The true origin of the Poodle is unknown but it was popular in portrait paintings over 400 years ago. Many believe that he was first developed in Germany where he was called the Pudel. He may have come to France by way of German soldiers during early Renaissance times. In France, he is still called Chien Canard or duck dog because his original purpose was to retrieve fowl that hunters had downed in water. Over time three varieties, Standard, Miniature and Toy, were created. The only difference between each variety is the size. All other key characteristics are the same.
The Poodle is an extremely intelligent breed. He is lively, good-natured, friendly and extremely loyal. Although he began as a hunting dog, he has become popular as a circus performer and as a companion. Because the Poodle does not shed his coat, he is an ideal dog for people with allergies.
The head of the Poodle is long, narrow and straight with a slight but definite stop (drop-off between skull and muzzle between the eyes). The teeth come together in a scissors bite. The eyes are dark, almond-shaped and set wide apart. The ears are long, wide and hang close to the face with abundant feathering. The back is short. The legs are straight and muscular. The feet are small, compact and oval shaped with arched toes. The gait is light and springy with the legs moving parallel to one another and the head carried high. The tail is docked and carried erect.
The coat is dense and harsh. Although the coat is not shed, it does grow continuously so needs regular clipping and brushing. The coat is profuse with firm texture and curly but will cord when not combed. The coat may be any solid color including black, white, café au lait, apricot, brown, silver, gray or blue. Paricolors do exist but are discouraged by most registries. The coat may be cut in various different styles. The original purpose of trimming the coat was to aid the dog in the water since its profuse coat would become cumbersome and heavy otherwise.
Size of each variety is: Standard, height over fifteen inches and weight between 45 and 70 pounds; Miniature, height ten to fifteen inches (USA) eleven to fifteen inches (Great Britain), weight proportional; Toy, height less than ten or eleven inches; weight proportional.
“The hair spray, the fluff drying, the topknots, and the inches of hair in big fluffy coats ­p; one always knows it's a Poodle, But what many don't know is the true Poodle under all that coat. Smart, beautiful, strong, courageous are just a few words used to describe this incredibly versatile breed. I own/breed/show Standard and Miniature Poodles and will never own another breed for the rest of my life. Poodles can do ANYTHING! From rescue work to hunt trials, from obedience/agility to Schutzhund, Poodles can do anything, their intelligence is beyond that of any other breed. They are simply incredible and they are one extremely powerful dog under all that hair. Next time you see a Poodle DON'T think they are whimpy and fluffy, because a Poodle can outplay, outsmart any breed of dog. They are not just cute and fluffy!”
“Last September we lost our Toy Poodle. She was just shy of fifteen. I'll tell you this much, it was like losing a sister. I have two other Toy Poodles that I adore. Poodles are very smart. Although fifteen years may seem like a lot to someone, it's not enough time to have with a dog (especially a Poodle). So enjoy your Poodle because it is the best friend you will ever have.”
“I started as a Toy Poodle owner in 1963 and have never since been without at least one dog until we lost our last one two years ago. We made a mistake of acquiring a Yorkshire Terrier two years ago. We dearly love this little dog but there is absolutely no comparison in the personalities of these two breeds. We're getting older and hesitate to start with another Poodle puppy, however would love to acquire a little older dog with an excellent pedigree and no health problems.”
“Although I did not own this dog, I was closely associated with my father's Poodle. He was an amazing dog, very protective and very smart. He was acquired at five years old, so I do not know what they are like as puppies, but let me give you some examples: He was protective of the whole family, not just one adult. Even the adult children, he was protective of them. It was amazing, considering that we did not grow up with him. It was as if he knew that we were his master's children, so he protected us when he felt that we needed protection. He was truly amazing and a one-of-a-kind dog. Once, when he came home from the groomers, he came in with a Poodle cut, which we were not used to seeing. When we laughed at him, he hid, as if he was embarrassed. It was as if he really understood us. A Poodle is an amazing dog and I am looking forward to getting my first Poodle, a Standard, in a few months. I could not reccomend an animal more than a Poodle.”
Bright, intelligent, loving, loyal, beautiful, easy to care for.
“I have owned several breeds in my life: German Shepherd Dog, Irish Setter, Schnauzer, Border Collie, Terriers, and mutts. The Toy Poodle is a better watch dog than the GSD, calmer and more trainable than the Irish Setter, better natured than the Schnauzer, not as hyper as the Border, not as destructive as a Terrier, and healthier than any other purebred or mutt I've ever owned. They don't shed, don't chew on the furniture, their messes are easy to clean because they are small. People are drawn to them, instead of fear they want to touch them. They are good therapy dogs and good with children. My Poodles have fulfilled every dream and expectation I have ever wanted in a dog. I think they are more human, and they think so, too.”
“I got my first Toy Poodle when I owned a 100-pound Rottie cross therapy dog. A lady who bred them brought a litter of Toy Poodle puppies to the nursing home where I worked. She brought this teensy ball of blond fluff of curls and put it on my desk in a basket. I told her I didn't do "sissy" dogs and she told me if I AND my Rottie cross therapy dog weren't TOTALLY in love with him by the end of the day, she would pay ME! Darned if she wasn't right ­p; we had both fallen in love with him by the end of the day! I would not recommend this breed for very small children as their small size can make them vulnerable to injury when a child pulls their hair, hits or kicks them too hard, or falls on them. They do require a substantial amount of grooming or regular trips to the grooming parlor. They absolutely CANNOT be left ungroomed ­p; they become quite matted and that is very painful for the dog. They also do not shed, and that is a wonderful thing not to have hair all over the house. I have since owned several Toy Poodles and they are all very smart, very loving dogs. They are Velcro dogs, so if you don't want a dog that follows your every move, this would not be the dog for you. They are also eager to please and require very little correction ­p; positive methods only are all that are needed to shape behaviors in these dogs. They do very well in obedience and agility.”
“I have Standard Poodles so I can only speak for that type. I almost put them at five stars, but I hesitated out of fear that a lot of folks would simply look for a "five-star breed," like a restaurant, and decide to give it a try. Unlike a bad meal in a five-star restaurant, you can't simply return a dog you don't care for and expect there to be no hurt feelings or ethical considerations. The Standard Poodle is, first and foremost, a WORKING DOG FOR A FAMILY. By that I mean, this is an extremely athletic breed that needs a job to do. This is NOT a breed that does well placed outside in a kennel and only interacted with on a weekend outing or hunting trip. Standard Poodles are very intelligent and can also be very hyper and destructive dogs if left alone and bored. Sure, everybody thinks of "their" breed as supernaturally smart, but THIS breed is uncanny. They are also funny as heck, and they like to make you laugh. They like to make anybody laugh, which can be a little problem when they discover that their crazy antics in the obedience trial ring makes the spectators howl. You can be sure they will try that routine the next time. There are a lot of myths about Standard Poodles and Poodles in general. For the record, they are NOT "hypoallergenic." They don't shed, so for some people they may be less prone to sneeze around them, but they still produce dander which is what makes you sneeze. They are not naturally good with children, they must be socialized to them. They are DOGS, not nursemaids, and you shouldn't get one simply to entertain your kids. They were bred to be hunting retrievers and they like water, but you have to show them how to swim as puppies. Adult Poodles may not take to the water. Their background as gundogs is what drives them to need a job. They are not showpieces. There are A LOT of Poodles out there and a lot of pretty lackadaisacal breeders who breed for looks only. Do your homework and learn what questions to ask of breeders. Learn about bloat, Addison's, hip dysplasia, seizures, SA and other inheiritable diseases and disorders. Steer clear of breeders who don't test their breeding stock or who tell you that they don't have problems in their lines. A poorly bred Poodle is a shy, snappy and unhealthy nightmare with big hair. A well-bred Poodle is a companion that will steal your heart and test your mind. My male Standard Poodle is a certified, operational search and rescue dog. He is truly a working dog. I am very proud of his ability to use his rather prominent nose to help people. He is a wonderful ambassador for his breed. So is my female, who is a pet assisted therapy dog. Your Poodle can make you proud, too, if only because of how much they love you.”
“I could never live without my Poodles. I've had them for over 35 years, and I have only one complaint: their life span is too short. Before I got to know some Poodles, I hated the fussy appearance. (Now I love it because it represents the Poodle personality to me.) I chose Poodles strictly for personality. They're human. That's all there is to it. They are also probably the most intelligent breed. (In the U.S., there's an old wives' tale that Border Collies are more intelligent. But in England, where they really know Border Collies, they say that Poodles are the smartest.) A Poodle's devotion is overwhelming. They hate it when you leave them for 30 seconds just to pick up the paper in the drive. They adore children to the extent that they will take abuse from kids just to be with them. Any problems with an individual Poodle is usually caused by the fact that they are so much smarter than many owners. One post on here said that the Poodle was hard to housebreak. This does not mean that the Poodle was dumb ­p; just that he outsmarted the owner regularly because he did not want to have to go outside. I have housebroken my last three Poodles in less than four hours, using WeeWee pads. (I live in an area which gets winter snow, and I HATE to shovel the whole backyard for them to have a place to go.) CAUTION. Don't get a Poodle if you work away from home all day. It just is not fair to them. They have the intelligence and reasoning ability of a three- or four-year-old child. Would you lock a child in a house alone for ten to twelve hours? Don't do it to a Poodle, either. INHERITED BLINDNESS is common in Poodles, especially in the cheap ones bought from newspaper ads or a pet store. There is a new DNA test for the gene that causes most of the blindness. If you are buying a pet, make sure to actually see the results of the test for at least one parent. If one of the parents is classified as an "A" by OptiGen, that guarantees that the puppies cannot get that disease. The puppies can be carriers, but not affected themselves, provided that one parent OptiGened "A."”
“The Standard Poodle makes one of the best companion dogs available. They are fantastic with children and are highly intelligent. They love attention and are quick learners when it comes to obedience and agility. They are low maintenence (except for their coats) and are very resiliant and hearty dogs.”
“My Miniature Poodle came to me at a time when I was very down. I was within two days of having to put down my Terrier. That night a neighbor came by and asked if I knew of anyone who'd want a small dog. I said yes, with a friend of mine in mind. However when he came in with this tiny bundle of shivering fur, who cuddled up and licked me for assurance I changed my mind. She made me laugh and smile by her silliness and antics. She was loving and seemed to understand the pain I was feeling. Since then she has become my best friend and never ceases to astonish me with her zest for life and her intelligence. I never have thought much of Poodles of any sort, but she has changed my mind.”
“I am a proud owner of a red Miniature Poodle. He is a highly intelligent, sensitive and loving dog. I am amazed on a daily basis at his talents and ability to communicate with me and others around him. He is like a little person to me, but better behaved then most children. He is the most amazing dog I have ever owned and I look forward to each day with a smile because of him.”
“I am a single mother of a three-and-one-half-year-old and a one-and-one-half-year-old. When I first became single I wanted to get a large dog for those dark stormy nights. However, my one-year-old son had several health problems with an unknown cause, therefore I needed a non-shedding dog, just in case his problems were caused by allergies or the like. I had never seen a Standard Poodle in person, but had a Toy Poodle as a child, whom I adored. I found a Standard and brought him home. He potty-trained himself, and hasn't has an accident yet. At first it was a bit of an expense to have him groomed, but I quickly learned to clip him myself, an activity he and I both enjoy. Therefore, he costs no more to own than any other breed. He eats very little for his size (24" high). He enjoys learning new things, and has never once harmed my children. In fact, my son learned to walk by hanging onto him as he walked along. He. is a dog that both enjoys running wildly about the yard, thundering through lakes, and watching TV with the rest of the family. Inside he is calm, but loves to play outside. He is the best of both worlds. His best friends are my many cats, whom he has never harmed, but has not yet learned that every dog he sees does not always want to play with him. However, I believe this is because he has rarely been around other dogs. He keeps us safe by barking protectively, but not excessively, and I believe he would protect us if it came down to it. He also is a foot warmer at night. He is the perfect dog to have with kids, and could do anything he set his mind to.”
“Our Standard Poodle is now six years old and we are looking for another. If I had my way we'd have even more. He has been the easiest dog I've ever lived with. From the time we brought him home he was an easy-going, family-pleasing dog. I trained him and we competed in three obedience trials, and earned his Companion Dog certificate with flying colors. Everyone who meets him remarks on his wonderful personality. He's not an "in-your-face" kind of dog, has never been a problem with jumping on people. When he wants to play he can be silly, but always goes back to his dignified, well-bred demeanor as soon as we let him know we're done playing. The grooming can be demanding if you don't keep it up, but it's definitely worth it to not have dog hair to be constantly cleaning up.”
Happy, energetic, crazy, funny, loving and totally lovable!
“Our Miniature Poodle brings us huge amounts of fun, joy, love and laughter. He's smart, of course, and the usual description of a Poodle being "human-like" is just so true. He can read my emotions and respond accordingly, and loves a cuddle as much as I do. He's extremely affectionate and lives just to be with his people. He is very excitable and screams his head off when we arrive home ­p; a drawback when you have a neighbour who doesn't tolerate a three-minute Poodle frenzy. Other than that he only barks when visitors arrive or approach the property ­p; a great little watchdog. He learned toilet training within a few days and has never had an accident. He is not destructive but is very playful and mischievous and likes to tease his other doggie mate. He can be a bit naughty at times but his desire to please you always overrides this tendency. I would recommend a Mini Poodle to anyone who has the time to devote to it, who would expect it to be a part of the family and not leave it in the backyard. If you want love and devotion from your best friend, you'll get it from your Poodle. If you want to lounge around the house, lie in bed all day, go for a run or swim at the beach, he'll be there by your side. An added advantage is the non-shedding wool coat ­p; no doggie smells or hair on your clothes or bedding, just a clip every couple of months, which we do ourselves. Yes, I'll be a loyal Mini Poodle fan for life. They're great!”
“My Toy Poodle who is four years old is the best pet I've ever had! She is so smart! I got her when she was just 12 weeks old, and she was completely housebroken in less than a month. She also learned how to go up and down stairs in only 1 hour. She is such a sensitive dog, she acts like a person! She can pick up on people's moods right away, and always wants to comfort people who are down. She knows she's adorable, and loves to get attention by standing on her hind legs and "waving" her front paws in front of her! She is a good watchdog, and she sometimes barks too much, but that's just because she's defending her "turf." She does get a little possessive of her food, too. She really is a people-dog, and hates being alone. She warms up to meeting new people very quickly. She does get scared of big, loud dogs, and loud children, so I would recommend that someone with small kids get a Standard Poodle. But, I just can't imagine life without her now, she just brings me such joy, because she is so affectionate and loyal.”
“It's hard to believe that someone would abandon such an adorable little dog. My mother-in-law found a sweet little Miniature Poodle roaming around in the snow; dirty, smelly and bedraggled. She adopted the dog and he is a fantastic pet. Loving, smart, sensitive, trusting; he rarely barks. His mannerisms are just precious. He sleeps with his owner every night and enjoys cuddling with guests that drop by the house. I don't know about other Poodles but this one is great!”
“I've had a Toy Poodle for 12 years now and she is the best dog I've ever seen. She is very emotionally sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily. She doesn't need to be hit; raising your voice is enough for her to know that she did wrong. She must be treated with great care and respect. It would be cruel for this dog to be exposed to most children, who usually don't understand or realize that they are very sensitive. I recommend these dogs to adults for this reason, plus my dog likes adults better. She has wrapped her mouth around a couple of 1- and 2-year-olds' arms or legs before just to scare them away when they've been rough with her, but she does it gently and knows not to really bite down. Remember, it's scary for such a little dog to be roughened by any child that is SO much bigger. My dog is also extremely intelligent, moreso that most other little dogs I've seen. She is very aware of whether or not a person respects her. All people I've known, at first, don't respect her, by the way, until they know her. So many people think these are just stupid little foo foo dogs that are wimpy, if you know what I mean. People have a lot of misconceptions about these dogs. Again, she is very intelligent and sensitve, with an expressive face. She is a loving friend who deepy picks up on every emotion you have and responds appropriately. This dog must be loved back to be happy. She requires a lot of special attention and gets very jealous if you pay attention to either another dog or another human. I recommend that this dog be the only household dog. My dog especially doesn't like rough, big dogs, but does like to visit with gentle dogs of any size occasionally. At 5-years old, she got away for 5 minutes and got attacked by a pack of coyotes. Miraculously, she survived. She still has nightmares and gets seizures now if a big dog scares her. So, you must realize that they are senstitive and need extra protection. They should be indoor dogs. She loves having a family around for stimulation as long as everyone is gentle to her, but also likes MUCH one-on-one attention. Also, my dog has gotten better with age. She's more in-tune with people's feelings, more mellow and more loyal. Describing this dog doesn't do it justice. You must love one to know and they'll return all that love and more. (I know someone who has an 18-year-old toy poodle who wears diapers and is senile. They can live for a long time! And they're a pleasure to have at any age).”
Poodles are extremely intelligent and very affectionate.
“I just aquired a miniature male Poodle. He is only about 4-5 months old and already housebroke. He follows me whereever I go and loves to be picked up and cuddled. He very seldom barks,we had him three days before I even heard him bark. Chewing has not been a problem,he is very well mannered and usually only chews on his toys or his rawhide bones. We love him dearly.”
“I never thought I'd own dogs, never mind Poodles! I inherited my first poodle when my mother died. I took in what I considered her spoiled, yappy little dog, and within 2 weeks was completely in love. He's a 4 year old apricot toy poodle from a reputable breeder, fast learner, smarter than I am, playful, full of energy, snuggly (once he gets tired) and absolutely adorable. A couple of rounds of obedience classes really improved his behaviour. The house seemed out of balance with only one dog, so I got a black Toy Poodle, a former stray, who needed a home. He's 12 years old, deaf, toothless, and completely endearing and charming. He's incredibly playful, and the ultimate snuggler. I've never met a dog more eager to please. He's caught onto sign language very quickly, and has been learning a lot by just watching the other dog. The only fault that I can find with either of them is that they're both *very*food protective. Another consideration is that they're both very bonded to me and my housesitters have a hard time getting them to eat when I go away. I'll never be without Poodles again.”
“Poodles are the best of all breeds! Poodles are not just for decoration. Many people use all three sizes in competitions like conformation, agility, and flyball to name a few. Many Poodles are avid hunters and retrievers. They make excellent rescue dogs, and are perfectly happy being a lap dog for the couch potatoe kind of human. Poodles think they are human, they love their owners faithfully and want to be with them. However a poodle is also a thinking dog, it's happy to entertain itself and probably a few neighbors...whoever is watching. Poodles do not shed. Many allergic people find they can tolerate beautiful breed. Toys mature a little faster (about 6 to 8 months) often act like puppies even til an advanced age. Miniatures take a little longer to reach full maturity (about 1 year) and are as gregarious as the toys. Willing to play, cuddle, or simply snooze by your feet. These are big dogs in little packages. As the largest poodle, the Standards take the longest to mature... some say up to 18 months. Standards have the distinction of being a big dog in a big package, but not hard to handle. All sizes come in various colors, but if you have a love for a breed you want to look out for it and do all you can to educate others in making the breed BETTER NOT WORSE. Please do not support puppy mills, backyard breeders, or petshops. Parti or multi-colored poodles are NOT accepted by the AKC. If you are thinking about buying a poodle do as MUCH research as you can. Buy only from a reputable breeder, read the breed standard, and enjoy! This is SURE to be a breed you'll love living with.”
“I would like to believe that Standard Poodles are the perfect dog, but that would cut out the other fine dogs in this world. I can say that the Standard Poodle is in the top five as being the best in the world, though. I feel this way because I own four and have had many in my lifetime. There is nothing they can't do. They are perfect for therapy because of their attitude and they just love kids. They aren't as hard to groom as people say if you keep their hair short and they are somewhat hypo-allergenic because they don't shed nor do they have major skin problems. My dogs pull a dog cart and give children cart rides and have been known to pull as much as twice their weight (75-85 lbs my dogs weight). They come in three sizes and all the colors. (Sometimes you can even find them in mixed colors, called party colors.) They make good watch dogs (they will guard their property) but they don't often bite. We even once sold a puppy to a lady who was blind and was at last we heard had made a great guide dog out of her. They learn fast and are pure willing-to-please. Their coats even make them good for search and recsue because things can't get to their skin ie; broken glass, wire, thorns. Plus they have great noses, just ask any Poodle person who has left food around only to find it gone later. I may seem partial to the Poodle because I am owned by four but if you become owned by one as well you will see just what I mean.”
“I have two Standard Poodles. Poodles are more than just great looks ­p; smart, affectionate, great with children and so devoted. I can't imagine having any other type of dog live with me. The added benefit of these beautiful creatures is they don't shed, don't smell, and one of mine brings in my morning newspaper! Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em.”
“I have owned a little Mini Poodle for about 10 years now. I love this little doggie dearly but compared with other dog breeds I have owned, this dog seems to be a little bit shy in the intelligence department. Pretty lazy in the house broken area with little "accidents" more often than I'd like to mention. Can't seem to teach this dog things that other breeds can do in their sleep. They are not very good with small children and would just as soon bite a kid as look at one. Overall, I would not recommend this breed of dog for anyone. I have owned mine for over 10 years now and I will NEVER buy another Mini Poodle or a Poodle dog period.”
“I have now owned 3 Miniature Poodles. I have also owned several other breeds. The Miniature Poodles have been absolutely the BEST. They are SO intelligent and SENSITIVE to the owners' moods and desires, it's incredible. Poodles are clowns and prance around with a toy or a dog biscuit in their mouths to greet you or to play with you. They play chase, "tag," and hide and seek. And they just entertain themselves if they are left alone most of the day. They a SO much fun. When it's time to settle down, they settle down immediately. I leave out a small bucket of food and a bowl of dog biscuits. They regulate their own eating; they never overeat. They NEVER smell "doggy." I've walked them outside in bitter cold (10 degrees) and snow (with their sweaters on). They don't mind rain. They are easy to train and housebreak. They understand everything that's going on around them. They travel well. As anyone should know, as with most breeds, they will NOT tolerate abuse, but will become nasty (and I don't blame them!). The only problem with them is that they are SO devoted to their owners, that they may refuse food and water when the owner goes away, so boarding can be a problem. (We rarely fly and have always taken our dogs with us in the car.) Needless to say, it's important to get a puppy from a reputable breeder. I just can't praise the breed highly enough!”
“Even though I have owned many different breeds in my life, Poodles are my favorite. I currently have two Poodles. One is a Minature (12 inches tall) and the other is a Standard (29 inches tall). I also have two small children: one is three years old and the other is six months old. My young children are terrors to my Poodles, but they take it in stride. They never growl or try to bite no matter how bad the torture. They are very intelligent, loving, protective dogs. My Standard Poodle has inspired three non-dog families to get poodles. This is the highest praise that I could ever have of my dogs. If you have young children, get a standard poodle. They will be very gentle and protective of your children. Also, they have very deep barks and can scare away would be crooks. My Standard scared away a would-be intruder one night with his feroscious bark. Poodles are fabulous pets and I give them two thumbs up. Remember to buy from a reputable breeder, not a pet shop.”
Excellent breed, extremely intelligent , almost human-like emotions.
“I've owned various breeds of dogs throughout my life, and hands down the Poodle wins.I've never come closer to being emotionally attached to another animal,nor will. I can't praise them enough. They are sweet, sensitive, and very intellegent. Not only are they in touch with your emotions but they have a personality like no other dog. Give them lots of love and you will never regret it for the rest of your life.”