Choosing to adopt a dog is an important decision that should be given careful thought. A poodle is a commitment.
Before adding a poodle to your family, consider:
- Is the decision to add a poodle to your family agreed upon by all family members or is it the decision of one person?
- Is there an adult willing and ready to be responsible for the care of the standard poodle throughout its lifetime? Poodles may live up to 17 years.
- Are you buying a standard poodle puppy as a gift? While a puppy may be a thoughtful gift, a dog is a lifetime commitment. Make sure the recipient is truly prepared for a puppy before gifting!
- Are you a homeowner or a renter? Make sure your rental agreement allows a large dog. Depending on the requirements of your apartment, neighborhood, or lease, you may be required to contact your landlord for approval prior to purchasing a puppy and/or pay a pet deposit. Homeowners may need to consult their neighborhood restrictions concerning dog ownership. It is also important to check for local laws regarding licensing, rabies vaccinations, fees, leash laws, and other requirements you should be aware of before bringing your puppy home. Also consider - if you were to move, will you be able to ensure you will find a home suitable for both you and your poodle?
- If something were to happen to you, who would care for your poodle? Though it may seem unlikely, anything can happen. It is important to have a back up plan in place so your poodle doesn't end up in a bad situation. We will always take back any standard poodle of ours if you are no longer able to keep him or her. However, your family members may not be aware of this or of how to contact us. Our contract requires that you do not ever place your poodle in a shelter. Talk to your family or friends before this ever becomes a problem.
- How will a large dog fit into your lifestyle? Consider if you are ready to meet the needs of a very intelligent, active large dog. Time will need to be invested in the training and care of your poodle. Do you have the physical ability to transport a squirming puppy or large adult poodle?
- Do you have young children? It is possible that a bouncing poodle puppy will be too active for your young children or that children might overwhelm a shy dog. Poodles and children make excellent companions - both my daughters and my son were raised with poodles in the home. However, it is important to consider if your children are ready for dogs in the home and what personality may fit best with you and your family's needs and preferences.
- Do you have a safe place to exercise your poodle? Poodles are very active and athletic! Standard poodles are large dogs and are happiest when they are walked regularly or have a yard to play in.
- Do you have other pets, especially smaller dogs, cats, or pets unused to other animals, who will be unhappy with another pet? Furry family members should also be considered when adopting a new poodle. Puppies raised with other animals usually do well together as the puppy grows up, but this also depends on how the other animals react to the new poodle puppy.
- Are you prepared for the financial obligation as your pet ages? As we humans age, we tend to need more healthcare to keep us comfortable and healthy. Pets are no different.
- Who will care for your pet if you travel away from home? It is important to consider what will happen to your poodle when you are out of town. You may have friends or family happy to watch your poodle. Boarding your poodle (with appropriate vaccinations prior) or hiring a pet sitter are also options.
- Do you have the time and energy necessary to housebreak and train a poodle puppy? Puppies need consistent training to help them become dogs that are wonderful to live with. Consider taking a basic training or puppy class. Make sure you are up to the challenges of housebreaking and training a puppy.
Please consider all of these questions as you consider adding a poodle to your family. It is also important to consider other situations that may arise and cause changes to your lifestyle. After many years of doing dog rescue we have learned that, oftentimes, if a pet owner had prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership and considered these questions far fewer dogs would need to be rescued and rehomed.
It is our intention that none of our poodles ever end up in a shelter. Please call us if you ever need to rehome a Heart Song Poodle. We are happy to help with life's unforeseen circumstances and want what is best for our dogs.