Are Poodles Good with Kids? Here’s What You Need to Know!

By Nancy Williams •  Updated: 07/07/22 •  18 min read

I have always known that a poodle is a good pet for an adult. However, there are some things to consider if you have children in the house. In my research, I found out some important facts.

So, are Poodles good with kids?

Poodles are often chosen as pets for families with kids because, on the whole, they are considered a good breed to have around children. These dogs tend to be friendly and even-tempered while being very energetic; however, all owners should be prepared to give their poodles exercise regularly given how energetic these dogs are.

Owning a dog can be an amazing experience for kids, as it teaches them responsibility and provides immense joy. Fortunately, Poodles are almost universally friendly dogs that pair well with children.

There are many reasons why a Poodle might be the right dog for your family, so let’s go over just some of them.

Why Poodles Make Excellent Pets for Kids

One of the best things about Poodles is that they are always ready to play. If you have a young child, this can be a great way to bond and help them learn how to interact with animals.

A girl swimming in a lake with her poodle

Plus, playing fetch with a ball or Frisbee is great exercise for both your kid and your dog!

When you’re looking for a dog to join your family, it’s important to find one that has the proper temperament and personality.

If you have small children, you may be looking for a breed that loves to play and have fun. Or perhaps you’re looking for a more calm dog that will just lay around all day (but still be there when you need them).

The Poodle is both of these things and more!

Poodles are incredibly energetic and active dogs who love nothing more than to play with their people—whether it’s fetching a ball or just chasing them around the yard.

They are also very social dogs, which makes them great companions for families with kids.

While some dogs may not enjoy having children around because of their unpredictability and unwillingness to respect personal space, Poodles —known for their playfulness—usually need no convincing.

Poodles — a breed that is extremely intelligent and trainable by nature–can be given the socialization skills necessary to deal with young children.

Poodles don’t shed nearly as much as some dog breeds, and they are easier to groom than some other pets.

Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs, meaning their hair doesn’t fall off after it grows to a certain extent like German Shepherds and Huskies. It’s good for people with kids who have pet allergies to get a poodle because it will not cause an allergic reaction.

Friendliness, dependability, and loyalty are all important factors in choosing a dog, and a Poodle possesses all of these qualities.

While caution must be taken when leaving young children unattended with a Poodle, their friendly temperament and loyalty make them ideal dogs for kids. 

Given the Poodle’s friendly personality and devotion, you can expect your children to love the dog and cherish it for years to come.

If you’re thinking about getting a Poodle, it’s important that they have proper toys and space to get the exercise they need. You should also make sure your kids know the basics of dog safety before bringing home a new puppy.

Are Poodles Good with Kids?

Poodles are a fantastic choice for families with kids.

These dogs are typically very good-natured, meaning they take well to being petted and can even be cuddled by kids. Poodles are generally happy-go-lucky dogs that enjoy playing and spending time with their family!

A little girl holding her poodle in her arms

A poodle’s personality is also formed by how they were raised. When they are well socialized as a dog puppy, they will be more likely to get along great with children.

Eager to please and enjoy spending time with their family, poodles tend to be friendly and playful. Poodle puppies that are well socialized around humans will get along great with kids in the home—perhaps even too much at times!

They can display so much affection for children that they may knock over or hurt very small children or frail older adults.

A Miniature Poodle, who may be less than knee-high to your kids and not very strong, is a better fit with younger—and shorter—children in the home. A Standard Poodle can be too much for younger kids to handle.

Do Poodles Make Good Family Dogs or Can They Be Aggressive?

Despite the Poodle’s stellar reputation for not being aggressive, all dogs have an innate potential to be dangerous in certain situations. It’s most often a matter of their training or lack thereof.

A young boy playing with two poodles

While Poodles are typically eager-to-please and quick learners, they do require guidance, socialization with other animals/people as well as training on how to behave around humans.

Aggression is generally not a natural trait in a poodle, which is why this dog may not be the best choice if you want an aggressive guard dog.

Although most poodles are not aggressive, each individual poodle possesses different traits and a poodle can develop aggressive tendencies.

Here are 5 things you can do to prevent aggression in your poodle:

  1. The first thing you can do to prevent aggression in your poodle is to be sure that you are addressing the cause of the aggression. Poodles are naturally very friendly, but if they are displaying aggressive behavior it could be because they are feeling threatened or insecure. If this is the case, spend some extra time with your poodle and make sure that you are giving them plenty of attention and affection. If your poodle feels safe and secure then they will be less likely to lash out at others.
  2. The second thing that you can do to prevent aggression in your poodle is to make sure that they get enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Poodles have high energy levels so if they don’t get enough exercise then they may become bored or frustrated which could lead to aggressive behavior such as biting or snapping at people who come near them. Make sure that your poodle gets plenty of walks every day as well as some time outside in their yard where they can run around freely without being confined to a leash or fenced-in area all day long!
  3. Teach your puppy some basic commands, like “sit” and “stay.” This will help them learn how to control their impulses and also gives them something positive to focus on instead of getting anxious when they’re aroused by something in their environment.
  4. Don’t leave your poodle alone for too long at a time, especially if they’re young or have been through a lot of change lately (e.g., moving). Poodles who are left alone for a long time are more likely to act out—either by chewing up your belongings or barking at passersby—to express their frustration at being left alone for so long!
  5. Get professional help if things don’t improve after trying these steps for a few weeks or months at home! You may want to talk with your veterinarian about medication options or consult with an animal behaviorist who specializes in aggression problems in dogs.

Safety Tips for Children Living with Poodles

A young boy with a white poodle in a park

Although Poodles are loving, good-tempered companions, accidents can happen when their high energy levels and large size lead to knocking people over.

Here are a handful of ways to ensure peace and harmony between your children and their canine companions.

  1. Make sure your children are taught how to properly interact with the dog. They should know that it is not acceptable to tease or scare the animal, and they should never try to pick up a dog that doesn’t like being picked up.
  2. The best way to keep your child safe around dogs is to minimize the time they spend with the dog alone. This is especially important for young children who are still learning to walk or talk.
  3. Dogs need exercise, so make sure your kids can help you ensure that your pooch gets plenty of walks and playtime in the yard or at the park.
  4. Ensure that children are taught to respect each other’s space when handling dogs, especially if they have just met one another for the first time—this includes making sure they do not crowd them or try to take their toys away from them.
  5. Encourage your children to learn how to properly care for and groom their dog, as well as how to feed and exercise it. This will help them develop a sense of responsibility and teach them how dogs need care and attention in order to thrive.
  6. Make sure your child understands that it is NOT okay for him/her to hit or kick the dog. Hitting another living being is never okay!
  7. If you have children who are afraid of dogs, it is important that you do not force them to interact with any dogs until they have overcome their fear and are comfortable doing so.
  8. Discuss with your children why you have chosen a certain breed of dog, and how it might affect them personally (for example, if you are allergic to dogs). Know the breed of dog you’re bringing into the house—and be prepared for the behavior that comes with it.
  9. It is also important that your children do not tease or torment dogs in any way; this can result in aggression or your poodle being mean to your child. This sort of behavior, if left unattended, can lead to your kid getting injured as well your dog damaging your home or property (e.g., digging holes in your backyard, defecating inside the house, chewing furniture, etc.).
  10. If your kids are old enough, let them help make decisions about training (and don’t forget to give them credit when they do something right!). This will help them feel like they have some control over what’s going on with the dog as well as show them how important it is to take responsibility for their actions!

What Size Poodle Is Best For Kids?

Poodles are one of the most popular companion breeds of dogs. If you are looking for a dog that is great with children, then a poodle might be the perfect choice for you.

A young girl playing with her miniature poodle

Poodles come in three sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard. Each size has its own height and weight guidelines that must be followed when breeding your poodle.

Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three sizes. They can weigh anywhere between 6 and 9 pounds and stand about 10 inches tall at their shoulders.

Miniature Poodles are slightly larger than Toys, weighing in at around 12 pounds with a height from 12 to 20 inches at their shoulders.

And Standard Poodles are the largest of all three sizes, with weights ranging from 60 to 70 pounds and heights from 17 to 24 inches at their shoulders.

You will also want to make sure that you choose a poodle that will be able to handle the amount of activity that your children will put it through.

So, which size would be best for a kid?

The best size is determined by your child’s age, height, weight and activity level.

If you have an older child who loves to play with their dog, then a standard poodle may be a better choice than a smaller toy poodle or miniature poodle because they will be able to keep up with them more easily.

If you have younger children (under 8 years old), then it’s best to get a smaller poodle like a miniature poodle to not overwhelm your kid.

I would suggest meeting with a few different mini and small standard poodle breeders—explain what you’re looking for, how much experience each of the kids have working or interacting with dogs.

You could even arrange to meet up in person with some of these potential candidates so that your family can get an idea about who / what might be the best fit for each other!

My first inclination would be to get a young adult sturdy mini or small standard poodle, rather than a puppy.

A young-adult mini or small standard poodle between 12 to 16 months is what I would go for.

Do Poodle Puppies Get Along With Kids?

I think the biggest challenge in having a poodle puppy and small children is that poodle puppies tend to be very mouthy.

I have seen a fair share of poodle puppies that were notorious for jumping up and nipping at people.

The problem is that children seem to enjoy running and screaming, which only makes them more exciting targets for the dogs to chase around the house.

When you allow your poodle puppy to play with your kids, it is important to have a plan in case either the children or the puppy got too rambunctious.

Many poodle puppies don’t “grow up” and calm down until around the age of two to three years, so some rambunctiousness is to be expected from a poodle puppy.

A young girl playing with her miniature poodle

It’s important to consider your schedule, how much time and energy you have available in a day, and whether or not you can afford the cost of raising a puppy along with your children(s).

This is a brief guide to some important considerations:

If you hear all of this and think, “I could do that!” then by all means go for it. It would be great for your kids to have such an active role in the family pet’s life. But if you are already so over-stretched that you cannot be the responsible caretaker of a puppy as well as children—and it shows in your anger or frustration with either party at any given moment—then don’t get a dog!

Poodles are known for being active and playful, but they’re also sensitive and smart. So, it’s important to pay attention when your puppy is playing with other animals—especially if his or her interactions seem too rough.

How Can I Get My Poodle Comfortable With My Kids? 

Perhaps you can pick a park with a fenced play area, where you can situate yourselves and your poodle on the other side of the fence so that your dog won’t be approached by kids.

If a child can be involved to help you, ask the child to stay still and allow the poodle to approach the child and not the other way around.

It’s best if the child is quiet and stationary. Use your judgment and supervise the situation at all times, it is very important to make sure both parties are safe.

If you don’t have children of your own, you can try to socialize with other people’s kids.

A boy and a girl taking their poodle for a walk in the park

Personally, I don’t think that a poodle who is extremely shy can become the type of dog who will happily seek out strangers and lavish them with affection.

It’s important to keep practicing, though, so that your poodle can feel comfortable around everyone. Don’t push your pup past what he feels is his comfort zone—but do encourage him to try!

Keep children within their comfort zones, and have a pocketful of good treats for the kids to give to the dog.

Keep a close eye on all interactions, and if he seems even remotely uncomfortable, move on immediately.

Are Toy Poodles Good With Kids?

One of my neighbors wanted to adopt a toy poodle and was denied the opportunity because they had two children below the age of 6.

She was extremely frustrated and disheartened by this policy but it’s a common practice to now allow smaller dogs into a family that has young children.

A toy poodle with a young girl

While I can understand the disappointment of people who are in this situation, there is a good reason for it.

Toy poodles are small, delicate dogs that can be easily injured by young children who don’t treat them with proper care. Young children often squeeze toy poodles too tightly or let them jump down from furniture without being careful about it—and this poses a serious threat to the dog’s health and well-being.

It is also true, however (and this will come as no surprise to most people), that very small dogs such as the toy poodle can be pretty intolerant of children.

I would suggest that you consider a miniature poodle rather than a toy poodle.

A miniature poodle is a good choice for many families. While still small enough to be manageable, they are sturdy enough to withstand the demands of young children and their active playtime.

While miniature poodles are much smaller than standards, they aren’t as delicate as toys.

Even children who are well-mannered and respectful can accidentally hurt a dog weighing only 5 or 7 pounds.

Desirable Poodle Temperament For Kids

If I was looking to place a poodle pup into a family with children, I would look for the following characteristics:


A puppy who did not get spooked by sudden noises or movements. You can tell what a puppy’s temperament is like by observing his behavior, but you might also want to try another test—such as dropping a pan lid and seeing how the dog reacts.

The ideal puppy would respond to sudden movements by flinching but calming down quickly. I would say no to the puppy who cowered in a corner or ran away when the pan dropped.


Some puppies seem to be able to handle new experiences and difficult situations without getting flustered or upset. Some things in life are unpredictable, but if you have a resilient dog or one who doesn’t mind mistakes, then that unpredictability is less scary.

A puppy who is easily frightened or constantly seeks reassurance may not be a good fit for you.

Low prey drive. 

I graded a litter of puppies recently and discovered that some pups were naturally more driven to hunt than others. To determine if a puppy has a high/low prey drive, drag a white dish towel around.

Some puppies will follow and chase it, but most give up quickly (it’s best if yours is in this category). Some won’t stop chasing even after you throw the toy away (these are probably too intense to be trained properly).

Enjoys people. 

Don’t let a puppy’s desire to cuddle and be held fool you into thinking he is soft or afraid. Just because the pup prefers being close by doesn’t mean he isn’t brave enough for life on his own four paws. Being soft and cuddly isn’t the same as being fearful.


I believe that having a dog with some dominant and submissive tendencies is ideal. If we think of dominant and submissive as a spectrum, you would ideally want a dog that is somewhere in the middle, not too dominant but not too submissive as well.

I think a very submissive dog would be overwhelmed by the chaos that younger children can cause in a house. And an overly dominant dog might not do well either—although I think it could depend on how much time you are willing to invest in training your pet.


A white poodle with his family eating watermelons in a park

Overall, poodles make excellent companions for kids. They are intelligent, loyal, and eager to please, so they can be trained to interact with children in a way that suits both of them.

However, you should make sure that the poodle is not too big or too small for your child. A miniature poodle is more suited for kids rather than standard and toy poodles.

Letting your child play with the puppy when it’s still young can help ensure that they grow up together as best friends.

I would love to hear about your experiences with poodles and children. So be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Nancy Williams

👩🏻‍🦱 Hey, I'm Nancy! Over at PoodleGo, I'm "that passionate poodle lady". At home? Mom to 3 kiddos 👶🏻, ruled by 2 diva poodles 🐩, and one dramatic Persian cat 🐈‍⬛ who thinks he’s king. Poodles might seem all glam, but they’re more than just fancy fur. Dive into PoodleGo and discover the magic behind these curly superstars ✨. For some behind-the-scenes poodle tales 🐾, don't miss our newsletter 💌. Let's embark on this fluffy journey together! 💯