Picking Your Puppy
When you are choosing which puppy to join your family it is important to look beyond color and cuteness to see which puppy's personality will be the best fit for your family and lifestyle. Your breeder will perform personality evaluations on the litter and give you suggestions but you may get a choice between several puppies if multiple puppies are suitable. Here are some tips to help you understand your breeder's suggestions and help you choose the right puppy for you!
How active are you? Do you want a puppy that will be quiet and calm while you work from home or watch television, or do you want a puppy that will want to hike with your every day and go on adventures?
How long will the puppy typically be left alone during the day while the household is at work or school? A clingy puppy may not be a good choice if the puppy will be left alone for longer periods.
Do you have small children? Choose a puppy that is accepting of the rougher handling of children and perhaps a larger size to tolerate accidentally being pinched or stepped on. A puppy that is too boisterous may not be tolerated by the children if it is too nippy.
Do you have other pets? A puppy that is tolerant of cats would be ideal if you have a cat, and a puppy with a low prey drive will be ideal if you have small caged pets like rats or rabbits.
Do you plan to do sports with your poodle? If so, you will want a puppy that is driven and biddable and has the proper conformation for whatever sport you are planning on.
Are you wanting a therapy dog or service dog? You will want a puppy that is calm, intelligent, and doesn't have high drive or prey drive.
Do you have any physical limitations? A puppy who is calmer and more people-oriented may be easier to deal with for seniors or people who have mobility issues who would find chasing after a boisterous puppy difficult.
Male or Female?
In our experience with poodles, there isn't a huge difference in the personality between males and females especially if they are spayed or neutered at the appropriate age. On average, males tend to be a bit more people-oriented and like to be held and cuddled. Females are more driven and biddable but can be more stand-offish as a result. Some people prefer females because they believe males mark, but females can also be markers, especially if they are intact. Males tend to be slightly larger than females but not always.
Keep In Mind
Your puppy's personality at the time of their evaluation to the time they go to their new home is only a baseline as to what their potential adult personality will be. There are still a lot of factors that shape their personality and how you train and desensitize them will greatly affect how they turn out.