Poodles, the Breed That Started it All  🐩  

Poodles the dog that is behind the doodle craze. Why is the Poodle creating such an uproar with the doodle hybrid? What makes this breed so special? 

The Poodle was the American Kennel Club’s most registered dog breed from 1960 all the way up to 1982. That is a long time to be that popular. 👏 Let’s find out why. The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Combine that with its desire to please its owner and you end up with one of the easiest to train dog breeds out there. Poodles are also one of the most versatile breeds combining true athleticism and companionship skills into one outstanding package. 🎁  These dogs are playful and loving. Poodles are patient and caring with children and other family pets. 

The Poodle is called Pudel in Germany 🇩🇪 and Caniche in France 🇫🇷 . Both of these names are a nod to the Poodles original breeding use as a water retriever. The German Pudel name translates to puddle or splashing water . The French Caniche name translates to duck dog. 🦆

The origin of the Poodle is believed to come from German, that is what the majority of people believe. But there is also a group of people that believe that the Poodle originated in France. There is evidence for both of these beliefs. 

The Standard Poodles were originally bred as hunters of wildfowl to retrieve the game out of the water. The Miniature Poodle was also bred in France as a talented circus performer 🎪 . These Miniature Poodles were trained to walk tightropes and even perform card tricks and skits. 

Poodles became recognized by the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 in 1874 and by the American Kennel Club 🇺🇲  in 1886. The Poodle was the third most popular FCI registered breed worldwide as of 2012. 

Poodles have been used as working dogs in the military since the 17th century. These dogs were so widely used due to their intelligence and trainability. Also their background as hunting dogs made them excellent candidates for the battlefield since they were able to be trained to ignore gunfire. 

One of the neat stories in history that pays homage to the Poodles immense loyalty is written in Napoleon Bonaparte’s memoirs. 📖 Napoleon wrote about a white Poodle owned by Prince Rupert of the Rhine, about how his hunting Poodle would fearlessly ride into battle with him on horseback. 🐴 This Poodle’s name was Boy and it has been recorded as the first official British Army Dog. It was ultimately killed in the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.

Sizing it all up

Purebred Poodles can come in 4 different sizes, although only 3 sizes are universally recognized. The sizes are Standard, Medium, Miniature and Toy sizes, the Medium size is not universally recognized. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) or International Canine Federation (in english) publishes the breed standards for each purebred dog. Their goal is to bring global uniformity to the breeding and judging of purebred dogs. The FCI outlines the following sizes for the Poodle: 🐩

  • Standard Poodle weighs between 44 to 71 pounds and is 18 to 24 inches tall. 
  • Medium Poodle weighs 33 to 42 pounds and is 14 to 18 inches tall. 
  • Miniature Poodle weighs between 26 to 31 pounds and is 11 to 14 inches tall. 
  • Toy Poodle weighs between 14 to 17 pounds and is 9.5 to 11 inches tall. 

Attempts have been made in the past to create a Teacup Poodle ☕ but there proved to be numerous serious genetic abnormalities.

Color Coding, Fur Real

Poodles are known for their very distinctive curly coat and flamboyant hair styles. They have thick fur that can come in many different colors. The FCI only recognizes the colors of black, white, brown, gray, and fawn. However, Poodles come in many more colors and patterns. 🌈  The other colors that Poodles come in are  blue, silver, café au lait, silver beige, cream, apricot, and red. The different patterns that a Poodle can have are parti, abstract, sable, brindle and phantom. Club recognition of these multicolored Poodles varies by breed registry. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes Poodles in either solid-coloured and multi-colored coats; however, only solid-colored poodles may compete in conformation. Basically conformation is just a fancy way to say dog show. 

As for Poodles of a different color, they were historically popular but became less trendy in the early 1900 and were excluded from many registries. These multi-colored Poodles come in a few different types. The parti-Poodle has patches of solid color over a white body. When the parti-Poodle has markings that look like a tuxedo it is called a “tuxedo Poodle”. 🤵 Next is an abstract Poodle that is one solid color with the addition of white patches. The last Poodle color pattern is the phantom Poodle which is a solid main color with a lighter color on the eyebrows, muzzle, throat legs and feet. They may also have a full face of the lighter color. 

Poodles have a different kind of fur than many dogs. They need to be brushed daily in order to not have matting issues. The fur needs to be brushed all the way down to the skin or else the fur will mat closest to the skin under the brushable hair. If mats develop they have to be brushed out which can be painful for the dog. These mats can also be cut out as well. Poodles also require a bath 🛁 about once per month and a hair trimming once every 4 to 6 weeks. 

Poodles and Poodle hybrids are often labeled as hypoallergenic; the reason for this is that their hair growth cycle is longer than most dogs. They also have the quality of curly hair which can slow the loss of dander and hair that has died by trapping it in the curls. A Poodle may release less dander and hair into the environment. 🧹  However, researchers have not found any difference in the Poodles dander not triggering an allergic reaction in people with dog allergies. 

 The AKC asserts that “there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog”. Unfortunately people with dog allergies are usually allergic to the dog dander 🦠, not the dog’s fur. Granted the dog fur can be a carrier for the dog dander it is not the cause of the allergen. The old school of thought was that less dog hair = less allergen. So breeders would attempt to have as many Poodle genes in a dog breed to lessen dog hair shed. Unfortunately, this does not change the level of dander. Please be cautious regarding the labels of “hypoallergenic” if you have dog allergies. If you would like more info on this please read 22 Hypoallergenic Doodles. ◀️

Working it out

Poodles are highly active dogs that require quite a bit of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy many activities such as swimming 🏊  and competing in dog sports. They may seem a little posh but they love to get dirty and have just as much fun as the next dog. 🤩 Due to their hunting background they really enjoy retrieving so a nice game of fetch is definitely one of their favorite things. 

⚠️ One word of warning, it is not recommended to have your dog participate in highly strenuous activities prior to the age of 10 months due to underdeveloped joints and bones. ⚠️

Come, Sit, Stay

Poodles are one of the smartest breeds in the world, that combined with their desire to please their owners makes them very easy to train. Due to these facts they have continually been used as highly successful service dogs 🐕‍🦺 and so much more!

Poodles are highly trainable dogs and owners can really train them to do just about anything. The only service that they would not really excel at would be as a guard dog. Poodles are not territorial or aggressive so they do not make good guard dogs. This doesn’t mean that they won’t let you know that visitors are arriving at your home though. 👍

Poodles are very attached to human interaction and they thrive on companionship. This strong attachment to humans can make them susceptible to separation anxiety when separated from their human. 

They also do better with a fair owner who trains them with positive and consistent training methods. 

As with all dogs Poodles need early socialization and puppy classes to learn good habits from the beginning. 🌱

Quality of Life

Poodles are fairly healthy dogs with no health issues that are unique to their breed. They live between 10 to 18 years. 

The health issues that Poodles can be susceptible to are hip dysplasia, eye issues and epilepsy. 🩺

Toy and Miniature Poodles can also have Legg-Calve-Perthes and luxating patellas. 

Standard Poodles are sometimes more at risk for bloat.

Some medical issues that can be tested for in Poodles recommended by the National Breed Club are: patella evaluation, hip evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation and PRA Optigen DNA test 🧪

So now you want a Poodle….

If you are thinking about getting a Poodle you must make sure that you are in love 💗 with any combination of traits that a Poodle could have. I would check at Poodle rescues  and also check regular rescues. Just realize that if you want to rescue you may have to wait to find your dog or travel to pick it up. But there are great benefits to rescuing instead of buying. 👍👏

If you decide to buy a puppy please do your research on the breeder and don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. And good luck to you! I hope you find your forever puppy! 🥰

Hello there! My name is Rochelle and I’m one of those doodle moms who doesn’t have kids but probably gives more care to my doodle than some people do to their own children, spoiled would probably be an understatement. ;) After becoming more active online with other doodle owners I realized that thousands of doodle owners are facing all sorts of issues with their dogs. I knew with my education and training history I could make a positive impact.