Curly and cute, the Poodle dog breed is adored by dog lovers all across the globe. These smart and oh-so-chic pups are clever, easy-going, and always ready to learn a new trick.
If you’ve just welcomed one of these effortlessly stylish popular breeds into your life, then there are some certain items you’ll want to have on hand to ensure that your Poodle is as happy as can be.
The Basic Overview of the Poodle
Despite many calling this breed a French Poodle, their origins actually lie in Germany. This breed comes in three different sizes:
The Standard Poodle (weighing between 45 and 70 pounds and measuring 15 inches in height).
The Miniature Poodle (weighing between 15 and 17 pounds and measuring 10 to 15 inches in height).
The Toy Poodle (weighing between 6 and 9 pounds and measuring 10 inches in height).
The Poodles curly coat is water-resistant and acts kind of like a sweater to keep them warm, even in cold water. These dogs also have webbed toes, which act like flippers underwater.
The earliest dog breed of this group was the Barbet, a type of curly-coated dog, which was seen in Hungary, France, and Russia. However, the breed originated in Germany for duck-hunting, as they are excellent water-retrievers.
The English name 'Poodle' is derived from the German word "pudel/pudelin", which literally translates “to splash in the water.” And in France, Poodles are called "Caniche", a French name derived from "chien canard", meaning duck dog.
The poodle's friendly temperament and lovable looks eventually caught the attention of members of French nobility and the breed soon became popular throughout Europe.
More recently, they were bred down into miniature and toy-sized varieties in the United States to become city-dwelling companion dogs. Although Standard Poodles are water dogs, these smaller variations are less likely to enjoy the water than their full-sized counterparts.
It's not known for sure when Poodles arrived in the U.S., but the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered their first Poodle in 1886. The Poodle Club of America was founded in 1896, but disbanded shortly thereafter. Poodle enthusiasts reestablished the club in 1931.
The Poodle is an even-tempered dog breed that is loyal, loving, and devoted to its owners. And because of their smarts, low-maintenance needs, as well as their oh-so-soft hypoallergenic coat, they’ve remained high on the list of favorite dog breeds for decades on end.
This is family pet prefers to keep its mind sharp. Therefore, you’ll want to keep them happy by offering them much-desired enrichment.
You can do this through play, routine exercise, toys/puzzles, and more! These aim-to-please pups take great pride in fetching, so catch and release dog toys are a top choice for them!
The Temperament of the Poodle
The Poodle is a dog breed that is highly intelligent, love playfulness and prides themselves on appeasing their owners. These family dogs are far from an aggressive breed, but they do have watchdog tendencies and will bark to alert you to any noises or visitors.
You will often find that many designer dog breeds are crossbred with the Poodle because their temperament is ideal for many. These dogs love to be active, but they can also do just fine curled up on the couch next to you.
It should be noted that Poodles are hunting dogs and require training and exercise in order to be at their best as companion dogs.
Poodles have beautiful hairdos and are the best show dogs for their elegant appearance and innate performance ability.
Their activity levels do change with maturity, however, and you can expect them to calm down a bit between 18 months and 2 years of age. Standard poodles are also generally more calm than miniature and toy poodles.
As long as you are properly exercising your poodle with routine walks, exercise, and mental stimulation, you’ll have yourself a happy pup.
Regardless of the size of your Poodle, you’ll want to invest in a quality harness and lead. The Poodle has a slender neck regardless of size, and you don’t want to strain their neck or affect their delicate trachea during walks.
General Health & Common Health Problems
The Poodle is a generally healthy breed of dog regardless of which breed size you have in your life.
The larger your Poodle is, the more athletic they will be with a stronger desire to romp, exercise, and play.
Their lifespan ranges depending on the size of the Poodle, with some toy poodles having an average lifespan of up to 15 years.
Poodles require routine grooming to keep their coats in tip-top shape. And while you can handle this yourself at home, it’s best to leave it to the professionals on this one.
Invest in a slicker brush to give your Poodle’s coat a once-over a few times a week so that they always look their best. Not only will this make their fine coat fluffy and soft, but it’s a great way to bond with your Poodle, too.
Due to their long ears, they tend to get ear infections, so it’s recommended that you clean your dog’s ears regularly, and consult with your veterinarian about proper cleaning tools and techniques.
The Standard can be prone to Hip Dysplasia, just as is common with larger breeds of dogs. The Miniature and Toy can be prone to luxating patella(s) as well.
It’s always best to practice preventative care with your Poodle, so offer them a once-daily supplement that’s all-encompassing to enhance their mobility, promote healthy tissues, etc.
You can do this with a high-quality joint supplement, as well as a high-grade fish oil supplement for dogs.
You can minimize serious health concerns in a Poodle by purchasing him from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and health conditions.
Common Health Issues related to the Poodle:
Addison's Disease (hypoadrenocorticism)
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
Von Willebrand's Disease
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
The coat of the Poodle is a favorite among many for its extremely low shedding and hypoallergenic capabilities.
Within this breed, you’ll see a wide variety of colorings, from solid colors like cafe-au-lait, black, silver, apricot, and brown to Poodles with a blend of colorings, including phantom and particolored Poodles (one of which is called a tuxedo).
The fine, curly coat that worked well when the Poodle spent his time in the water needs to be clipped regularly, typically about every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on his owner’s preferences.
It mats easily and requires regular brushing at home, even with a professional groomer. Left untrimmed, the coat will naturally curl into cords at cause matting. Most owners pay a professional groomer, but if you're dedicated and have the time, you can learn to groom your Poodle yourself.
Many poodles have fancy haircuts, but the most common cuts are the Lion Clip, the Puppy Clip, the Continental Clip, and the Bikini Clip.
Exercise Needs and Training
All Poodle dogs are quite active and require daily exercise suited to their high energy level.
They do just fine in any type of home, from apartments to estates, so long as they have regular exercise and plenty of human companionships. They prefer to live indoors with the family, particularly the smaller Toy and Miniature Poodles.
Being originally bred as water-retrievers, Poodles love to swim and as hunting dogs, they also enjoy retrieving, so consider activities like tossing balls and sticks.
They also love going for long walks and jogs.
The Poodle is considered the second smartest dog breed and has a high level of trainability.
They’re smart, graceful, and likely to participate in activities such as tracking, obedience, and agility.
They are also eager to please their poodle owners. Fun, consistent routines should yield excellent results.
What’s the Best Bed for Your Poodle?
Regardless of the size of your Poodle, you’ll want to invest in a bed that hugs the body with soft, cushiony support.
The Poodle’s fine hair can cause them to catch a chill quite easily, so a bed that retains heat is an ideal choice for them.
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