Poodle Dog Breed. German Poodles Not French Poodles
Poodle AKA The Duck Dog
Poodles are extremely popular, their ranking is #8 on the AKC dog registration statistics. There are 3 kinds of poodles, standard, miniature and toy poodles. Most think of a poodle looking all pretty, wearing a nice pink bow, wearing some perfume and sitting on a luxury pillow fit for a Queen. Truth is poodles are actually hunting, retrieving dogs. That's what they were and it's in their genes. Poodles were well-known for retrieving ducks. When was the last time you saw a poodle retrieving a duck?
What is your favorite poodle color?
The poodle is from Germany and was a water retriever. It is a misconception that they are originally from France because the French love their poodles and have made them the national dog of France. When I was a youngster I actually called poodles French poodles, I thought that was their breed name. Little did I know that the name poodle comes from the German pudel, meaning to splash in the water. Some will argue that they originated from Asia and then found their way to Germany. Whatever its ancestry, the poodle is a very old breed. The breed traces back to the 15th and 16th centuries in drawings by the German artist, Albrecht Durer.
Because of the poodle's use as a water retriever their hair was close to allow them to move through the water more efficiently. The reason for the fluffy coat areas is not for decorative reasons which most think. Their hair was fluffy in those areas to protect their joints and organs in cold water.
Over time their use as a hunter and retriever has lessened and used more as a companion and circus dog, giving them more time on that velvet pillow instead of in the water. Recently some breeders are attempting to revive the poodle's hunting instincts with success.
The standard poodle is the oldest of the three kinds. The smaller poodles resulted from breeding smaller and smaller standard poodles creating the miniature and toy versions.
10" or Less
The poodle is not just a pretty face, they are known as a very smart breed, active and proud. They can look good sitting on that fancy pillow but they are enthusiastic walkers, swimmers and runners. They like to keep busy and are eager for activity. If they are left alone it is a good bet that they will keep themselves busy and find some sort of trouble in the process.
Poodles are highly trainable and can master many tricks and dog sports. This is why they have been so popular as circus performers and street acts, have you ever seen film of them in costumes? They are very good at voice intonation which makes them better students. They can figure out the attitudes and emotions of the speaker and figure out the difference between a question and statement. I find this amazing. The standard poodle is more athletic than their smaller cousins because of their greater size and strength.
They like the company of people more than other breeds. If they are left alone for long periods of time they will get very lonely. I used to know a poodle that would get even with their owner. When she was left alone for long periods of time she decided to use the apartment as a bathroom. Smart breeds are more difficult to live with sometimes.
Size and Shape
The standard poodle is over 15 inches tall, miniature is between 10 and 15 inches, the toy is 10 inches or less. These names describe the size of the poodle not their breed name. There is only one recognized breed name of poodle which is poodle. The measurements are from the top of the shoulders down to the floor.
Poodles are squarely built and well proportioned. Their muzzle is long, straight and fine. Their ears hang close to the head. Their torso topline is level from their shoulders on back. The neck is strong and long enough so the head is high and with dignity. The fore and hind quarters are well proportioned. They're built is very nice which is one of the reasons for their good looks.
We usually think of poodles as black or white which seems are the most popular colors. They can also be apricot, blue, brown, cafe, cream, gray, red or silver. There are also variations with mixed colors such as black, white, brown, cream, gray, red and white all mixed with another color for an approximate total of 11 solid colors and 17 mixed combinations.
Poodles can also have black or white markings, a black or white mask and black points. No matter which coat a poodle has they seem to have that pretty attractive look no matter what. I prefer a nice light brown. What color do you like the most? Take our poll.
The Usual Non Show Style
Poodles have a single layer of hair and hardly shed. For this reason they are a good breed for people with allergies. Even short-haired dog shed a little, when they the poodle sheds their hair gets tangled in the surrounding hair instead of falling to the floor. This is good for a cleaner house and furniture but it still needs attention. A trip to the pet store requires the purchase of a good brush that suits the style of your poodle's hair and used a few times a week.
Just because they don't shed doesn't mean they do not need grooming. Most owners take them for grooming every month and in between brushing is a must. Their texture can range from soft, wavy, wooly and coarse.
Some Fun facts
- The poodle is on ancient Roman and Greek coins.
- Poodles have a longer life span than most breeds, 13-16 years. The toy and miniature on the higher end because smaller dogs live longer.
- In France poodles are called Caniche, meaning duck dog.
- In the 1950s poodles became the most popular breed in the United States and held that title for the next 20 years.
- Poodles do not accept strangers easily making them excellent watch dogs. One of the most noisiest when that doorbell rings or when they hear someone in the driveway.
Tell a Story
If you have a poodle I'm sure you have some interesting stories to tell about how your dog acts. Feel free to add a short story to the comment section, I would love to hear them. They are precious, active, get A's in school and I think they feel they are a human part of the family and not just a pet. If you are getting ready to add a new dog to the family or want to try a different breed why not give a poodle some thought.