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.
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.
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.
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!
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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.