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Country/Date of Origin: Germany/1400s

The Poodle originated in Germany as a water retriever, (Pudel means water in German). Today there are three sizes; toy, miniature and standard. They are all judged by the same standard of perfection and are identical in every respect except height. The standard or largest size is thought to be the original Poodle. Although the American Kennel Club classifies it as a Nonsporting breed, it still retains its hunting abilities, and remains an exceptional swimmer. The Standard is often seen in circuses and obedience rings.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Caniche, French Poodle

AKC Group: Non-Sporting

Breed Club: Poodle Club of America

Rescue Club: Poodle Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A squarely built, active dog that carries itself with dignity
  • Height: over 15 inches (at shoulder) 25 inches is an average size
  • Weight: 50-55 pounds. Standard does not specify weight but this is an average figure
  • Hanging ears are not altered
  • Upright tail is carried at an angle to the body and is docked


  • Candidate for most intelligent breed of dog. Furthermore they are extremely willing to please
  • Happy, lively and playful
  • Easily trained
  • Friendly and outgoing. Poodles love everybody although the Standard size is less accepting of strangers
  • An excellent family dog for those who are prepared to maintain the coat


  • The long coat of the poodle is double
  • The outercoat is wiry curls
  • The undercoat is thick and woolly
  • If unhindered, the outercoat forms thin cylindrical mats known as cords.
  • Corded Poodles, because they are difficult to keep clean, are rarely seen in the United States
  • Any solid color is permitted The most common colors are black and white although apricot, brown, blue and silver are possible The skin color of Poodles varies as does the coat color. Skin may be pink, blue, silver, or cream
  • Requires professional grooming every five or six weeks.
  • Two clips are allowed in the US show ring: the Continental and the English Saddle. Puppies are exempted from this and can be shown in a puppy clip (their hair isn't long enough to accommodate the adult clips) until they are one year old.
  • The face, feet and base of tail are shaved in all the clips.
  • A full coat may take two years to develop.

Health Concerns:

  • The Standard is a robust, generally healthy dog
  • Subject to less genetic problems than the smaller sizes, probably because it has never been overbred
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Infections of the ear due to poor circulation of air around the heavy coat
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • In spite of the name, the French Poodle is not Gallic; it is a breed Made in Germany
  • The pompoms and topknots of the Poodle, which seem so frivolous, had a utilitarian origin
  • Water retrievers, the Poodles needed the chest and head hair to protect vital organs from the cold
  • The pompoms, you will notice, are placed on the joints to protect them from becoming arthritic
  • Victorian merchants often had advertisements cut into the coat of a Poodle and hired someone to walk around with the dog. Sort of a living billboard
  • Grooming contests attract international teams which clip Poodles into artistic creations. Prizes are in the thousands of dollars
  • Poodles are beautiful and they know it. You might even describe them as vain
  • Love to be pampered and it is easy to spoil these adorable clowns
  • Does not shed. Suggested for allergy sufferers

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