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Welcome to the Poodle dog microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other Poodle pages.

- Kitt Killion

Poodle Breed Information

Alternative names - Pudle (Old English), Caniche

Country of origin - France and Germany

Classification and breed standards

FCI:|Group 9 Section 2 #172|Stds
AKC:|Standard and Miniature: Non-Sporting; Toy: Toy|Stds
ANKC:|Group 7 (Non-Sporting)|Standard, Miniature, Toy Stds
CKC:|Standard and Miniature: Group 6 - Non-Sporting; Toy: Group 5 - Toys|Stds
KC (UK):|Utility|Standard, Miniature, Toy Stds
NZKC:|Non-sporting|Standard, Miniature, Toy Stds
UKC:|Standard: Gun Dogs; Miniature and Toy: Companion Dogs|Standard, and Toy Stds

The Poodle is a breed of dog. Toy, miniature, and standard poodles are distinguished by adult shoulder height. Poodles come in many colors including black, blue/charcoal, white, red, apricot, silver, and brown. They also appear in parti-color, or multi-colors. While the multi-color poodles cannot be shown in the American Kennel Club (AKC), Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) or any Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) conformation ring, they can be shown in the United Kennel Club (UKC) show ring and in all performance rings.

The FCI lists the country of origin as France; although some experts believe poodles may have originated in Russia or Iberia. However, it is commonly agreed that the French are responsible for developing the modern breed into its current three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles have been popular all through Europe for several hundred years, and poodle-like dogs are found depicted on Roman sculptures.

Poodles are retrievers; or gun dogs, and can still be seen in that role. The show clips evolved from working clips, which originally provided warmth to major joints when the dogs were immersed in cold water. The rest of the body is shaved for less drag in the water. Poodles are skilled at most other dog events including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding.

They are elegant in the show ring, having taken top honors in many shows. The poodle coat is dense and generally does not shed. As a result, the coats in showing condition require extensive care and grooming. Most pet poodle owners keep their poodles in much simpler cuts that are easier to care for and require less grooming.

The name poodle comes from the German word Pudel, which is short for Pudelhund, which means "splashing dog". This reflects the breed's use as a water dog (the word Pudel is related to the English word puddle).

1. Quick Facts

Poodle Quick Facts

Toy weight: | 6-9 pounds (3-4 kg.) |
Toy height: | Up to 10 inches (25.4 cm.) |
Miniature weight: | 15-17 pounds (7-8 kg.) |
Miniature height: | 11-15 inches (28-38 cm.) |
Standard weight: | 45-70 pounds (20-32kg.) |
Standard height: | 15 (38cm) or more |
Coat: | Profuse, wiry curly coat (well groomed and clipped)
Activity level: | Medium
Learning rate: | Extraordinarily high
Temperament of toy and miniature poodle: | Sensitive, remarkably intelligent, highly responsive, pleasant, happy, perky, lively, demanding, delightful, amusing, clever; some bloodlines may be high-strung and timid.
Temperament of standard poodle: | Proud, elegant, dignified, good-natured, highly intelligent, very trainable, pleasant, happy, sensitive, friendly.
Guard dog ability: | Low
Watch-dog ability: | Very high
Litter size: | ?
Life span: | 12-15 years

2. Appearance

2. 1. General appearance

According to the AKC standard,a poodle should be of moderate build, neither heavy or insubstantial. It should have an elegant, balanced appearance, and should carry itself in a "proud" or "dignified" manner.

Most poodles are proportionally long-legged dogs. They have dense, curly, non-shedding fur that grows year-round and requires regular grooming. Most are solid-colored, and many registries only allow solid colors in conformation shows. "Parti" (short for parti-colored) poodles have large patches of colors. "Phantom" poodles have the color pattern of a black-and-tan dog, although not necessarily black and tan. Solid-colored poodles may either "hold" their color (i.e., stay more or less the same color throughout their lives) or "fade" or "clear" to a lighter shade. Usually, the ears and the thicker guard hairs hold more of the original color than other fur.

The tail is usually docked in the US, less often in Europe. These days, tails, when docked, are left much longer than in times past. "Bunny like tails" (very short-docked tails) are now rarely seen except among puppy millers.

Unlike many breeds, poodles come in a variety of sizes, distinguished by shoulder height. Standard poodles are 38 cm. (15 in.) and over; miniature poodles are 28 cm. (11 in.) to 38 cm. (15 in.); toys are under 28 cm. (11 in.). These heights are established by all the kennel clubs in accord. "Teacup" poodles have also been bred which are very small; however, they are not recognized as a distinct standard by any of the kennel clubs.

2. 2. Coat

Poodle hair sheds little or not at all, and ranges in texture from coarse and wooly, to soft and wavy. Poodle show clips require many hours of brushing and care per week, about 10 hours/week for a standard poodle. Poodles are usually clipped down as soon as their show career is over and put into a lower-maintenance cut. Pet clips are much less elaborate than show clips and require much less maintenance.

2. 2. 1. Show clips

Many breed registries allow only certain clips for poodles shown in conformation. In American Kennel Club (AKC) shows, adults must be shown in the "continental" or "English saddle" clips. Dogs under 12 months old may be shown with a "puppy clip". A handful of registries, such as the United Kennel Club, allow simpler clips.

2. 2. 1. 1. Puppy clip

In the puppy clip, the face, throat, base of the tail and feet are shaved. The coat may be shaped with scissors for neatness. Although this clip appears simpler than the other clips, the length of the hair makes it as difficult (maybe more so) to maintain as the adult clips.

2. 2. 1. 2. Continental clip

In the continental clip the face, throat, feet and part of the tail are shaved. The upper half of the front legs is shaved, leaving "pompoms" around the ankles. The hindquarters are shaved except for pompoms on the lower leg (from the hock to the base of the foot) and optional round areas (sometimes called "rosettes") over the hips. The continental clip is the most popular show clip today.

2. 2. 1. 3. English Saddle clip

The English saddle clip is similar to the continental, except for the hindquarters. The hindquarters are not shaved except a small curved area on each flank (just behind the body), the feet, and bands just below the stifle (knee) and above the hock, leaving three pompoms. This clip is now rarely seen in Standard Poodles.

2. 2. 2. Pet clips

Pet clips can be as simple or elaborate as the owner wants. The hair under the tail should always be kept short to keep feces from getting matted in the fur. Most owners also keep the feet and face clipped short to keep dirt from matting between toes and food from matting around the dog's muzzle. Beyond the sanitary requirements, the desired clip depends on the owner's preference. Some owners maintain a longer clip in winter than summer, which they brush often to remove tangles and prevent matting. When mats occur, owners cut or shave off the matted areas, attempt to achieve symmetry in overall appearance, and wait for the fur to grow back.

2. 2. 3. Corded coat

In most cases, whether a poodle is in a pet or show clip, fur is completely brushed out. Poodle fur can also be "corded" with rope-like mats similar to those of a Komondor. Though once as common as the curly poodle, corded poodles are now very rare. Corded coats are difficult to keep clean and take a long time to dry after a bath. Any poodle with a normal coat can be corded when their adult coat is in. Corded poodles may be shown in AKC, FCI, CKC and UKC shows.

3. Temperament

Poodles are intelligent, alert, and active. Historically, their aptitude has made them ideal for performing in circuses across the globe for centuries. Otherwise notable is this breed's keen sense for instinctual behavior. In particular, marking and hunting drives are more readily observable than in most other breeds. Even Toys will point birds. Classified as highly energetic, poodles can also get bored fairly easily and have been known to get creative about finding mischief.

Poodles are extremely people-oriented dogs and, therefore, are eager to please. They are excellent watchdogs, but unlike some working breeds, don't usually become "one-person" dogs when they are part of a family. Standard Poodles in particular tend to be good with children. Poodles are adaptable and easy to train. Like most dogs, they appreciate daily exercise, such as a walk or a play session. Most are fairly agile and athletic.

4. Health

The most common serious health issues of standard poodles (listed in order of the number of reported cases in the Poodle Health Registry (as of August 20, 2007) are Addison's disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV = bloat/torsion), thyroid issues (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid), epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Standard poodles are also susceptible to some health issues usually too minor to report to the poodle health registry. The most common of these minor issues are probably ear infections. Ear infections are a problem in all poodle varieties. Ear problems can be minimized by proper ear care. A veterinarian should be consulted if the dog shows signs of an ear infection, lest a minor issue turn into a major issue.

4. 1. Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is (as of August 20, 2007) the illness most commonly reported to the Poodle Health Registry. The number of reported cases of Addison's disease is nearly twice as high as the next most common problem (GDV). Addison's disease is characterized by insufficient production of gluticocorticoid and/or mineralocortoid in the adrenal cortex. Addison's is often undiagnosed because early symptoms are vague and easily mistaken for other conditions. Standard poodles with unexplained lethargy, frequent gastric disturbances, or an inability to tolerate stress should be tested for Addison's. Addison's can cause fatal sodium/potassium imbalances, but, if caught early and treated with lifelong medication, most dogs can live a relatively normal life.

4. 2. Gastric dilatation volvulus

Standard poodle owners should take special note of the high incidence of GDV (Gastric dilatation volvulus) in this breed. Excess gas trapped in the dog's stomach causes "bloat." Twisting of the stomach (volvulus or "torsion") causes or is caused by excess gas. Symptoms include restlessness, inability to get comfortable, pacing, or retching without being able to bring up anything. The dog's abdomen may be visibly swollen but dogs can bloat or torsion without visible swelling. GDV is a dire emergency condition. If you suspect a dog is bloating, you should not wait to see if he improves. A dog with GDV requires immediate veterinary care. The dog's survival usually depends on whether the owner can get him to the vet in time. It is a good idea for a standard poodle owner to know the route to the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic, so time is not wasted looking for directions.

4. 3. Longevity and causes of death

Standard Poodles in UK, Denmark and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of 11.5 to 12 years. In a UK survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (30%), old age (18%), GDV (bloat/torsion, 6%), and cardiac disease (5%).

Miniature and Toy Poodles in UK surveys had median lifespans of 14 to 14.5 years. In Miniature Poodles, the leading cause of death was old age (39%). In Toy Poodles, the leading causes of death were old age (25%) and kidney failure (20%).

Some toy poodles can live up to 17 years or even longer if it as a healthy live and is not over weight.

4. 4. Common illnesses

* Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism)
* Cataracts
* Congenital heart disease
* Chronic active hepatitis
* Cushing's syndrome (hyperadrenocorticism)
* Distichiasis
* Entropion
* Epilepsy
* Glaucoma
* Intervertebral disc degeneration
* Lacrimal duct atresia
* Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome
* Progressive retinal atrophy
* Patellar luxation (Toy and Miniature)
* Trichiasis
* Urolithiasis.
* Hip dysplasia (Standard)
* Hypothyroidism
* Gastric torsion
* Osteosarcoma
* Patent ductus arteriosus
* Sebaceous adenitis
* gastric dilatation-volvulus
* Von Willebrand's disease

5. Poodle hybrids

Poodles are a popular breed to include in intentional crosses with other dog breeds. In some cases, the purpose of using a poodle in a cross is to try to retain the non-shedding poodle coat in the offspring. Sometimes, the only reason appears to be improved marketing of puppies, in that the "poo" and "oodle" syllables lend themselves to the creation of cute names attractive to puppy buyers. Currently, crosses of poodles with Labrador retrievers ("Labradoodle") or golden retrievers ("goldendoodles") are very popular. Smaller poodle mixes such as Maltese Poodle mixes, or Maltipoos, are also becoming quite popular.

A cross between a shedding breed and a poodle does not reliably produce a non-shedding dog. Most of the offspring will shed to some extent. Because they often do not shed as much as the shedding parent, they will usually require regular grooming, including haircuts. People with dog allergies who want a poodle mix should spend enough time with the dog to ensure they will not have a reaction before committing to ownership.

Poodle crosses are considered mixed breed dogs by most mainstream dog registries, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), and are not eligible for registration, even if both parents are registered.

6. Famous poodles

* Aero, Mao Asada's pet
* Algonquin from Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
* Atma and Butz, Schopenhauer's pets.
* Basket, Basket II, and Basket III, successive pets of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
* Bela, "Weird Al" Yankovic's poodle who sat on his head for the Cover of his 2003 album Poodle Hat
* Boy, pet of Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-1682) and killed at the Battle of Marston Moor.
* Charley, pet of Nobel Prize author John Steinbeck, a black (referred to as "blue" in the book) Standard Poodle played Charley in the TV miniseries "Travels with Charley: In Search of America", based on Steinbeck's 1961 book of the same name.
* Cleo, from Clifford the Big Red Dog
* Muffin "Mami" Boulanger, pet of Lauren Boulanger
* Daphne, from the third Look Who's Talking movie
* Fifi, pet of the Finsters on Rugrats
* Fifi, pet of WWE Superstar Rene Dupree
* Foo-Foo, Miss Piggy's pet on The Muppet Show
* Gigi and Cash, pets of Christian Serratos
* Georgette from Oliver and Company
* Josephine, prized pet of author Jacqueline Susann; inspiration for her 1963 novel, "Every Night, Josephine".
* Lerue, famous dog model of K*Mart and Saks Fifth Avenue fame
* Mephistopheles, incarnated in a poodle as described by Goethe in Faust.
* Mocha, pet of Taiwanese American business woman Nikki Hsu
* Puff from The Proud Family
* Rhapsody in White, or 'Butch', of the movie Best in Show
* Roly, the poodle owned by Sharon Watts in the BBC soap opera EastEnders
* Rufus, pet of Winston Churchill source: retrieved July 31, 2005
* Teddy, famous dog of radio talk show host Michael Savage (commentator)Pictures of Teddy
* Yankee Poodle from Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew

Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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