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If you haven't had a puppy in a while or are new to standard poodles, you may have so many questions! We'll do our best to answer some, educate more, and offer links to resources that are sure to help in our FAQ section. Also be sure to check out our standalone guides below. 


If you haven't had a puppy in a while or are new to standard poodles, you may have so many questions! We'll do our best to answer some, educate more, and offer links to resources that are sure to help in our FAQ section. Also be sure to check out our standalone guides below. 

Which is better, a boy or a girl?

We get asked this question a lot, and it's not an easy one to answer. Better is subjective, right? In general, every dog is an individual and there is a great deal of overlap between girl temperament and boy temperament. All things being equal though, there are some differences we observe between boys and girls who have been allowed to mature intact:

  • Girls - Our general observation is that females have a reputation for being bossy, are a little more aloof around strangers, train and housebreak quicker than boys, and are a little more cautious and careful around kids. If you're looking for a companion that adores you but has a "take it or leave it" attitude toward strangers, a girl is a good bet.

  • Boys - A well socialized boy loves everyone! They're happy wherever someone is giving them attention - if you want a dog that you can take with you anywhere and who gets along with everyone, a boy fits the bill! They can be clumsy, exuberant, clownish, and will probably pee on the back of their front legs until they start lifting their leg. But they are the best buddies!

Though girls and boys have gender-based personality tendencies, there is variability within each gender so it is best to evaluate each individual dog against your desires and pick the best fit for you.

Do I need to keep my dog in a cage?

We understand some prefer not to crate their puppy, and it's not necessary to crate all dogs. We had a pup who, from the beginning, did not use a crate and never - never - had an accident. He'd implode before he'd use the bathroom in the house. But let me advocate for the use of a crate for your standard poodle puppy. Our pups learn from an early age that the crate is a safe space - their space - and they can use it to rest, chew their bone, or get away from the things that annoy them. It helps in creating a bathroom schedule to aid in housebreaking. In addition, puppies chew everything, and the crate is a safe space in which to keep them when they cannot be watched. At the very least, we advocate keeping your dog crate-familiar as there is likely to be times when they are crated - vet, groomer, boarding, dog show - and if they are comfortable being crated, those instances are less likely to cause unneeded stress.

What tools do I need in the beginning?

Great question, and it's something we address in our emails before puppies go home. Beyond the basic dog care essentials like bowls, a leash and collar, food and a crate, we recommend the following for standard poodles:

  • A 10" steel comb (also called a greyhound comb)

  • A slicker brush - invest in a good quality one made for poodles. 

  • A grooming rake, useful to easily pull out shed hair before it forms a mat. We like the affordable Furminator 

  • Puppy-safe things to chew and play with. Avoid cheaply made stuffed toys and look for those made specifically for puppies. We give some good suggestions in our Essentials page.

  • A groomer. If you have no grooming experience or tools, start looking for a groomer now. Focus on finding one who is good with puppies; creating a positive groomer-experience when your pup is young is essential for the pup's mental health. 

  • A puppy training class. Before you get your puppy is the best time to start researching puppy classes. We suggest classes that do AKC Star Puppy certification as they are sure to train you as well as your pup. More on this in our Puppy Learning page.

Doodle style standard poodle

I heard that goldendoodles / labradoodles / etc. were better family dogs. Is that true?

Nope. A well-bred, well-raised dog is a better family dog. Maybe we're biased, but there is nothing a doodle can do that a standard poodle cannot - except shed of course. A doodle can shed. Poodles can even sport that cute teddy-bear haircut. This dog here is Henry, and he's 100% standard poodle.


There is a mythical saying among designer dog breeders that a doodle has "the non-shedding coat of a poodle with the family-dog temperament of a lab." This is a rather pie-in-the-sky take on the mix. As far as the coat's concerned, as a mixed breed dog, doodles in the same litter can have a variety of coats, some of which will shed a lot! There are many unbiased articles written about the Cu (curly) locus as it relates to poodles and doodles; if you are so inclined, definitely search for a few!


As for personality, the lab's reputation as a family dog is well-founded but it's really no different than a standard poodle. Both were bred to be soft-mouth retrievers, though standard poodles may have a higher prey drive and are just as willing to hunt as they are to retrieve.  We love all dogs, doodles included, but dislike the marketing tactics and unreasonable trend pricing that comes mixing two breeds and calling it special. It makes no sense that a mixed-breed puppy from two readily available purebreds should command so much money, but here we are. We suggest you choose the individual dog that fits your lifestyle no matter the breed, and don't let trendy marketing influence your decision.

How do I "socialize" my puppy?

Excellent question, and we talk more about that in Puppy Learning. Socialization is not putting your pup out with other dogs at the dog park or doggy daycare; it is exposing them to as many new, positive experiences as possible. This takes work on your part, but the payoff is having a dog who can handle stress, is less reactive, and is more confident in any given situation throughout his life. Having different guests over, taking them to friend's houses, taking them to pet-friendly stores and garden centers, introducing them to as many different kinds of people as possible are all good ways to socialize. Walk around a different block. Go to a different park. Take them to a pet-friendly café downtown. Make it new, make it fun, and do it often. Take treats wherever you take your pup and treat him whenever there's something new. These are all good ways to socialize your puppy.

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