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poodles are THE dog for allergy sufferers and animal lovers
Member Name: candifloss
Date: 21/04/06, updated on 22/04/06 (2801 review reads)
Advantages: look so cute and gorgeous, cheeky, fun, playful, sweet, easy to train
Disadvantages: the initial cost of buying one can be pricy, but after they're reatively cheap
Years of moaning and nattering and promising-to-look-after-its finally paid off when me and my sister were promised a toy poodle!! Ok, I admit I wanted a bit of a tough dog, one that everyone would be scared of but we knew was a real softie, but hey, a dogs a dog, right?
We went to a breeders for ours, which I suggest doing because you get a full history of the dog and it's parents. There's usually sevearal advertised in the Yeller, but you may not get to see the parents and at the end of the day if the dog was so lovely why are they letting it go? Well, that's my opinion anyway because even if I was moving abroad I WOULD NOT LEAVE MY POODLE. Try the Yellow Pages for reliable breeders in your area.
So, I have a toy poodle, and she looks just like the ones you see on cartoons; all fluffy and cute. Her tail is very short and she has quite big, furry ears. A HUGE benefit for many people is that they don't shed, which means allergy sufferers can have one without a problem. For me though, their biggest and greatest quality is their temperament. They have such loving personalites. Yes, personalities. If you don't have a dog you'll probably think I'm mad, but those who do should understand.
They are always wagging their little tails and barking (happily and not too much). Toy poodles don't need much walking at all but they certainly love the fresh air. Even a small dog that weighs under 5kg pulls me up the hill, so just a warning that they are tougher than they look.
Poodles are incredibly easy to train. Just get a supply of chocolate drops and a little patience and you can teach them all sorts. I've taught mine the following;
-these words; hungry, ball, chew, squeaky, thirsty, walkies, grapes, cheese, and several others.
They'll eat pretty much anything, so be careful they don't get fat and/or ill. I feed mine dry dog food, which already has the vital nutrients etc in, Weetabix for breakfast, chocolate drops (from a dog shop, because real chocolate is poisonous to dogs), tiny tiny bits of cheese and half a grape now and then. Apparently, dogs eat 30% more food than they actually need, so don't give in all the time when it's yapping for more food.
As with any other dog, I suggest a 'Timeout' area, for when they get a bit loud and no matter what you do won't settle. This may seem a bit strange for a DOG as opposed to a child, but 2 minutes later when they pop out they've calmed down a bit.
Now, toys. I have about 20 differnet shop bought toy for Mitzy, most of which she ignores, and I've found she loves a good old mini tennis ball, any socks she finds lying about the place and several chews. You could also try squeaky toys, which can get a bit annoying but they seem to enjoy them.
Their fur tends to grow really quickly so to avoid the floating mop look a regular trip to the groomers is necessary. Mitzy costs just over a tenner every couple of months which isn't too bad. I bath mine about once every few weeks, but she's black, so I'm guessing white ones would need them more often, for obvious reasons.
When you first leave them alone at home, they'll probably cry, whine and generally kick up a fuss, but, as hard as it is, you must ignore them. Just leave them for 10 minutes or so at first, then go back home and see them again. Eventually the clever little things will trust you and reaise you are coming back. Definitely don't leave them for longer than 5 hours though, as this is cruel and they will get bored and become angry.
I suggest typing 'find your perfect dog quiz' in Google, and they will come up with loads of different suggestions for you, based on the answers you give. (Try www.dogbreedinfo.com)
Check out the following websites, which may help you decide if this is the right dog for you;
www.poodleplayground.com (contains lots of facts, advice and fun stuff)
www.geocities.com/heartland/2826/ (the 'Poodles and Children' section will be particularly helpful for those of you who are worried about how they will react to one another)
I found that by searching through Google and typing 'Wikipedia Poodle', a really useful website comes up overviewing info such as 'Care', 'History' and 'Health Concerns'.
Something else to consider is pet insurance, so try www.compare-pet-insurance.com, which gives details of all the major companies in the UK.
Finally, if you're worried about going on holiay and leaving your little baby behind, then My Pet Stop is a 'pet resort and care centre', where you can leave them in a safe environment. You can even sign them up for swimming and hydrotherapy sessions, grooming and training.
I'm sure I'll have missed something out so if you want to know anything at all on poodles then I'll try my best to answer them.
Summary: Please don't expect miracles. they are adorable, but do require a bit of patience and so much love