The poodle dog breed happens to be one of the most popular and easily recognized breed of dogs, especially in the show circles. Even though they were originally a type of working dogs, they are now valued as companion dogs and family dogs. Coming in Miniature and Toy versions besides the Standard Poodle, everyone can find a poodle suitable to his/her needs and situation.
Poodles were developed in Germany as working dogs for retrieving game from water, and their standardization as a breed mainly happened in France, but they are now thought to have originated in Central Asia. These dogs have played diverse roles in the course of history before they became more of a family dog and show dog as we know the breed today.
These dogs became a rage with the French aristocracy as early as the 15th century and continued to enjoy royal patronage, and became constant companions of fashionable Parisian ladies. Considered as the France’s official dog, they became equally popular in Spain during the 18th century.
Poodles have been employed as working dogs from early on, and played many roles in the military force of several countries during the World War II. They were one among the few breeds classified officially as war dogs. Retired war veterans were later retrained and used as service dogs. They also performed in the circus, which could be the reason behind their different types of styling.
They captured the fancy of dog lovers wherever they went and became popular in many countries around the world. According to the American Kennel Club registrations, they often fall within the top 10 list.
The Poodle dog breed is categorized into the three recognized versions such as Standard, Miniature, and Toy based on their height. Dogs measuring more than 15 inches are regarded as Standard Poodle and those below 11 inches as Toy Poodle. Dogs between 11 to 15 inches fall under the Miniature category, but unofficial versions include Medium, Teacup and Mini teacup. Depending on the version, they vary in their weight.
They have a single coat made up of curly hair that is not shed heavily, and whatever is shed often gets entangles in the curls unless brushed off regularly. The ears are floppy and the fluffy tail is short to medium length.
The Poodle dog breed is intelligent and easy to train. They are playful and adventurous, but generally remain obedient and amiable, making them the ideal family dog. The Standard Poodle is particularly gentle with children and considered safe to have around even babies.
These dogs like to keep the company of their human family members at all times and are known to suffer separation anxiety. Even though they may display close attachment one chosen member of the family but remain cordial to everyone.
Grooming and exercise
Grooming a Poodle, no matter what its size, takes a lot of time and commitment on the part of the owner. Poodle enthusiasts experiment with different named styles such as Continental clip, Scandinavian clip, English saddle clip. Less elaborate styles include Puppy clip and Pet clip.
Maintaining designer looks is quite expensive and requires the hand of a professional groomer, but that is no good reason to forego the pleasure of owning this breed. There are styles that are easier to maintain, but daily brushing is necessary in any case and probably a good trim almost every month too.
The Poodle dog breed requires an active lifestyle with a good amount of exercise and activities to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks on the leash are a must. The Standard Poodle will enjoy retrieving games in water as that was what they were originally bred for.
Irrespective of their size, Poodles require the company of their owners to be happy and contented and best kept indoors.
Common health issues of Poodle dog breed
The Poodle dog breed is not without its share of health problems. The Standard Poodle is prone to gastric torsion or bloat that typically occurs in larger dogs. Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism are endocrine disorders commonly found in them. They are particularly susceptible to sebaceous adenitis, a skin condition that results in hair loss.
Legg-Perthes, von Willebrand disease and epilepsy are more often seen in Miniature and Toy Poodles, as are patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy. Ear infections are common in all versions of poodles because of hair growing into the ear canal, but good grooming cam help avoid them.
In spite of all these potential health problems, most dogs enjoy long life, with old age often cited as the cause of death in a majority of cases. The average life expectancy is 13 to 14 years, but the smaller versions often live much longer.