Glamorous Water Dog
Despite being the national dog of France, Poodles actually came from Germany. These water retrievers get their name from the German word “pudelin,” meaning “to splash in water,” and the traditional Poodle Clip was designed by hunters who would shave their dogs' hair to make swimming easier, while strategically leaving patches of hair to protect organs and joints. They come in three sizes, with the Standard Poodle being the oldest of the three, but the smaller Miniature and Toy sizes came soon after, bred to work as truffle-hunting dogs.
While Poodles are often portrayed as snobby and aloof, in reality, they are friendly, cheerful dogs with a keen sense of fun. They are also very intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable. Poodles are very social, so they need to be with their families. They are active dogs, needing plenty of exercise and play, including a daily walk. If they are well socialized to a variety of people, animals and environments, they can be delightful and flexible companions to people and other pets.
Since they come in such a wide range of sizes from small to large, Poodles are one of the most popular breeds according to the AKC Registration statistics. The Standard Poodle (pictured above) is the largest, the Miniature (pictured left) is medium, and the Toy (pictured below) is the smallest. They also come in several colors, including white, black, apricot, gray, brown, and cream, all with curly hair. Poodles have dark, round eyes, long, wide ears, and long muzzles.
Highly intelligent and happy to please, Poodles are pretty easy to train. They enjoy learning, and can be taught obedience, tricks, and make great agility dogs. They also need confident leadership and consistent rules to avoid developing behavioral issues stemming from anxiety. Be firm, but not harsh.
Grooming & Care
Poodles have thick, curly hair that needs to be clipped every six to twelve weeks. There are a range of different styles to choose from, but a common cut is a short, uniform “puppy clip.” They only shed a little, but instead of falling away, the dead hairs catch in the curls and may become matted, so brushing is a necessity. They need fairly regular bathing, and their ears must be checked and cleaned with excess hair removed from the ear canal.
Poodles generally live for a long time, but like any breed, can be predisposed to some genetic issues. They can be prone to eye problems, epilepsy, heart problems, ear infections and digestive issues. Poodles are also known for having skin problems, but this could be due to allergies to shampoos, or unskilled use of clippers, so choose your groomer with care. Consider speaking with your veterinarian or local dog-owners groups for referrals to reputable breeders.
Claude, the Drysdale’s dog in the television show “The Beverly Hillbillies;” Georgette in Disney’s “Oliver and Company” (1988).
|Challenges||Can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone too much; can be prone to “small-dog syndrome” if rules are not consistent.|
|Height||Standard: 15+ inches; Miniature: 10 to 15 inches; Toy: 10 inches and under|
|Weight||Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; Miniature: 15 to 17 pounds; Toy: 6 to 9 pounds|
|Life||12 to 15 years|
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