Meet the Breed: The Poodle

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Overview:

  • Height: Standard - over 15" at the shoulder, Miniature - 10"-15", Toy - under 10". Teacup Poodles are not an AKC recognized size, but are designated by breeders as being under 9" at the shoulder. Another less recognized size category is the Klein or Moyen Poodle which is between the Standard and Miniature Poodle and measures between 15-20".
  • Weight: Standard - 45-70 pounds, Miniature - 15-17 pounds, Toy - 6-9 pounds. Teacup poodles are under 6 pounds.
  • Historical function: Water retrieving, truffle hunting, circus dog
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Non-sporting (Standard and Miniature) and Toy for the Toy Poodle.

Physical Characteristics:

The Poodle, also sometimes called the French Poodle, is groomed to have a square (equal length x height at the withers) yet shapely appearance. The muzzle is straight and long. The ears hang close to the face. The highly shaped grooming was reportedly done for working as a hunter and retriever. The hair was kept long in some areas to protect joints and vital organs from cold water and shaved in other places to prevent resistance while swimming. Not all agree with this theory for where the unusual grooming originated. Some believe its showy appearance came from the breed's use in circuses in France. Most pet owners choose a less elaborate cut but will often keep the face, feet, and area under the tail shaved or short for sanitary reasons. The trademark coat is single, curly, sometimes corded, and comes in a variety of colors. The AKC only recognizes solid-colors; however, there has been a resurgence of fanciers of parti-colored poodles, which have documented through art and literature from the 1700-1800s.

Miniature parti-colored poodles

History of the Breed:

The Poodle may have originated in Germany but was developed and standardized in France. The origins are not clear, but they may have descended from the now extinct French Water Dog and the Barbet. Poodles were used as gun dogs, retrievers of water fowl, truffle hunters, circus dogs, and pampered pets. The standard Poodle is believed to be the oldest size. The smaller sizes were well suited to the truffle hunting, circus life, and as royal companions.

The poodle has become quite popular to breed with other breeds to try to introduce their hypoallergenic features and trainability to other popular breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel (Cockapoo), Maltese (Maltipoo), Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkipoo), Labradors (Labradoodle), Golden Retrievers (Goldendoodles) and many more combinations.

Temperament:

The Poodle is very intelligent and is easily trained. They are eager to please. They are active and require vigorous mental and physical exercise or may become mischievous. They need to be part of the family and will be reat agility partners.

  • Best suited for: Active families, allergy sufferers, hunters.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog is adaptable to many situations provided they are given adequate mental and physical exercise. Loves to do tricks.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Non-shedding coat will require regular grooming, usually by a professional. A show coat cut can take 10 hours per week to maintain on a Standard Poodle. Most people opt for a simpler style for pets.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk, as well as mental exercise in the form of tricks, or toys.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: In spite of having a reputation for longevity, Poodles can suffer from many eye, ear, and endocrine disorders. Use a reputable breeder.

Breed Club Links: The Poodle Club of America.

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Poodles have always been fun to groom in exotic ways. Due to this fact, customers recommend our pet-safe dog hair dyes for the ultimate in fun and fashion!

GypSea in Morro Bay CA

Have any stories about a Poodle? Please share!

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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