Poodle fans consider them the world's most intelligent dog breed. Not without reason, because Poodles are actually well-known for their extraordinary learning and training ability. The famous Poodle Munito II, which featured in the circus and at funfairs in the 19th century, was even able to spell and count according to legend. This doesn't quite happen in most cases, but Poodles do learn very quickly and have an excellent memory.
Ideal as a working and family dog
The Poodle's intelligence and loyal nature makes them ideal for varied tasks. Be it as rescue dogs, guard dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs or simply as family dogs. The adaptable nature makes it easy to take them anywhere. Due to their friendliness towards humans, they are great family dogs. They have a high level of intuition, a calm nature and their trust in strangers, consequently making them ideal therapy dogs. Although these dogs are totally devoted to their loved ones, they do have their own personality and like to be be the main focus of attention. It is rare to see aggressive behaviour in Poodles. Likewise, they are very tolerant when in contact with other dogs. However, they are better off being kept on their own due to their people-focused nature and love of attention. Poodles are eager to learn which ultimately, makes them easy to train.
Appearance of poodles
This dog breed's balanced proportions, prancing gait and not least its curly or lacy coat give it a majestic appearance. Its fur is fine, wooly, and dense. Moreover, as it does not moult and grows continuously, it needs to be shorn regularly.
The colour of the Poodle's fur is as diverse as the variety of different grooming styles. Such diversity is usually not found amongst most other dog breeds. The colour spectrum ranges from black to silver, grey and white to brown, fawn and apricot. All colours need to be as regular as possible according to breeding standards. The eyelids, nose, lips, natural orifices, the paw pads and scrotum for males are well pigmented.
What is known as the “wooly Poodle” has very curly fur that gives this dog its typical appearance. Nowadays a rarity, the fur of the “corded Poodle” forms long strings that should be at least 20cm in length.
The are four different types of Poodle according to their size:
- Standard: shoulder height 45-60 cm
- Medium: shoulder height 35-45 cm
- Miniature: shoulder height 28-35 cm
- Toy: shoulder height less than 28 cm
Similarities and differences of Poodle types
Poodles have a linear form of the head and slightly slanted eyes giving them a self-confident and noble appearance. A short back compared to long legs is another typical feature. Their tail is high-set and tilted at an angle when it moves. The hind legs are very muscular and were often clipped in the past to give the Poodle optimal leg room for its original role as a water hunting dog. Over the course of the years, shearing from the topline to the hind legs became more and more sophisticated and varied in dog salons. To this day, clipped Poodles are still predominantly shown at exhibitions – with some really eye-catching styles at times. However, it is now more and more common to find as family dogs unclipped Poodles with a very curly coat.
To this day, the exact origin of this dog breed is unclear. Presumably, there were already similar dogs in the Roman Empire and ancient Persia. In the Middle Ages, these curly-haired dogs were found in Hungary, Russia, France and Germany. It was not until 1930 that their country of origin was officially determined as France.
The French breed name “Caniche” is closely related to the Poodle's previous deployment. Etymologically, the name originates from the French word “cane” used for a female duck. Hence, Poodles were primarily deployed to hunt wild birds from the 14th century onward. The name “Poodle” can be related to the old-German term “puddeln”, meaning “splashing around in water”.
Common hereditary diseases include eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, both of which can lead to blindness and joint problems. In conclusion, hip dysplasia (HD) and dislocated knee joints can appear.
Thankfully, the risk of these hereditary diseases has fallen in the last few years due to more responsible breeding. What's all the more important is buying a Poodle from a serious breeder. If you're interested in a Poodle puppy, find out in detail about the breeding selection, conditions and preliminary health examinations that the breeder carried out on their animals.
Of course, a high-quality, species-appropriate diet also contributes to your Poodle's health. What exactly it needs depends on different factors, with age, weight, activity level and state of health playing a role in choosing the right food. You can choose dry, wet or fresh food, though bear in mind that dry food frequently contains a high amount of carbohydrates compared to moist or fresh food and covers little of the energy requirements for the whole day.
You can recognise a good dog food by a balanced nutrient composition. As a rough guideline, the food should be made up of around 80% meat and 20% vegetables and grain. A composition with protein as found in meat and the innards, along with vitamins and minerals from vegetables, grain and rice is ideal for your dog.