When some people hear the word “Poodle”, they immediately think of a fancy little dog who sits on queens’ laps and has a very dignified haircut, known as the “loin-cut”. Others, on the other hand, know the dog to be a very good water retriever. You may be surprised to hear that Poodles have been both. Yes, we have been the pampered pets of royalty and have retrieved birds for our owners (as well as preforming in the circus). But today’s average Poodle is kept as a pet, though you may see some owners who train theirs for retrieving.
The Poodle was originally bred in Germany as a water dog. In Germany the Poodle is called Pudelhund. Pudel means “to splash about”. You may see some Poodles with a loin-cut, with great puffs of hair around their joints. While today this is more of a fashion hairdo for Poodles, we originally had our hair cut this way to protect our sensitive joints from the cold water. Many people see Poodles as a foo-foo breed with all of our hair, but under all that fur is a whole bunch of personality!
There are three sizes of Poodle: the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Toy Poodle. The Standard Poodle is over fifteen inches tall, the Miniature Poodle is under fifteen inches, and the Toy Poodle is under ten inches. While all different sizes, they are all considered one breed.
Poodles need regular baths (I hate baths…I get one once a week) and brushing due to their curly hair and frequent matting. Poodles do shed their hair like other dogs, but because our hair is so curly, most of it mats instead of falling out. You may notice a little hairball or two on your dog’s bed, but if you brush your Poodle every day, you won’t even notice the minimal shedding. Poodles are very good for people with allergies, but please always consult your doctor before buying a dog if you are allergic to them. Poodles will need grooming appointments about every six weeks because our hair never stops growing! If you don’t have him groomed, the mats will become heavy and make your Poodle uncomfortable. So brush him daily with a slicker brush and pin brush, as well as a comb. And don’t worry, Poodles don’t only come in the traditional lion-cut. We can also have our hair trimmed as a puppy-cut, where all the hair is the same length.
Standard and Miniature Poodles are very good with children. However, a Toy Poodle may not be the best dog for you if you have small children. Little kids, without meaning to, are rougher with dogs, and your small dog may not be able to simply walk away like a big German Shepherd. Toy Poodles can feel trapped and feel like they need to fight. If you want a Toy Poodle, you will have to make the commitment to watch him whenever he is around small children. If you have children yourself, carefully explain to them that just because their dog is a Toy Poodle it doesn’t mean that he is a “toy”. He is sensitive and needs to be handled carefully, not jostled around. But so I won’t end this paragraph negatively, I, a Toy Poodle myself, have been with babies all my life and have never bitten any, though they do irritate me sometimes. My family has always been very careful to make sure that I’m never alone with a baby.
Poodles are an active and intelligent dog. We are one of the most trainable dogs and learn tricks very quickly. Poodles can recognize many words and recognize when your voice changes its tone. We excel in dog agility, tracking, and obedience. Poodles still love to swim as our ancestors once did to earn their keep. I heartily recommend that you train your Poodle. It will prevent him from getting bored and getting into trouble.
Poodles love people, and we aren’t afraid to show it! We dance on our hind legs to get attention and I love to thrust my muzzle into my humans’ hands to get them to pet me. Sometimes I’ll just stare at them in a loving gaze. A thing to remember with Poodles, however, is that we don’t always do good with other dogs. I, for example, am very choosy of my friends, and don’t like big dogs because they scare me. But I do like Lacy, even though she likes to chase me in a friendly way. It is very important to get your Poodle around different dogs while he is still a young puppy so he will be friendly towards them when he grows up.
Toy Poodles can live up to 20 years. If you take good care of your Poodle, he can easily live into his teens. To help your pet live longer, feed him healthy meals, don’t give him people food or table scraps, and exercise him regularly.
Poodles have curly hair and come in many different colors. We come in black, white, brown, silver beige, apricot, cream, sable, and patterns such as phantom and brindle.
In conclusion, Poodles are an affectionate, loyal, and people-loving breed. We like to bark, snuggle, and be with our humans at all times.