The Poodle is available in a selection of sizes: Standard, Toy and Miniature. The Standard is the top of the range model and has an IQ that is only bettered by the Border Collie; the smaller varieties tend to struggle with the harder questions.

Whilst it is true that Toy Poodles exist mainly for entertainment purposes, it is important to remember that they are not actual toys: they are living things that must be treated with respect.

Popular colours are white and pink. Often, when the Poodle returns from being cleaned at the Poodle parlour you will find it has been shaved in such a way as to leave prominent balls of fur around its ankles and tail. It may also have had ribbons applied to various areas. Whilst this is generally accepted to be ‘just a bit of fun’ it can prove degrading for male Poodles. Be sure to monitor the situation to ensure it does not get out of hand.

If you decide to buy a Poodle it’s worth trying an authorised dealer first. Don’t be afraid to haggle to get the best deal: there are big discounts to be had in the current economic climate.

When you get your Poodle home make it a nest from old torn newspaper and odds and ends. It will be tired for the first week or so as it acclimatises to its new home and will need plenty of cuddles and meat. Your Poodle may also fancy a biscuit or two: Bourbons and Custard Creams are their favourites but if you only have Malted Milks in your biscuit caddy these will suffice. Put on a nice DVD – something gentle like a Disney animated classic – to cheer up your new Poodle. When it is safely asleep you can relax and think about a suitable name (many owners plump for monikers such as ‘Coco’ or ‘Pepster’).

Once your Poodle has had all its vaccinations there is nothing wrong with taking it to the park for a long walk: the Standard model actually loves this! But the smaller varieties can tire easily and the use of a wheeled platform can help on longer trips. You can make one of these fairly easily using castors and a piece of old wood with a bit of string attached. However if you do choose to use one of these walking aids do please be careful and remember to make sure your Poodle’s feet are adequately secured to the platform with some Sellotape or something similar before setting off.

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