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The American Poodle

Updated on September 5, 2013

POODLE - That Beautiful Canine Bombshell

When we think of human buxom beauties, history brings to mind names like Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and even Dolly Parton, to name a few. When we think of our favorite beauties in the canine world, Golden Retriever, German Shepard and most predominantly the Poodle jump to the forefront of our minds. The Poodle has become Americas # 1 choice according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The shocker here may be the fact that the poodle, unlike the stigma surrounding most things considered beautiful, is (only second to the Border Collie and right before the German Sheppard) one of the smartest breeds recognized by the AKC.

What Sizes Do Poodles Come In

This gorgeous K9 comes in three official sizes, toy, miniature and standard (the tea-cup poodle is the tiniest size but is not yet recognized by AKC in an official capacity). Bred in the beginning as a water dog, the poodle is a very agile and skilled athlete. They excel in agility, tracking, herding and are very highly ranked when it comes to obedience training. The elegance a poodle brings to the show ring has given the breed top honors in the most important of dog show arenas. This was most evident when poodles won "Best in Show" at the Super Bowl of dog shows, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1991 and 2002, and again at the World Dog Show in 2007. Honors sought by many breeds and breeders in the dog show culture.

K9 Korner

Dog's don't understand our language (even though it would seem at times they do). They can be trained to react to certain sounds at a certain volume. If you say, "No, Nitro" in a very soft, pleasing voice, it won't have the same meaning as if you said, "No, Nitro!!" in a sharp raised tone. Dogs rely on tone of voice as much as the word or command that you use. Never use your dog's name during a reprimand, just the command No!! You don't want your dog associating his name (that which you call him on a daily basis) with a negative command.

How Did the Poodle Breed Come to Be?

Art, coins, carvings and Roman tombs depicted images of poodle-like dogs as far back as the 12th century. The breeds ancient heritage has always had a unique type of coat, whether it was corded (hanging in long twisted lengths of hair) or curly and wiry (making hand-scissoring in many styles and shapes possible).

More modern timing shows the poodle emerging from: Germany, Russia and France. Each country had their own version and duty for the poodle. The German Poodle was referred to as Pudel dog. This version had a heavier bone structure making it durable and better suited for retrieving fallen game, like ducks, from the water — hence the name Pudel, meaning "to splash in water." The Russian Poodle was a taller more gracefully refined dog when compared to its German relative, making it more welcome as a companion dog. While French Poodle's found a spot in the fashion world due to their curly, woolly coats allowing for design-like shaping and grooming styles. The loyalty and devotion to their owners also brought them the highest marks!

The 16th century brought with it the need for a dog that could bring in fallen game from the water. The thick dense coat of the poodle often became a problem as it would soak up far to much water causing the dog to sink and ultimately drown. The devoted hunters found that cutting away any unnecessary hair from the feet, face, tail and hindquarters prevented further problems in this area. This left only the chest and around the lungs and joints covered by hair to protect the dog from the elements and proved to be a superior revision in the poodle appearance. The cut may be viewed as feminine by some, but it is very butch when considering that this cut makes the poodle far more utilitarian. This sturdy style of trimming gave birth to the art of poodle grooming, which to this day is one of the most treasured talents within the AKC show ring community.

POODLE'S in History and Great Britain

During the 16 to 18th centuries, the poodle was bred down from the Standard Poodle to a smaller version called the Miniature Poodle. This medium sized poodle became popular because it was athletic, eager to please, attractive and affectionate. This is also the size most prominently used in circus routines of that time.

Even though the Miniature sized poodle was greatly popular, breeders felt compelled to breed down the size again to an even smaller poodle known as the, Petit Barbet or Toy Poodle. Known as 'Sleeve Poodles' because they were so small that they could be carried around in the sleeves of ladies' gowns. French ladies of that time loved the Toy Poodle very much because the grooming style made it very clean and attractive.


Now that all three Poodle sizes were established, it was inevitable that they make the hop across the pond to the British Isles. The dog-show world throughout England was mesmerized by the darling Poodle dogs and devoured them up. The fascinating Poodle's style and personality was welcomed and embraced whole heartedly! In the mid-19th century, Sir Edwin landseer added these new creatures to his paintings and included them in his family portraits.

History would support the concept that the English Water Dog was created by crossing the Poodle with other breeds. It is confirmed that the Toy Poodle was cross bred to develop the Truffle Dog. Truffles, the delicacy used in high quality cuisine, are located and unearthed by the small Poodles. They are perfect for Truffle hunting due to their small size, delicate footing and excellent scenting ability. (Terriers were eventually added to the mix because of their desire to dig; and "kazam!" ....we have the Truffle Dog.)

Our Popular Poodle

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace." Milan Kundera

Poodle's were so popular in 17th-century Europe, that the famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya added poodles to his art work. Even King Louis XVI of France commissioned Goya to paint a portrait for his wife, Marie Antoinette, depicting the poodle's beauty. Before that, the 15th-century artist, Albrecht Durer, from Germany, added the delightful images of poodles to his paintings. More recent tributes to the poodle come from Gertrude Stein, Alexander Woolcort and Boothe Tarkington who actually wrote about their poodles. The Poodle has managed to be companion to some of the most famous and popular humans throughout time. Aaron Spelling to Winston Churchill and all those alphabetically in between are among the many celebrities and famous people who have found appreciation for poodle brains, as well as beauty.

Poodles being shown at an AKC santioned dog show.

Many of England's best Poodles were imported to America around the early 1900s. This genetic superiority still carries on in the breed today, as we often find the well-known English names within the pedigrees of today's American Poodles.

1960 brought with it the fact that the American interest in the Poodle had matched that of the Europeans. Poodle's became the most popular breed of dog in the AKC registration statistics. The Poodle has retained its crown (among the top ten) to this day.

Poodle dog Show image complements of

Poodle Club


What with all of the hoop-la, it became no big surprise that once founded and established in England, the Poodle would make its way to America. And so, in 1887, prior to World War I, the Poodle became ultimately popular at American dog shows. Miniatures and Standards were shown as a single breed, whereas Toys (prior to World War II) showed as a separate breed.

The desired traits bred into the Poodle were so enamoring that it became necessary to protect them. Breeding the darling Poodle correctly and to this desired standard brought with it the creation of the American Poodle Club of America. Founded in 1931, its duty above all else was to preserve the quality and appearance of the Poodle dog breed. The club mastered the guidelines and governed the standard of perfection for all Poodles. The criteria of traits which created the perfect Poodle was the same for all three sizes (height considerations aside).

Keep your nervous poodle calm while waiting for a vet exam.

How To Relax a Nervous Dog - Great for Vet Waiting Rooms


If your Poodle (or any breed or mutt for that matter) gets nervous when guest's come over, while waiting for a vet-check or simply because the dog is hyper-alert, try using the EAR TOUCH method of relaxation. Holding the base of the dog's ear between your thumb and forefinger, slide the ear leather between them using a very light pressure. Working from different angles, cover the entire ear surface, touching every inch of the dogs ear. This makes sure you have touched every acupuncture point in this nerve packed part of the dogs body. Not only does this calm a nervous dog, but it can also help to soothe any pain and can reduce symptoms associated with shock. Your dog will melt into a puddle of relaxed K9 mush, bringing with it the serenity needed to keep you and your dog good-pals for many years to come.


Bored or inactive dogs can become victims to bursts of destructive behaviors. A tug-of-war game with a pull toy helps channel the energy into a positive exercise. Make sure that you always win; otherwise your dog will feel dominant over you. (Play tug-of-war only after you have trained your dog to drop an object on your command.)

                           Poodle Image complements of


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