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Is a Poodle Good for a First Time Dog Owner? The Surprising Answer!


Feb 22, 2023
toy poodle lying on sofa at home


toy poodle lying on sofa at home

Poodles are very popular dogs. They have a distinctive look, are available in multiple sizes, and are generally very friendly. But are poodles good for a first-time dog owner? What if you have no experience dealing with dogs? Can you still handle a poodle? The answer to those questions is yes. Poodles typically make great dogs for first time dog owners because of their warmth and intelligence. A poodle’s biggest hurdle to inexperienced dog owners is their grooming needs, but that can easily be learned.

Here is what you need to know about poodles if you are a first-time dog owner.


black standard poodle
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay

Standard Poodle

Height: 15 inches
Weight: 40–70 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10–18 years

Miniature Poodle

Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 10–15 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10–18 years

Toy Poodle

Height: Less than 10 inches
Weight: 4–7 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10–18 years

Behavior and Personality

Poodles are known for being very intelligent and attached to their families. Poodles are warm and loving, loyal, and very friendly. Poodles routinely rank as one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, which makes them intuitive and easy to train.

Poodles have a lot of energy and are very energetic, so they need to be exercised regularly. Poodles have the ability to learn and take part in a variety of canine sports and activities if that is something you are curious about. Poodles can do agility, retrieval, swimming, diving, tracking, and obedience activities. That makes poodles extremely versatile dogs.

Standard poodles are the most athletic type of poodle. Miniature and toy poodles are smaller and have less energy, but they are still extremely intelligent.

an obedient poodle toy dog sits on the grass looking at the owner
Image Credit: Linas T, Shutterstock


Poodles require regular grooming. They have a lot of hair. It is called hair because a poodle’s fur is more similar to human hair than other dogs’ coats. Poodles’ fur grows at regular intervals and requires regular cutting. Poodles also need to be brushed and bathed regularly, just like humans. If you neglect your poodle’s grooming needs, their hair will become tangled, matted, and stinky. If you do not want to deal with regular grooming, then you might want to consider a dog with a short coat that requires no grooming.

You can learn how to bathe and trim your poodle yourself, or you can bring them to a dog groomer. Dog groomers are located all around the country and will give your poodle a professional wash and haircut for you. But it will cost you some extra money.


Poodles are extremely trainable. You can quickly house train a poodle. They will also learn basic commands. Some poodles can learn an estimated 300 words or more. Poodles can also be trained to do dog sports and competitive activities. Like all dog training, poodles respond best when you start training early and if you stay consistent. Poodles are some of the easiest dogs in the world to train because of their intelligence, intuitiveness, and their willingness to please humans.


If you are looking for your dog to be a lifelong companion, then you will be happy to learn that poodles have some of the longest life spans out of any dog. Poodles regularly live past 10 years old, and some of them can easily reach 15 years old or older. Poodles have very few recurring health issues. Small poodles will need regular dental care to keep their small teeth healthy over the course of their long life. Poodles are vulnerable to carrying a genetic disease called von Willebrand’s disease, but otherwise, they are extremely healthy dogs which is part of the reason that poodles can live for so long.

The average lifespan of a dog is 8 to 12 years. Poodles easily beat the average, which is good for first time dog owners who do not want to retrain a new dog or let go of their new companion too soon.

white toy poodle playing in the garden
Image Credit: Rin Seiko, Shutterstock


Standard vs. Miniature vs. Toy Poodles

The last thing you will have to decide is what size poodle you want. All poodles share the same personality and intelligence traits. The different sizes determine weight, height, and energy levels.

Standard poodles are the largest and were the original poodles. Standard poodles are much larger than miniature and toy poodles. They are also the most athletic and require the most exercise. Miniature poodles are mid-sized poodles. They are quite a bit smaller than standard poodles, but they are much larger than toy poodles. Miniature poodles are great for people who want a medium-sized dog that can still get out and play and do activities. Toy poodles are the smallest and routinely measure just 8 inches tall and weigh 5 pounds on average. These dogs are very snuggly and affectionate, but they are fragile and have much lower energy levels than larger poodles.



Poodles make excellent dogs for first time dog owners. They are easy to train, very friendly, and have very few health issues to worry about. The biggest thing to consider with a poodle is their grooming routine and their size. Poodles need to be groomed regularly to stay healthy. Otherwise, poodles are extremely low maintenance and can make great dogs for new owners for years to come.

Featured Image Credit: NDAB Creativity, Shutterstock

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