Many believe that the Poodle originated in France, but it probably started out as a curly coated breed from Asia and made it's way with herders into Europe. The poodle is a master herder, hunter and loves to swim. The curly coat insulates it from cold water and they are expert duck hunters. It was in Germany that the breed developed in to what we recognise today. They were used as military dogs, guide dogs and in circuses. The French loved Poodles, much favoured by 'fashionable ladies' and it became the National Breed of France. It is one of the most popular breeds in America.
Poodles are incredibly intelligent and rarely need telling more than a few times before they have learnt something. Their minds work quickly and they are easily trained. They are highly social, like working and will happily do what you ask of them for praise. They do need constant training to get the best out of them, but once learnt, they will seek more training. They are lively, playful, eager to please and loyal. They make good pets and are good with respectful children, but will not tolerate tail pulling or screaming and could snap. They can be a bit reserved with strangers at first, but soon become friendly. They get on well with other dogs and pets if socialised from an early age. Poodles are free thinkers and need training. They think they are 'people' and will want to be treated like one, so be firm from the outset or the dog will run the household. They need a fair amount of exercise, be it a long walk/swim, plus lots of play in the garden. They will happily bring a ball back to you and do well in agility classes/competitions, anything to keep their minds and bodies active. They love being outside and exploring the world and would rather you interact with them outside, playing games of fetch, hiding for them to find you or short obedience, rather than just walking along side them.
With regard to grooming, Poodle hair does not fall out, it sticks to the surrounding fur, so needs regular brushing to prevent matting. This is good news for allergy sufferers as fur is not left all over the house. Grooming/slipping needs to be done regularly by professionals if owners would like the classic pompom cut. For pets, clipping every six weeks keeps the coat tidy. Addison's disease and Gastric Torsion (Bloat) tends to be more common with this breed.
Poodles have an adventurous and intelligent temperament. They love to go exploring off the beaten track so take your poodle on an exciting and challenging walk if you want him to be happiest. Intelligent dogs, they respond well to training and you should provide it so that they have sufficient mental stimulation. Good with other dogs, pets and strangers the Poodle really is a nice all round dog.
Health problems that can affect Poodles include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), luxating patella (dislocation of the knee cap), cancer, progressive retinal atrophy (degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), cataracts, glaucoma, ear problems, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis (dogs own immune system attacks its sebaceous glands) and blood clotting disease.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
- Weight: 20 - 32 kg
- Height: 21'+
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Hypoallergenic
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Companion Dog
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour