What is the Temperament of a Poodle? [Personality]

There’s a good reason the Poodle is such a popular and well-loved breed. I appreciate the way this breed combines high intelligence with a sweet and loving personality. There are three size varieties available: Toy, Miniature, and Standard.

If you’re interested in having a Poodle join your family, there are a lot of factors to consider. So, what is the temperament of a Poodle? Read on to find out!

what is the temperament of a poodle

Highly Intelligent

Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They’re the second smartest breed on the planet, coming only after the notoriously brainy Border Collie. These dogs are fast learners, meaning they don’t take as long to train.

chocolate Toy Poodle
Lead and clicker training for a Miniature Poodle puppy in the garden.

This breed is so clever that it outranks German Shepherds. If you’ve ever had or even met a German Shepherd before, you know how smart they are. But they can’t compete with the Poodle.

It’s the Poodle’s intelligence that makes them so easy to train. The fact that Poodles are so smart is also why we often see them used as guide and assistance dogs. As a result, Poodles may need more stimulation and activity than many other breeds.

Driven by Instinct

The fact that Poodles tend to be instinctual can be an advantage and disadvantage. It means you know what to expect, but there are also some downsides. Poodles were bred to be hunting dogs, and this makes them prone to territorial behavior.

curly Poodle stands outdoors
A curly Poodle stands alone outdoors waiting for the owner.

We tend to associate urinating to mark territory more with cats, but dogs do it too, and Poodles do this more than other breeds. As a result, you must be attentive with housetraining during puppyhood.

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As hunting and retrieving dogs, Poodles will pursue what they perceive to be prey. Examples include:

  • Squirrels
  • Birds
  • Other small animals

Luckily, Poodles are easy to train, so you’ll need to do a lot of obedience training to keep your pooch under control.

Needs Plenty of Exercise

Poodles are famous for their high energy levels. Don’t get a Poodle if you won’t have time to exercise them every day. A full-grown Toy or Miniature Poodle needs about an hour of daily exercise from one to seven years old.

An incredibly happy toy Poodle having a run in the park

If possible, you should be exercising your dog multiple times a day to keep your dog stimulated and healthy. If you’re not able to let them get out all their energy more than once a day, prioritize exercising your dog in the morning.

Exercising your Poodle in the morning may help tire them out, preventing boredom and behavioral issues.

Once your Poodle is older than seven, they might not need a full hour of exercise, but they certainly still need exercise. While your Poodle won’t be as energetic as during their younger days, don’t neglect to give them space to roam and play.

Loves Human Company

What is the temperament of a Poodle when interacting with people? Well, Poodles love their human companions.

Toy Poodle us
A Toy Poodle puppy held by owner for the first time!

As a result, your Poodle may be a little more aloof than the other dogs at the dog park. While most dogs enjoy being around people, Poodles take this to another level. Your Poodle will almost always prefer being around people to their fellow canines.

Your Poodle wants nothing more than to be your best friend. Poodles are prone to separation anxiety, so they’re not suitable if you’re away from home for extended periods.

Tendency to Nervousness

Poodles are more prone to becoming nervous and edgy. To avoid this problem, make sure you get your Poodle from a breeder who has socialized the animal from a young age. Continue with this socialization when you bring your new pet home by taking them to dog parks and visiting other people.

Poodle with plain background
A small Poodle on a plain background.

A Poodle that hasn’t been correctly socialized may get so nervous that they may nip or bite.

Protective Nature

Every dog breed needs socialization as puppies, and this applies even more strongly to the Poodle. Poodle puppy socialization should make the dog less worried about the presence of strangers.

Poodle looks on his side
A Poodle with straight white hair looks on his side.

After all, this breed has an instinct for protecting the people they care about. You won’t have to worry about a Poodle being aggressive, but they can be mistrustful and wary. This mistrust usually manifests as shyness with strangers.

How Poodles bond with their human companions is a part of their personality. Once a Poodle bonds with someone, they will never forget this friendship.

Affectionate and Patient

Poodles are famously affectionate, patient, and loyal. They are excellent family dogs that are wonderful around children. It’s the Poodle’s patience combined with its love of play that makes it great for rambunctious kids.

boy and a Poodle
A Poodle being patient with his kid owner. (Image: Instagram/@chestersolobear)

This dog is perfect for running around and enjoying fun games with the kids.

While Poodles are patient and sweet-tempered, they also love to play and interact. A Poodle that doesn’t get enough time for play will become distressed and possibly neurotic. Always ensure you’re taking care of your dog’s needs and paying attention to their stress levels.


The Poodle is a highly sociable dog. It loves being around lots of people and doesn’t mind other pets as long as they’re properly introduced.

Poodles and cats together
Poodles and cats can live together especially if properly socialized. (Image: Instagram/@pawsomesclub)

Poodles have such a strong need for frequent interaction that they’re prone to getting neurotic if they’re alone too often. Your dog may even start destroying things in your house.

It sounds silly to some, but you should talk to your Poodle as much as you can. This breed loves this kind of attention.

Friendly to Other Pets

Generally speaking, you can expect your Poodle to get along well with cats. But, you must properly supervise the introduction. Never leave your animals unsupervised when they are getting used to each other.

If you have a Toy or Miniature Poodle, you’ll probably find that your dog is quite playful with your cats. As Standard Poodles are so much bigger, they probably won’t play as much. So if you think your cat will be irritated by too much playfulness in a dog, a Standard Poodle may be a better fit than one of the smaller varieties.

While Poodles get along with a wide variety of other dog breeds, a canine with a similar personality will be the best companion. Many Poodle owners will have more than one Poodle. You can easily have a Standard Poodle and Toy or Miniature Poodles in the same household.  


This is my favorite part of this breed’s temperament: their sensitivity.

Miniature Poodle with his owner
Miniature Poodle getting a belly rub from his owner. (Image: Instagram/minipoodlerudi)

Poodles are highly attuned to how their human companions feel. Along with their intelligence, this is critical to how well Poodles perform as working assistance dogs. This breed is renowned for its almost human-like ability to sense and respect emotions.

Final Thoughts

So what is the temperament of a Poodle? Luckily, the Poodle has an excellent temperament that fits a wide variety of households. Remember that this dog requires plenty of exercise and constant attention.

The Poodle isn’t a dog that you should leave on its own for extended periods. If you decide to get a Poodle, do your research and find a reputable breeder.

If you decide to adopt a Poodle, you’ll have a best friend for life!

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