One of the oldest dog breeds known to man, the poodle has appeared on Roman and Greek coins and on Roman tombs. There is plenty of art depicting it from the fifteenth century. There are three main countries that this breed comes from, Russia, Germany, and France. The Poodle from Russia was a sleeker-looking creature, like a Greyhound or large Whippet. The one from Germany, however, was a little thicker, a little fatter, and with a more dense coat.
This dog is known by various other names such as Pudle (Water Dog), Caniche (Duck Dog), and Poodle (Splash in water). There are references dating back to 1642 stating that this dog is a good, sturdy swimmer. It was used largely for Duck hunting. It always had its hair cut in the popular 'show' fashion. It was designed to keep the important joints warm, and to reduce drag while the dogs retrieved fowl out of the water during cold French winters.
As time passed by, the dog did come to the dog shows, but it did not get any real popularity until after World War II. After the war, it was considered as 'The In Thing. This breed was the most popular dog in America for over 20 years.
There are three different types of Poodles, the Standard, the Miniature, and the Toy. These varieties all have the same basic temperament, the only difference being in their size. The AKC standard states that the Standard Poodle should be over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder, and any dog below that height is disqualified. The Miniature Poodle should be between 10 inches to 15 inches, and any dog that is less than 10 inches or above 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder is disqualified. The Toy Poodle needs to be 10 inches or lower at the highest point of the shoulder. Any dog that does not meet the specifications will be disqualified from competing as a Toy Poodle. If two dogs win in a tie, then the smaller one will most likely be the winner.
The coat colors can be white, gray, black, brown, silver, red, apricot, cream, sable, parti, or silver-beige. It can have patterns such as phantom and brindle. Eyes are dark in color and are oval-shaped. The coat is naturally curly and dense. This dog should have a bright, intelligent look with a smooth gait. The overall appearance should be one of dignity and grace, marked by intelligence.
This dog needs a bath every two to three weeks. There are several quality shampoos and conditioners that you can get, although not entirely necessary for the average pet, is recommended for this breed to help keep the hair clean and free of mats.
Because it has such long, dense hair, people have come up with several different types of clips like the show clip, continental clip, english saddle clip, and pet clip to name a few. Although they are all nice, only three are accepted by the AKC. Whichever way you chose to do your dog, just ensure that you like it.
This is an extremely intelligent dog which makes it very easy to train. One thing to remember though, is that it is energetic like most hunting dogs. Hence, it is better for you and the dog if there is a backyard where it can vent some of its energy. It is also a highly-instinctive breed due to its history as a hunting dog.
This breed can be prone to Addisson's disease, hpyer or hypothyroidism, gastric dilation volvulus, epilepsy, tracheal collapse, renal diseases, hip dysplasia, or cancer. The lifespan of the standard poodle is up to 12 years. Miniature and toy poodles can live up to 15 years. There are some toy poodles that have lived up to 20 years. The oldest living toy poodle was Lady, who lives for 28 years and 218 days.