The Poodle is an agile gun dog noted for its superb bird hunting skills and its ability in the water. It is a well-balanced, squarely proportioned breed with an elegant appearance. The Poodle is distinguished by a very special form of clip for the purpose of show activity. It is often described as a good-tempered breed. It has long, fine head with a broad skull and well-chiselled foreface. It has almond-shaped eyes, long, low-set ears that hang close to the face, nose that varies in colour depending on the colour of the coat, and teeth that forms a regular scissor bite. A well-proportioned neck carries the head high and with dignity. The forelegs are straight and well-muscled while the hindlegs have muscular thighs cushioned by small, oval feet with thick and hard padding. The Poodle also has a wide, deep chest with a short back. The highly set tail is customarily docked to at least half of its original length. It has very profuse, dense, harsh coat characterized by thick and curly hairs. This thick coat is usually groomed in either “pet clip” style with short hair of equal length all over the body; “English saddle” clip and the “continental” clip which shows the dog in partially sheared form with hair puffs left on the ankles and balls of fur left on the hips and tip of the tail.
The Poodle is probably the most popular breed in the world. However, popular as it may be, the true origin of the breed is relatively unknown and debatable, but it was already a popular subject of painters as early as 400 years ago. Most breed experts believe that the Poodle came from Central Europe or Russia. Although it is officially recognized as a breed that originated in France, some still claim that it was first developed by German breeders and was brought to France by early German soldiers during the early Renaissance period. It was originally bred as a water dog used for retrieving gunned water fowls or ducks in the water and its development had a lot of German influence. In fact, the name itself was derived from the Deutsch word “pfudel” or “pudeln” meaning “to splash” or “puddle.” In France, the Poodle is a renowned duck hunter that goes by the name “caniche.” The coat was traditionally sheared to accommodate swimming because it can get extremely heavy when wet. Overtime, it became a favourite companion of the French social elite and aristocrats and the puffed hair on the knees and tip of the tail that the modern Poodle is known for actually serves an aesthetic purpose today.
The Poodle is an obedient, people-oriented breed; very easy to train, eager to please and love being the centre of attention. It will typically entertain its audience by doing tricks. Often, it is seen performing in circuses because of its ability to learn quickly. It is a playful breed and is very good with children and other pets in the house, but often shy with strangers and can become snappish especially if spoiled. It has a tendency to bark excessively and makes an excellent candidate as a watchdog. Highly intelligent and alert, the Poodle is one of the most adaptable and trainable dogs but can become easily bored and will tend to channel its boredom into creative misbehaviour. In general, Poodles are even-tempered and can be quite sensitive at times. They will enjoy the company of their human family and can be quite demanding of them but will not bond with only one member. The standard variety is calmer than the miniature and toy varieties and makes a better guard- and hunting dog.
The Poodle is typically a sensitive breed and should be socialized at an early age to overcome shyness. The standard variety does not require a lot of exercise unlike other hunting breeds but it will be happier if it is taken for long walks. Being a people-oriented breed means that the Poodle requires plenty of social interaction along with mental and physical stimulation. It will enjoy swimming if it has access to a swimming pool. Poodles will do perfectly well in an apartment and should never be kept outdoors. Check the ears for wax build-up and should also be trimmed of hair. Experts recommend that the best assimilated diet for the Poodle must have a blend of fish, poultry, pork, potato, wheat, and corn.
Grooming is extensive and requires frequent attention, including frequent trimming, bathing and brushing. The coat should be trimmed every four to six weeks. It is not right to believe that Poodles don't shed hair. When the Poodle sheds, the hair does not fall.
Show dogs require more frequent professional grooming.
The Poodle is a long-lived breed with an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years. Some medical predispositions associated with the standard poodle that owners and would-be owners should be aware of include: hypocortisolism (a rare endocrine disorder), cataracts, hip dysplasia, distichiasis (eyelash problem), entropion (eyelid problem), epilepsy, gastric torsion (bloat), patent ductus arteriosus (a congenital heart defect), sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s Disease (bleeding problem), and chronic active hepatitis.
They require more physical activities like playing, swimming and daily walking.
Standard Poodle is known to be excellent for children.