Poodle Smarts

Something about being out and about with the poodles always gets a lot of attention. From burly, tattooed biker dudes, to little girls wearing pink tutus, all sorts of people seem drawn to the poodles. "Is that a poodle?" I'm asked. Followed, almost exclusively, by "I've heard they are really smart!" Of course, I thank them and agree.

To prove to you that I'm not just biased, the American Kennel Club lists poodles as number two, in the top ten smartest dogs. They're beaten only by the border collie (over achievers if you ask me!) Now, of course I am going to say that Teddy, D'Art and Luna are smart. But you wouldn't expect any other answer, would you?! To prove I'm not just biased, I've reached out to fellow bloggers to get their opinions. Here's what they have to say about poodle smarts.

Lee Anna from Not Afraid of Color and her right-hand guy, Cole, get up to some fun adventures on her blog. Cole, a standard poodle, is a good listener. According to Lee Anna "In the past I would tell him I was going on a business trip, for three sleeps, then I'd come back. On the third night, he [her husband] said Cole took up residence by the front door waiting. Same when my husband was gone, we tell him the number of days and he keeps track." Being such a good listener means that he also learns by assimilation. "I can't count the things he just learned on his own...turn right or left, wait, stop, look here, get it, a million commands really."

Monika and her standard, Sam share numerous adventures on their blog, Tails Around The Ranch.
Sam uses his smarts in two ways:
  1. To get love.
  2. To give love.
He may not be a big fan of learning tricks, but he knows exactly when and for whom to give his attention and affection as he works as a therapy dog. According to Monika, "He’s totally figured out that if he plops the side of his head in your lap or against your thigh, you’ll melt at his sweetness. He’d be right! Patients sure love it and I confess, I’m more than just a bit smitten with it too."

You may well be familiar with Harley and Cathy from Groovy Goldendoodles. Harley, one of two sweet goldendoodles, also works as a therapy dog. Harley's work helps children who need emotional and physical support. Just like Sam, Harley uses his observation skills and sensitivity to aid children by helping them feel calm and comforted during a time when they need it the most. In Cathy's words "I am always blown away with Harley's "smarts" as I watch him adapt and adjust to each individual differently."

Khloee is a miniature poodle and her Mom, Amanda, writes a fun blog called Dog Mom Days. The main difference between a miniature poodle and a standard is just their size! It sounds like Khloee is full of poodle smarts in a small package! According to Amanda, "Khloee has unbelievable awareness. She's always in tune with her surroundings. If Wynston starts barking, McKenzie Rae will join in but Khloee never barks unless she's aware of the intent.  Also, Khloee never strays far from Matt and I, and she's always checking in to make sure we're around. Even if we leave the house for a little bit, she'll howl at us with a sassy tone when we come home just to show her dismay. If we're ever in an off-leash situation, Khloee comes when called and stays right by us. She's been the quickest and easiest of our three dogs to train!"

Now, what about my three you may well ask? Well, D'Art is a lot like Cole. He listens so acutely and knows exactly what his humans are talking about and, as a result, how we are feeling. The flip side to this is that Teddy and D'Art have learned to spell. Saying I'm going to take them for a "W.A.L.K" just doesn't cut-it anymore. I have to start using synonyms like "promenade" or "jaunt" when telling my husband what I'm about to do. They can also spell "H.U.N.G.R.Y". Sigh, where's my thesaurus?

Teddy is always looking for ways to please his humans and is very good at learning tricks, even ones that I haven't taught him. For example, D'Art naturally makes this funny noise that we call "talking". Unlike "speak", which is a bark, "talk" is more of a continuous "roo-rooing" sound. Teddy, while observing us asking D'Art to "talk" on command, learned to mimic that sound so that when I ask D'Art  to "talk", Teddy does it too so that he can reap the praise rewards! He also likes to have a job. He's very good at carrying things (on command) between my husband and myself.

I'm still learning about Luna and her smarts. So far she's learned a new trick ("shake" a paw) in one sitting. She picks up new things very quickly! She is also a very cuddly dog and is pretty good at communicating when and how she wants love and rubs. She has a very sweet demeanor. We're still working on her rather unhealthy obsession with chickens though!

So yes, I'd say poodles are smart. Have you ever met a clever poodle?


  1. What a fun post and SUPER cute photos! Thanks so much for including us :)

  2. What a pawsome post! Thank you for especially making Sam look good - he needs all the help he can get. 😉 The other pups showcased are true-blue smart poodles and your fur-kids are way too adorable. Good thing you're so far away otherwise, I might be tempted to snatch one or two of them (oh heck, who am I kidding, I take 'em all!) when out on a walk. Have a fantastic weekend❣️

  3. That was great! Cole thanks you for acknowledging his intelligence. "Now give me a bone!"

  4. What a "smart" post you wrote! :) Loved every single sentence. Thanks so much for including us!

  5. Yep Poodles are quite brilliant!! Shelties are no slouches either, they are number 6 :) DakotasDen

  6. When I was in high school I used to take care of my neighbor's poodle, Tink, when they went away. I remember him as being very smart and I think he did some tricks. When I think of poodles, I always think of them as being smart, and they've always been on my list of dogs I'd love to have someday.


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