Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.
History of the Poodle
Dogs that resemble the modern-day poodle have been seen since as early as the 15th century in both writings and art work.
Some people believe that the poodle is the original water spaniel because of its very dense fur, but other than the idea, it has not been proven.
The poodle was a working dog, used in hunting and duck retrieval.
Their coat protects the dog from water and debris as it buoys the body and adds insulation to the joints. The average confirmation poodle hair cut, is beneficial to keeping the dog warm while working on hunts. The poodles' hindquarters were shaved in order to aid swimming abilities as to lessen the amount of fur in order to not weigh the dog down in the water.
Many dog breed historians claim that the poodle originated in Germany with some Russian influence before France standarized the breed.
The Standard Poodle developed first, and the Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles were developed afterwards. All of the poodles sizes have a long history, but what is not known 100% known is to whether or not the Miniature and Toy Poodles were selectively breed to their smaller variations or did another breed(s) have its hand in the making.
In France, the Poodle has been used as duck hunting dogs, pampered pooches, and truffle dogs to help chefs find the most tasteful morsel.
According to the AKC standards, poodles should be have a moderate build with an elegant, balanced appearance. They should carry themselves with both pride and dignity.
Poodles are known for their dense, curly fur, that does not shed. Their fur grows, year round, and needs constant grooming.
Most Poodles are solid-colored ranging in colors from black, white, red, brown, and silver. The solid poodles are the only variety allowed in most show rings, and the "Parti" poodles, multi colored poodles with large splotches of another color, are not allowed to show. "Phantom" poodles have the color pattern of a black-and-tan dog, although not necessarily black and tan.
US breeders tend to dock the tail, but this is not seen as often in Europe. These days, tails, when docked, are left much longer than in times past. "Bunny like tails" (very short-docked tails) are now rarely seen except among puppy millers.
Unlike many breeds, poodles come in a variety of sizes, distinguished by shoulder height.
Standard poodles are 15 in. and over.
Miniature poodles are 11 in. to 15 in.
Toys poodles are under 11 in.
"Teacup" poodles have, also, been bred which are very small; however, they are not recognized as a distinct standard by any of the kennel clubs.
Poodles are very active and intelligent dogs.
Within the Poodle confirmation standard set by the AKC, both shyness and sharpness are frowned upon. They are to show pride and dignity.
This breed is a strongly people pleasing breed that bonds rather quickly.
In general, the following temperaments per size of the poodle are:
Giant poodles tend to be more aloof and self-contained.
Standard poodles tend to pick one person to bond with.
Miniature poodles are lap dogs, loving to cuddle.
Do remember theses are general characteristics of the breed. There will always be some variation within each individual dog. The major determinants of a dogs temperament depend on its breeding background (reputable breeder or puppy mill), socialization, and training.
It may all sound great on paper, but I've heard horror stories with poodles and children. As they can be one person dogs, they do not tend well when someone else enters the picture, such as when a baby is born. They can be very jealous and possessive dogs.
You will need to socialize and train any poodle that you bring into your home in order to prevent mishap. Socialize the dog with other dogs and people of all ages (babies, young, teenagers, adults, elderly).
And, do remember, that to dogs, young children are not adults, as they smell different, act different, and sound different. This means, that early socialization and training is a must in order to make the dog aware that the young children in its life are higher up in the pack than he.
All three poodles sizes- Giant, standard, and miniature- will live fine in apartment settings. As the giant and standard poodles are relatively calm in indoor settings, if exercised regularly they will be happy in an apartment or home with a small yard.
Poodle Medical Concerns
Giant poodles have an average lifespan of 11.5 to 12 years.
Standard and Miniature Poodles have an average lifespan of 14 to 14.5 years.
The most common serious health concern with Giant Poodles include:
- Addison's disease
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat)
- Thyroid issues such as hyper- and hypothyroid
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Juvenile renal disease
- Hip dysplasia
As with most small breeds, one must consider the breeder of the puppy. Puppy mill puppies will have more health and behavioral concerns than a higher priced reputable breeder.
Do take into consideration that many Miniature Poodles have a tendency to have kidney failure.
Books about Poodle Hybrids
This is a day of "Designer Breeds." In reality... High priced mix-breed dogs, I.E. 100 dollar mutts.
Because the Poodle has been reported as a non-allergenic dog, it has been used at the base of many of these hybrid dogs. To help create other large breed dogs that are supposidly ok for one with allergies.
Do remember that most people who are allergic to dogs and cats are allergic to their dander. So, even though the poodle does not shed, it does not eliminate the dander. Meaning, that the poodle is not non-allergenic.
Common poodle hybrids include:
Labradoodle- Labrador Retriever and PoodleGoldendoodle- Golden Retreiver and PoodleMaltipoo- Maltese and PoodleCockapoo- Cocker Spanial and PoodleYorkiepoo- Yorkshire Terrier and PoodleChipoo or Poochi- Chihuahua and PoodleSchnoodle- Schnauzer and Poodle
Many of the larger breed poodle hybrids also come in a miniature version, such as the miniature labradoodle, goldendoodle, and schnoodle, which is the result of breeding with a miniature poodle.
These poodle hybrids are not considered breeds by any of the registries, but as mix-breed dogs, so they are NOT registerable by any current reputable registry.
The Continental Kennel Club (CKC) will register just about any dog, so you can count that many of these "Designer Breeds" are registered with the CKC. Do remember to verify whether it is Contental or Canadian, as the Canadian Kennel Club is a reputable registry that does not allow hybrid dogs and is also currently seen as CKC.
Pictures can be found at flickr.com.
Ed Roberts on April 27, 2012:
Hi: I own a large standard, 28 inches at the shoulders! I am told he is a Monton, but can't find this name. He is just huge all over, with tightly knit coat, not wavy.
He is from a shelter named Nor Cal Poodle Rescue in Walnut Creek, Ca. I can't find his whelping papers. Owners could not handle him and gave him to a veternarian. He took him to the rescue. He was down to 55 lbs when I got him, but is now pushing 70 lbs.! He gradually became very affectionate to me after a rough start, where he literally dragged me along the trail in Henry Cowell Redwoods, Felton Ca. Pheromones helped calm him down. Sprayed on his bed, not on him. Tended to dominate at the dog park, so I stopped that. I do love him.
puppy576 on May 20, 2010:
Cute pics here :) Large poodles are awesome!
Doglover on September 25, 2009:
I love my toy poodle. She's highly intelligent, very friendly and quite the lover. I always tell people who come over it's "death by licker". hehe
Eric on January 17, 2009:
I have a miniature poodle that is 16 years old and is in perfect physical health. He has some mental problems, somewhat similar to human dementia. He knows quite well where his seats are in each of the rooms in our house. He doesn't bother with playing anymore, but can still eat and drink fine. When he was younger he was very playfull and energertic up to oh say about 14 years old. Vet says he may still live a couple more years. I hope so, even though he is old he is just enjoying his retirement in resting.
poodleit from Ottawa on May 02, 2008:
Nice hub Whitney. Poodles are great and lots of fun and affection.
I have two Standards!
Tony Sky from London UK on December 15, 2007:
I just love these cute small fluffy dogs!! Great hub Whitney:)
MrMarmalade from Sydney on December 14, 2007:
Get on the right side of the Chair Person of your body corp. 12 Bottles of expensive whiskey might do the trick.Make sure the is no barking, as your nice whiskey soaked neighbour might turn on you.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 14, 2007:
I think a standard or miniature poodle would do fine in a townhouse. But, at the same time, you could probably keep a giant poodle in a townhouse as long as you remembered frequent exercise, meaning a long walk in the morning and one in the evening. Plus playtime in the yard and family time, and such.
My cousin has 2- 60-80 pound American pit bull terriers, in a town house, and with long walks they do fine.
I, personally, am not a big fan of poodles.
MM Del Rosario from NSW, Australia on December 14, 2007:
A great resource for dog lovers, my daughter has been asking me if we could have a dog, but since we live in a townhouse, it is very hard to have one. She suggested to have a poodle, i don't know if they could stay in a very small space.
Enjoy reading this hub....thanks