Toy poodles are moving teddy bears. They are squishy, tiny, adorable creatures, but they can also be a handful at times.
We love them and we want to be the best fur-parents, but the question is, can we keep up till the very end?
I have a toy poodle whom I am crazy about. My world revolves around her, and I cannot imagine my life without her. I can talk about my pup all day — really.
Since the start of this pandemic, most of us are stuck at home and we want to do something other than binge-watch Netflix or twerk on TikTok. Many people are getting pets mainly because they feel lonely. They feel the need to have some company, so they think that dogs or cats can solve it.
Others adopt a pup for these reasons: they want to rescue homeless dogs, they feel inclined to help animals because they can afford it, they want to be entertained, they want something cute in their lives, they want to be like others who have pets at home, they want some content for their Instagram and YouTube. Whatever it may be, I know it is none of my business. What I want to convey is that, taking care of a dog especially a toy poodle is not as easy as 1-2-3. They need diligent hands all the time. If you truly love your pup, I guess you will survive it.
Here are 12 Facts About Toy Poodles:
1. Their Hair Grow So Fast, So They Need Constant Maintenance To Avoid Matting.
A toy poodle’s hair is like a vine plant that does not stop growing. If it is not groomed regularly, it will stubbornly grow until it becomes matted and tangled.
I keep my pup’s coat (hair) short, and I do the cutting all by myself. I live in a country where for the most part is hot and humid, so not cutting my pup’s hair is a torture. I hate to see some dog owners who seem unbothered about their pup’s super thick/ungroomed coat.
I use an electric hair shaver for dogs, hair brush, scissors (I recommend the safest ones with a round tip), and breathable mouth cover (in case your dog becomes a crocodile while your shave the hair.)
2. They Are Choosy (as in spoiled brats who only eat when they feel like it)
Poodles are not like other breeds that eat whatever food you put on their bowl. Regardless if you intentionally starve your toy poodle to make it eat the food (which is cruel of course), if they do not like the smell or taste, there is no chance that they will eat it.
As such, it is vital to find or discover the right diet that works for your pup. Make sure not to give any table foods. If you give a table food (like scrambled eggs, steak, or whatever that yummy thing you are eating) to a toy poodle who is used to eat dog foods or healthy stuff — then good luck to you.
Toy poodles remember the taste of everything you feed them, so if they tasted a pizza for dinner yesterday and you are trying to feed them dog food today, then expect them to not bother sniffing the bowl. Feeding table foods to an originally picky toy poodle will absolutely make life more difficult. Once they tried something so palatable, they will forget about your dry and gritty dog foods.
3. They Do Not Always Eat On Their Bowl
Many toy poodles, if not all, love to see their owners feed them by hand. So when you give dried food like jerkies (dried meat), you will notice that they are not interested when the food is on the bowl but when you give by hand, they eat very well. You will think, “what the heck is the difference?” I say this every time my poodle refuses to eat from her bowl.
When they do eat from their bowl, it is messy because they move the food from the bowl to another location (floor, bed, or anywhere else they feel like it.) Can you imagine feeding a toy poodle with moist foods?
4. They Throw Up When They Are Not Fed On Time
My pup often throws up in the morning, and it is definitely something I hate to see. I feel bad for her. I tried different ways to prevent my toy poodle from vomiting, but she is so stubborn when it comes to eating breakfast.
Toy poodles are the trickiest creatures to feed especially in the morning. When a toy poodle’s tummy is empty for more than 10 hours, it is likely to throw up, and the discharge is yellow with a foamy consistency. Though not all toy poodles are like this, it is common among mini breeds.
At first, I thought that my poodle was special, that she is the only toy poodle who vomits when the stomach is empty — but I was wrong. I felt relieved though knowing that this condition is not unique to my dog. It means that I can find some information from other people who are struggling with the same situation. So I began researching about other pet owners’ experience.
I found a few interesting ideas and tips from people on YouTube, but sadly their methods were not doable for me and my pup. Though I have tried different ways, it simply did not work for me.
You know what? The struggle in caring a toy poodle does not end in feeding them. You have to consider the after-care. Who cleans after they vomit? Of course no other than you (unless if you have a nanny who is available 24/7 then good for you.) You clean after them because they stink after throwing up.
In my case, I only wash my pup’s mouth with water, then I brush her teeth after 30 minutes. Just like us, it is important to not brush the teeth right away after vomiting. The stomach acid after throwing up comes in contact with our teeth, and if it is brushed too soon, all the acid are rubbed against the enamel of your teeth which can lead to enamel erosion. Same applies to dogs, so never brush the teeth immediately.
It is important to note that when your pup vomits, you should withhold the food for several hours and observe your pup’s condition. If your pup acts normal or not feeling ill after vomiting, you can resume to giving food after 4-6 hours. Make sure water is accessible. Your pup has to drink water to hydrate.
5. They Like To Hump
Dogs in general like humping and mounting, but it does not always mean sexual or inappropriate behavior of dogs. Toy poodles in particular are humpers (not even sure if this word exists.) I go nuts with my pup because she does it countless times every day on my leg. Though I love her so much, at times I cannot help but feel embarrassed.
Humping can mean differently in every dog. It can indicate hyperactivity or overexcitement, dominance, anxiety, or can be caused by an underlying health condition. Whatever the cause of humping and mounting, it is important to consider that for the most part, there is nothing wrong about it, and it should not be strongly discouraged either. It is often healthy and acceptable behavior for dogs like toy poodles.
There are ways to minimize this behavior and one of them is through diversion. When your pup is preoccupied at something like playing a game he/she is very excited about. It is common that dogs hump when they want your attention, bored, or just too happy and energetic about something. When this happens frequently and abnormally (especially when you are with other people,) try to incorporate a strict command like “NO” and make sure your pup obeys it. Training toy poodles can be really challenging, but it is worth it and not impossible.
6. They Do Not Fetch A Ball
When toy poodles play with a ball, do not expect them to bring it back to you like any other dogs do. So when you throw a ball to them, you have to pick it up on your own or best if there is one more person that to play with. This “fetch” game is not exactly a fetch game after all. They are very different with golden retrievers (for example) who listen or obey their pet owners’ command.
The good news is, not all toy poodles are hard-headed or disobedient though. You can train them, but when you train a toy poodle, make sure you stay committed. I failed at this that is why my pup does not play fetch perfectly with me. Perhaps you are a better trainer than me.
7. They Are Not Interested In Their Fellow Dogs
When I first got my pup, I knew from the start that she is not into dogs. She does not even look at them. She just snobs all the dogs no matter how handsome or cute they are. My toy poodle is female and turning three this year, and there was no time where she became curious at somebody like her.
However, she gets excited and attentive when she sees a cat or bird. I also noticed that kids like toddlers are interesting creatures for her.
I saw on YouTube that other toy poodles act the same way. Most of the pet owners are unbothered by it and just go on with their lives. Well, I am kind of doing the same thing.
8. They Hate Toothbrushing
How many times do you intend to brush your pups teeth? In my case, I do it twice a day. I aimed to brush my pup’s teeth three times daily, but it was a bit too much of a hassle for me, and my pup despised it.
Like most of us, we brush our teeth three times a day, right? It is pretty much the same in dogs whether small or big. It is ideal to do it 2-3 times daily to prevent the accumulation of tartar and plaque.
It is vital to maintain a proper dental care for your pup (or pets in general) to help keep them from developing a variety of dental health issues. For toy poodles in particular, they are highly prone to sickness and when their teeth are not taken care of, feeding will likely to be more challenging.
Some pet owners tend to take for granted the importance of proper dental care, that is why they end up bringing their pups more often to the vet due to certain illnesses like gum disease, loss of appetite, and organ failure, among other things.
It is crucial for pet owners to understand that caring for their dog’s teeth is as important as caring for their wellbeing. Teeth serve as their weapons for chewing, cutting, and tearing their food. They also use it for playing. So with no proper dental care, it can be detrimental to toy poodles. Like for instance, when a dog has so much plaque on its teeth, the accumulation of bacteria from the plaque enter the bloodstream which lead to organ failure (heart, liver, kidneys.) When this happens, a dog won’t eat properly, gets sick, and become weaker and weaker.
There are tons of ways or tricks in brushing your fur-friend’s teeth. You can go to YouTube to have some ideas on how to get started. For most dogs (except for many toy poodles like mine), dental hygiene can be easy once you incorporate it in your pup’s daily routine. So make sure to be consistent and make it habit to really do the brushing in a manner that your pup will get used to it. Once your pup gets the pattern of brushing his/her (for example: at 9AM after breakfast and at 6 or 7PM after dinner), your pup will expect it and enjoy it eventually.
9. They Hate Bathing
For many toy poodles, water is awesome when it is on the beach or pool. However, when the purpose of getting in the water is for cleaning their bum and washing the face — then it is off-putting for them.
When I bathe my pup, I always make sure to take it slow and easy. I am gentle when I wash my pup because I know she hates it. I only use warm water, not cold running water. When you shower or bathe them with warm water, start from the limbs, then butt. The last part I wet is the face since it is where she despises the most.
I found that washing my pup with just plain water (no soap or shampoo) is really good for her. I noticed that my pup does not scratch and bite her paws or any parts of her body after I refrain from using shampoo. The residues from soaps or shampoos remain on your pup’s fur or coat which makes them itch. You may not see it because it is not visible, but it is there, and when it is dried, it is when your pup starts scratching and biting all over. Thus, avoid using shampoo or any products with detergents. Simply wash with water and that is it. If it is good for your pup, then stick with it.
It has been over a year since I began to seldom wash my toy poodle with soap or shampoo. I only do it when her paws are soaked in mud, very dirty, or when it is really necessary. Essentially, I do not skip massaging her head and body when I bathe her. This makes my pup feels relaxed, and it is an effective strategy in making a dog look forward to bathing.
As long as there is a positive experience or reinforcement like getting a massage or treats during or after the bathing — then washing will be easier.
10. They Turn Into Little Monsters When You Touch Their Ears And Nails
If you do not want to be rushed to the ER, then make sure not to touch a toy poodle’s ears and nails.
This is probably the most difficult part in grooming my pup. I remember bleeding during the first time I groomed my her alone. It was horrifying.
I was a beginner fur-mom with no idea of what I signed up for. My pup suddenly turned into a completely different creature: from a tiny and adorable puppy to a scary vampire.
Well, fast forward to today where I now know how to do everything without being bitten. Experience is the best teacher indeed.
I have been grooming my pup for more than two years. Actually, I have only brought her to a pet salon once — seriously. Imagine how much money I have saved since then.
The first few tries were definitely terrifying, but it was worth it. I promise that on your third groom, it will be a piece of cake — not even kidding. You need to have all the necessary tools of course: mouth cover, pet shaver, a pair of decent and safe scissors, pet nail cutter, and comb. Please be careful in using them especially the sharp ones like scissors and nail cutter. You do not want to hurt your pup just because you are practicing. Toy poodles have very sensitive or delicate skin like any other, and when they experience discomfort, it will be impossible to do it again on your own.
In cutting the nails, it is crucial to have someone to assist you since it is the most difficult task, and it is very tricky to distinguish which area of the nail to cut. If you make a mistake, your pup will bleed to death.
11. They Are Very Clingy
Not all dogs are attached or addicted to their owners but most toy poodles are. Like my pup, she is crazy about me. If I am out of her sight, she panics (well not all the time though.)
Toy poodles are clingy particularly during bedtime. They like skinship so much, so when both of you are on the bed, expect that your pup will sleep close to your body: sleeping side by side, at your feet, their bum facing you, head facing you, sharing with your pillow, or back to back. They are the sweetest too.
12. They Like To Lick Your Face
Many toy poodles are obsessed with licking their owners’ face. My pup is the best example for this. There is no day that my pup forgets to lick my face. Her favorite part? My mouth.
When dogs lick their humans, it means affection or loyalty. My pup licks my face in a daily basis because I allow it. I allow it because I know it is her way of expressing her love to me. She repeats the behavior because she knows that she can get some love in return. When you refuse, ignore, or scold them — they cry which is too cute.
It may seem harmless for most people, but there are rare cases where dogs saliva can also harm a person. Fortunately I am not one of them. Though I have occasionally developed some rashes over the years, but they were just mild and innoxious.
You might be reading this article because you are planning to adopt a toy poodle or you are a soon-to-be fur parent. Either way, I am sure you made the right decision. Please know that if you are worried about being a good fur mom, you already are one. ❤️