Common names: Pudelhund and Caniche
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Life span: 10-18 years
Weight: 40-70 pounds for Standard, 4-6 pounds for Toy and 10-15 pounds for Miniature
Height: over 15 inches for Standard, no more than 10 inches Toy for and 10-15 inches for Miniature
Most historians report that the Poodle was originated in Germany, where they were called Pudel, which is German word for “puddle”, a reference to their work as water retrievers but these curly-coated dogs developed into their own distinct breed in France. The French used the larger Poodle for duck hunting and the smaller Poodle served as a companion to the nobility and wealthy merchant class. The poodle has contributed to other dog breeds, such as the Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, and dogs of the Bichon type.
They are intelligent, loving, loyal, and mischievous; four words Poodle enthusiasts commonly use to describe its personality. Despite his regal appearance, the Poodle has a playful streak— he’s always up for a game of any kind. It is fond of people and eager to please them. These dogs also have human-like intelligence, an amazing cleverness that astounds their owners.
The Poodle has been bred in at least three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The Toy Poodle stands up to 10 inches tall, and weighs about six to nine pounds. The Miniature Poodle stands 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds. The Standard Poodle stands 15 inches and taller; males weighing 45 to 70 pounds and females weighing 45 to 60 pounds. Unlike most dogs, which have double coats, poodles have a single-layer composed of dense, curly fur that sheds minimally. They could be considered hypoallergenic. The coat comes in many colors, including blue, black, white, gray, silver, brown, café-au-lait, apricot, and cream.
Poodles are generally healthy, but like other dogs, they are prone to certain health conditions. Health issues in the breed include Addison’s disease, gastric dilatation volvulus, thyroid issues, tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Ear infections are a problem in all Poodle varieties because their non-shedding coat grows into the ear canal, where it traps wax and dirt. Ear problems can be minimized by proper ear care. Owners should keep tabs on their dog’s overall condition and consult their vet with any questions or concerns that may arise.
Poodles are high-maintenance dogs. They require regular grooming, every three to six weeks, to keep the coat in good condition. The poodle’s dense, curly fur sheds minimally, but it becomes tangled in the surrounding hair. Poodle will need to be brushed daily, and bathed monthly. It is recommended to check the Poodle’s ears often every week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor. Breeds with drop-down ears are prone to ear infections because the ear canal stays dark and moist.
Energetic and active, Poodle requires good exercise every day to suit their high energy level. They can do well on long walks, slow jogs and indoor activities. Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water after exercise. An hour a day is the absolute minimum for Poodle to burn off energy..
These dogs are recommended to have a daily amount of 1.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals of Standards; 3/4 to 1 cup for Miniatures; 1/4 to 1/2 cup for Toys. They should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether it is commercial or home-prepared as long as it is supervised and approved by the vet. They are prone to obesity, therefore calorie consumption and weight level should be monitored often and clean fresh water should be available at all times
- Toy Poodles have been popular pets for centuries, including in the court of Louis XVI. They are often referred to as French Poodles because they were so popular in that country though they didn’t originate in France.
- The fancy look has a purpose. Since these dogs were jumping into freezing cold water, they needed protection. Too much wet fur would sink them down, so hunters would purposefully shear their hair. The pattern was meant to protect vital areas from cold waters.
- The Miniature and the Toy were bred by selecting for smaller size. They, too, were working dogs. Miniatures are said to have sniffed out truffles. Both Toys and Miniatures were popular circus dogs because of their intelligence, love of performing and ability to learn tricks.
- Elvis Presley loved dogs and had quite a collection at Graceland. He had a poodle named “Champagne”. He also gave away poodles to the women he loved: A toy poodle named “Little Bit” went to a girlfriend, and he gave a poodle named “Honey” to his wife Priscilla.
- Poodles are one of the smartest breeds, second only to the Border Collie in rankings of canine intelligence. Their intelligence makes them extremely easy to train and a favorite of circuses. They were often dressed in miniature human clothing and trained to perform.