If you're looking for a best friend forever, a toy poodle fills the bill. Where else can you find a smart, active, eager -- and portable -- companion who adores you completely? Giving this devoted little dog the best care is the least you can do for him.
Not only is training beneficial for your little dog -- all canines should have basic obedience training -- it's likely he'll shine in his classes. Toy poodles are intelligent dogs who live to please their person, so they often make star pupils. You can continue on with agility or other training, but your poodle needs to know and respond to all-important commands like, "Come!" It could save his life some day.
You know that your dog needs an annual veterinary examination, along with staying up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite control. If you're aware of common ailments affecting the breed, you can take your pet to the vet when early, subtle signs appear. These include breathing difficulties due to a collapsed trachea, which starts out as a persistent, honking cough. Any limping, whether intermittent or not, requires a vet checkup, as toy poodles often suffer from slipped kneecaps. Another cause of lameness could be Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a degradation of the thigh bone requiring surgical treatment.
Toy, miniature and standard poodles all have the same 42 teeth in their mouths, but for the first two poodles types all of those teeth can be a tight squeeze. Toy poodles often suffer from dental disease, so it's important to start brushing and checking on your dog's teeth from the start. Your toy poodle might need an annual dental cleaning done by your veterinarian, which requires anesthesia.
In addition to taking your dog to the groomers on a regular basis for clipping, give your poodle a good brushing at least every other day. You can probably learn to clip your dog's face and feet yourself, as this hair retains dirt from food and the outdoors and requires more frequent trimming than the rest of the coat.
Your toy poodle needs physical and mental exercise. Taking him for daily walks fulfills the former, while the latter includes playing games with your dog and including him in your activities. When walking your dog, use a harness and leash rather than a collar, avoiding strain on the neck and windpipe.
Toy poodles weren't developed to hunt, guard, track or herd. Like other toy breeds, their primary purpose is providing companionship, a task at which they excel. One of the best ways to take care of your toy poodle is to keep him with you as often as possible, because he doesn't like being separated from you. While some dogs might be just fine with "quality" rather than quantity time, the toy poodle isn't one of them. Because toy poodles bond so closely with their person, they aren't really happy if you aren't there.
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