Can Poodles Survive in the Wild?

Poodles are dogs that have become synonymous with flamboyancy and the excessiveness that dog shows are often known for. The predominant idea about these dogs is that they belong to snobby owners and are the quintessential symbol of conceit.

There are many reasons why many people think that poodles may no longer–and may never have been–suited for the wild, and this article will discuss some of those ideas, so keep reading if you have ever wondered about where these dogs came from and what qualities both help and hinder their potential to survive in the wild.

So can poodles survive in the Wild? Poodles would most likely not survive in the wild. Their long history of domestication is the main reason why, as poodles no longer sharpen the instincts they inherited from wild ancestors. Poodles may have at some point in their history had the aptitude to survive in the wild, but the chances of their success in modern times are very slim.

Poodles have spent a very long time as domesticated animals, but these dogs were bred for some specific purposes based on their inherent wild instincts. If you own a Poodle, are a Poodle lover, or just a general dog lover, keep on reading to learn about the many different aspects of Poodles. Their personalities, history, as well as physical and instinctual aspects could both hinder and help their chances of surviving in the wild.

Why Poodles Might not Survive in the Wild

At first glance, there are many aspects of the poodle that make it seem as though it would be unfit for the wild. Some of these aspects include:

  • The way poodles are often groomed
  • The type of people who typically own poodles
  • Their assumed flamboyant qualities

However, none of these qualities mean anything when it comes to these dogs surviving in the wild.

The main reason why these dogs would most likely not survive in the wild is the long history of their domestication. There are records of domesticated poodles dating back to at least the 1600s. For hundreds of years, Poodles have been living with and around people, far removed from the wild.

The longer these dogs have spent domesticated, the longer they are not reliant on the wild instincts they may have inherited from their wild dog ancestors. These instincts still exist in Poodles, but they have not been required to use them throughout their domesticated history. The same can also be said for all forms of domesticated dogs.

For the Poodle specifically, there are qualities in these dogs that could potentially bolster their chances in the wild if they were ever forced out of their domesticated roles. The rest of this article will talk about the history of the Poodle, as well as how their inherent qualities, have been used in their domestic roles, and these qualities could benefit them in the wild. 

Beneficial Poodle Instincts That Could Help Him in the Wild

There are many natural instincts that the Poodle has, like many other dogs, that are derived from their wild dog ancestors. These instincts give them qualities that humans have used for specific purposes since the Poodle has been domesticated. 


An example of one of these instincts is their natural instinct to retrieve. Many people have taken advantage of this quality by using Poodles as retrieving dogs for duck and fowl hunting in many counties, including Canada, England, and the US.


Poodles also have an incredibly keen working intelligence, which makes Poodles swift learners and makes them easy for humans to teach commands to, which is another reason why Poodles have been used as retrieving dogs for many years.

Inherited Traits

There are also many physical qualities that Poodles have inherited from their wild ancestors that give Poodles unique advantages in the wild. These qualities are all things that would have made life easier for their wild dog ancestors. Some of these physical qualities include

  • Webbed feet for swimming
  • Moisture resistant coat to insulate from water
  • Thick, curly coat of fur to help protect from cold
  • Speediness for hunting

All of these physical qualities can also be observed in the Poodles wild dog ancestors and were certainly useful for these dogs long before they were domesticated.

Whether your poodle is male or female can also affect how these qualities are exhibited. Read this article to learn more about the differences between male and female poodles.

The Three Types of Poodles

More often than not, when someone thinks of a Poodle, their brain brings up an image of the typical Standard Poodle. These are the dogs who are often groomed with what look like little foot, ear, and tail puffballs, but there are actually three different sizes of Poodles:

  • The Standard Poodle
  • The Miniature Poodle
  • The Toy Poodle

The qualities that these three different varieties of Poodles possess are similar, but the Miniature and Toy variations were bred as smaller versions of the Standard Poodle. These two smaller forms of the Poodle have not typically been used as hunting and water dogs like the Standard Poodle and are more commonly known as solely companion animals.

A Brief History of the Poodle

Poodles in some form or another have been present in Europe for centuries and is actually one of the oldest known purebred dogs in history. There are many classic paintings and photographs that show poodles as companions for many people, including the painter Rembrandt in one of his self-portraits.

Although Poodles are now most commonly associated with the French, they are actually a dog breed that hails from Germany, where its name is derived from. The French popularized the dog and were some of the first people to recognize it’s use as a water dog and retriever.

There is no way to know for sure what the exact origin of the Poodle is, but many people theorize that it could be related to the ancient Asian hunting dogs. It is believed that these hunting dogs most likely traveled West with tribes of Goths and ended up becoming German hunting dogs, which we know today as the Standard Poodle.

Since the recognition of the breed by the American Kennel Club in 1887, the Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle have also now been recognized primarily as companion dogs.

  • Webbed feet for swimming
  • Moisture resistant coat to insulate from water
  • Thick, curly coat of fur to help protect from cold
  • Speediness for hunting

All of these physical qualities can also be observed in the Poodles wild dog ancestors and were certainly useful for these dogs long before they were domesticated.

Poodles do Valuable Work

Poodles have had many other notable jobs in history beyond their use as hunting and retrieving dogs. Here are just some of the things Poodles have done that we have historical information about:

  • Poodles have worked extensively in the circus
  • Poodles have been documented as military working dogs
  • Poodles have an extensive history as dog show competitors

The many qualities of this dog make it incredibly versatile, as well as a faithful companion with its desire to learn, work, and please its owner, which is why Poodles have occupied many jobs throughout their long history.

Check out this video to watch some amazing poodles perform on America’s got talent:

Other Instincts Domesticated Dogs Possess in the Wild

Like the Poodle, all modern domesticated dogs are relatives of ancient wild dogs and wolves. Because of this ancestry, all domesticated dogs retain some form of wild instincts that once helped their ancestors survive in the wild. These instincts have been used in various ways by humans for years including

  • Hunting
  • Herding
  • Rescue work
  • Bear fighting
  • Retrieving
  • Tracking

Even though many of these purposes require the use of dogs’ wild instincts, most domesticated dogs are far too removed from their wild dog ancestors to be shoo-in survival experts, Poodles included. Although many of the Poodle’s innate instincts would help them out, ultimately, their chances of being introduced successfully into the wild are slim to none.

Must Have Products For Poodles And Doodles

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Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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