Two Blue Standard Poodles Playing Tennis Clark

Poodle Dog Breed

Other names:
Chein Canne
French Poodle
Grosse Pudel
Standard Poodle
Teddy Poodle

The Poodle is one of the world's most popular and most well rounded purebred dogs. Because of this, the poodle is the most commonly used dog breed to create new hybrid dog breeds.

Today most people associate the poodle with luxury, class, and frequent visits to the groomer. However, what most people don't realize is the poodle is an extremely intelligent dog with skills that most are unaware of.

Due to the popularity of the poodle, three sizes exist. The standard poodle, the miniature poodle, and the toy poodle.

Poodle Breed Details

The popularity of the Poodle breed cannot be denied, and even the term itself is popular. If you happen to hear about a "POODLE attack," it's often about a way to exploit Internet browsers. That's not to say that there are not attacks involving Standard Poodles, a child, or even a baby, just that this is not about the poodle attack explained regarding hacking. This is about Poodles that were used for hunting and now are almost found as house pets, lap dogs, and fashion accessories.

Because Poodle dogs are so prevalent, you should know as many facts about these dogs as possible. Despite their history, they are not naturally vicious or dangerous. Like any dog, they can be made mean and have behavior problems because of the way humans treat them.

Below are some interesting facts about Poodles and the good and bad:

Fairly easy to train
Good as family dogs
Great for taking in public
Personable around strangers
Gets along fine with other dogs
Number 2 on the smartest dogs list
Coat style that can be endlessly fashioned
Can be rambunctious
Many health problems
Might not be purebred
Requires lots of grooming
Smaller variations can be difficult
Smaller varieties tend to bark more
Can be very anxious and highly strung
12 - 15 yrs.
15 - 24 in.
45 - 70 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Poodle Breed Description

The poodle is one of the world's oldest dog breed which was originally bred in Germany for hunting waterfowl. This hunting instinct has stayed with the breed ever since and poodles make some of the best water retrieving dogs out there. Their size, coat, and personality all aid them in jumping into water and retrieving waterfowl.

Poodles are extremely intelligent and loyal dogs with an eager to please attitude. They can get mischievous, especially if they are bored and are unexercised. They are very alert dogs and make good watch and guard dogs. While they are friendly to children, pets, and everyone in their family, they may take a while to warm up to new strangers.

The poodle's coat is one of it's most sought after features (and is also why the dog is used as a parent breed for many new hybrid breeds). Unlike most dogs, the poodle does not shed making their coat hypoallergenic.

Poodles are a well-rounded dog breed that can easily adapt to living in many different environments including a house, ranch, or a small apartment/condo.

Poodle Breed History

Most people associate the origin of the Poodle with France. The history of the Poodle, however, is in Germany. In Low German, the language which later birthed English as we know it today, the term puddeln meant "to splash in water" and was itself later shortened to pudel. That term was used to describe a dog that did exactly that as a duck hunter and which was called a Pudelhund. (Although the Pudelhund was not a breed but just a kind of dog that later became a breed, the word was capitalized because all nouns in the German language are capitalized.)

Before the Pudelhund were dogs with curly coats that came from central Asia, and it was from these dogs that Poodles originated. They were used as dogs of war by the Romans, they were popular among armies of Eurasia, and they were called Barbets. By the 15th century, they had spread through all of Europe. Some of the countries the Standard Poodle's ancient ancestry was found was Russia, Hungary, and France. In the 18th century, those that were taken to what we now know as Germany were bred with rough-coated water dogs for certain types of hunting. Those types eventually became the Pudelhund.

It was also during the 19th century that the Poodle's association with France grew larger than life and created the idea that these dogs originated from that country. French royals and nobility loved the Poodle, the dog's curly coat, and the way that that coat could be groomed into outrageous styles. This "Poodlarity" ballooned into the 20th century as the breed was taken overseas into the United States and dog shows there as well as in England. After World War I, however, the breed's bouffant hairstyles had reached its peak, and they became a little less interesting to the general public. These days, these dogs are again popular.

Poodle Appearance

This breed's appearance may be well-known to most folks. Still, there are those who may ask, What does a Poodle look like? The anatomy is not unique but is memorable — especially the Poodle coat!

These dogs are not quite squared in dimension although their coat styling might give them that appearance. The long, narrow snout leads back to a small, domed head. Poodles have round, black eyes that peer straight ahead while separated slightly by the rise back from the nose which makes the face look long. Eye and nose color is dependent on coat color. The ears are long and fall straight down. The neck is strong, moderate in length, and curves slightly down to a torso with a deep chest.

The second most noticeable characteristic is the length of the legs. Unlike the smaller variations, the Standard Poodle has long legs. The front legs are straight and the hind legs are angled rearward and are especially muscular in the hips. The paws, or feet, are small. The typical Poodle tail is docked, but when it is natural, it is medium-length. The skin is neither tight nor loose, and there should be some easy movement when rubbed.

Poodle Colors

The images below represent the coat colors and patterns associated with Poodles.

Black and Tan
Black and Tan
Black and White
Black and White
Additional Coat Colors
Black and Apricot
Black and Brown
Black and Cream
Black and Gray
Black and Red
Black and Silver
Blue and White
Brown and Apricot
Brown and White
Cafe Au Lait
Cream and White
Gray and White
Red and Apricot
Red and White
Silver Beige
White and Apricot
White and Silver

Poodle Variations

There are just three Poodle varieties, and they are all based on size. Those regarding the coat style are not recognized as variations by the big kennel clubs such as the AKC.

Coat type is a type of Poodle that is not really recognized as a variety. There are the curly coats, and there are the corded coats. (Wavy is not a proper description for this breed, it should be noted.) The curly version is the one we've all seen. The corded Poodle coat is where the curls are like certain sheepdog breeds. With the corded Poodle, the hair grows into rope-like strands, and these are called "dreds."

Due to this breed's huge popularity explosion, based primarily in the dogs' hypoallergenic coat, there are a great many sizes. Many terms are used to describe the sizes, and most of these terms are not standardized or recognized, universally or otherwise. The formally known terms are the Standard Poodle, which is the largest of the three variations. The middle size is the Miniature Poodle and is medium in its height. The smallest of the three is the Toy. It is the Toy Poodle that has nearly all the non-standard names. This varietal is the most popular and may be called the teacup (or Tcup), mini, micro, petite, dwarf, pocket Poodle, etc.

There is a growing crowd that is hoping to introduce a new variation, the king Poodle. These dogs are giant in size and are significantly larger than the Standard. For the most part , the king is not presently recognized other than by people seeking to breed and sell them.

Poodle Temperament

Most people think that a Poodle's a Poodle, no matter the size, variety, or coat style. To an extent, this is true. After all, the three size varieties and two coat types all fall under one breed. Still, size seems to make a difference in this breed's personality, better known as Poodle temperament. The difference in the dogs' characteristics are probably subtle. They are most likely unnoticeable unless you have one of each variation present to watch their behavior.

Overall, these dogs are very trainable, extremely loyal, and highly intelligent. Because of their loyalty, they'll be aloof to strangers. The Standard Poodle is not aggressive unless there is an actual threat. The two smaller types, the Mini and the Toy, might be less secure and more apt to bark and take what they imagine is a strong stance. Also, the Standards tend to feel secure enough to not have to follow their master or family members around all the time.

When it comes to the playful traits, these are more often found in the Toy and Miniature Poodles. They seem to understand that the strength comes not in brawn but in clownishness and mischief.

Living Requirements

This breed is known for having separation anxiety, and it seems to be that the smaller the Poodle, the higher the anxiety. With barking, it's somewhat the same: the smaller the dog, the more the barking. The Standard Poodles tend to be aloof to people, but the Miniature and the Toys are much more prone to bark to make up for their lack of size and outsized fear due to size.

It's best to have a fair amount of room, inside and out, for the larger Poodles such as the Standard variety. The smaller variations can do much better in apartments. When outside, Standard Poodles can succumb to their hunting instincts. Toys and Minis might be targeted by wolves, coyotes, and even hawks, so make sure to be ever-vigilant with them when outdoors.

This breed is known for being hypoallergenic. While no dog is 100% non-allergic, this is one of the best breeds for people who are allergy sufferers.

Poodle Health

Standard Poodles have a possible genetic defect that can crop up and which affects only a couple or three other breeds. It's called canine Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). This disease has only been recently discovered to target this variation. Hybrid vigor probably helps prevent the ailment in the Minis and Toys. Neonatal Encephalopathy (NEwS) is another condition that's breed-specific.

Here is a nearly complete list of the health problems your Poodle might encounter:

  • Bloat
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar luxation
  • Addison's Disease
  • Cushing's Disease
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

The average lifespan of a Poodle is dependent on the variety, and among the three types can be anywhere from 12 to 15 years.

Poodle Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Poodles.

Addison's disease
Cushing's syndrome
Sebaceous adenitis
Optic nerve hypoplasia
Runny eyes
Hip dysplasia
Ear infections
Von willebrand's disease
Patellar luxation
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
Progressive retinal atrophy
Premature graying
Neonatal Encephalopathy
Atrial septal defect

Random Details

Poodles are said to be the second-smartest dog breed, and they are also one of the most laughed-at breeds. When it comes to the "ugly Poodle," the term is used as an insult, as a self-deprecating handle on social media, and in ugly dog contests. As a prime example is the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest. Held in Winchester, California and sponsored by the Saving Huey Foundation, a genetically mangled, 4-pound, 11-year-old primarily Toy Poodle mix named Charlie won that year's undesirable top title. It was not the first time that an ugly Poodle-plus mutt had take home the "Rue" Ribbon. In 2013, when the contest was held in Petaluma, CA, Josie the Poodle/whatever won that year.

Of course, we all know about Poodles dressed up as clowns for circus and street acts, Poodles with ridiculously dyed coats for outrageous photographs, and Poodles that win international dog shows or bred for rare coat colors. Flame the Poodle is famous of breeding the red into Labradoodles, and Ricky the Standard Poodle took the Best in Show at the 2014 Crufts.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:March 6, 2019