The Poodle is a popular dog breed that comes in a variety of sizes and colors. It is considered the second most intelligent dog after the Border Collie.
What were poodles originally bred for?
Poodles have a long history. They were originally bred in Germany to be used as hunting dogs. They were especially good at hunting in the water where they would flush and retrieve waterfowl like ducks. The original poodles were like today's standard size poodle. Their curly hair together with the "poodle clip" hair cut, was meant to help them move through the water efficiently, while the longer areas of hair would protect vital parts of the dog. They were also bred to be excellent swimmers.
Poodles Come in Different Sizes
There are many different sizes of poodles. The difference is defined by how tall they are at the withers (shoulders). The American Kennel Club defines three types of poodles based on size:
Standard Poodle - over 15 inches tall
Miniature Poodle - between 10 and 15 inches tall
Toy Poodle - less than 10 inches tall
All of these heights are measured at the highest point of the shoulders, or the withers.
Poodles have curly fur that doesn't shed much. For this reason they can be good pets for people with dog allergies. The curly coat, however, needs to be properly groomed so it doesn't get matted and tangled. Poodle's coats are generally a single color. They come in a variety of colors including black, white, red, brown, grey, and cream.
White Poodles Author: H.Heuer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Do they make good pets?
Poodles can make a great pet. They do, however, have lots of energy and are highly intelligent. For this reason they need plenty of attention and exercise. Sometimes they can be stubborn, but generally they are obedient and good with children. Often, they are easy, or easier than most dogs, to housetrain.
Fun Facts About Poodles
The smaller toy variety is thought to have been bred to sniff out truffles.
The poodle is the national dog for the country of France.
It has been a popular dog since the 1500s.
Lifespan tends to depend on the size with the smallest Toy Poodles living up to 17 years and the standard poodle to around 11 years old.
Poodles are often crossed with other dog breeds to make mixes with fun names like the labradoodle, cockapoo, goldendoodle, cavapoo, and pekapoo.
Sometimes poodles are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed because of how little they shed.
Many famous people have had poodles for pets including Winston Churchill (Rufus), John Steinbeck (Charley), Marie Antoinette, Marilyn Monroe (Mafia), Walt Disney, and Maria Carey.
The poodle is athletic and does well in many dog sports.
Cavapoo Puppy Author: Rymcc4, PD, via Wikimedia Commons