- Group – Toy
- Height – 8-10 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 3-4 KG
- Life Span – 12-15 years
The Poodle is a favorite family pet. The breed is very intelligent, trains easily, and is devoted to his family. They are quite playful, yet wary of strangers.
The Poodle is one of the oldest breeds developed especially for hunting waterfowl. Most historians agree that the Poodle originated in Germany, but developed into his own distinct breed in France.
Many believe that the breed is the result of crosses between several European water dogs, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Hungarian, and Russian water dogs. Other historians think that one of the Poodle’s ancestors is the North African Barbet, which was imported to the Iberian Peninsula. After that, the breed arrived in Gaul where it was used for his hunting abilities.
It’s also commonly believed that Poodles descended from Asian herding dogs, and then traveled with the Germanic Goth and Ostrogoth tribes to eventually become a German water dog. Yet another theory is that the Poodle descended from dogs that were brought out of the Asian steppes by the conquering North African Berbers and eventually found his way into Portugal in the 8th Century with the Moors.
Whatever its ancestry, this is a very old breed. Illustrations of Poodle-like dogs adorn Egyptian and Roman artifacts and tombs dating from the first centuries B.C. The drawings and statues show dogs that look very much like modern-day Poodles, bringing in game nets, herding animals, and retrieving game from marshes.
Although some say that the Miniature and Toy Poodles emerged shortly after the Standard, many believe it wasn’t until the 1400s that breeders began producing smaller versions of the Poodle — first the Miniature, then the Toy — to delight the Parisian bourgeoise. The Toy and Miniature varieties were created by breeding small Poodles to each other, not by breeding Poodles to smaller breeds.
The French used the larger Standard Poodle for duck hunting, and the mid-sized Miniature Poodle to sniff out truffles in the woods. The tiny Toy Poodle’s main job, on the other hand, was to serve as a companion to the nobility and wealthy merchant class. Well-to-do owners in the Renaissance often carried their Toy Poodles in their large shirtsleeves, leading to the nickname “sleeve dogs.”
Gypsies and traveling performers learned that Poodles excelled in another canine profession: circus dog. They trained Poodles to perform tricks, dressing them in costumes and sculpting their coats into fanciful shapes to add to their stage appeal. Wealthy patrons took note and started clipping, decorating, and even dying their own Poodle companions.
The Kennel Club in England registered their first Poodle in 1874, with the first British club for Poodle fanciers arriving on the scene two years later. It’s not known for sure when Poodles arrived in the U.S., but the American Kennel Club registered their first Poodle in 1886. The Poodle Club of America was founded in 1896, but disbanded shortly thereafter. Poodle enthusiasts reestablished the club in 1931.
Poodles were fairly rare in the U.S. until after World War II. By the mid-1950s, however, the Poodle had become the most popular breed in the country, a position he held for more than 20 years.
Personality and Temperament
Poodles are sensitive, intelligent, and playful. Eager to learn, these dogs bond closely with their family.
This breed gets along well with other animals, other dogs, and children. Visitors will be announced, but this breed is usually friendly toward welcomed guests.
Hair, Care and Grooming
Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout. Corded: hanging in tight, even cords of varying length. The Poodle usually requires a professional groomer as his coat requires a good deal of care. However, if the dog is not a show dog, an attentive owner can do the occasional trimming required. This breed can be washed often and does not shed. They should be brushed regularly.
This breed may have many genetic disorders, including cataracts and other eye problems, allergies, and skin conditions.
Training and Activity
This breed is very intelligent, so training can be very easy. They seem to learn quickly what is expected of them.
The Toy and Miniature Poodles can live in an apartment, but they still need a lot of exercise.
Like any breed, the poodle will pack on weight if he’s overfed, which can cause joint problems and other health woes. Limit treats, keep him active, and feed in meals rather than leaving food available at all times. Although many owners of Miniature or Toy Poodles in particular give their dogs table scraps, resist those pleading eyes — you’ll create a finicky eater. He’ll turn up his nose at dog food, which is healthier for him.