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Posts Tagged ‘Poodle’

The Water Retriever – Poodle

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013


The Poodle, classified in the non working group, is well known for its agility, intelligence and fluffy soft coat which are often trimmed to give the dog a unique “frou-frou” appearance. There are actually three different breeds of poodle: the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Toy Poodle–some organizations also recognize a Medium Poodle variety, which exists between the Standard and Miniature Poodles.

A brief history of the Poodle

PoodleHistorians disagree on the exact origin of the Poodle. However, it is believed that they originally came from Germany, where they were known as a Pudelhund–literally meaning “puddle dog,” which is a reference to their skills as a water retriever. The poodle was well established on the European mainland both as a companion dog–typically to royalty and aristocracy–as well as a water retriever used in the hunt. 17th century paintings and engravings of poodles depict them with two popular coat cuts–a short crop which gives them a spaniel-like appearance and a unique “lion” cut which left the poodle partially shaved except for a long mane of hair and tufts of fur on their tailbones, tails, and legs. The toy variety of the poodle was popular at the court of Louis XVI, especially among courtiers who often had dozens of small companion dogs living in their apartments. Although poodles are commonly associated with aristocracy and “frou-frou” living, they are excellent retrievers and are still used in that role today by many hunters.


The Poodle comes in several different sizes, which range in height and weight. The Standard Poodle is the largest of the Poodle varieties, typically reaching heights of 15 inches at the shoulders; the Toy poodle is the smallest, typically coming in at under 10 inches in height at the shoulders. Their coats, which are single layer, are usually solid colored or partially colored and come in a variety of different shades, including: black, silver, red, cream, sable, apricot, and white. The poodle’s coat can be high maintenance and, if not clipped down, requires regular–sometimes daily–grooming to remove tangles and reduce the risk of matting.

Personality wise, Poodles are known for their high energy and their instinctive drive to hunt and catch prey. They are not recommended in households with prey-like animals, such as rabbits or rodents. They can make good family companions, but they do require supervision–they are prone to mischief–as well as early socialization training and daily exercise. When poodles are not properly trained, they are prone to aggressive and protective tendencies. However, this tendency can be weeded out early on with proper socialization and corrective training.

Did you know? Trivia

  • Although Standard, Miniature and Toy are all terms used to describe varieties of Poodle, they are all considered a single breed.
  • The well-known “Poodle Clip” is actually designed to protect the dog’s joints and vital organs when they are swimming or running in cold water.
  • The poodle was a court favorite during the time of Louis XVI due to its ability to perform tricks.