The Poodle or standard Poodle is a large dog that is one of the smartest of all dog breeds. Poodles have an elegant and well-proportioned body. The chest is deep and reaches to the elbows and the back is straight and fairly short. The belly is tucked up and the tail is usually docked to about one third of its length in countries that permit docking. The Poodle’s head is elongated with a straight nose and pendulous ears set even with the eyes. The Poodle’s coat can come in two types – curly or corded. The curly coat is by far the most prevalent and consists of abundant, springy and woolly curls that are profuse with firm texture.
There is no under coat and colors can be any solid color. The corded coats are extremely rare and also consist of dense and woolly hair. Standard poodles stand 16 to 24 inches tall at shoulder height and weighs from 45 to 65 pounds.
Miniature Poodles stand 11 to 15 inches at shoulder height and weigh about 15 pounds. Toy Poodles stand 10 inches tall or less at shoulder height and weigh up to 11 pounds.
Poodles (Standard and Miniature) are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Terrier Group.
Toy Poodles are members of the AKC Toy Dog Group.
The standard Poodle is the original poodle from which the Miniature and Toy dog breeds were developed. The exact origins of the Poodle are unknown but seem to be related to the Portuguese Water Dog and Irish Water Spaniel. The Poodle was used in the early 16th century Germany as a retriever of ducks. Later the Poodle was used in France to search for truffles and also trained as a circus and show dog. Today the Poodle is a very popular companion dog and was ranked 8th out of 154 dog breeds in 2005 AKC registrations.
Miniature and Toy Poodles are not as intelligent, easily trained or child-friendly as the Standard Poodle, which is one of the smartest and most trainable of all dog breeds. The standard Poodle is lively, good natured, friendly, proud, athletic, affectionate and extremely loyal. This is a thinking dog that can be trained very easily and almost anticipates any command.
Poodles are very loyal and become very attached to their owner and family. Poodles that are socialized early do very well with children, other pets and strangers. Adolescent Poodles can be very exuberant and toddlers and small children should be supervised carefully to avoid any knock downs. Poodles will announce visitors with a bark and make good watchdogs. Poodles do well with novice or first-time dog owners.
The standard Poodle was originally a hunting dog used to retrieve ducks and therefore loves lots of exercise and swimming. During the first few years this breed should be allowed to run and play off leash as well as be taken for long daily walks. These dogs excel at any agility sport or competition and also are frequent winners at advanced obedience competitions.
The amount of grooming required for a Poodle depends completely on whether you plan to show the dog and which type of cut you want. Show dogs require extensive clipping and this is usually best left to a professional. Poodles that are kept as pets can be groomed in any manner you wish but are usually clipped fairly short to minimize grooming time. Poodles should be washed fairly frequently as their coats get greasy and should be trimmed every 6 weeks or so.
Remember to check the teeth frequently for tartar build-up and hand pluck excessive hair growing inside the ears. If you don’t like spending time grooming your dog, you should probably avoid a Poodle. Poodles do not shed their hair and are often called ‘hypoallergenic’ because they are good for people with allergies.
Standard Poodles can be expected to live for 10 to 12 years and have a number of common health problems. The most common disorders are bloat and a skin disease (sebaceous adenitis) while there is a wide range of less common disorders including: hip dysplasia, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, eye disease (cataracts, glaucoma) and Von Wilhelm’s Disease (VWD – mild bleeding).
Poodle buyers should ask to see the parent’s OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip dysplasia screening results as well as the recent CERF (Canine Eye Registry) results for eye diseases. Also ask about bloat, VWD and skin diseases in the breeding line.