There are many misconceptions about the Poodle, written off in many quarters as a namby-pamby kind of dog, that’s far too much of a ‘sissy’ to be a real dog, which of course, is all total nonsense. For all that’s said, the Poodle is a hugely popular dog; he ranks at number 7 of 197 breeds in the AKC (American Kennel Club) most popular breeds, and the Poodle is just as popular worldwide.
Poodles have an excellent temperament, lively and energetic. Undoubtedly, Poodles are the most intelligent and smartest dog on the planet, considering the competition from the Border Collie. Another misconception is that the Poodle is a French dog, mainly because the phrase “a French Poodle” is used when describing the dog; when in fact, they originated in Germany as working water or retrieving dogs.
Without question helping the Poodle’s quest to become the most popular dog is the breed has three varieties, a Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle. Whichever size the Poodle is doesn’t matter because kennel clubs consider them to be the same dog breed and have to conform to the breed standard, whatever their size.
In this Poodle dogs 101 guide, we’ll discuss this wonderful, affectionate companion dog’s information, facts, and history.
Everything You Need To Know About The Poodle Dogs 101:
1. Poodle Breed History
It’s pretty much accepted that the Poodle originated in Germany, irrespective of the term French Poodle, or that many people believe they are of French origin. There’s still some mystery regarding a Poodles true heritage with several stories of how the dog came into being. One thing for sure the breed goes way back, and there are illustrations of a similar dog going back to the first century B.C.
The Standard Poodle was the first variety, and there’s even mystery surrounding the appearance of the Miniature and Toy Poodles, but they did come after the Standard. In France, they use the name Caniche dog, which comes from Chien (dog), canard (duck) – the duck dog.
French hunters would use the Standard Poodle as a water dog, retrieving ducks. They also put the Miniature to work, but the Toy Poodle was luckier; he had the job as a companion to the wealthy French classes. During this period is when the Poodle’s reputation as a trained circus dog grew; he would be dressed up and taught how to perform tricks.
The Kennel Club In England was the first to recognize the Poodle back in 1874, and the American Kennel Club followed suit in 1886. Even so, the Poodle didn’t become popular until after the Second World War; since then, the Poodle’s popularity has just continued to grow, and they have ranked in the top 10 ever since.
2. Poodle Characteristics
A full-grown Standard Poodle has to reach a minimum height over 15 inches (to be considered a Standard); they can weigh between 60 and 70 pounds; females are always smaller and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. The lifespan of a Standard Poodle is between 10 and 18 years.
Miniature Poodles must be no taller than 15 inches to qualify as a Miniature; they typically weigh between 15 and 17 pounds; their life expectancy is between 10 and 18 years. Toy Poodles can be no more than 10 inches tall, and they weigh 4 to 6 pounds. The Toy Poodles lifespan is precisely the same as the Standard and Miniature Poodles.
Should you be interested in Poodles and adopt one or purchase a puppy, you might be a little confused about the terms: Giant Poodles, Royal Poodles, Giant Royal Standard Poodle, and Giant Standard Poodle. You might even have seen them advertised for sale at higher prices than average for a Standard Poodle. None of these are another variety of Poodles like the Miniature or Toy; they are simply larger than average Standard Poodles.
3. Poodle Personality And Temperament
Poodles are bright sparks, alert, and one of the most intelligent dogs you’ll find anywhere. They quickly learn obedience commands and are excellent at tricks; we mentioned they were the original circus act from years ago. They are not an aggressive breed of dog and are wary around strangers until they meet them a few times. But with their close family, they are loyal, affectionate, and bond with all family members, including the kids. Earlier in the article, we spoke about the Poodle’s three varieties, and while the basic personalities are similar, there are some differences.
Before we discuss that, let me say three main factors can establish a Poodle’s personality. First are the breed’s history and the reasons for their initial creation. Dog fanciers bred their dogs to work, such as herding, hunting, etc., and these traits are part of the breed’s DNA. The other two factors that impact a dog’s behavior are the breeder and owner of the Poodle puppies.
All three Poodles varieties want to please their humans, and they need close interaction with their owners. If you have children, then the Standard is the better choice, not so much because of behavioral traits, more a question of size and the damage a child can do to tiny dogs, even inadvertently.
The Standard Poodle is more high-energy and on the go than the Toy or Miniature. If you prefer smaller dogs and have children, you should choose the Miniature, rather than the Toy. Miniatures and Toys are more of a handful than the Standard, even taking their size into account; they are mischievous and curious, getting into far more bother than the Standard. If you want a companion or lapdog, then the Toy Poodle is the one to choose.
Using praise, positive reinforcement, and treats will always get you the best results when training and socializing Poodles. All three Poodle varieties are pretty sensitive and can get very upset when shouted at or spoken to in harsh terms. When I say sensitive, I mean it; Poodles are known for mimicking their owners’ moods; for example, if you feel depressed, your Poodle will pick up that mood and be depressed as well. Poodles make an excellent choice for first-time or novice dog owners and are a fantastic addition to any family. Their sensitivity marks them out as brilliant therapy dogs.
4. Poodle Grooming
Poodles possess a beautiful dense, curly single coat, but they don’t have this coat when puppies. Poodle puppies typically have wavy and incredibly soft coats. Once all three Poodle varieties reach around nine months (the Standard’s coat can begin the change between nine and sixteen months), their coats will start changing to their adult coat.
For Miniature and Toy Poodles, the complete change for most dogs takes at least nine months but can sometimes be longer. Standard Poodles tend to get their adult coat within three months of the change beginning.
5. Poodles Shedding
It’s often said that Poodles don’t shed; that isn’t the case. Their hair falls out but catches in the dense coat, so it can seem as though Poodles never shed because it’s rare you’ll find your Poodle’s hair on the floor or furnishings.
There are also claims that Poodles are hypoallergenic, but that claim is also misleading. There is no actual hypoallergenic dog. People who have allergic reactions to dog hair have an issue with pet dander, which is microscopic pieces of dead skin cells. If you are only mildly allergic, then you might never have any reaction to a Poodle’s dander. On the other hand, people who are severely allergic will still suffer a reaction to Poodles.
Because dead hair gets caught up inside the coat, you must brush out your Poodle’s coat every day to prevent shed hair from turning into tangles and matting into the coat.
6. How Much Exercise Does A Poodle Need?
Miniature and Toy Poodles are both suited to apartment living, but even so, you must take them outside every day for daily exercise. The exercise doesn’t need to be too vigorous, although miniatures like running around and burning excess energy a little more than Toys.
Standard Poodles need a lot more exercise; being high-energy dogs, they need brisk walks and time off-leash to exercise correctly. Some Standard’s can be relatively large, so a house with a backyard will suit them best. You will need to put them through mental as well as physical agility work to tire them out.
I keep mentioning the Poodle’s intelligence, but it’s worth repeating just how smart these dogs are. You have to remember this and make sure the activity you give them encourages them to use that intelligent brain. If you ignore this, Poodles can become bored and hyperactive, which will lead to inappropriate and unwanted behavior. To help you with this, you should enroll your Poodle in advanced training and agility classes; this way, you can challenge his brain as well as his body.
Poodle Dogs 101 – Summary
Poodles are people-oriented happy dogs and love to please and socialize with their family. The Poodle possesses a tremendous amount of intelligence, so you must remember to engage his brain as well as give him plenty of reasonable exercise.
They can be sensitive to your moods and dislike harsh or aggressive treatment. Give your Poodle bags of love, and you’ll see what a genuinely fantastic companion dog a Poodle makes.