What is The Poodle?
The Poodle is perhaps one of the most distinctive and recognizable dog breeds in the world, quite impressive when you consider the fact that there are 339 recognized dog breeds in the world today.
The Poodle isn’t considered to be a breed, but a type, and is broken down into subcategories for breed classification; the Poodle breeds include:
- Standard Poodle
- Miniature Poodle
- Toy Poodle
All of these types share a lot of similarities, but temperament and appearance can differ slightly between the breeds.
Ranked as the second most intelligent dog in the world, only behind the Border Collie, it’s this intelligence, as well as their incredibly friendly temperament that has led to Poodles becoming the popular family dog that it is today.
Many think of Poodles, and their minds are immediately drawn to the streets of Paris, as this breed has been portrayed as the quintessential Parisian pooch.
However, many experts agree that this curly-haired breed, in fact, originated in Germany.
A clue is in the name as the English name for the breed “Poodle” actually comes from the German “Pudle” which translates as “to splash in the water” which makes perfect sense as the Poodle was originally used as a water hunting dog.
The breed was made popular in France, and the true development of the dog into a bonafide breed took place in the baguette loving nation – which is often where the confusion relating to the origin stems from.
I think that it’s fair for both nations to share the credit for this breed, with each playing their part in making one of the greatest dog breeds of all time!
Nowadays, you’re most likely to see a Poodle at your local dog park, having a great time being a family pooch, or walking calmly alongside their elderly owner.
They really are a versatile breed and depending on the breeding of the pooch in question; can be a fabulously active hiking buddy or the perfectly mannered companion.
But while the Poodle isn’t often seen as a working dog, his roots are firm as a working man!
He was originally bred as a hunting dog and is still famed within the hunting community for his prowess for retrieving waterfowl.
Breeders are working hard to reinstate the Poodle as a popular hunting breed, and after twenty-five years of focus on this area, he is regaining footing as a strong hunter.
The Poodle is an incredibly friendly and loving dog, he is wary of strangers initially, but warms up quickly; this instinct helps to make him a good guard dog.
Highly intelligent, and highly energetic, he needs regular activity to keep him from using these traits for the wrong reasons and becoming destructive.
He loves having his very own job, and even something as simple as carrying a pack while out on hikes will make for one happy pooch!
The Poodle is excellent with kids and other animals but doesn’t enjoy being left alone for long periods as he can easily suffer from separation anxiety.
The Poodle is a dignified looking fella, squarely built and well proportioned you’ll likely recognize a poodle from his long legs, pointed face, and, of course, curly coat.
The Poodle comes in three distinct sizes, including:
Measuring over 38 cm at the shoulder.
Measuring from 28 to 38 cm at the shoulder.
Measuring under 28 cm at the shoulder.
The Poodle is popular with those suffering from dog hair and dander allergies, as he is an incredibly low molting breed.
Unlike most dog breeds, the Poodle is a single coated breed, while his tightly curled hair does molt, it usually becomes caught in the surrounding hair; this means that the hair can be removed with a sensible grooming routine.
As the Poodles hair doesn’t naturally fall to the floor, he does run the risk of developing matting on the coat without adequate grooming.
Keeping your Poodle looking, and feeling his best is an easy job, so long as you stick to a routine.
Owners can choose to maintain at home, or send their poodles to a professional groomer to keep their coats mat free.
One of the most popular trimming techniques for a poodle is known as the puppy cut; this is a simple, and easy to maintain hair trim that many owners can stay on top of in between trips to the groomers.
Of course, show poodles require a show trim which is far more detailed, and time intensive – this is what many dog lovers think of when they imagine a poodle, but this type of trim is falling out of style and is rarely seen outside of the show ring.
As the second most intelligent dog breed in the world, combined with a temperament that is incredibly affectionate and people friendly – the Poodle is an incredibly trainable dog breed.
Often crossed with other breeds to make for a more trainable dog, a good example of this is the labradoodle.
A breed created to combine the calm attitude of the Labrador, with the intelligence and low shedding of the Poodle as the ultimate guide dog for the blind.
Perfectly content as active family dogs, the Poodle also thrives as a working dog, whether in the hunting field, or agility arena – the more that you ask of them, the happier this pooch seems to be!
For such a fancy looking pooch, the Poodle acts like quite a goofball!
A lot of this is due to his friendly nature combined with an abundance of energy!
That’s not to say that a relatively chilled person can’t enjoy poodle ownership.
Provided that your pooch gets two good walks per day, and preferably a play session somewhere in the middle – your Poodle will be quite content!
More than enjoying exercise, Poodles love their people, and if given the choice of running around by themselves, or hanging out by the pool with their owner – they’re more often found at their owner’s feet!
Common Health Issues
The Poodle is a relatively healthy dog but is known to commonly suffer from some medical conditions, including:
The most common health condition in Standard Poodles is Addison’s disease.
This disease is characterized by abnormal hormone production; specifically by the cortex of the adrenal gland.
These glands produce two essential hormones that are required for a healthy body, these are cortisone and aldosterone.
Without the correct amount of these hormones, the body struggles with regulating minerals, which, in turn, makes managing the fluid balance troublesome.
Another condition affecting the adrenal gland, thyroid issues are caused by overproduction or underproduction of hormones which help with just about every function of your pooches body – from metabolism to temperature control.
Although mild, this is the most common reason that veterinarians see Poodles, this is especially a problem for breeds such as the Poodle as their lack of shedding often causes the hair to grow into the ear canal.
The Poodle is an incredible type of dog, with a joy for life, bundles of energy, and an absolute love for their humans.
Welcoming a Poodle into your family, if you have the time, and resources to do so – will likely be one of the greatest decisions that you’ll ever make.