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Are Standard Poodles Friendly With Kids?

Last updated on June 8th, 2021 at 02:40 am

The Standard Poodle is stunningly beautiful, graceful, and intelligent. People have adored these dogs for hundreds of years as retrievers, circus dogs, therapy dogs, and great family pets. 

But is this a good breed for children? Here is everything that you need to know about why the Standard Poodle is or is not a good dog for kids, as well as which families are best suited to the breed.

Are Standard Poodles Friendly with Children?

Standard Poodles are people-oriented and eager to please. Aggression is practically unheard of in the breed. They tend to be friendly with everyone, although sometimes if not properly socialized they can be a bit shy. 

While some Standard Poodles may be overwhelmed by children if their interactions are not well-controlled, it is extremely unusual for a poodle to react aggressively. The vast majority of Standard Poodles get along very well with children. As a rule, the Standard Poodle is very friendly with kids.

poodle with little girl

Why is the Standard Poodle a Good Fit for Kids?

Standard poodles are wonderful for kids for a number of reasons. If you are looking for a dog who can engage with your child positively, build confidence in your child, and serve as a wonderful family pet, the Standard Poodle might be great for you.

Self-Controlled and Trainable

Standard Poodles are among the smartest dog breeds. They are incredibly eager to please and love to work with their people. Standard Poodles were developed to retrieve ducks and other waterfowl in marshy and wet areas. They had to have the self-control to obey the hunter`s commands and stay close until the hunter ordered them to retrieve. They also had to learn many commands.

Today, this intelligence and self-control make the Standard Poodle an excellent fit for practically anything you need to train them to do. These dogs excel in agility and obedience. They can be outstanding service and therapy dogs. Is your child interested in getting into dog sports? Do you want a companion for your child that they can engage with readily? The Standard Poodle might be the ideal dog for you.

The Standard Poodle is one of the few dogs that can be trained so that a child can handle them even if they are larger than the child. If your child wants to be able to walk a large dog or if you`d like a larger dog to be a companion to your child, the Standard Poodle is one of the best choices. 

poodle with three children
My neighborhood kids playing with my poodle

Smart and Sensitive

The Poodle`s intelligence goes beyond trainability and self-control. Poodles are intuitive, sensitive dogs, able to pick up on information from you and your family whether you are trying to train them or not. Your child`s Poodle is likely to be in tune with their mood. 

A dog that seems to understand can make navigating growing up a lot easier for your child. Poodles can often understand the mood in the household as well. This sensitivity lets them fit smoothly into your lives and home better than other breeds. There are several dog breeds who are highly trainable, but few breeds are as sensitive as the Poodle.

If you are looking for a service dog or an emotional support animal for your child, the Poodle is likely to be an excellent choice. Children who are also intelligent and thoughtful will find a like-minded companion in a Poodle. Kids who struggle to be bold and brave may find that the Poodle builds their confidence without overwhelming them.

poodle with baby

A Clean, Graceful Dog

Family life is busy enough without having to worry about cleaning up lots of fur or slobber. The Standard Poodle is extremely well-suited to indoor life and is unlikely to make a mess of your home.

The Poodle`s lush, curly coat makes it almost impossible for children to resist burying their hands and face in the fur. Parents appreciate that the coat is practically shed-free. Children who suffer from allergies may not have as much trouble with the Standard Poodle, although every child`s allergies are different.

Although poodles are large dogs, they`re very graceful and light on their feet. Compared to other large breeds, you may find they are not as likely to scratch the floor or furniture. Their grace makes them less likely to run into things in your home.

Sociable with Everyone

You want your child`s dog to get along well with their friends and other pets. Misplaced protective drives can become dangerous if your dog thinks the other children are a threat to “their” child. Poodles don`t have strong natural protective urges, although they are smart enough to understand if something is going wrong. Your child`s Poodle will show a clear preference for your child, but they will also get along well with other friends and family.

You may want your Poodle to be the only pet in the house, have other pets already, or be unsure about getting more pets. Regardless, you probably want a dog who gets along with everybody. 

Poodles are extremely sociable dogs that get along well with other dogs in the house. They are happy to make friends with other pets like cats, especially if they are socialized early.

Why Might the Poodle not be the Best Dog for your Child?

In general, poodles are great family dogs who thrive around children, but not every family is well-suited to this breed. Here are a few reasons you might not choose the Standard Poodle for your child:

Big and Energetic

Poodles weigh between 40 and 60 lbs, depending on gender, and stand over 15 inches tall. While there are certainly bigger dogs, the Poodle is in no way a slight animal. Children who might be afraid of dogs may find a dog of this size to be intimidating. 

Without good training and self-control development, a Poodle is big enough to potentially knock a child over in boisterous play. To take on a breed of this size, you will have to be committed to training throughout your dog`s lifetime. 

Don`t make the mistake of thinking that you can outsource the job of training your dog to a professional trainer. A trainer can help with training, but active training by your family in the home is essential if you expect your children to have a good relationship with your Poodle.

Poodles aren`t as energetic as many other retrieving breeds. Still, they need a fair amount of exercise and engagement to remain calm and happy. If your kids are already always outside playing in the yard, a Standard Poodle will fit right in. 

However, if your family spends most of their time watching TV or doing other quiet indoor activities, don`t expect the Standard Poodle to draw everybody outside. What is much more likely to happen is that your Poodle will not get sufficient exercise. Insufficient exercise often leads to problem behavior, like hyperactivity and destructiveness. 


The same sensitivity that makes the Standard Poodle a fantastic fit for many families will cause other families problems. Families with members coming and going out of a Poodle`s life may cause a Poodle to become insecure. Families that tend to be very loud and boisterous may make a Poodle nervous. 

Some breeds seem to have an unfazed, happy-go-lucky nature that shields them from instability in the home. Poodles, however, are very sensitive. They are likely to be negatively affected by arguments, loud comings and goings, and general boisterousness in a home. If you have a home that might fit this description and want a Standard Poodle, talk to your breeder about choosing an outgoing, confident puppy. 

What can Kids and Poodles do Together?

Standard poodles and kids are a great match. You`ll find many activities that they can do together to build confidence and self-control in child and dog. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Junior showing. Handling a Standard Poodle for the show can be an amazing experience for your child. Competitions for juniors aren`t hard to find and are frequently held through the Poodle Club of America. Showing can also be a fun opportunity for your family to travel and can introduce your child to grooming and other dog-related activities besides showing.
  • Obedience. Standard Poodles excel at obedience. Training a dog to a high level of obedience can be extremely confidence-building for a child. Whether your child wants to compete in obedience shows or teach your Poodle fun tricks, this is a great activity for them to do together.
  • Agility. Standard poodles are extremely athletic, so naturally they excel at agility. Agility is a great activity for kids who love to run around. Build a home course in your backyard and let your kid and dog entertain themselves for hours practicing their agility routine.
  • Retrieval. Standard Poodles were bred to be retrievers, and they still excel at this task. Whether your child wants to get into hunting with their dog, do a fun activity like dock diving, or just play hours of fetch, retrieving is a great activity for Poodles and kids.

Consider a Standard Poodle for your Child

The Standard Poodle is an outstanding dog for many families. If your children are active and want a dog that they can engage with extensively, this might be the perfect pet for your family.