Poodles are a breed of dog which comes in three sizes, the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle. The origin of the Poodle is still open to debate, with a prominent dispute over whether it originates from Germany as a sort of Water dog or from the French Barbet.
The Poodle was popular across Europe long before it came to prominence in the U. K, appearing in drawings by German artist Albrecht Durer in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was the principal pet dog in Spain in the late 18th century, as shown in paintings by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya, around the same time, during the reign of Louis XVI toy Poodles were popular in France.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale the organization of which the French and German kennel clubs are members, claims the breed descends from the French Barbet. When the breed was first recognised by the FCI, in order to avoid any dispute between its two founder members, Germany recognised the Poodle as a dog originating in France.
The British, American and Canadian kennel clubs state that the breed originated in Germany stating ‘despite the Poodles association with France, the breed originated as a duck hunter in Germany’.
The Poodle as contributed to many other dog breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer, the standard Schnauzer, and dogs of the Bichon type, in order to save breeds from extinction, reduce size, or by dog fanciers to improve their appearance.
The standard Poodle is the oldest of the three varieties, which was bred down to the miniature and toy sizes. The smallest or toy variety was developed in England during the 18th century, they were bred for companionship as the standard size dogs were used for hunting and working.
An active, intelligent and elegant dog, the Poodle is squarely built and well proportioned, to ensure the squarely built appearance, the height from the highest point of the shoulder should be equal to the length from the breastbone to the point of the rump.
The eyes should be oval in shape, very dark, and have an alert and intelligent expression, the ears should fold over close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The Poodles have a single layer coat which should have a naturally dense and curly texture, the coat does shed, but instead of the fur coming off it becomes tangled in the surrounding hair, this can lead to matting without proper care. Unlike some other breeds, hair grows in the Poodles ears, they should be cleaned regularly to avoid infection.
The Poodles coat comes in a variety of colours including, white, black, brown, silver grey, beige, red, cream, sable and patterns such as phantom and brindle. Phantom, brindle and sable are considered out of standard by all major registries.
Poodles are highly trainable dogs that excel in obedience training, if well cared for and loved the Poodle is devoted and loyal, it will quickly become protective of its master and any other family members. They have a merry kindly demeanor and they enjoy playing games that spark their interest in physical and mental stimulation. The standard Poodle has an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years, while the Miniature and toy Poodles average lifespan is 13 to 15 years.