You may think the Poodle is all style, but the “Poodle clip” that makes the appearance of the Poodle famous was actually designed by hunters to make the dogs more aerodynamic in the water!
The Poodle most likely came from Germany, where it was first known as the Pudelhund. Pudel means "to splash about" in German, and the world hund in German means "dog." As the “Splashing Dog,” the Poodle was used as a water retriever by hunters and still is today. The Poodle’s curly, moisture-resistant coat makes it a great swimming breed.
The Poodle was bred in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The Standard Poodle is the oldest of the three breeds, and the Toy Poodle was actually developed in eighteenth century England. Today, the Poodle is the eighth most popular breed of dog in the United States.
The three sizes of Poodle mean that there’s something for everyone. The Standard Poodle can reach about 15 inches in height (to the shoulders) and 45-70 pounds; the Miniature Poodle averages 11-15 inches in height and 15-17 pounds; and the Toy Poodle averages 10 inches in height and 6-9 pounds.
Standard Poodles live 11-12 years, while Miniature and Toy Poodles have a median lifespan of 14 years. However, some Toy Poodles can live up to 20 years.
Poodles also share some common characteristics:
What are they like?
Poodles are brilliant. No, really: the Poodle is among the smartest dog breeds in the world! You’ll marvel at how fast a Poodle will learn new behaviors and tricks. They make fantastic service dogs, love a job to do, and are even known for outwitting their human companions. Poodles love to please people and be the center of attention.
Poodles are very, very energetic, though the Standard Poodle is a bit more reserved than his counterparts. The Miniature Poodle is the most active of the three types. Consistent guidance is best: the energy and intelligence of the Poodle can make the breed stubborn at times, so you’ll have to be able to establish yourself as leader of the pack
The Poodle is an active, athletic breed with the different breed varieties varying predominantly by their size. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale's breed standard states the Standard Poodle stands between 45 and 62 centimetres (18 and 24 in), the Medium Poodle between 35 and 45 centimetres (14 and 18 in), the Miniature Poodle between 28 and 35 centimetres (11 and 14 in) and the Toy Poodle 24 and 28 centimetres (9.4 and 11.0 in); some kennel clubs do not recognise the Medium Poodle variety, they typically state the Standard Poodle stands between 38 and 60 centimetres (15 and 24 in) and Miniature Poodle between 28 and 38 centimetres (11 and 15 in), with the toy variety remaining unchanged. A healthy adult Standard Poodle typically weighs between 20 and 32 kilograms (44 and 71 lb), a Medium Poodle between 15 and 19 kilograms (33 and 42 lb), a Miniature Poodle between 12 and 14 kilograms (26 and 31 lb) and a Toy Poodle between 6.5 and 7.5 kilograms (14 and 17 lb).
The Poodle does shed, but instead of the fur coming off the dog, it becomes tangled in the surrounding hair. This can lead to matting without proper care. Texture ranges from coarse and woolly to soft and wavy. Poodle show clips require many hours of brushing and care per week, about 10 hours/week for a Standard Poodle. Poodles are usually clipped down into lower-maintenance cuts as soon as their show careers are over. Pet clips are much less elaborate than show and require much less maintenance. A pet owner can anticipate grooming a Poodle every six to eight weeks. Attention must be paid to a poodle's ears, because hair grows in their ears. They should be cleaned religiously with a solution and hair should be removed, so that earwax buildup does not accumulate and moisture does not take hold, both causing infection. Some claim that poodles are hypoallergenic.
Over 50 different styles of coat clips are recognised for the Poodle; the most popular in the show ring is the Continental clip where the face and rear end of the body are clipped, leaving tufts on the hocks and tip of the tail and rosettes on the hips.
In most cases, whether a Poodle is in a pet or show clip, the hair is completely brushed out. Poodle hair can also be "corded" with rope-like mats similar to those of a Komondor or human dreadlocks. Though once as common as the curly Poodle, corded Poodles are now rare. Corded coats are difficult to keep clean and take a long time to dry after washing. Any Poodle with a normal coat can be corded when its adult coat is in. Corded Poodles may be shown in all major kennel club shows.
The Poodle has a wide variety of colouring, including white, black, brown, blue, gray, silver, café au lait, silver beige, cream, apricot, and red, and patterns such as parti-, abstract, sable, phantom, and brindle. The AKC recognizes Poodles in either solid-coloured and multi-colored coats; however, only solid-colored poodles may compete in conformation. Recognition of multi-colored Poodles varies by registry. Recognized FCI colourations are black, white, brown, gray, apricot, and red.
For solid-coloured Poodles, the coat is an even and solid colour at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, café au laits, apricots, and creams, the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are preferred by registries, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and café au lait Poodles have liver-coloured noses, eye rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream, and white poodles have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or self-coloured toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots, while the foregoing colouring is preferred, liver-coloured noses, eye rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted, but are not desirable. Incomplete colour of nose, lips and eye rims, or a "mismatched" colour are considered faults by registries.
Parti-coloured Poodles are recognized in Poodle history as the original colouring of the Poodle. A parti-Poodle has solid-coloured patches over a white coat. The coat will usually be white and coloured in equal amounts, though it can vary with a larger percent of white. Registries prefer that parti-Poodles have the same points as its correlating solid-coloured descendants. Brown and white parti-Poodles have liver-coloured noses, eye rims and lips, dark or self-coloured toenails and amber eyes. This is also permitted, but not preferred, in apricot and white parti-Poodles. Black/white, blue/white, and silver/white parti-Poodles have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or self-coloured toenails and very dark eyes. When the dog has markings that resemble those of a tuxedo, it is called a "tuxedo" Poodle. The upper coat is solid black: head, back, tail; and the lower coat is white: neck, chest, abdomen, and legs, making up usually 40% or more of the coat.
Phantom Poodles have the colouring of a Doberman Pinscher, with a lighter colour appearing on their "eyebrows", muzzle and throat, legs and feet and below their tail. Like Dobermans, phantom Poodles have either a black or brown main coat with tan (usually apricot or red) lighter colourings around the eyebrows, muzzle, throat, legs, feet, and below their tail.
The Poodle is the national dog of France, and the French sure do love their Poodles. There is, however, no such breed as the “French Poodle.” In France, Poodles are known as the Caniche, or “duck dog.”
Despite the Poodle’s association with France, the breed originated as a duck hunter in Germany, where the word “pudelin” refers to splashing in water. The Standard Poodle began its development as a retrieving water dog more than 400 years ago. With a crisp, curly coat as protection against the elements, superlative swimming ability, and off-the-charts intelligence, the Poodle was, and still is, a magnificent retriever. (The Standard and Miniature varieties are classified as a non-sporting dog and are eligible for AKC Retriever and Spaniel Hunting Tests).
The flamboyant Poodle show coat served a practical purpose in the breed’s early years. Hunters wanted their dogs to have free range of movement in the water, but they also wished to protect vital areas of the anatomy from the cold. They shaved the legs, neck, and tail but left the chest, hips, and leg joints coated. The rounded tufts on the legs, hips, and tail tip are called pompons. (Note the spelling: Cheerleaders have pom-poms; Poodles have pompons.)
The Poodle’s many fine qualities allowed it to move from the lake to the lap of luxury. Elegant Poodles of the Standard and Miniature varieties found favor among the nobles of France and, eventually, all of Europe. The breed’s showy looks and trainability made it a natural entertainer, and Poodles have long been associated with the European circus tradition. An excellent nose brought the Poodle additional work as a truffle hunter.
The Standard was bred down to the Miniature. The Toy was first bred in America, in the early 20th century, as a city-dwelling companion dog. Well-bred specimens of each variety are exact replicas of each other and are bred to the same standard.
The Poodle is the national dog of France, and the French sure do love their Poodles. There is
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