Dog-ology: Poodle

Basics

Poodles are an extremely intelligent breed. Since the breed is so intelligent and known to be mischievous, it is recommended that they get regular exercise and basic obedience training. Poodles come in three different sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The breed also comes in many different colors, but the most commonly seen are white and black. Poodle’s have a single layer coat, which is great for allowing them to be efficient in the water; however, because of the dense single layer when the breed sheds, the old hair gets tangled in with the new. Some Poodles have weepy eyes that stain the hair under their eyes. Poodles have drop-down ears and are prone to ear infections, as well as hair build ups in the ear canal. All of which can be managed by being groomed every three to six weeks, or more frequent depending on the dogs exposure to outdoor elements. There is also a hypoallergenic bread of Poodle which does not shed as much, and although the grooming may be less it is still just as important.

History

There are many theories as to the exact origin of this breed; however, it’s not known for sure since it is an old breed. The poodle is believed to have originated in Germany and later became standardized in France. The breed was first bred for hunting waterfowl. Historians believe that the breed is the result of crosses between several European water dogs. Many believe it wasn't until the 1400s that breeders began producing smaller versions of the Poodle, first the Miniature, then the Toy, in order to delight the Parisian bourgeoisie. The smaller varieties were created by breeding small Poodles to each other, not by breeding Poodles with other smaller breeds. The French used the larger Standard Poodle for duck hunting, and the mid-sized Miniature Poodle to sniff out truffles in the woods. The tiny Toy Poodle's main job was to serve as a companion to the nobility and wealthy merchant class.

Fun Facts

  • When you think poodle usually the first thing that comes to mind is crazy haircut. This is believed to have begun by gypsies and traveling performers who quickly learned that the intelligence of the Poodle was excellent for other canine professions, such as circus dogs. They trained Poodles to perform tricks, dressed them in costumes, and groomed their coats into fun shapes to add to their stage appeal. Wealthy patrons took notice of this and began to decorate their own Poodles.

  • Some of the weird haircuts actually date back to the breeds origins of being a water retriever in Germany. Hunters would cut the breed’s single layer coat to help them move even more quickly in the water.

  • Illustrations of Poodle-like dogs adorn Egyptian and Roman artifacts and tombs dating from the first centuries B.C. The drawings and statues show dogs that look like modern day Poodles, bringing in game nets, herding animals, and retrieving game from marshes.

  • The Poodle, was also featured on both ancient Greek and Roman coins.

  • Rich owners during the Renaissance often carried their Toy Poodles in their large shirtsleeves, leading to the nickname "sleeve dogs." They were used as hand warmers by resting in the large sleeves of the nobility.Poodles were fairly rare in the U.S. until after World War II. By the mid-1950s; however, the Poodle had become the most popular breed in the country - a title it held for more than 20 years.

  • Poodles are a friend to those with noses, as they are virtually odor free.

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