Poodles are a member of the ‘Utility’ breed group. Dogs in the Utility group were essentially bred for a specific purpose and so contain a variety of breeds. The function they have been bred for is not included in the sporting and working categories.
Poodles are playful and adventurous. They generally get on well with other pets and children, given the right socialisation as puppies, as with all breeds. They need daily grooming to keep their coat in tip-top condition and will often also require clipping and shaping by a professional groomer periodically throughout the year.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Poodles are prone to include:
- Luxating patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
- Legg-Perthes disease (Legg-Calvé-Perthes) – blood supply to the femoral head is depleted, causing destruction of the femoral head.
- Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.
- Epilepsy – a brain disorder which can lead to seizures.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Von Willebrand's disease – deficiency in blood platelet function resulting in excessive bleeding.
- Cardiomyopathy – enlarged heart due to degeneration of the heart muscle.
- Cushing's syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism) - hormonal disorder which results in the production off too much cortisol.
- Addison's Disease - a condition caused by an abnormally low production of hormones, such as cortisol, by the adrenal glands.
- Intervertebral disc disease – abnormality of the discs that provide cushioning between the vertebrae (back bones).
- Dry eye – Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) occurs when one or both eyes don’t produce a normal amount, or type, of tears. This leads to the eye becoming very dry, which in turn can cause infections and ulcers.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
- Cataracts – opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a ‘cloudy’ appearance.
- Distichiasis – a condition in which small eyelashes grow on the inner surface or the very edge of the eye, which can then rub on the surface of the eye, causing irritation.
- Entropion – inward turning eyelids.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Poodles need around an hour of exercise daily and love to run, swim and retrieve. They are very obedient and respond well to training. Training, along with socialisation, is very important at a young age in order for Poodles to grow up into confident, sociable dogs. For more information on socialisation and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a Poodle are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Poodle with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Poodles that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Poodle with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.