Poodle to be?

poodle exercisingAll dogs require adequate exercise to stay healthy in both mind and body, but it’s important to consider how much exercise you’re willing to do with your new Poodle. No Poodle will enjoy being a complete couch potato, but a Toy Poodle will likely be more content with less physical exercise than a Miniature or Standard Poodle. On the other hand, if you’re a long-distance runner looking for a running buddy, you may want to consider a Standard Poodle, which will be able to keep up with you more easily than a smaller dog. However, if you’re more interested in long walks around the neighborhood or hikes around your local trails, any type of Poodle will be happy to be by your side.

The Smaller the Poodle, the easier the Travel

toy poodle at the airportThe type of lifestyle you lead is an important factor to consider when thinking of adopting a dog. If you travel a lot by plane, you may find it difficult and expensive to travel with a Standard Poodle. If you travel by car, bringing a Poodle of any size will not be too difficult and it may be nice to have company on long drives. Many hotels that are dog-friendly have limits in place that restrict the size of dogs that allowed to stay there. Traveling with dogs always requires more money and attention to detail, but large dogs often require a bit more, so keep this in mind if you’re considering adopting a Standard Poodle.

Competitions and Training Considerations

If you intend to compete with your dog, this may also have an impact on what size variety of Poodle you choose to bring into your home. Depending on the sport, large dogs typically compete in a different class than small dogs, so you won’t need to worry about competing against larger or smaller dogs. However, some handlers find it easier to train and work with larger dogs since they don’t need to bend over as much to maneuver and reward their dogs. Others may find that traveling to competitions is easier with a small dog, so it’s worth the extra physical challenge of training a petite dog. If you’ve competed with dogs in the past, you may already have some idea on what size dog you’re looking for, but if you’re new to dog sports, you may want to visit a few competitions and speak with the trainers and competitors to get a better idea of what size Poodle is best suited for your sport and your own training style.

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