- Dog Breed:
- Breed Group:
- Non-Sporting Group
- Intelligent, athletic, active, elegant, friendly
- Over 15 inches
- 40-70 pounds
- Life Span:
- 10-18 years
- Coat Colors:
- Coats may be solid or a combination of two of the following colours: apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, silver beige, white, or café au lait.
- Area of Origin:
- Best For:
- Novice owners
About The Poodle
Available in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy
Known for its athleticism and versatility
Of exceptional intelligence
Originally a working dog
The beloved Poodle is available in three different size variations: the Standard, the Miniature, and the Toy. As versatile in their coat clips as they are in their skillset, the Poodle’s distinct outline makes it unmistakable for any other breed. The most commonly seen clip on dogs destined for the show ring is called the Continental Clip, a cut that is preferred for its clear picture of the dog’s incredibly toned, muscular physique.
Poodles are a breed of high intelligence, possessing far more intellect than the average dog. Though all three of the size variations of the Poodle are known for their ability to excel at many different disciplines, it is the Standard that is the greatest athlete. A breed that delights in learning, the Poodle is easy to train.
Though many of today’s Poodles enjoy life in the lap of luxury, the breed was originally developed to be a working dog. The Poodle’s primary purpose was to accompany their owners on hunts where their job was to retrieve ducks from the water.
The Poodle is a playful creature that enjoys spending time with its family. A dog of great athletic prowess, the Poodle excels at many activities including competitive obedience, agility, scent detection, and tracking.
A people-oriented breed, the Poodle does not enjoy time spent alone. Poodles adapt well to nearly every living situation; however, they do require regular exercise. A breed with lots of energy to expend, daily activity is a must to satisfy the drive of the Standard Poodle.
Poodle Breed History
Developed in Germany
Original purpose was water retrieving
Coat clips were about function not fashion
For 20 years, the Poodle was America’s most popular dog
Developed over 400 years ago, the Poodle’s original purpose was to function as a water retriever on duck hunts with its owners. The breed’s coat texture provided the ideal protection against the water’s chill, and its natural athleticism made it well-suited to both swimming and retrieving.
The name Poodle is derived from the German “pudel” or “pudelin,” a term which translates to “to splash in the water.” Though the French claim the Poodle as their national dog, the breed’s origins are traced back to Germany. In France, the Poodle is referred to as “caniche,” a handle which takes its roots from the words “chien canard” or “duck dog.”
The modified Continental Clip known as the Sporting Clip was far more functional than fashionable. The areas of the dog’s body that were trimmed ensured the dog had less coat weight, making it more agile in the water. The sections of the body covered by pompoms received protection from the hair to promote both joint and organ health when in cold water.
The Poodle may have begun its life as a working dog, but its distinctive looks and natural elegance drew interest to the breed where it soon moved from the forest into the parlour of the aristocrats of Europe. Due to its immense intelligence and regal appearance, the Poodle gained popularity as a trick dog and was soon highly sought-after as a circus performer.
Poodles also possess an incredible sense of smell. Food lovers in France made use of the Poodle’s skill by taking the dog along on truffle hunting ventures, a pastime at which the breed excelled.
As smaller versions of the Standard Poodle came in demand, the Poodle was then selectively bred to smaller dogs to create the Miniature. The United States is credited with the development of the Toy version of this breed.
The Poodle’s original pedigree is unknown. Many breed aficionados assert that the modern Poodle was achieved through combining a wide variety of European water retrieving breeds. Some also believe that the North African Barbet plays an important role in the Poodle’s lineage.
In 1874, the Kennel Club (England) officially recognized the Poodle. Its history in the United States is not as clear cut; however, what is known is that the American Kennel Club allowed Poodles to be registered with their organization beginning in 1886. Poodles were not commonly seen in the United States until after the last World War.
The mid-50’s saw a recurrence of popularity with the Poodle assuming pride of place as America’s favourite breed. This position remained untouched for 20 years but has now been yielded to the Labrador Retriever.
Poodle Size & Weight
Standard Poodles must be over 15” in height and weigh between 40 and 70 pounds.
Miniature Poodles are 10”-15” in height and weigh from 10-15 pounds.
Toy Poodles can be no greater than 10” in height and weigh between 4-6 pounds.
Toy Poodles are delicate and require gentle care.
The Poodle comes in three different sizes: the Standard, the Miniature, and the Toy. The Standard Poodle must be over 15” at the shoulder to fall within its breed classification. The weight for the Standard Poodle ranges from 40 to 70 pounds with adult females weighing between 40 to 50 pounds and males 60-70.
The Miniature Poodle’s height range is from 10”-15” with its weight matching its height at 10-15 pounds. The Toy Poodle must be 10” or smaller with weights ranging from 4-6 pounds.
The Standard Poodle is a medium-sized dog breed, the Miniature a small to medium dog, and the toy version, extra small. There are no special considerations for the Standard and the Miniature; however, potential Toy Poodles owners must bear in mind the delicacy of the breed and handle the dog with exceptional care and a gentle hand.
Poodle Personality & Temperament
Easy to train
Excellent with children
The Poodle’s regal air is a hallmark of the breed. A dog that is highly prized for its tremendous intelligence, affectionate nature, and elegant stature, the Poodle is a dog that truly has got it all.
Though the Poodle is well-renowned for its sophistication and beauty; at heart, the breed can be a clown. Poodles are exceptionally playful and delight in spending time with their families. A breed that truly loves the company of people, the Poodle’s natural intelligence and friendly nature make it a pleasure to train.
Poodles can be overexuberant, but proper obedience training can help the dog to achieve a calm demeanour. Regular exercise will also help the dog to appear more relaxed and at ease.
Poodles will naturally guard their homes and families and are quick to alert bark when someone unfamiliar approaches. Though the breed is deeply affectionate with those it loves, Poodles remain aloof of strangers until they have had the opportunity to learn to trust the person.
The Poodle is astoundingly clever. However, care must be taken to train the Poodle; otherwise, this smart breed will assume the role of leader of the home.
Poodles are excellent with children, making it easy to integrate a puppy into the home. It is important to supervise all interactions between a child and a dog. All children should also be taught to respect the dog and handle it with care.
In general, Poodles get along very well with other dogs. To introduce a new puppy into a home with existing pets, it is always wise to do initial greetings at a neutral location and one at a time.
Poodles are well-suited to any living situation so long as they are treated to regular daily exercise to help expend their reserves of energy. However, Poodles are people dogs and do not enjoy time spent alone.
The Poodle’s coat provides protection against all weather conditions; however, the breed prefers warm weather to cold and should dwell indoors with its family.
Poodle Health & Grooming
A breed with good health and excellent longevity
Extremely high grooming requirements
Grooming appointments should occur every six weeks at a minimum
Poodles are typically a very healthy breed and enjoy an excellent longevity, living from 10-18 years. However, all dog types are prone to certain health conditions, and the Poodle is no exception. Among the genetic conditions which can befall the Poodle are Addison’s Disease, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (bloat), Cushings Disease, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, Legg-Calves Perthe Disease, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, optic nerve hypoplasia, sebaceous adenitis, and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Most of these conditions are genetic, and DNA testing can be performed on breeding pairs to ensure that no inherited disease is passed on to the puppies.
Poodles have extremely high grooming requirements unless kept in a very short trim. Since the Poodle’s coat mats easily, daily brushing is essential. Failure to brush and comb a Poodle on a regular basis will mean the dog must be clipped right to the skin to allow for new, tangle-free growth.
The Poodle’s coat is extremely low-shedding, a bonus for families that suffer with allergies. However, to keep a Poodle in good coat condition, the dog will need to visit a professional groomer every six weeks at a minimum. Some owners opt to learn to clip their dogs themselves to save time and money.
Poodles also experience weeping which can cause staining in the area around the eyes. To help prevent tear stains, owners can wipe the dog’s face with a warm washcloth each day.
Baths should occur every three to six weeks on an as needed basis. All dogs should be blow dried and brushed after a bath to prevent matting from occurring.
Nails should be trimmed as often as is necessary to prevent excessive growth. Ear and teeth cleaning should also be a regular part of caring for a Poodle.
Because Poodles are a highly active breed, it is unlikely the dog will become overweight. However, regular exercise and carefully controlled portions for meals are a critical component of maintaining a good body condition.
Poodles are not a breed that are known for much drooling.
Obedience training is recommended
Not prey driven
Not prone to barking
The Poodle is a very smart breed and takes well to training sessions. The breed possesses a natural athleticism, making it well-suited to nearly any activity. Poodles can easily learn the basic obedience commands in several weeks with regular practice to ensure consistency.
Poodles excel at many different dog performance sports including agility, competitive obedience, tracking, scent detection, and even hunting trials. Since Poodles love to work with the people they love, they respond well to training routines that are lively and fun.
Obedience training is highly recommended for this breed as if they do not receive the leadership they need, they will assume it themselves, leading to problems in the home. Obedience classes also help to keep the Poodle’s mind engaged; an important part of the dog’s regular mental stimulation.
Poodle puppies can be mouthy and will explore the world with their mouths, particularly when teething. To combat this behaviour, simply redirect the dog to something more appropriate for chewing such as a toy or bone.
Poodles can be prone to wander off but are not especially prey-driven dogs. They are typically a quiet breed unless alert barking to signal the presence of an unfamiliar person near the home.
Poodle Exercise Requirements
Obedience training is recommended
Not prey driven
Not prone to barking
A high energy breed, Poodles require daily exercise to remain in good body condition. Since Poodles are an extremely versatile breed, there are many different activities they can engage in to satisfy their activity needs including swimming, retrieving, hiking, and running. 45 minutes to an hour of daily exercise should be sufficient to keep this dog in tip top condition.
Mental stimulation is also an important component of keeping a Poodle in excellent health. Dog performance sports can help keep the brain engaged as can puzzle toys or raw meaty bones.
Regardless of their age, Poodles are known for their playful ways. The breed takes great pleasure in enjoying play time with its family; whether in the backyard with a ball or at the local dog park.
Poodle Diet & Feeding
A high-quality, well-balanced diet is best
Puppies should eat puppy food
Adults should eat adult food
Serving sizes should be adjusted to accommodate added activity
To best understand what nutritional needs a Poodle has, it is wise to consult with a veterinarian. As a basic rule of thumb, all dogs should be fed a high-quality, well-balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and size.
Puppies should always be fed a puppy food which has been formulated to meet the needs of their developing bodies. Likewise, adults should eat a formulation that contains all of the crucial elements to promote their optimal health.
Serving size can be judged from the suggested amounts listed on the bag. Use this as a starting point and make adjustments based on the activity level of the Poodle, using the dog’s appetite and body condition as a guide.
You may also be interested in:
Poodle Rescue Groups
For assistance finding a Poodle for adoption in your area, we recommend the following resources:
The Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation Inc.
The Poodle Club of America