A Poodle is a formal dog breed which is held in high regard in the dog world. This breed is actually the second most intelligent dog breed in the world. It does have a unique style, but actually has more to it than meets the eye. The Poodle has many skills and possesses agility that help it perform at various show. It is a good tracker and can help even with herding. Finally, it is very obedient and affectionate. But many people mostly know it because of its coat and the way owners tend to stylize their hair.
There are three different types of Poodles that are recognized currently. They include the Miniature Poodle, Toy Poodle and the Standard Poodle. There are still many disputes about where the Poodle actually originates from. Some say that it descends from Germany and that it is related to water dogs. While others have an idea about Poodles coming from France and are related to the French Barbet.
Today, Poodles are used as family dogs and are great pets. They strive by performing at various dog talent shows but also have a function of being assistant dogs.
Poodle History & Origins
People are still divided on the origin of the Poodle. One side states that the Poodle came from Germany. Despite with its connection to France, the poodle is thought to descend from a duck hunting dog which was called German Pudel. This dog actually originated form a previous breed called Pudelhund. The meaning of the name is actually derived from low German which essentially means “to splash water”.
But the other side firmly connects the poodle with the French side. They are of the mind that the modern Poodle is actually connected to the French Berbet. The idea is that the dog was crossbred with a Hungarian Puli in order to create the breed which we have now. But, when the breed was officially recognized by the FCI, the Germany side conceded and recognized the French origin of the breed. But disputes are still being led about the exact origin of the Poodle.
Characteristics & Temperament
Poodles are considered as very intelligent dogs. Besides being highly intelligent they are very sociable and energetic. These characteristics help poodles excel in various dogs sports like dog agility and flyball. They are high trainable dogs and can be thought a lot of tricks very easily. But in order to train your poodle properly you have to give it both physical and mental exercises.
Poodles have a highly developed marking and hunting sense, which is due to their background. Typically they are reserved when meeting strangers. But as soon as they get to know a person they will become lively and will show that they are affectionate. Poodles are also really good as pets and family dogs, which is the main reason why a lot of people decide to keep them. Standard Poodles are very good with children and enjoy playing with them. But Miniature and Toy Poodles may get aggravated by small kids as they are usually bigger than the dogs. In that case, you will have to train the dog well.
Poodle Appearance, Colors, Size
A Poodle is a squarely built dog with balanced proportions. This means that the length of the body from the breastbone to the point of the rump should be approximately the same as the height. Depending on the type of a Poodle weight and size is different. Standard Poodles are 15 inches high, a Miniature Poodle is between 11 and 15 inches high and Toy Poodles are supposed to be lower than 11 inches. They have dark oval eyes and ears that fall on the sides of their head.
Poodles have a single layer of coat. It is made out of curly and dense fur. They are actually minimal shedders which is what many people look for in this kind of a dog. Another advantage of a Poodle is that they have hypoallergenic fur. There are a variety of accepted colors and they include white, black, red, brown, silver beige, gray, silver, apricot, parti, cream and sable. Also possible are some color patters like phantom and brindle.
Poodles have certain diseases and health issues that you have to be aware of. But they are generally pretty healthy dogs. Depending on their size, their lifespan varies. For instance, standard poodles have a life span of 11 to 12 years, while Miniature Poodles have a life expectancy of 14 to 15 years.
The conditions that you will have to be aware of and the ones that you as an owner have to watch out for include: Addison’s disease, gastric dilatation volvulus, hip dysplasia, thyroid issues, tracheal collapse, epilepsy, juvenile renal disease, sebaceous adenitis, and cancer.
Poodle Grooming & Shedding
One of the biggest advantage of having a Poodle is its coat. They are extremely soft and shed minimally. On top of that they are supposed to have hypoallergenic fur, which is a big advantage. They do shed but it comes out on the form of tangled hair only.
Grooming can be a challenge, on the other hand. Poodles do require a lot of care. You need to brush their fur, give them baths, provide dental and nail care. If you decide to show your poodle, it is better that you hire a professional groomer. Even then it may require several hours of grooming. As for standard use, you do not have to spend so many hours on grooming and you can even give it a low cut.
Price and Breeders
Unfortunately, getting a poodle is not cheap at all. Particularly if you are looking for one with a pedigree or an important background. It is fairly easy to find a good breeder as in Europe you can search for them in Germany and France, while in North America there are plenty of good ones in Canada and the US. But you will still have to pay a price that ranges between 1,500 USD and 3,000 USD for one. The price is also related to the size and type of the poodles as well.
Fortunately, there is an alternative option for people who want to rescue a Poodle. Rescue groups and organizations exist for a while now and have stellar offers. You will be also doing a good deed by rescuing a poodle which was left without its home. If you are interested you can start by checking out the page of Poodle Club of America.