When you meet an adorable poodle, all you are going to want to do is cuddle and play with him. But you want to make sure that you do it in a way that is comforting to him. It will be important to understand what it takes to create a bond between you and the dog.
What are the best ways to bond with a poodle? Poodles need attention, structure, activity, and a lot of love in order to create a strong bond. Providing adequate attention will help that bond grow even stronger. If you establish trust, loyalty, and show affection specific to their needs, you and your poodle can become inseparable.
Poodles also tend to be somewhat high maintenance, and he will let you know when he is unhappy. So, listening to your poodle is a major factor in establishing rapport with your furry friend. Here are some ways to help you and your poodle to form a longlasting bond that could last a lifetime.
5 Ways to Bond With Your Poodle
Poodles of any size will react positively to you when you take these measures. There will be modifications for some, based on if your poodle is a toy weighing in at 12 pounds, or a standard topping the scales at 60 pounds. But at their core, they are all very similar and will appreciate these efforts.
1. One-on-One Time
Any dog owner will tell you of their dog’s loyalty and the way that the dog depends on them. But poodles tend to fit on the next level on the scale of pure devotion.
Being an obedient, loyal dog to their family members is just as deep-rooted in them as going for walks or eating. It’s really a part of who they are.
So one of the best ways to immediately spark a bond between you and your new poodle is to focus on your one-on-one time together. This will apply whether the pup belongs to a family of six, all eagerly awaiting time with him/her, or if you live alone.
Creating a strong bond begins when your poodle is first brought into the home. If you’re part of a large family, it is important not to overwhelm the dog. Each member of the family will want to spend time with your poodle, but with a big family, it’s crucial to take your time. You want your new dog to feel at home and get to know everyone, but not be so overly stimulated that they feel they can’t relax.
When you take your poodle home, make sure everyone is present for the big moment. You want all family members there so the dog can immediately associate this new home with all of you. Let the poodle hear all your voices, get to smell all of you, and get to know you.
But as he gets more comfortable, make sure that everyone has their own one-on-one time with them too. You may find that you all will bond when you are able to set aside that time individually.
Our poodle growing up was high-energy but also loved a good cuddle. My one-on-one time with him very quickly became our playtime. We would go out in the yard and play as long as we could. My sister found that her bonding time with our poodle was being curled up on the couch for a cuddle.
This one-on-one time, whatever it may be, will be your special bonding time. and will be unique to both you and your pup.
If you notice any of the following symptoms from your poodle, he/she may be experiencing separation anxiety, and you definitely want to make sure the one-on-one time increases to help soothe and comfort their fears.
- Destructive Behavior
- Crying or Excessive Barking
- When you leave, they go into a frenzy
- Housebreaking incidents happening more frequently
With the fierce loyalty of poodles also comes attachment issues. That’s why, if you notice your poodle experiencing any of these, make sure you increase the amount of time you get with them, so they understand that you are there for them.
2. Daily Exercise Mixed with Mental Stimulation Creates Bonds
Exercise should be a given to any dog, at any age, and any size. Poodles specifically, though, are such high energy that exercise and stimulation become crucial. When you make sure to give them proper amounts of activity, they see this as an act of love and understanding. So exercise is not only a health benefit but is truly needed to form a bond with your poodle.
As I stated above, Poodles need lots of exercise and mental stimulation just to stay healthy and extend their lifespans. However, if you find creative ways to exercise with them and make sure it has a purpose behind it, then they will be even more appreciative. If you own a Minature poodle, check out my article on properly how to train a miniature poodle here.
These are a few ideas for exercising and providing mental stimulation:
Tried and true, taking your dog for a walk will always be fantastic for their health, your relationship with them, and their happiness. The sights and smells that your poodle gets to experience on a walk will always be exciting for them.
Every time I see a pup out for a walk, I think–if only we could be that excited to because we get to walk down the street. And it’s true! That walk for your dog is fun, exciting, and it gives them a sense of pride. They get to go on this walk with you. They get to experience all of these things with their favorite person.
Remember, that loyalty in poodles is always present, so it factors into pretty much everything they do. They are not only enjoying the walk for their own health and happiness but also because they feel great hitting the streets with you as their leader.
To humans, the word “training” doesn’t exactly spark excitement or joy. It may be educational and interesting, sure. But for a poodle, training is fun! It is a way for them to please you and achieve goals set forth by you. Because of this, training is a great time to bond with your poodle.
Poodles are extremely intelligent, and they love to learn. So if you teach them a new skill that requires physical and/or mental challenges, they will always be up to the challenge. You may not even realize that you are setting goals for them through training, but you definitely are.
They will love to be physically active while also hoping to impress you by learning that new skill you teach him that day. Once they learn this new skill and master it, they know a big congratulations will be on its way for them. That “Good boy!” or “Good girl!” at the end will fill them with joy and adoration for you and for teaching them.
A great behavioral training course can really help you bond with your dog. I found a fantastic training system called Brain Training for Dogs. I really liked the private member’s area where I was able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with his training. If you need any behavioral training at all for your dog, I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here
Whether it’s tossing their favorite ball around the yard, playing hide and seek throughout the house, or challenging them with new interactive toys–this is all crucial bonding time.
In same way they come to rely on your for your daily walks, they depend on playtime with you as well. If you can set up a routine for them, you will get extra points from them as well. Poodles highly value structure and reliability from their owners.
If they know that after dinner it’s time to go play with the ball, or before the morning walk, he will get time in the yard with their favorite bone–he will come to love this stability and understand that you are the one providing all of this for him.
Playtime is a much different experience from a regular walk or run in the park. It allows them to work with you and see you actively challenging them. Depending on the size and type of your poodle, this playtime (and really all exercise) will be slightly modified to suit their needs. But no matter what form it comes in, they need this stimulation and will thank you for it with never-ending love.
3. Maintaining Healthy Habits
I don’t know about you, but I feel my best when I am eating healthy and living a balanced lifestyle where I get exercise, fresh air, and get to do the things I enjoy. The difference is I am the one choosing all of those things and can make them all happen. Your poodle depends on you for these things.
We already talked about exercise, but there are plenty of other things you need to consider for the health of your poodle.
Your poodle can’t take themselves for that walk or choose the better brand of dog food because it has all-natural ingredients. They will feel better if you make healthier choices for them, creating an even stronger bond.
As with anything in life, healthier, more natural options can be a cost issue. So do your best on whatever budget you have to make sure you are making healthy choices for your furry family member who doesn’t have their own debit card.
Standards for dog and cat food have become much higher in recent years. The food that is sold goes through rigorous testing and must pass health and safety tests in facilities. But it doesn’t mean they are all created equally.
Stick to dog food with as few ingredients as possible. Just like with human food that needs to be preserved, there will sometimes be additives that are necessary to keep the food fresh. But try to keep it as clean and straightforward as possible.
All dog food is created in a way to deliver a balanced diet so that they receive all the nutrients they need for a healthy diet. If your pet lacks nutrients because you’re not feeding them properly, you are not doing him any favors.
As much as they love getting a piece of your dinner passed to them underneath the table, they won’t like it later if it makes them sick. Again, poodles love their structure and being obedient to you. So by keeping them on a strictly healthy diet, you are not only helping extend their lifespan, but you are creating a trust where they understand you are the one that gives them this food that makes them feel good.
Regular Vet Visits
I don’t like being the bad guy when having to take my dog to the vet. Their sad little eyes and whimpers from the backseat don’t feel good. But in the end, I think they understand it is for their own good.
By keeping in close contact with your veterinarian, you are making sure that your poodle will live a long and healthy life. Poodles are highly instinctual. They know when something is wrong or when they need help, especially if they are feeling ill. Make sure to take him regularly for checkups as well.
Your dog will not only excited to go home, but you will also almost feel his forgiveness you before you even get to the car.
4. Proper Grooming
One of the first aspects you think of when you think “poodle” is typically going to be that luscious, curly fur. While most dogs like to get outside and play and get dirty, they don’t appreciate staying that way. Poodles have very unique hair, and it can get matted easily.
Since they won’t be picking up a hairbrush anytime soon, it is up to you to keep them groomed properly. Regular grooming and trims from a professional are a must for any poodle.
But in between those appointments, be sure to brush them regularly and get rid of any tangles they may have. This will also help to keep them free of fleas, ticks, and other pests. (Make sure to treat your poodle with medicine recommended by your veterinarian to prevent these critters from being a problem)
Some dogs may run around when they see the brush come out; others love grooming time. But often, even the ones who run will enjoy the process once the brush starts to go through their fur, soothing them.
This is a fantastic bonding time for you and your poodle. With their inherent instincts, this is a primal act that makes them feel loved and cared for. Dogs in a pack will help clean and care for each other. This poodle is now a part of your pack, so by cleaning them, they feel cared for by you.
Always make sure to let them repay you with a bunch of cleaning kisses afterward.
5. Understanding Your Poodle’s Needs
In order to really bond, you will really need to be able to understand his “language” as well. Your poodle may not be able to walk up to you and use words to ask for a treat or to go outside so they can use the bathroom, but they ask for those things in their own way.
One of the best ways to ensure proper bonding is to make sure you understand and acknowledge their needs. By doing so, you will build a rapport and trust that will help to build that special bond.
When you first get a poodle, you need to establish your ground rules and make sure he understands what your commands mean. Being one of the smartest dog breeds, they will be able to easily understand different words and expressions, along with your body language and tone. Make sure they are clear on what you need to express to them.
Then, be sure you do the same in return. You want to understand the difference between the “I have to go pee” bark and the “prancing around at your feet” dance for food. Every poodle will communicate things differently, and it will be up to you to learn what he is saying to you.
Imagine chatting with someone over dinner, and they didn’t understand a single thing you said. It is pretty hard to feel connected. a fantastic poodle will feel the same if you ignore their needs or don’t take the time to understand them.
“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”– Orhan Pamuk
Understanding Your Poodle Can Make Bonding Easier
Before you’ll be able to bond fully with your poodle, you want to make sure you understand everything about them from their personality traits and temperament to their eating habits to their health and nutritional needs. With any dog or house pet, you obviously have the basics of keeping them happy, like giving them love and attention, and exercise, and food.
But what makes poodles different? Why are certain things more or less important to them? Understanding these common traits and behaviors in poodles will help you become close with them faster and solidify your bond.
1) Understanding Poodle Traits
Every dog will be unique and typically full of surprises, which is why we love them. But you can usually bet on specificities within a breed that remain consistent. The poodle breed is:
- Very Trainable
- Very Active
Whether you have a toy, miniature, or standard poodle, these traits tend to stay the same. There may be some slight variances, but overall the three types of poodles share many similarities.
2) Understanding Poodles Are Ready and Eager to Please
Poodles love to make you happy. They take direction well, and they even crave it. They like knowing their routine, and they appreciate the structure. They are fiercely loyal to their families and anyone else they deem worthy.
When you look into the sweet little eyes of your poodle after they have done something wrong, it is hard to reprimand them. But those teaching moments are essential to him because he likes that structure, and he wants to please you. With such a loyal breed that tends to really love their owners, they want to know if they’ve done something wrong.
My poodle growing up would be an angel for the remainder of the day after getting into trouble for something. She would follow us around, trying to find ways to make it up to us, and you could see a look in her eyes that just shouted, “I’ll make it better! What can I do?”
While some poodles may be standoff-ish to newcomers, they will be very adoring and eager to cuddle and play with their family and close friends of the family that they become used to.
“Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress.”– Louis Sabin
3) Understanding Poodles Are Sensitive Souls
Poodles are known to be highly affected by the mood of their owners and of their atmosphere around them. They can quickly shift from the happiest pup in the world, to being apprehensive or sad because their owner comes home after a bad day and they and sense sadness.
Seeing their moods adjust based on your mood is a wonderful and primal moment. Your excitement will translate to them just as easily too. They will feel your anger or sadness, but they will also share your happiness and elation, which they would much prefer.
Their sensitivity also flows over into their need for attention. When they do not get the attention they need, they can easily become depressed. It’s a slippery slope with poodles because they need that love and attention, but they are also smart and will totally take advantage of that. Before you know what hit you, you will have one very spoiled poodle on your hands.
Their happiest place is when you can find the balance of lots of love and attention for their sensitive souls but also lay down the law when needed.
4) Understanding Poodles Are Instinctual Canines
Poodles can be some of the most instinctual dogs out there. While they are no longer typically considered to be hunting dogs, they have that history in their lineage. They are excellent swimmers and hunters for this reason. But now that they are more domesticated, poodles exhibit these traits in different ways.
If you trained them to go hunt, a poodle would still pick up on it very easily. However, as a standard house pet, these instincts for hunting and swimming show themselves in the following ways:
- Poodles are highly aware of their surroundings, constantly seeking stimulation, and craving playtime that will challenge them physically as well as mentally.
- Poodles are highly aware of their surroundings, constantly seeking stimulation, and craving playtime that will challenge them physically as well as mentally.
Interactive toys, daily exercise, and specified playtimes will go a long way for a poodle. Their instincts are to be active and help their owners. So feeding those instincts will only be positive for you and your poodle.
5) Understanding Poodles Are Smarter Than Your Average Dog
The intelligence of poodles is obvious if you spend any time at all with one. They pick up on commands quickly, and since they are eager to please, they truly love to learn and will always crave more.
According to WebMD for pets, poodles rank #2 in their top 10 list of the most intelligent dog breeds. Across the board, if you look at different research and studies that have been completed on canine intelligence, this will be very consistent.
Poodles can master a wide variety of commands and have a deeper understanding than many dogs. This makes them very popular dogs for dog shows and also why they were popular hunting dogs.
6) Understanding Poodles Are Always Ready For Action
You may come across a lazy poodle from time to time, but that will be few and far between. These pups love to stay active, get outdoors, and have lots of playtime. They crave ways to release an abundance of energy that is natural to their breed.
Their minds need that stimulation just as much as their bodies do too. They are typically very calm and laid back when indoors with you, but don’t let that fool you. They still love getting outside and being able to express their energy in different ways.
Poodles are known to be a bit temperamental, as well. So making sure they get to stay active will have a massive impact on their mood. Whether they are a toy poodle that isn’t going to be running great distances, or a larger standard poodle that will happily go on a long hike with you; they love to exercise and stay active.
Bonding: The Way to a Poodle’s Heart
Only you will be able to find the best ways to bond with your poodle once you are together, and you begin the process of getting to know one another. But following these guidelines and really understanding how poodle operates will help you reach a place of inseparable connection before you know it.