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Poodle Care


Few dogs have climbed such high favour as the Poodle yet no one knows where it originally came from. It is supposed to have originated in Germany although that is doubtful. For years it has been retarded as the national dog of France but it almost certainly did not originate there. The breed is probably of great antiquity.

The Poodle is at the top of the popularity charts all over the world. In the United States it is consistently in first place. The reasons are many, but the most probable one is the Poodle’s great intelligence. The Poodle is assertive, extremely responsive, loyal and intelligent beyond belief. He can learn anything and makes a fine watchdog.

The name Poodle comes from the German pudel or pudelin, meaning to splash in the water. The Standard Poodle originated as a water retriever. Hunting and retrieving were not only a sport, but a necessary means of obtaining food. Poodles selected for field work had to be of exceptional quality, intelligence and reliability. It was field work that was responsible for the first Poodle coat trim. The profuse coat provided the dog ample protection from freezing waters, however in swamps and reeds so much coat impeded his swimming. To overcome this problem, hunters sheared the dog’s hindquarters to allow free use of the back legs, giving the dog a lighter, swifter swim. They left small cuffs of hair around the joints of the legs and hips to protect from continued exposure to cold, while the rest of the coat remained a cover for the chest and lungs for added buoyancy. Tying of the topknot was also first associated with retrieving, since obviously a dog could see its quarry better if its forelocks were tied up. Plus coloured ribbons identified dogs in the water.

The Toy Poodles ancestors are believed to have been the truffle dog. This dog was depended upon to paw the ground indicating the location of the truffle—an edible underground fungus considered a delicacy. Truffles commanded high prices and truffle hunting was a wide spread trade in certain areas. In order to harvest the crop, it first had to be sniffed out. Originally pigs were used for the job, but it is said that the pigs were more likely to root out the truffle and eat it themselves. With his high intelligence and trainability, the Poodle was a natural for this task. Even his white coat was an asset since truffle hunts were conducted after dark.

Because Poodles come in such a variety of colours and can be clipped in so many ways, they serve any taste. That is another reason for their great popularity. We have three sizes as well as an array of colours. We have white, black, brown, cream and blue ones, silver, red, apricot and so, any solid colour is allowed. They do not shed, but their hair is fast growing and has no apparent maximum length. It keeps right on growing as long as you let it. Every four to six weeks the Poodle needs clipping and styling and that is a chore many people, choose to leave to the experts. The coat lends itself to a choice of hair styling. The various clips are, of course, a matter of taste insofar as the average owner is concerned.

Poodles adjust and fit in to any family situation around them. It is like having an extra person in the family. They seem to understand everything and as a result, are immensely popular and will be for a long time to come.


After purchasing your first poodle, be it Toy, Miniature or Standard, there are some simple procedures for keeping him/her in top condition. If you made your purchase from a registered breeder, you may already be aware of the care a poodle needs, if not then please read on:

At 8 weeks of age your puppy should already have its face, feet and base of tail clipped. This should be done every 4 weeks until the pup is 6 months old; this enables the pup to become accustomed to the feel and noise of the clippers. Ears should be plucked at this time and also the nails should be trimmed. Check ears weekly and clean them with a good ear cleaner. As an adult it is recommended that poodles be clipped every 6 to 8 weeks. If you prefer your poodle to have a longer feet and face, they may need to be trimmed more regularly as the hair needs to be kept away from the eyes and the feet will need to he checked for grass seeds etc. between toes and pads (long feet also make messy foot prints in the house when wet).

Brushing with a slicker brush every day while the pup is still young will get him/her into a routine and keep him/her knot free. Run a steel comb through the coat after brushing just to be sure no knots were missed, As an adult, thorough grooming three times a week is sufficient. Grooming and removal of knots is essential BEFORE bathing. When brushing, part the coat and brush from the roots out. Poodles DO MOLT, but they do not drop their coat, when they molt they need to be brushed more regularly, otherwise the dead hair stays in the coat and will become matted. Mild, medicated pet shampoos are recommended, most products will contain a moisturizing agent, and conditioning is not usually needed. Always ensure ALL shampoo is rinsed, otherwise dandruff will occur and may make the dog itch.

If your puppy objects to brushing, you must persist and be consistent (just as for toilet training). Place your puppy on a table and spend a few minutes every day and don’t stop because he/she is trying to bite or yelps, as this is his way of teaching YOU! He will soon learn that the job gets done quicker when there is no fuss. Always remember to praise when he/she has been good. Do not play with the pup while he is on the table, otherwise he will not understand the difference between playtime and groom time.

A common thought amongst pet owners is that a poodle should be kept long during the winter because “he/she will get cold”. This is OK if you are prepared to do the work to keep his coat knot free. If you leave your dog to he a long matted mess because it is too cold, your groomer will have no alternative but to strip the dog bald. If you prefer short, maintenance free cut for your dog, it is best to be short all year round as the body will acclimatize to the changing weather. It is no problem if the dog is inside all day and night, and if he is an outside dog, a weatherproof kennel will keep him warm. Doggy jumpers come in handy for your shorthaired poodle when you go out in the weather, but can cause the longer coat to matt twice as fast.

Groom time is just as important as Playtime and helps the bonding process.

Poodle Grooming Information

Poodles have a coat that is unique to their breed (although they do share similar coat characteristics with the Bichon Frise and the Bedlington Terrier). This coat type grows continually and does not shed in the same way other breed so. The curly structure of the hair shaft can act as a trap for not only dead hair but for grass seeds and other foreign bodies. Unless removed on a regular basis knots and mats can quickly develop; these are not only hot and uncomfortable for your Poodle but can easily lead to nasty skin and parasite problems.

How often Your Poodle needs to be clipped/groomed is dependent on several different factors:
The type of clip your Poodle has
The type of Coat your Poodle has i.e. soft of harsh
Your Poodle’s lifestyle

Broadly speaking, Poodles should be clipped/groomed every 4-8 weeks, throughout his/her entire life.

Contrary to popular belief winter is not the time to stop clipping/grooming your Poodle. Although a longer coat length may be more appropriate during cooler months, it is vital that areas such as face, feet, tail, ears and nails are not neglected. Dead hair still needs to be removed from the coat. Whilst many owners prefer not to have their dogs clipped to short, your groomer should be able to offer and discuss a variety of different trims and grooming techniques which allow for a longer coat length, whist still maintaining good coat condition.

Groomers, all too often are faced with a badly knotted or matted Poodle and told “Don’t take to much off...” Groomers do not have magic wands: dematting not only damages the coat but even when the greatest care and attention is observed the process is often painful and distressing for the dog. The secret therefore, and the key to responsible Poodle ownership, is regular grooming. Either learn the necessary techniques to care for your Poodle’s coat correctly yourself, or seek a good groomer who is not only experienced with the breed but whom you can also communicate well with.

Poodle coats are high maintenance and as a responsible owner you should be committed to caring for the coat. You are privileged to own a unique breed; Poodles have a great sense of fun and a zest for life, and an endless amount of love for their owners. What better way to repay the hours of love and enjoyment than by caring for your dog correctly?


Dogs are affected by 4 types of gut worm. Roundworms, Tapeworms, Whipworms and Hookworms. All of which can cause severe damage to the digestive system. It’s worth knowing that— Pups can be infected with roundworm and hookworm larva whilst in the mother’s uterus or via the milk.

Hookworms can kill young pups through blood loss
Roundworms can cause vomiting, coughing and blockages in the intestines
Whipworms can cause lots of abdominal pain, fever and diarrhea
Tapeworm can be carried by fleas and cause an itchy bottom.


Hookworm larvae can cause dermatitis and diarrhea
Roundworm larvae can infect children
Hydatid tapeworm are a great danger to man causing cysts throughout the body
Hydatids are only a problem if your dog eats offal from sheep, kangaroos or pigs


2—12 wks every 2 weeks with Drontal
3—6 mths every month with Drontal
After 6 mths every 3 months with Drontal
If risk of Hydatids—alternate worming every 6 weeks with Drontal and Droncit
It might be wise to discuss this with your Vet at to his preference
Your Puppy has been wormed with Drontal at
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks


All Puppies should be vaccinated against DISTEMPER, HEPATITIS and PARVOVIRUS. These are viral diseases of dogs, which are contagious, and can be fatal despite rapid veterinary treatment. In addition, a vaccination is available for Kennel Cough.

Your Puppy HAS had a TEMPORARY vaccination against Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Parvo Virus. This vaccination is only TEMPORARY and your puppy should NOT mix with other dogs until it has had it’s FULL SET of vaccinations (at 12 weeks and again at 16 weeks). Try to avoid taking your puppy to public places (parks, nature strips, etc) where other dogs have been.

After this initial course of 3 shots, all dogs should be vaccinated yearly. It is a requirement if you board your dog at a Kennels.


Is a highly contagious viral disease affecting dogs of all ages. The first signs are listlessness and reluctance to eat, associated with high temperatures, followed by coughing, purulent discharge from nose and eyes, diarrhea and large pimples on abdomen. Not all signs are always present. Later the virus affects the brain and the severity of brain cell destruction decides if the dog will develop twitches or fits. Sometimes the nervous system involvement does not occur for some weeks after the dog appears to have become better, it having taken time for the virus to spread throughout the body, these fits are very difficult to treat and generally the dogs with distemper fits are put to sleep. Vaccination is the only method to prevent distemper. The first (temporary) vaccination is given to the pup at 6 - 8 weeks of age.; This is repeated at 12 - 14 weeks, followed by yearly boosters.

Is another highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver in the dog. Again the signs include high temperature, listlessness, reluctance to eat, vomiting and diarrhea, but also thirst, jaundice and anemia. Death is rapid, often only 2 - 4 days after the first signs of the disease. Dogs that recover often have poor growth rates and weight gains as well as permanent liver and kidney damage. Also most recovered dogs become carriers of the disease, excreting virus particles in their urine for up to 8 months. Once again, vaccination is the only method of protection and the programme is as for distemper. Vaccination in early life produces a very good immunity to hepatitis.

This virus causes severe gastroenteritis in dogs of all ages. It also produces heart muscle disease in 2 - 12 week old pups which causes sudden deaths. The virus is highly contagious. The usual signs are depression followed by vomiting and diarrhea with rapid development of shock dehydration and death. This disease may show persistent vomiting and diarrhea unresponsive to treatment with death occurring anywhere from 1 - 14 days after first signs start. Treatment involves careful nursing, cleaning, prevention of dehydration by use of drips plus regular and continued drug therapy. Immunisation gives good protection and the vaccination programme is as that for distemper and hepatitis. Multi vaccine boosters are given once yearly.

What is it?
Canine heartworm disease is caused by worms which live in the chambers of the heart and develop by feeding on the surrounding blood. The worms are quite thin and, when mature, are about 30cm long. The actual number of worms in each dog is variable but can exceed two hundred in some dogs. As the worm burden increases so does the severity of the disease.

How does it affect your dog?
The heart, lungs, liver, kidney and blood can all be affected by this disease. However, the lungs and heart are most directly involved. Early in the disease the dog will tire more easily with exercise, develop chronic cough, lose weight and maybe develop a dry coat. In the more severe case, the dog will develop congestive heart failure with distension of the abdomen with fluid. At this stage the degree of damage to internal organs is severe. An even more severe form is possible in which the animal becomes very depressed and may collapse, find difficulty breathing and is usually pale and jaundiced. These signs are associated with severe heartworm disease and the associated destruction of the dog’s red blood cells. It is important to realize that the disease is quite severe by the time the dog starts to show external signs and because of this, it may be impossible for the dog to fully recover with treatment by your veterinarian.

How is it transmitted?
Heart worm is spread to dogs by mosquitoes which carry the microscopic larval stage (microfilaria). When the infected mosquito feeds, they pass into the tissues beneath the dog’s skin. Eventually, they pass into the blood stream. And then to the heart and lungs. In the heart they reach maturity, approximately months after the initial mosquito bite. Thus, if a dog is bitten repeatedly throughout the year a severe heartworm infection is probable. Adult heartworm females produce further microfilaria which move back into the bloodstream where they are ingested by mosquitoes sucking the blood, and so the cycle continues.

Diagnosis of Heartworm Disease.
The presence of heartworm in your dog can be verified by one or more blood tests. The appropriate type for the individual dog will depend on many factors and will be chosen at the time of the sample being taken. Results are usually available within 24 - 48 hours. Sometimes X-ray or ECG may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Your veterinarian will advise you regarding how frequently your dog should be checked for heartworm. As control of mosquitoes is difficult, the only effective approach to prevention is to give your dog preventative medication. Currently, there are 3 options available,
Daily Tablets
Daily syrup
Monthly tablets

All of these are give orally, and the dose depends on the weight of the dog. P:reventative is given on an all year round basis. Your dog must be examined by your veterinarian prior to the commencement of preventative dosing. Retesting maybe necessary if there is a break in regular dosing throughout the dogs like. If a dog with mircofilaria in its blood is placed on preventative treatment, a severe sometimes fatal reaction can occur, hence the need for veterinary examination first.

Treatment of Existing Disease
As one case of heartworm may be quite different to another, your veterinarian will decide upon the treatment that will be most suitable to your dog’s condition. This may involve the use of injections, tablets or medicine and may necessitate the hospitalization of your dog. Sometimes the damage caused by the worms has to be treated before the worms themselves can be treated and subsequently killed.

In some severe cases treatment of the actual worms may cause severe reactions in the lungs and so some types of treatment may have to be avoided. It is important to appreciate that once external signs of the disease are apparent, the internal damage may be quite severe. Hence the extreme importance of preventative dosing to stop infection and internal damage.

This severe disease can be prevented and your veterinarian will advise how best to accomplish this goal.


Tick paralysis is a potentially fatal condition in dogs and cats, caused by the toxin of the paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus.
This tick is common and is found right down the East Coast of Australia to just outside Melbourne, as a general rule we find that wherever there has been frost, the tick does not seem to survive. But as the ;bandicoots move about in the spring, they will spread the tick into the fringe of frost areas. The tick seems to be mainly in the hilly areas - cool, wet and frost free. Also it has been found that if we have a little rain between May and January, tick paralysis cases seem to follow.

It is the female tick which is poisonous, the male being much smaller, while there are other species of tick, they are difficult to distinguish from paralysis tick and should be deemed as potentially dangerous.

Remove all ticks with forceps, without prior application of any material such as disinfectant, metho, etc. There is no need to worry about leaving the “head” behind, as the salivary glands that cause the problem are generally are moved with the body of the tick.

Signs of tick paralysis (any or all may be seen).
Paralysis develops three days after the adult tick attaches and has been constantly feeding.
General weakness, inability to stand
Becoming wobbly or staggering when walking
A change in depth of barking sounds
Difficulty breathing, sometimes with a forced “grunt”
Dilated pupils, eyes half closed
Vomiting and respiratory paralysis, leading to death.

Any of these signs warrant urgent veterinary attentions as signs can progress rapidly and death can occur in as little as 24 hours after onset of signs. Treatment involves the use of tick antiserum and supportive drugs and nursing. The treatment of tick paralysis cases requires a large amount of veterinary and nursing time, as well as relatively expensive drugs, and a successful outcome is not always possible, even when treatment is given early in the course of the condition.

There is no such thing as a typically predictable case, this is because ticks vary in their degree of toxicity and dogs vary in their own ability to respond to the antiserum and drugs, both individually and within breeds. Therefore, before treating a pet for tick paralysis, you can expect the veterinarian to discuss the prognosis and costs involved with you.

After a successful treatment course there are several things an owner must do at home.

Give all dispensed drugs as directed
Keep your pet restricted/quiet for 2 - 4 weeks and keep him/her cool.
Search for further ticks every day. A pet does not develop immunity after a case of tick paralysis and in fact is more susceptible during the first month of recovery. NB….A second case of tick paralysis in the same animal is even more dangerous because of the potential for reaction to the serum.

Prevention is the best treatment, there are many new tick and flee treatments on the market now to help prevent your pet from having this problem, so when you visit your vet ask his advise on the best product to use for your area.
And remember the best treatment is a daily inspection, run your hands through your dogs hair looking for any small pea sized lumps.


Before we domesticated the family pooch they were hunting animals. Tearing at carcasses no doubt kept their teeth cleaner than tinned food and crunches do today. Dental problems in pets are most typically seen as dental plaque, tartar and gum inflammation which is known as gingivitis.

Dogs cannot clean their teeth like we can and so plaque gradually begins to form on the sides of their teeth. It is a mixture of minerals and salts from the salivary glands, food particles and bacteria.
The problem is that once it starts it’s away and new plaque builds up on old. Soon enough, there can be a yellow grey look and furry feel to the sides of the teeth as tartar builds up.

Before you see it though, you usually smell it, a friendly lick becomes no fun at all. The bacteria love growing in plaque and as the tartar pushes back the gum, infection set in between the teeth and gums.

The reddening, swelling and infection of the gums is gingivitis. It is not just the smell that is the problem, the gums retract and cause pain and infection which will cause problems with eating, tooth decay and if things get worse, no teeth at all.

Unfortunately dogs are not good at sitting patiently with their mouths open, that is why they need an anaesthetic to have the job done properly. All the tartar can be cleaned off using instruments similar to the dentists, and teeth which are badly affected can be removed. Your pet might need a short course of antibiotics to control infection.

If any teeth have been removed, think of it as your mouth. It’s best not to feed food that night that might get stuck in sockets—so no mince or canned food for a couple of days.

Chopped meat or dry food is better. Whether you are starting afresh or from scratch there’s a few things you can do to reduce the problem.

Try to encourage chewing to keep the teeth clean. Strips of raw meat flaps and hard biscuits, chicken necks and raw bones help keep teeth cleaner - BUT REMEMBER, NEVER FEED COOKED BONES.

Try to encourage chewing to keep the teeth clean. Strips of raw meat flaps and hard biscuits, chicken necks and raw bones help keep teeth cleaner - BUT REMEMBER, NEVER FEED COOKED BONES.

If you are really keen, you might buy your dog his own ORAL-B and give his teeth a brush once a week.

What are natural, with no preservatives of additives, good for cleaning dog’s teeth and look like babe’s ears? That’s right pigs ears!!

They have been cleaned and dried with nothing else added to become the latest fad in rawhide chews. You may find this a bit hard to stomach, but your dog will love it, keeping him/her occupied for hours.

Rawhide is always a good alternative to bones. It removes the danger of dogs swallowing splinters of bone and the hassle of having smelly bones around the house.

Note: There are veterinarians who specialize in treating Dental problems. Look them up in the Yellow Pages.


Clean healthy ears can be maintained by making it a regular part of your weekly grooming programme.
Poodles should have the hair removed from their ears to prevent problems occurring. Ear powder, a chalky white substance that makes the hair easier to grab and pull, is a must for this job. You can purchase it at a pet supply shop. To remove the hair (which should be done before cleaning) apply a small amount to the ear canal, make sure the ear hair is covered with powder. While holding the ear flap with your left hand, gently pluck the ear hair with your right thumb and forefinger. Be sure to pull only the hair that grows in the canal. This does not hurt the dog, and most dogs do not object to it.

Generally, healthy ears don’t need much cleaning. It is a good practice to place cotton balls in dogs ears before bathing and if your dog is a regular swimmer, pat it’s ears dry after each swim, wipe your dog’s ears out with a dry cotton ball or one slightly moistened with mineral oil each time you groom. You can also use commercially prepared ear cleaners, available from your Vet or pet shop.
Cleaning a dirty ear, one filled with wax or dark brown debris a sign of ear mites) is another story.

A healthy ear should be free of debris, dirt or excess wax, with no sores or inflammation. Ears with a problem also emit a strong odour, healthy ears DO NOT! An unpleasant odour is an ear that need attention. If your dogs ears are extremely warm to touch or sensitive (ear infections can be painful) or if you see your dog shaking it’s head or tilting it’s head to one side or scratching it’s ears, any of these behaviours especially if it is accompanied By smelly or debris filled ear - SEE YOUR VET.

Some dogs suffer from chronic ear problems, including bacterial infections, yeast or fungus infections, ear mites or allergies. Such conditions must be diagnosed and treated by your Vet.

Don’t try to treat a sore inflamed ear yourself, it could only lead to more problems, talk to your Vet, the best advice again is prevention.

Check your dogs ears frequently.


The term “oestrus” (or “heat”) refers to the period when a female dog is sexually receptive and able to conceive (the term “oestrus cycle” describes the hormonal events from one oestrus to the next). Unlike humans, bitches have a sex drive which is linked to their oestrus cycle - a bitch will only mate when she is on heat. Most bitch’s experience their first season at around eight to ten months, although this can vary considerably. A bitch which has had her first oestrus is described as sexually mature, although she is usually not fully grown. It is not advisable to allow a bitch to conceive during her first season as she is unlikely to have enough physical or mental maturity to cope with the drains of motherhood.

The part of the oestrus cycle which we can observe (ie the bitch shows behavioral signs) is divided into two parts - proestrus and true oestrus. Proestrus begins when a discharge from the vulva first appears. This discharge is usually blood tinged and is accompanied by swelling of the vulva. During this time, the bitch will attract and flirt with male dogs, although she wont stand to be mated. Proestrus typically lasts around nine days, although this does vary especially with the bitch’s first heat.

True oestrus occurs when the bitch will stand to be mated. This is frequently around the tenth day after onset of proestrus. The discharge from the vulva will often become clear, and the bitch can conceive if mated during this time. Ovulation occurs between the second and fourth day of oestrus. When a bitch is in oestrus, male dogs will enthusiastically seek her out - if no mate is forthcoming, she will do her best to escape confinement and find him herself. Bitches on heat need to be securely enclosed if unwanted pregnancies are to be avoided. The end of oestrus is signified by the bitches refusal to stand to a male dog, and occurs between five and twelve days after the onset of heat (average—nine days). Most bitches have two seasons a year, although in young bitches, the second season often comes earlier. Most people who do not want to breed from their bitches have them surgically sterilized, in order to avoid all the inconveniences that oestrus cycles bring. A neutered bitch has had her ovaries and uterus removed, and will no longer come into season.


Any pet over the age of six months old can be desexed. We suggest early desexing of females (prior to coming on heat) so that chances of mammary tumors are deduced. Castrated dogs are less likely to be aggressive and less likely to wander.

In the male, it is known as castration, in the female, spaying. In the male the testes are removed. In the female, the ovaries and uterus are removed. The object of neutering is to prevent the animal from coming into season and reproducing.

The advantages are:
It avoids the unwanted problems of strays and neighbourhood animals invading your place, or your pet straying. Dogs smell a bitch from kilometers away.
Avoids unwanted young animals
Almost eliminates any chance of breast cancer (id desexed before two years of age)
There is no evidence that an animal is better off it has had young before it is desexed.


The Pill. There are two ways, one is to postpone the heat, the other is to suppress the heat. The postpone system is used when the bitch is not on heat and is a rather long course. The suppress is used just as the bitch comes on heat, it must start on the very first day that a blood discharge shows.

The Injection. This is a postpone system. The bitch is given an injection every six months when she is not in season.
Mismating Injection. If your bitch has been mated accidentally, then mismating injections can be given but they must be given on the Third, Fifth and Seventh day after being mated.


Your dog may live twelve or fifteen years, on average.

Are you ready to make the commitment to keeping him/her well and happy for this time? What plans have you made as far as spending time with him/her? Will you have the time and patience to house train your puppy properly? By spending time and patience now, teaching your puppy to like to be groomed and to be clean in your home, you will have a much more pleasant - to - be - with adult dog.

Dogs love to please people. Some can be stubborn, but still the best way to train your puppy is with gentleness, praise and patience.

Sometimes things don’t work out like we planned. Perhaps your dog doesn’t suit your life-style any longer, perhaps you are moving or must give away your dog. PLEASE do not take your dog to the shelter or try to sell your dog before calling me. If I cannot be contacted please contact the POODLE CLUB in your State for information and help, all Clubs usually run a rescue service and will only be too pleased to help with any problem.

Poodle Clubs can be contacted by ringing the Canine Council in your State.

On the other hand, what will happen to your dog if something should happen to you?

Please provide for your dog in your will or have a verbal agreement with your spouse, a trusted friend, or your veterinarian. Please don’t neglect this important provision in your planning. Don’t assume family members will take this responsibility for your pet. Discuss it with them and find a workable solution to protect your trusted friend.

A puppy’s love is unconditional - look after him/her well. Love him/her for what he/she is - cuddles, walks, good food and a warm bed are all he/she asks for - a small request for the love and protection you will receive in return.

CHOOSE WISELY and you can expect to have your friend for their lifetime.

May you and your puppy have a pleasurable life together.

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