Skip to Content

Your Ultimate Guide to a French Poodle

French poodles are iconic breeds, with their timeless curls and skips in their walks. They know how to capture a crowd’s attention and look good. They represent style, high class, and poise.

Underneath its pretty face, a poodle is a loveable family dog. It’s fiercely loyal to its owners and affectionate. Attention is its middle name.

Besides that, French poodles are famously intelligent dogs. It’s easy to train them, making them ideal for first-time owners.

Stick around to learn more about French poodles and why you should own one.


Despite what their name tells, French poodles didn’t originate from France. Instead, they trace back to German roots. Etymologically, the term “poodle” comes from the German word “pudel.”

It translates to “splash in the water,” which perfectly characterizes the breed’s hunting origin. Hunters relied on poodles to retrieve waterfowl, such as ducks.

Other sources believe that poodles originated from the French Barbet. It’s another water-hunting breed.

Nowadays, some hunters still use poodles to help them fetch their water bounty. Over time, the breed spread into three different sizes, toy, miniature, and standard.

The prior options became popularized in circus performances. They had a knack for learning tricks and entertaining a large audience.


French poodles come in varying sizes, but they all have similar builds. They have impeccable posture. The breed has a long, elegant neck and a straight back.

Meanwhile, its head is triangular and comes with a long snout. The French poodle’s ears are characteristically long and wide.

Standard sizes have long model-like legs. Their movements are usually high-spirited and springy. Lastly, we can’t forget to mention the luscious curly locks adorning the breed’s coat.


Standard French poodles are 15 to 23 inches in height. On the other hand, miniature options are about 15 inches or less. Toy poodles don’t exceed 10 inches.


Standard French poodles can weigh anywhere between 45 to 70 lbs. Their miniature counterparts come in at 26 to 31 lbs. The lightest of them all is the toy poodle, which weighs approximately 6 to 10 lbs.


French poodles come in a diverse array of colors. Some of these include:

  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Sable
  • Apricot
  • Silver
  • Red
  • Brown


French poodles have grown to become a symbol of grace and class. If you’re thinking about owning one, here are some interesting facts.

Celebrities Owned Them

A-list celebrities like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe owned French poodles. Royalty and incumbents prized the breed. The likes of Princess Grace Kelly and Winston Churchill owned the French poodle.

Care Requirements

When you think about owning a French poodle, the first thought you get could compare it to serving royalty. Although the dog had royal backgrounds, the breed is relatively low maintenance.


Age and weight are two main factors to consider when creating a healthy diet for your French poodle.


French poodle pups need a little more TLC. It means providing more nutrient-dense meals. Nevertheless, you don’t want your puppy to experience a food shock. For this reason, we suggest feeding it the same meals the previous owner gave it.

You can slowly introduce new foods throughout a week to a month. When choosing a diet, consider feeding it dry food rather than wet. Dry food gives the young breed better oral benefits. In terms of nutrients, prioritize protein-rich meals.

It could incorporate chicken, beef, lamb, and other animal proteins. Encourage your French poodle puppy to eat omega-3-rich foods, such as fish.

Quantity-wise, you can feed it four to five compact meals throughout the day. Alternatively, you can make it two to three meals but increase their sizes.


As your French poodle grows, you can reduce its meals to one or two servings daily. When browsing for food, try to avoid preservatives and fillers. It’ll ensure an organic and nutritious intake.

Now, if you’re making the food, you can cook an animal protein portion. Make sure to add vegetables, such as spinach, peas, or zucchini. Avoid lactose foods like milk or cheese since your dog might have trouble digesting it.

You can give your French poodle some treats as snacks between meals. We recommend scheduling them with training practice.


Exercise is crucial for your poodle’s mental and physical well-being. It needs physical stimulation to steer clear of destructive behavior.

French poodles love all sorts of activities, whether it’s a tug of war or a simple stroll. You can take it for a park play session. Alternatively, you can go hiking or even a swim.

Whether you have a miniature or standard French poodle, an hour’s worth of exercise should suffice. You can break the hour down into two 30-minute intervals throughout the day.

Aside from that, too much walking can also harm your poodle’s health. If you can’t handle an hour of exercise, then slow down. Signs of overstress include excess panting and falling behind. On the other hand, if it’s still merrily trotting by your side, you can extend its walk.


Haircuts and baths are things you’ll have to get used to if you’re thinking of owning a French poodle. Interestingly, the breed doesn’t shed because it doesn’t have fur.

Instead, it has a coat lined with hair, similar to humans. For this reason, they need a professional groom at least every six weeks. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with unmanageable tufts of unruly curls.

In addition, brushing their hair daily or every other day will help prevent matting. Poodle puppies are more vulnerable to tangles and need more attention. On top of brushing, ear and eye hygiene are critical.

French poodles have long ears that can easily catch bacterial infections when not properly cleaned.


The best part about grooming a poodle is choosing a hairstyle. It’s almost like giving your poodle a different personality each time. You can give it a fierce lion cut.

On the other hand, who can resist an adorable teddy bear trim? A sophisticated continental cut is more appropriate for dog shows.


Poodles need to bathe every three weeks. We suggest using a shampoo with fewer harsh sulfates to protect the dog’s natural oils. Before wetting the poodle, make sure you thoroughly brush its coat.

After drenching the dog, start scrubbing the shampoo around their bodies. Rinse and repeat until all the dirt is off. Next, condition your French poodle’s curls to keep them moisturized.

Lastly, dry its coat by dabbing the towel onto it or using a hair dryer. Avoid rubbing the towel since it can cause breakage.


French poodles have a sweet and loveable personality. Quality time with their owners is their love language. A lack of engagement with your poodle can cause separation anxiety. Plus, it can lead to destructive behavior.


The classy breed needs socialization exposure at an early age. That way, it can develop healthy relationships with other animals and children.

Typically, poodles enjoy socializing. They especially love pleasing their owners. Nevertheless, the breed can be shy around strangers.


One thing to know about French poodles is that they’re protective. If they sense strangers or danger, they will immediately notify you via barks.

Poodles can also bark as a sign of separation anxiety or excitement. The breed can also bark when not well-exercised. The good news is that you can train them to stop barking.


French poodles are intelligent dogs, which makes them highly trainable. You can use multiple training methods for your clever pet.

For instance, positive reinforcement is an ideal way to perform obedience training. It involves rewarding your poodle for good behavior. You can give them treats, or a simple “good boy/girl” will do.

You can also revert to clicker training to mix things up. The methods will become especially useful during grooming sessions.

Learning Tricks

One of the best parts about owning a poodle is teaching it tricks. It can learn after as little as five repetitions. It wasn’t a circus dog for nothing.

Some of these tricks include giving the paw or rolling over. Either way, they’ll make for a winning display at a dog show.

Health Considerations

Before purchasing a poodle, you’ll want to understand its health considerations. Here are some of them below.

Life Expectancy

Standard French poodles can live anywhere between 12 to 15 years. Meanwhile, miniature breeds can survive a longer 13 to 15 years. Finally, toy poodles have a lifespan of approximately 12 to 17 years.

Smaller dogs generally live longer than larger ones. It’s because there’s less physical stress applied to their tiny bodies.

Health Complications

Learning about the health complications of your poodle is essential. That way, you can better understand what to expect and how to avoid it.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease targets your poodle’s adrenal glands. These organs are responsible for stress hormone production, also known as cortisol.

The lack of hormones can result in lethargy, weight loss, and vomiting. Diagnosing the illness tends to be challenging since the symptoms can be easily confused with other complications.

That said, treating Addison’s disease involves administering hormone replacement therapy. Fortunately, a poodle with the hormonal illness can live out its average lifespan.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited disorder caused by a defective growth in the dog’s hips. In other words, the pelvic ball and socket in your poodle’s hips grow at inconsistent rates.

It can cause discomfort and joint pain around the affected region. Standard poodles are more likely to get hip dysplasia than their smaller counterparts.

Veterinarians usually suggest oral supplements to treat the issue. In severe cases, your poodle may undergo double or triple osteotomy surgery.

Vets usually perform the latter on dogs below ten months old. Nevertheless, poodles of any age can do the surgery, preferably those under 65 lbs.


Hypothyroidism affects a poodle’s thyroid glands. The endocrine disorder causes these glands to become underactive. In turn, the breed shows signs of lethargy, hair loss, and weight gain.

There’s no lifetime cure for hypothyroidism. Poodles with the illness need thyroid hormone replacement therapy for life.


There’s no way to sugarcoat this, but French poodles are expensive. Prices vary depending on the poodle’s size. Consequently, toy and miniature breeds will require costlier budgets.

From Breeder

French poodles can set you back anywhere between $500 to $2,000. Breeder prices tend to go high due to various factors. Some of these include grooming maintenance and health screenings.

You can purchase a poodle from a purebred breeder or a backyard one. The first option prioritizes the breed’s bloodline. Subsequently, you can consider it if you’re looking for a show dog.
Meanwhile, backyard breeders are poodle owners who happen to have a litter. They’re an informal method of purchasing a puppy since they’re not registered. The puppy isn’t genetically tested or assorted to produce a healthier dog.

For this reason, we suggest opting for a reputable breeder. Despite the high price, it’ll ensure a longer lifespan for your poodle.

From Adoption Agency

You can head to an adoption agency if show quality isn’t your top priority. Poodle adoption prices range between $100 to $600.

The cost depends on where you adopt the rescued poodle. The price includes its medical and grooming expenses.

Aside from that, you’ll likely find adult poodles rather than puppies. Senior dogs typically cost less as well. In some cases, they can be free of charge. Overall, adopting a poodle is a humane decision.

Final Thoughts

Is it their bouncy curls or regal attitude which drew you to this elegant breed? Either way, there’s a lot to love about French poodles. They’re playful, trustworthy, and intelligent.

You can purchase a toy or miniature poodle to keep you company in your cramped apartment. Alternatively, a standard French poodle can benefit from your spacious backyard.

It can be a show dog, a family dog, or even a hunting companion. It’ll enjoy walking, hiking, and playing by your side for years to come.