A well trained and properly socialized Poodle makes an excellent family pet. A Poodle is considered to be one of the most intelligent of dog breeds and even possesses a sense of humor. The Poodle was originally bred to work in close relation with humans, in the capacity of a water retriever and also as a hunter, herder and guardian. They are easily trainable and have an overwhelming desire to please their family, and many of these traits have made Poodles into very good watchdogs. They aren’t an overly aggressive breed by nature, but they do have protective tendencies. Most like your Poodle will have a lot of bark and no bite.
Poodles are very quick to bond with their family and those bonds are strong and life-long. Poodles grow into very loving family pets and pour out affection to their owners and other animals they have been raised with; while they are not naturally aggressive to strangers or other animals, they can be very wary of new situations and environments, they will let their family know when they spy, hear or smell anything new. Poodles are also adept at sensing new things, they are very alert dogs and in tune with their surroundings. With their heightened sense of perception they can tell when something is wrong and are very obvious about communicating this sensation to their family. Because poodles are also prone to barking and easily trained, an owner can get the dog to bark in certain instances in order for them to alert the family to new occurrences around the yard and house.
With their instinctual behavior being highly developed, their history of guarding and hunting is oftentimes very apparent. Poodles are very territorial dogs and are suspicious of any stranger that comes near their home; because they are so intelligent, they are able to tell who does not belong there and will be very vocal about it. If an owner gives the Poodle a reward for sounding the alarm, the Poodle will quickly sense the owners approval and satisfaction. Again, keep in mind Poodles have a strong and innate desire to please their owners and will likely repeat any behavior that garners a positive response. When a Poodle is not properly trained, it can take to excessively barking and become a royal pain. To avoid this happening, use consistent, firm, positive training methods and reinforcement to make sure the Poodle knows when it is okay to bark. Never, ever use harsh punishment on a Poodle because they are very sensitive and neurotic behavior can develop if you push the dog too hard.
A Poodles guardian qualities also include a strong protectiveness towards its family; the female tends to be a bit more protective when compared to the male, because her maternal instincts are demonstrated towards her human family. A Poodles lack of aggression may prevent it from being an vicious guard dog, however, while a Poodle may sound an alarm, they are generally friendly and polite with strangers. This non-aggressive nature though, also allows them to be a great family, even for those with small children.