Originating in Germany as a water retriever, the elegant, affectionate and adaptable Poodle breed includes three size varieties.
Despite their aristocratic reputation, Poodles are incredibly smart, versatile athletes and companions. The active Poodle can thrive in many living situations as long as he receives daily exercise.
Like any intelligent, athletic dog, Poodles like to keep busy. Water retrievers by nature, they love an energetic game of fetch, and most enjoy a swim. But they are just as happy at the end of a leash, sharing a brisk jog or walk.
Miniature and Standard Poodles are Non-Sporting breeds, whereas Toy Poodles naturally fall into the Toy group.
They are athletes who carry themselves proudly. Their curly coats are also shed very little, which means the breed may be a good choice for allergy sufferers.
10 to 18 years
The variety of Poodle coat colors is even more varied than the sizes of the breed. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), those colors include apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, silver beige and white.
The Poodle has a low-shedding coat. The hair does grow, however, and needs regular trims and daily brushing.
If a full-coated Poodle is not brushed to the skin daily, his hair will mat near the roots and will have to be shaved off. Most owners choose to keep their Poodles’ coats trimmed short, which requires grooming every four to six weeks.
Thanks to responsible breeding, most Poodles enjoy long, happy lives with their families. Health issues associated with the breed can include hip dysplasia and several eye disorders, as well as idiopathic epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease and immune-mediated disorders. "
Toy and Miniature Poodles are more likely than Standard Poodles to experience two orthopedic problems, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease and luxating patellas.
Toy and Miniature Poodles may find the specialized nutrition and smaller kibble of a small breed dog food beneficial, whereas Standard Poodles may benefit from the nutrition offered by an adult dog food or a food for active dogs.
For Poodles who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula. Poodle puppies should eat puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.
Although the Poodle is the national dog of France, there is no such breed as a “French Poodle.” In fact, the breed was developed more than 400 years ago in Germany—not France—as a water-retrieving dog.
In German, the word “pudelin,” is a reference to splashing in water. Its elegance and trainability helped the Poodle transition from the hunt to the noble homes of Europe, and even to European circuses.
Today, the Poodle, with its swimming strength and naturally insulating curly coat, is still valued for its retrieving abilities.
In fact, the Standard Poodle is the only Non-Sporting dog breed eligible for AKC Retriever Hunting Tests. The show cut we see on Poodles in the ring started as a way to protect these retrievers’ joints and other vital areas, while allowing them to move freely through the water.
The Standard Poodle was first bred down to the Miniature. Then the Toy Poodle was bred in early 20th century America as a companion dog for city living. Each size of the breed is an exact replica of the others, bred to the same AKC standard.