For centuries, the poodle has been one of the most popular breeds in the world and a symbol of elegance and opulent luxury. The poodle is associated with France, but many countries have laid claim to the breed. Available in three different sizes and many different colors, there is a poodle for every taste.
The poodle has been one of the top breeds based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) tallies.
History and Origin
Paintings representing the poodle date as far back as the 13th century. The exact country of origin is not known, but many people feel the breed may have come from Germany. The name “poodle” comes from the German “pudeln” which roughly translates to “splash about in the water”; the original purpose of the breed was a water retriever.
Soon after development in Germany, the poodle quickly became very popular in France and was known as the caniche, or duck dog. The breed is considered their national dog.
The poodle comes in three different varieties; standard, miniature and toy; however, the only difference is the size. The toy poodle is classified in the toy breed group by the American Kennel Club.
The standard poodle is the oldest of the three sizes and was originally used to retrieve ducks in cold water. Soon after, the miniature and toy were developed. The toy poodle, the smallest variety, was well established in England by the 18th century and was commonly used in circuses and floor shows as dancing dogs. The miniature and toy poodle were also used for hunting and digging for truffles in French forests.
Although they come in different sizes, the shape and appearance of the breed is the same. The poodle has a long head and muzzle with long, flat and wide hanging ears. The chest is deep and the tail is set high. Typically, the tail is docked when young.
The hair coat of the poodle is curly and dense with a fine woolly texture and requires daily grooming. There are four common hair clips for the poodle. The most common cut is the “puppy” cut, which is given to all ages of poodles. Another cut is the “sporting” cut, for the active poodle. For the show ring, the “English Saddle” or “Continental” version is typically performed.
The toy poodle stands under 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 10 pounds.
The poodle is a pleasant dog that loves constant company. This dog hates to be alone and prefers the company of people instead of other dogs. The breed also hates to be ignored and does not like being thought of or treated as “just a dog.”
Home & Family Relations
Despite being excellent water dogs, poodles also do well as family protectors and companions. They make excellent pets for children as well as the elderly and can adapt to a variety of environments.
The breed is very intelligent and thought by many to be the most intelligent of all breeds. They learn quickly and readily, although some dogs tend to enjoy pleasing people by doing tricks instead of learning commands.
The hair coat of the poodle requires daily care and grooming. The intelligent nature of the dog leads some to mischief if left alone for an extended period of time.
- Progressive retinal degeneration is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
- Medial patella luxation (MPL) is a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove in the femur. Lameness can vary from an occasional hitch of the leg, like an intermittent skipping, to a persistent weight bearing lameness.
- Aseptic necrosis of the femoral head is a progressive deterioration and collapse of the femoral head, cause is unknown.
- Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) is a congenital birth defect caused by a blood vessel that normally closes after birth remains open resulting in the passage of extra volumes of blood into the lungs.
- Chronic valvular disease is a progressive deterioration of the valves of the heart, which can lead to heart murmurs and heart failure.
- Hypoglycemia is a disorder associated with dangerously low blood sugar levels.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.
- Anal sac disease are disorders of the anal glands that can be caused by inflammation, impaction, infection or tumors.
- Diabetes Mellitus is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.
- Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) is a sporadic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
- Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately. Without enough thyroid hormone, illness can occur.
- Tracheal collapse is a weakening of the rings of the windpipe which can cause irritation and coughing.
- Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of 2 to 5 years.
- Drug reaction to “glucocorticoids” may occur in some poodles. Subcutaneous injections may cause local hair loss in this breed.
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a disease syndrome seen in dogs, characterized by the acute (sudden) onset of bloody diarrhea, usually explosive.
- Cataracts are opacities within the lens of the eye that affect vision.
- Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) is a disease in which the body’s immune system, which is designed to attack and kill germs, attacks and kills the body’s own red blood cells.
- von Willebrand’s disease is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand’s factor (vWF), one of the elements that allow blood to form clots.
- Hyperadrenocorticism is a disorder affecting the adrenal glands. When overactive, the adrenal glands secrete excessive cortisol, resulting in illness.
- Glaucoma is a painful and serious condition that causes pressure within the eye to increase which can cause blindness.
- Intervertebral Disk Disease is a disorder that affects the spinal disks resulting in pain, difficulty walking and possibly paralysis.
- Hydrocephalus is a neurological disease in which there is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricular system of the brain.
- Ectopic ureter is an abnormality present at birth in which one or both of the ureters that bring urine from the kidneys to the bladder fail to open into the bladder in the normal way. The affected animal is born with this problem and the resulting urinary incontinence usually begins at birth.Poodles are also prone to hair loss, ear infections, bladder stones, allergies, cryptorchidism and deafness.
The life span of the toy poodle is 15 to 18 years.
We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.