Find out if the Poodle is the right dog for you
The Poodles are agile, intelligent and smart dogs with elegant appearance. Poodles have an ancient history, many talents but most of all they are affectionate family dogs. Many Poodles wins Best in Show titles because they are so impressive. At the beginning of the breed, there were only Standard Poodles, but because they started to diverge into smaller dogs in the Poodle standard were recognized four different classes of Poodles as we know it today: standard, medium, toy, and miniature.
FUN FACT: Many famous people loved Poodle dogs including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, and Walt Disney.
The Poodle - history
The Poodle is known as a national France dog. In France, Poodles are referred to as Caniche or Duck dogs. Despite the association with France, the Poodle breed originated in Germany, where they were called Pudelin, meaning splash in the water. The standard Poodles began their development 400 years ago and they were water retrievers. Their curly coat served as protection against many elements, but hunters wanted to ensure their dogs free range of motion in the water, so they began to shave legs, neck, and tail and left the chest, hips, and leg joint coated (to protect vital areas from the cold). The rounded tufts on Poodles are called pompons (on legs, hips and tail tip). Then the standard version was used to create medium, miniature and toy versions of Poodles. The standard version was used for duck hunting, miniature worked as a truffle hunter (a type of edible mushroom) and the toy version was used to serve nobility and wealthy people as a companion.
Standard PoodleThis was the first developed Poodle breed. This type is also known as Caniche, Barbone, French Poodle, and Grosse Pudel. This type is considered a medium to large dog breed. This breed must be 45 centimeters or taller. Male Poodles weigh from 20 to 32 kilograms while females weights from 20 to 27 kilograms. The height is the most important thing when it comes to distinguishing in which group the Poodle belongs to (not the weight).
Medium PoodleMiniature Poodles are 35 to 45 centimeters tall.
Miniature PoodleMiniature Poodles are 28 to 35 centimeters tall and weigh from 7 to 8 kilograms. For Poodle to be in this class he must be over 28 centimeters and under 35 centimeters. If the dog is taller or shorter than this measurement he will be considered either medium or toy Poodle.
Toy PoodleToy Poodles can stand up to 28 centimeters and weigh from 3 to 4 kilograms. If the dog is taller than 28 centimeters at the shoulder he will be considered a miniature Poodle.
Even if you don't use your Poodle for show purposes you need to regularly brush him to keep his coat from mating. Their coat comes in many different colors including black, white, gray, silver, blue, apricot, cream, and brown. They are high maintenance dogs that require regular grooming to keep the coat healthy and in good condition. The Poodles don't shed much, but you need to brush and comb their hair completely to the skin or else the hair will mat near the roots and you will have to shave your Poodle because it will be impossible to untangle them. Some owners choose to keep the Poodles in the shorter trim. When it comes to grooming some people to hire professional dog groomers and some people prefer to do it themself because grooming can be quite expensive. If you decide to groom your dog by yourself it is recommended that you start with the instruction from the professional. The rest is basic care, trim his nails when needed, and brush his teeth to remove tartar buildup and to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Dental care is especially important for miniature and toy Poodles.
FUN FACT: Poodle dogs are often used as therapy dogs for elderly and handicapped persons.
The Poodle - exercise
Poodles of all sizes are very active dogs and they require daily exercise. They enjoy many activities to keep them busy. Swimming is an excellent choice for them and most Poodles will love to get in the water. As they were bred for hunting purposes they will love to retrieve any toys, sticks or balls during the exercise. They also love long walks and jogging with their human companion. Smaller versions of the breed need less exercise.
Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. They are very smart and obedient. Poodles get along well with everybody (sometimes are reserved to strangers). They have an excellent sense of humor and if they are in the center of attention they will be happy. Poodles are easily trained mostly because they are people-oriented. So if you make training fun they will learn quickly. You must be consistent with the training and because they don't respond well to harsh methods, positive reinforcements if recommended. If you skip training sessions most likely you will end up with a badly behaved dog.
FUN FACT: Poodles are great in activities such as agility and obedience.
Poodles are family dogs so in any case don't exclude your dog from family activities. They are great kids companions but be sure to supervise them during the play to be sure the kids don't excitedly hurt the dog (especially toy version of Poodle). They go along well with other dogs and pets in the house.
The Poodle - health issues
Poodles are generally a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 10-18 years, but like all dog breeds, they are prone to some health issues. You need to be aware of these problems if you consider buying this breed. Poodles are prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, bloat, patellar luxation (when the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing pain), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA - gradual deterioration of the retina), optic nerve hypoplasia, sebaceous adenitis (SA - genetic skin problem related to Poodles – especially standards), Von Willebrand's disease (an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the blood's ability to clot) and Legg-Perthes Disease.
There are few recommended health tests you should perform to ensure the dog is healthy: ophthalmologist evaluation (miniature, standard, and toy Poodle), PRA Optigen DNA test (miniature and toy Poodle), and patella evaluation (miniature and toy Poodle).
The Poodle - breeders
To ensure that your Poodle lives a long, healthy, and happy life you need to find a responsible breeder who will take care of his puppies and who will routinely test them. Always ask the breeder to show you health certificates of the test perform on his breeding dogs to be sure that the puppies will be free of any genetic diseases, healthy, and with a good temperament. Never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. Do some research and contact a few breeders before you decide to buy a puppy. Good breeders will welcome your questions and will gladly answer them. The main thing to look at when talking to the breeder about buying his puppy is to check if the breeder is interested in you life (interests, home, activity, etc.) because a good breeder will make sure that his puppy will go into a good home to people who will take care of him.
World Dog Finder team